Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Master Rob knows "swim-fu" - An open letter to Craig Lord!

Hey, I just found out that Craig Lord does not approve of speedsuits! - Who knew? ;-) [That was sarcasm as they say.]

Rob of Robaquatics has written an open letter to Craig Lord, but let me tell you a little about Rob first: Now, here is a guy who Craig Lord would describe as being in a "...minority [who] take it very seriously indeed and vanity, disposable income and time-on-[his]-hands all play a part..."

Well, that shows Rob and his little dog too, huh?

This is a snippet of his open letter to Craig clarifying his "vanity":

"... I could go on and on, but here is the basic point to my little rant... Masters is a vibrant organization that has thousands of swimmers that are focused on swimming fast because they love it, not because they're vain or have some kind of secret tech suit spreading agenda. If you really have strong feelings for the sport of swimming you wouldn't attack an organization that provides opportunities for people to extend their love affair with swimming into their 90's and beyond. Also don't flame bait our community just for traffic. The article today is going to cause even more confusion and speculation around the suit issue that we don't need.


Memo to Craig Lord: will you please measure your words and actually provide a source reference to what you write about!


ChrisB said...

I imagine I should know, but who is Craig Lord?

Tony Austin said...

Craig Lord is a swim journalist for the Times Online and has a website called SwimNews.com.

Recently, besides sloppy reporting of the facts, has been bashing speedsuits and now masters swimmers.

John Craig said...

I'm actually a Craig Lord fan, I think he's a good writer and I'm basically on his side of the suit issue. But for him to accuse masters swimmers of the particular sins he does is a little silly. I'm a masters swimmer, and I'll plead guilty to all three of the sins: I'm vain, I have time on my hands, and I (occasionally, i.e., every five years) take my sport quite seriously. But who isn't vain? Is he suggesting that elite swimmers are not vain? If you don't take pride in your various accomplishments, or even your appearance, you'll never accomplish anything. I'm sure most journalists at the London Times are vain about their articles, too -- and there's nothing wrong with that. Likewise, if you don't take what you do seriously, you'll never accomplish anything, either. And that applies to absolutely every aspect of human endeavor as well. Finally, as to the time on our hands sin: of course masters swimmers have to make time for their sport, just as everyone else has to make time for anything they do. We all have exactly 24 hours in a day, to do with as we choose, and if some of us choose to spend an hour or two pursuing a sport, well, that's hardly something to be indicted for.

All three of these accusations can be leveled at anyone who tries to accomplish anything.

Silly, silly, silly.

Tony Austin said...

Vanity is all about excessive pride or conceit in one's appearance or accomplishments; It has nothing to do with satisfaction and contentment.

John, you are not vain.

As for Craig Lord's writing, I actually think his writing as of late has been rushed, lacks fact verification, and is difficult to read.

He misinterpreted the "cancer" statement by the FINA executive director and had to be corrected by Swimming World who took a chance by publishing his article.

He has provided no evidence that masters can wear what they want at masters swim meets, and he has seemingly committed journalistic suicide by becoming a ranting blogger rather than a reporter or journalist.

John Craig said...

Tony --
Hmm, not so sure I'm not vain, even by your definition, but thank you.

Now that you mention it, Lord has seemed a little rushed recently. And yes, he did make a mistake with the cancer statement, but that's just one mistake and I wouldn't hold it against him. After I saw his article on how masters swimmers are going to be allowed to wear whatever they choose, I looked for corroboration elsewhere, but couldn't find any. He did say that FINA has given the go ahead for German masters to wear whatever at their championships, which implies a differentiated stance, and he did quote someone from FINA as giving the weak justification that since there are no doping controls for masters, there might as well not be any suit restrictions either (which, btw, seems to cheapen our sport just a bit). That would certainly imply they have different intentions for us, but I'm still waiting for corroboration. (If and when it comes, though, I think we have to give him credit for the scoop.)

I don't think he's committed journalistic suicide, Swimnews isn't the London Times, and he feels he has a good cause. Phil Whitten, formerly of SW, turned into a bit of a one note guy on the subject of doping in the 90's, but he had a good cause and turned out to be right about the Chinese. And I never felt that he was hurting his own reputation in the process. Is Craig Lord getting a little tiresome on the subject of suits? Well.....yeah, I have to admit that (even though I agree with him).