An indignant sportswriter is a happy sportswriter, but it’s not always easy for readers to concur in the indignity.
A case in point is the women’s 100-meter finals Sunday at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon. Two sprinters, Allyson Felix and Jeneba Tarmoh, finished in a dead heat for third. And that’s a problem, because only the top three finishers make the U.S. Olympics team. So somehow, sometime, the tie must be broken.
The Tribune‘s Philip Hersh, reporting from Eugene, let himself be highly vexed by the irresolution. He wrote, “Even if the situation . . . is apparently unprecedented, the fact that officials never foresaw it, quickly botched it and dithered over resolving it seemed once again to underline the sad truth that the only amateurs left in Olympic sports are those who run them.”
He compared the unresolved deadlock between Felix and Tarmoh unfavorably to the Italy-England soccer match Sunday in the Euro 2012 quarterfinals. The two nations remained scoreless after 120 minutes of play, but then Italy prevailed on penalty kicks.
Wham bam, thank you tie-breaker.