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Trust me when I tell you, this part of Florida is NOT the Land of Lincoln. Pictured in upper-left is Hallandale Beach's iconic beachball-colored Water Tower on State Road A1A; September 2008 photo by me, South Beach Hoosier. © 2013 Hallandale Beach Blog, All Rights Reserved.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meet the face of the new Ugly American: Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise. He jumps-the-shark in London via a mean-spirited attack against Mariel Zagunis, who lost at the 2012 Olympics in a sport you don't even care about. WTF?!; #London2012

Meet the face of the new Ugly American: Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise. He jumps-the-shark in London via a mean-spirited attack against Mariel Zagunis, who lost at the 2012 Olympics in a sport you don't even care about. WTF?!; #London2012 
In the year 2012, with a few rare exceptions, American sports columnists at any large sporting event are what comes after the word "superfluous."
Think of the Miami Herald's Linda Robertson, whose Olympic columns for years have always seemed to me to read like paint-by-numbers jobs that were pre-written in Miami before she showed-up wherever the Games were being held.
Once there, she simply put the name and the sport into the meme she wanted to get out into the universe. And completely predictable memes at that.

But it's really when most sports columnists are at a gathering as large and diverse as the 2012 Olympics in London, with tens of thousands of people from all over the world who are heavily-invested emotionally and financially in being there, that someone like Wise reminds you why they are like a third nipple.
And not nearly as interesting.

Desperate as they are to hold your attention to justify their presence to their bosses back home at an event where 99.99% of even the Americans there have NEVER heard of him, to these visitors, Mike Wise is the creepy guy in the hotel elevator who wouldn't hold it open for you as you raced towards it, preferring to wave "buh-bye" to you and your wife as it closed.

The guy who ruined your good mood and reminded you once again that there's no Ugly American like an American journalist overseas, with a colossal sense of self-importance and entitlement, even when nobody-but-nobody is interested in what he thinks.

That's Mike Wise.
The third nipple.
After you read his put-down of American fencer Mariel Zagunis, a two-time Gold Medalist, you'll probably agree.
Me, I'll bet his ancestors spread rumors about witches in 17th Century Salem -for sport.

Washington Post
Mariel Zagunis loses her fencing semifinal bout, and the Olympic spirit
By Mike Wise, 
August 1, 2012
LONDON — There goes the emotional sitdown with Costas. The brainless chit-chat in the morning with Matt Lauer and a cereal-box cover are also off the table.
Say buh-bye, America. Mariel Zagunis’s Q-rating just left the building.
Thanks for carrying the Stars and Stripes into the Opening Ceremonies, Miss Flag Bearer. Now pack your swords and go home for four years. We’ll call you before we get to Rio.
Read the rest of the attack at 

TD Ameritrade interviews Mariel Zagunis. http://youtu.be/x_bWZD0FU9o

The sporting romantic in me hopes that Wise somehow provokes a burly but emotionally-volatile Redskin veteran player during the course of the season, and after a tough loss, the player decides that he's had quite enough of Wise's smart-ass baiting of him.

Then, with TV cameras there to capture the moment for posterity on YouTube, with a white towel wrapped around his neck, the player stands up from his folding chair as if to put the towel away and get dressed when suddenly he takes one quick step towards Wise, and nails him flush with a hay-maker, as cameras capture Wise going limp like a rag doll and falling flat on his ass. 

First a Kapow! 
Then a Timber!

But it's probably too much to hope for.

Still, in the future, if you ever see Mike Wise flaying away in some body of water somewhere, especially near Washington Harbour in Georgetown, one of my old haunts, perhaps after he's had a drink too-many at Sequoia and fallen into the Potomac, just remember the importance of karma.

Then think of emotionally-frustrated Mariel Zagunis and his conscious decision to go after her when she is at her lowest, and emotionally distraught. 
You'll know what to do.

Nothing but wave and mouth the words "buh-bye" to Wise as he says, on-the-record, "Blub, blub..."
Yes, his final clever remarks captured for posterity before joining the mounds of debris that lie at the bottom of that dirty, dirty river.


Elsewhere in London, in a much-better column that's not dripping with mean-spirited sarcasm for vitriol's sake...

New York Times
U.S. Star Loses Chance To Win Her Third Gold
By Sam Borden
Published: August 1, 2012

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Hallandale Beach Blog is where I try to inject or superimpose a degree of accountability, transparency and insight onto Florida and local Broward County government and public policy issues, which I feel is sorely lacking in local media now. On this blog, locally, I concentrate my energy, enthusiasm, anger and laser-like attention on the coastal cities of Hallandale Beach, Hollywood and Aventura.

If you lived in this part of South Florida, you'd ALREADY be stuck in stultifying traffic, paying higher-than-necessary taxes and continually musing about the chronic lack of accountability among not only elected govt. officials, but also of city, county and state employees as well. Collectively, with a few rare exceptions, they couldn't be farther from the sort of strong results-oriented, eager work-ethic mentality that local residents deserve and expect. But seldom if ever see...

This is particularly true in the Broward County city I live in, the City of Hallandale Beach, north of Aventura and south of Hollywood and right on the Atlantic Ocean. Here, the "Perfect Storm" of years of apathy, incompetency and cronyism are all too readily apparent. Sadly for its beleaguered residents, HB is where even easily-solved, quality-of-life problems are left to fester for YEARS on end, because of myopia, lack of common sense and ineffective supervisory management. It's a city with tremendous potential because of its terrific location and well-educated populace, yet its citizens have almost become numb to HB City Hall's frequent outrages and screw-ups, the result of YEARS of the worst kind of mismanagement and lack of foresight. On a daily basis, residents and Small Business owners wake up and see the same old problems that have never being adequately resolved by the city in a logical and responsible fashion, merely kicked -once again- further down the road for others to solve in the future.

I used to ask myself, not always rhetorically, "Where are all the enterprising young reporters who want to show that through their own hard work and enterprise, what REAL investigative reporting can produce?" Hearing no response, I decided to start a blog of my own that could try to do some of these things, taking the p.o.v. of a reasonable-but-skeptical person seeing the situation for the first time with fresh eyes, and wanting questions answered in a honest and logical way that citizens have the right to expect.

Hallandale Beach Blog intends to be a catalyst for positive change in public policy and goivernment engagement. If there's one constant gripe in South Florida, regardless of your age, race, nationality or political persuasion, it's about the fundamental lack of PUBLIC ACCOUNTABILITY of Florida's state, regional and local govt./agency officials, elected and otherwise. Hallandale Beach Blog aims to be a small step towards regaining some of that needed accountability, whether it's thru shining some well-needed public scrutiny on the issue or pol, or requires a higher degree of follow-up investigation and public exposure of the incompetency, cronyism or negligence -South Florida's usual governing style.
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Singer/songwriter Full of Keys (Anni Bernhard) wearing the teal-colored Miami Dolphins cap I gave her in January 2013 (in Stockholm) while recording her 2nd album, "The Grazing Grounds" at Sandkvie Studios in Visby, Gotland, Sweden. Also pictured here are sound engineer and co-producer Linus Larsson and musician/DJ/co-producer Mats Jönsson, April 12, 2013.Click the photo to see her videos, read my blog posts and Tweets about her and learn more about this dynamic and original talent with personality to spare!

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Before I was a Hoosier, I was an NMB Charger, Class of 1979.

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"In the Heart of a Great Country, Beats the Soul of Hoosier Nation." -South Beach Hoosier, 2007.