Each week, The Reporters put their thumbs out to the good and the bad in the world of sports. This week, they discuss Tour de France selfies, Adam Lind's mom, Louis van Gaal embarrassing himself, and self-serve beer machines.
Bruce Arthur, Toronto Star
My thumb is down to idiots, which is a general statement, so let's specify: my thumb is down to the idiots who have decided to take selfies, to use the infantilizing term for photos you take of yourself, during the Tour de France. On the side of the road. With the riders whizzing by. Fans are often uncomfortably close to the cyclists during the Tour, which is part of the old-world charm, but at least are usually facing the race, so they can see the men flying towards them at high speeds. Taking selfies has now caused several harmless but dangerous crashes, and a high number of near-misses. Look, it's bad enough that we call them selfies. It's a real accomplishment to make taking them dumber than the name.
Steve Simmons, Sun Media
My thumb is up to Adam Lind's mom, for doing what mom's do best. For giving helpful and thoughtful advice to one of her children. Lind complained not long ago that the foot he injured with a foul ball on June 14 didn't seem to be getting better. You can tell your mom that. You can't always tell your trainers or doctors. Lind had all the tests. Still, it didn't seem right. His mom, not a doctor, was clear: get an MRI. And so he asked for one. The imaging was done and it was determined he had a fracture in his foot. The Jays then sent him to North Carolina to see a foot specialist. The diagnosis now is that Lind will be out two weeks after this week's All-Star Game. And there is no talk of adding Lind's mom to the Jays medical or training staff. Maybe there should be.
Michael Farber, Sports Illustrated
My thumb is down to coach Louis van Gaal and the Netherlands, whose color is orange but whose liver is lilly. van Gaal said he asked two players to take the first penalty kick in the shootout against Argentina and was rebuffed twice. If those unnamed players indeed did decline, it represents turtling of the first order. But van Gaal also deserves blame. He asked players to take the kick. He didn't tell them. Since when did sports - especially the World Cup - become a democracy? Penalty kicks in the semifinal shouldn't be a show-of-hands thing. Brazil was humiliated by Germany, but the Netherlands embarrassed itself without any help.
Dave Hodge, TSN
My thumb is down to a new idea that proves that all new ideas aren't good ideas. At the MLB All-Star game in Minnesota, beer can be purchased at self-serve machines. I want you to imagine that you're thirsty and at the back of the line while the person at the front of the line is first undergoing, via the beer machine, an ID check for proof of age. Then the purchase of a money card that will allow access to the machine, so the brand of beer can be selected, and the quantity of beer, by the ounce, can be determined, followed of course by the pouring of the beer, spillage would seem unavoidable. Meanwhile at the back of the line, if a vendor walked by, with a can of beer in his hand, can you think of any reason to wait until you get to the front of the line, except to take a selfie...you and the beer machine?