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  1. #1
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Default It's time to end NATIONALISM in Badminton!

    "Nationalism is an infantile disease. It is the measles of mankind."
    - Albert Einstein

    "Nationalism is hunger power tempered by self deception."
    - George Orwell


    I'm becoming more and more convinced that it's time for nationalism to be abolished in badminton and only used in the anachronistic areas such as in the Olympic and Commonwealth games and similar events.

    The issue is with nationalism, is that in the current climate, you've already lost. The forseeable future is a future of China's dominance. For me, this is indisputable. We may see a few talents emerging from other states, but China has played it's hand and it's dominance in nation-based competition is well publicised. The only thing stopping this is themselves. They have the population, they have growing resources - they're only going to get bigger.

    So why don't we have a situation where individual teams and singles players as free entities can compete much like they do in tennis. This way, instead of having nation-states dictate who wins and who loses, there's at least some form of a player's self-determination - and also the exciting possibility in doubles of players from different countries playing together.

    Nationalism may have it's place, but increasingly I think it's maybe not akin to measles, but it's certainly a blight on the landscape.

    What do you think?


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    Regular Member winstonchan's Avatar
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    Li Yong Bo would probably tell you promoting Nationalism gave him fame and a fat pocket. Albert & George were living in their dreams.

    Things might change one day, however.

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    The idea is nice. But maybe since there is way less money in badminton than in tennis, only a superstar could be able to go individual, without dependance on the support of the national team. The majority of players would not make enough money to sustain themselves.

    It's already possible for international doubles pairings to be formed, as we have seen Russia's Anastasia Russkikh play with Petya Nedelcheva(BUL) and Hendra Setiawan(INA)

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    Administrator kwun's Avatar
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    there are different ways to see nationalism.

    every professional player, whether in badminton or tennis or golf, are associated with some country. Sampras is American, Nadal is Spanish, Li Na is Chinese, Tiger Woods is American. there isn't much else you can do about that. While they do have their own coaches, what is really the root of the difference is that they are presented as individuals and the fans see them as individuals.

    Do we really know where these players are from? i just found out that Nadal is Spanish, Federer is Swiss, and Djokovic is Serbian (really?), Hewitt is Australian. Tennis did well in not tightly associate the players from the country, and as a result, they became individuals. once they presented individuals, players will view them differently as they associate them as stars instead of "someone from China".

    While the intrinsic excitement of a match between, say, Chen Long and Lin Dan isn't any worse than Sampras vs. Agassi, fans love watching Sampras vs. Agassi (whom i just found out is also American) as they view them as individual stars, while BCer loath watching yet oh another China vs. China match.

    Nationalism is grown into the perception of badminton spectators, unfortunately. When many of us watch matches, we see China vs. Malaysia, Denmark vs. Indonesia instead of seeing the players playing against themselves.

    Yes, there are the bad apples out there who throw matches or don't play as hard when they play their own comrades. But I have to ask though, will we view them any differently if they had different coaches and play hard against each other even when they are proudly displaying the same national flags in their jerseys, and the umpire still announce them as "Taufik Hidayat, Indonesia", and the on screen score board still show 2 red flags?

    While i don't disagree with the OP on Nationalism, I think if we need to really take Nationalism away from badminton, we need a broader perspective on the root of the issue and tackle it from that direction.

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    I think it'll be hard for say doubles players from different countries to play with each other. Let's hypothetically say I'm one of the top doubles player and Fu Hai Feng and I want to partner. I live in America, he lives in China, unless one of us moves, our training time together is limited as to say him partnering up with Cai Yun who's from the same country. I'm not sure how many athletes would be willing to do that. I'd understand moving between states/provinces, but between continents/cultures etc. would be too different.

    Anyways it would be more interesting if there were leagues and like in other professional sports as NFL, NHL, Soccer etc. you would be able to draft a team of Superstars, sign them to big contracts and have them compete in competitions during the season and then have them compete at the World Championships as the final event yearly. But like I mentioned above, that'll involve with a lot of players shifting around countries and what not.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Maklike Tier View Post

    So why don't we have a situation where individual teams and singles players as free entities can compete much like they do in tennis. This way, instead of having nation-states dictate who wins and who loses, there's at least some form of a player's self-determination - and also the exciting possibility in doubles of players from different countries playing together.

    Nationalism may have it's place, but increasingly I think it's maybe not akin to measles, but it's certainly a blight on the landscape.

    What do you think?

    Because you'll need very deep pockets to train players like you do in tennis. The money has to come from somewhere, so if it's not state sponsored (or gov't funded), well then it'll be parental sponsored Then we'll have threads like "It's time to end the game of the riches in badminton"

    If you don't want to see nation-states dictate who wins and who loses, you
    a) don't understand that to those states, the players are part of a TEAM, and they play to a bigger picture for the good of the team in some cases. Whether it be losing deliberately to a teammate so they can get more players in higher rankings to fill for OG spots

    b) watch the internal games. The 12th national games in China is coming up; no national team orders there

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Soooo... will the entry of Adidas herald the beginning of the end of Nationalism in badminton?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    Soooo... will the entry of Adidas herald the beginning of the end of Nationalism in badminton?
    That will, in part, depend on how much badminton can grow in it's mass appeal. The BWF YouTube venture has been very good. TV coverage is pretty poor in most countries and the Internet goes a long way into keeping mainstream interest.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cobalt View Post
    Soooo... will the entry of Adidas herald the beginning of the end of Nationalism in badminton?
    That will, in part, depend on how much badminton can grow in it's mass appeal. The BWF YouTube venture has been very good. TV coverage is pretty poor in most countries and the Internet goes a long way into keeping mainstream interest.

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cheung View Post
    That will, in part, depend on how much badminton can grow in it's mass appeal. The BWF YouTube venture has been very good. TV coverage is pretty poor in most countries and the Internet goes a long way into keeping mainstream interest.
    Still need primetime TV on the big channels, IMO. That's where the money is. You spend big bucks, you rake it in...

    Tennis is loved by prime time because it's all sun and clouds, all shiny and wide expanses. Maybe some of the SS/SSP venuse should take a page and use open stadia with glassed-in courts?

    Getting a bit OT, sorry about that Makilke....

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    so the players are playing in a greenhouse?

    i can't see how that'd be fun

    Add the sun in the mix? Yah I'm sure they'd love that.

  12. #12
    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    Let me introduce you to a new concept.... it's called air conditioning...

    On a slightly more serious note, have you watched squash championships? And squash is the one game that probably takes more out of the player than even badminton...

    anyway, just throwing ideas around --- with the way technology and materials are improving almost every day, this may not be too far-fetched, believe me!

  13. #13
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    After watching the Surdiman Cup, I'm not only going to reiterate my original statement, but also now add that I'm so confident it needs to happen, that if I were a battling man I'd hazard a bet that no other country but China will win the Surdiman Cup EVER.

    E-V-E-R.

    This year is the tipping point for nationalism in badminton. It is such a ridiculous proposition, that it can only be left as the bastion of those that maintain some sort of delusional cultural or racial superiority. It's a simple numbers game at the end of the day, and for anyone to hold on to the notion that by some miracle of birth, that eight people will be born of the same generation, from a country with a fraction of the talent pool of China....well, it's beyond ludicrous really. It defies rational thought.

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    This is totally wrong.

    Olympics is popular because it is a competition among nations with peaceful means. It galvanizes national prides and channels them towards the appreiciation of human beings. It is an emotional outlet for good rather than harm.

    Without the impetus of national pride, sports will be reduced to recreational and commercial activities. Still nice, but it won't the same.

    At the practical level, many non-commercial sports will get no government funding and die slowly. Badmintion may likely fall as one of the victims in many parts of the world. How's that good for badminton?

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    Moderator cobalt's Avatar
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    There are also many good reasons why the Olympics is held just once every four years.

    Logistical nightmares.
    Getting all the athletes in the world together needs planning at various levels worldwide.
    Money. Money. Money.
    Making it more interesting than the last time around. Or at least wildly different.
    Allowing enough time to elapse so that some really exciting new talent can possibly show up at each iteration of the event, rather than same old tired faces.
    And much more. My brain is slowly atrophying....

    The point is, if the OG were to be held once every 2 years or god forbid, every year, no one would watch the damn thing! And for sure, it wouldn't have the same allure that it has now. In fact, chances are even some of the athletes would do a no-show. AKA, it just wouldn't be the OLYMPICS.

    And that brings me to a line of thought that's been festering in my mind for a long time, which is very similar to what the OP has laid out here and which I had alluded to in another thread. I need to dip into my brain tonic, and then begin working in earnest on that stuff soon...

  16. #16
    Regular Member Maklike Tier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RedShuttle View Post
    This is totally wrong.

    Olympics is popular because it is a competition among nations with peaceful means. It galvanizes national prides and channels them towards the appreiciation of human beings. It is an emotional outlet for good rather than harm.

    Without the impetus of national pride, sports will be reduced to recreational and commercial activities. Still nice, but it won't the same.

    At the practical level, many non-commercial sports will get no government funding and die slowly. Badmintion may likely fall as one of the victims in many parts of the world. How's that good for badminton?
    I think your ideas may be a bit superficial and simplistic.

    Sport exists just fine outside of the realm of nationalism, but when that nationalism is counter-productive like it is in badminton, then what purpose does it serve? I can get my 'appreciation for human beings' and 'emotional outlet' elsewhere.

    Even the olympics is ridiculous. Your success or failure is based simply upon the population base, and the amount of money you throw at it. The ONLY reason smaller countries do any good at sport, is because they throw more money at it. By 'money' I mean infrastructure, coaching, and the sponsors willing to spend that money for advertising.

    Would sport die without the investment of governments? I don't believe so. If the Olympics was the only 'nationalistic' event, then competitors would still obviously be from their country of origin, it's just that that factor would not be overt and used for propaganda purposes.

    And just think of the advantages - imagine the possibility of seeing doubles played by persons of different nationalities.

    If ever there was a propaganda opportunity.....

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    sorry, I might have missed this amongst the posts - who pays for the non-nationalistic organisation that is currently government funded e.g. china badminton assoc., malaysia badminton assoc. etc.?

    It would have to be a bit like bicycle racing with sponsors owning teams?

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