Imagine, if you will, the following scenario: you and your best mate have been given a regular invite to the best party in town for years now, it's an amazing bash, and even though you never quite seem to 'pull' as much as the other (frankly better-looking) guests, it's the date in your social calendar that you look forward to the most. Unfortunately, the organisers have told you that after the next party, you'll no longer be getting an invite, because you're just not cool enough anymore.
You'd be gutted right? Right. So you can understand why the International Softball Federation are about to embark on some hardcore lobbying of IOC Pres Jacques Rogge, in the hope that softball might be re-instated for the London games.
Softball and baseball - we feel your loss. BUT...we don't really care. Softball is for yapping corporate types having a jolly in Hyde Park and baseball is for the Yanks. Scaling down the number of different sports in 2012 might make perfect sense to an IOC that worries about tv coverage showing empty seats at the minority sports venues, but we're not Greece. The UK is the most sports-mad country in the world and we will watch anything (i.e. snooker, darts, lawn bowls, the list goes on and on), yes we're not particulary fussed about the proposed absence of baseball and softball, but we would have welcomed the chance to include a demonstration event of our choice. We're the rugby world champions (officially) and the cricket world champions (unoffically) and these games are part of our culture, but we won't get a chance to show the world just how good they are. Imagine an Olympic Twenty20 tournament at the Oval or a rugby sevens competition at Twickers. Fantastic. But not to be. An opportunity missed we feel.