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Volume 24 No. 114
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They Did What? The Moments Of The Year That Made Us Shake Our Heads

No year is complete without a few scenarios occurring that people would like to have back. Here are a few of the things that made us say, "Really?"

Ralph Lauren came under fire this summer after it was discovered the Opening and Closing Ceremony uniforms the company made for Team USA were actually made in China. This provoked a rash of criticism from Congress, with reps from both sides of the house lashing out at the USOC for the hypocrisy of the situation. The Senate even introduced a bill that would require the Olympic committee to outfit athletes in uniforms “sewn or assembled in the United States.”

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: The Astros had long-planned to unveil their new logo and colors at an official launch party on Nov. 2 at Minute Maid Park, so imagine the team’s surprise when it starting seeing images leaked online prior to the event. Turns out several Houston-area Academy Sports & Outdoors locations had accidentally placed a limited quantity of shirts bearing the new logo on their sales floors. MLBAM also jumped the gun by posting images on the Astros’ official website.

BOAT SICKNESS: Three men's college basketball games were scheduled to be played on aircraft carriers this Veteran’s Day weekend, but weather wreaked havoc with them all. Officials were forced to cancel the Marquette-Ohio State game on the USS Yorktown off the coast of Charleston after condensation accumulated on the court, making it unsafe for players. Condensation also resulted in the Florida-Georgetown game on the USS Bataan being suspended at halftime. Syracuse did play San Diego State on the USS Midway, but after weather concerns pushed the game back two days, blustering winds dominated the action.

SPILLING THE BEANS: NBC caught plenty of flak for its tape-delay coverage of the London Games, but none more than when it spoiled the results of swimmer Missy Franklin’s Gold Medal-win in the 100-meter backstroke before the race aired. After announcer Dan Hicks previewed the race, a promo for the following day’s episode of “Today” then aired with the voiceover, “When you’re 17 years old and win your first Gold Medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with. We’re there when Missy Franklin and her parents reunite.” Timing, indeed, is everything.

NBC attempted to blur out M.I.A.'s obscene gesture 
but was too late

STUCK IN THE MIDDLE WITH YOU: Madonna’s Super Bowl XLVI halftime show was extravagant to say the least, but the moment that was most talked about Monday morning was rapper M.I.A. giving a camera the dirty bird. NBC attempted to blur out the middle finger, but did so too late. While the gesture did not generate quite the hubbub Janet Jackson’s “wardrobe malfunction” did, it did provide a slight headache to the network and the NFL.

WRONG MESSAGE: Warrior Sports was thrust into the spotlight when MLL Charlotte Hounds MF Jovan Miller announced he was boycotting all equipment and apparel made by the company after discovering it was running an ad campaign with the hashtag "#NinjaPlease." Miller, one of only three African-American players in the league, said, "The actual meaning behind 'Ninja Please' is the 'N-word Please.' They put ninja in it to kind of disguise it." The company immediately apologized for the campaign, saying, “If we thought it was going to be offensive, we wouldn't have done it.”

NOT EVERYONE’S UNITED: It was hard for some to fathom the scope of GM’s nearly $600M sponsorship with EPL club Manchester United. Apparently the numbers stunned GM’s top brass as well. Shortly after news of the deal emerged, GM sacked its CMO Joel Ewanick. Sources said the automaker believed that Ewanick failed to disclose the full cost of the deal.

GEOGRAPHY LESSON: The women’s soccer competition at the London Games got off to a rough start when the North Korea team initially refused to play its match against Colombia. The team was upset that the video screen at the stadium mistakenly displayed the South Korea flag when announcing the opening lineups. LOCOG apologized in a statement, but even that contained a gaffe: it failed to refer to the countries by their official Olympic names, causing organizers to reissue the statement using “Republic of Korea” and “Democratic People's Republic of Korea.”