Not for trying to make sumo accessible to a North American audience. For that I salute you, even if it means you make tacky concessions to the current day. You have taken dignified athletes carrying on a centuries-old tradition and given them nicknames like Wrequiem and Burn Chamber, but I can live with this. Barely.
No, I pit thee for screwing over Montreal. Montreal, city of over two million inhabitants. Major tourist destination for Quebecois, other Canadians, and Americans. Cosmopolitan city with plenty of sports fans.
You know, the city you just blew off on your summer “Megatour”.
Yesterday morning, I was looking forward to an enjoyable evening watching a sport I haven’t been able to see since I worked in Japan several years ago. I had bought tickets in advance (credit card online), and I go to the arena website to confirm the starting time.
There’s a press release on the site. “World Sumo League event cancelled.” Said release is dated June 1. Yesterday, June 5, was the first time I heard of this. Fishy, but whatever.
The release goes on to say, “because of unforeseen travel and scheduling conflicts involving several of our top international wrestlers, we find it necessary to cancel our scheduled engagement.”
Hmm. I go to check the league’s official site. There’s a listing of scheduled events, including the following:
Jun 03, 2006 Philadelphia PA US Wachovia Center Event Passed
Jun 09, 2006 East Rutherford NJ US Continental Airlines Presale Ended
So, what does this mean? Choose your favorite response from the following:
A) We didn’t sell enough tickets in Montreal, so screw you. Somehow, we managed in New Jersey and Philadelphia (huge sumo towns, those…) but Montreal just didn’t work.
B) We couldn’t get/didn’t bother to get visas for our wrestlers. Because crossing the border, is like, hard. Never mind the international hockey/soccer/gymnastics teams that travel to Montreal all the time for games and tournaments.
C) We told our wrestlers not to bother showing up for work, because, well, it’s just Montreal. But they had to show for Philly, and all their other dates, because those were important. You gotta have your priorities, right?
So damn you, management of the World Sumo League. May you rot in hell being sat on by massive sweaty wrestlers as annoying commentators shove rotten nigiri in your greedy gobs.
[Xnylder, emerging from a long dormant period to crawl to the pit…]