Bursting at the Seams, Dubai’s Bubble Pops

1. Wait, Dubai Doesn’t Like Israel?

Over the last few years, Dubai has become a popular winter vacationing hot spot for the wealthy. Think of Destin, Fla., except for $1,000 bottle wine instead of $1 Natty, six star hotels instead of $6 motels and $10,000 women instead of the passed-out girl at the end of the beach. Each year, Dubai hosts big-time golf tournaments — rumored to pay Tiger Woods $3 million endorsement fees — and tennis tournaments. Unfortunately, the one thing Dubai obviously cares about more than money and its prestigious reputation is, well, its prestigious rep for denying Jews entry into these tourneys.

Last year, they refused to allow an Israeli men’s doubles team consisting of Andy Ram and Jonathan Erlich into the event, and this year, they denied female tennis star Shahar Peer a passport to allow her in to play.

Now, maybe Shahar, Ram and Erlich forgot that passports expire five years after their bat-and bar-mitzvahs, but that still isn’t a very valid reason to deny them entry.

The real mystery in all of this is why Dubai would want to banish the Jews in the first place. Think of all the elderly Jewish couples who are sick of those crazy teens bothering them all of the time in Florida. Now, they want a new place to hide away forever. Plus, for the betterment of their grandchildren, these bubbies and zaideis wouldn’t be able to call as much with the long-distance charges and everything. And just think about it: with the price of oil falling combined with a more thrifty upper class, Dubai could really use some more money.

But really, this is absolutely absurd. Dubai should lose every single event it holds until it is willing to not act like a juvenile infant and accept that it needs to put up with some people, like them or not. The only statement Dubai is making is that it can do really whatever it want and get away with it.

If Israel ever pulled a stunt like this and denied a Muslim athlete entrance into an event held in its country, then CNN, ABC and, unfortunately, Woody Paige, would all be weighing in on the subject.

The fact of the matter is it’s a tennis tournament that needs to have the field include everyone in it who qualifies and wants to play. If not, then let’s just say bye-bye to Dubai.

That is, if anyone can ever get past the whole oil thing.

2. A Choked Player Looks a Little Better Right Now

Well, the Indiana Hoosier basketball team has done it. The team has lost 18 games in a season for the first time ever and have fallen, officially, to rock bottom.

Now, there is no question that this year has been a season filled with unfortunate circumstances. New Head Coach Tom Crean inherited
a probation-ridden program after Kelvin “Oh, so I can’t text message a recruit with my cell phone” Sampson left along with almost every player from last season’s team.

Yes, Crean has started four freshman, but he’s also mishandled his players’ emotions and has seemed utterly lost at times. And none of this had to happen.

After Indiana’s then-president Myles Brand, better know by his nickname “Idiot Who Fired Bob Knight,” ignorantly fired Bob Knight, he brought in the incompetent Mike Davis. Now, we know Davis led the Hoosiers to the final game in his first year, but with Knight’s players. After a dismal career, Sampson resurrected Indiana briefly by cheating the program,
and now we are here.

Perhaps Crean just needs some time, but everyone knows he is nothing more than a classless jerk who demands games continue despite injured players lying on the ground screaming in pain. Guess IU drew the line at chair throws and forgot about that little character flaw.

Now, Crean has a top recruiting class for next year and may very well turn this storied program around. But it’s storied because of the same man who should not have been fired. Granted none of that matters now and perhaps people are willing to look forward.

But with 18 losses, it’s pretty easy to ask the question, “So, when is Knight going to leave ESPN?”

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