What about Bob?

To Kevin, et al.:

Subject: First mention of the word 'shuttlecock' on the blog

Let me begin by pointing out how awesome the headline atop this post is. You probably don't know it's awesome yet, because you don't know what this post is about, but trust me. Or just keep reading.

I'm glad that I'm here to remind you, Kevin, that there are Maryland athletes competing in these Olympics not named Michael Phelps and Katie Hoff. You're very fortunate you have me as a lifeline to the outside world. Well, it's time for me to tell you about Bob.

The US badminton team spanked South Africa and advanced for the first time to the Olympic quarterfinals. The team consists of Howard Bach and Bob Malaythong, of Rockville. Technically, Malaythong is not a Bob. He was born Khankham, but I think Bob suits him. Born in Laos, he moved to Maryland when he was a child.

Anyhow, this afternoon (or for those in the States, in the wee hours of night), Bob and Bach will face off against China in the quarters. The sport is huge here and playing the host country should create an electric environment, better even than the China-U.S. basketball game from earlier in the week. And you just know that Bob will feed off that energy.

"Bob plays better when people are going against him," Bach told reporters after the win over South Africa.

Kevin, I suspect you've seen Bob before, even if you don't recall. He's featured in a commercial for Vitaminwater. You know the one: David Ortiz and Brian Urlacher are playing badminton against a couple of Chinese players, when Ortiz smacks the shuttlecock so hard, it gets lodged in Bob's leg. I laugh every time! Here, check it out.

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