Nastia gets nasty

So, Nastia Liukin missed out on a gold medal Monday. She and her father immediately blamed the low scores of an Australian judge, then blamed Aussie judges in general for other low scores Liukin has received over the past few competitions.

Then they puched a kangaroo, trapped a koala, ripped Paul Hogan's thespian genius and called Elle MacPherson a stretch-marked hussy.

Aussie aside, Liukin lost the gold yesterday due to an oft-used, 9-year-old tiebreaker rule that nobody knew: not her, not her coach, not the reporters who cover the sport.

Imagine a hockey game going into overtime, one team scoring, everybody leaves the ice ... but nobody knows why.


After Liukin and her dad, Valeri, betrayed their ignorance to a group of likewise ignorant scribes, the scribes stormed through the bowels of the Gymnastics Federation offices, demanding ... what?


A better copy of the rules already supplied by the Fed 15 minutes before? Information on a rule change almost a decade old?

A pig-in-a-blanket thing like the one Fed spokesman Philipe Silacci was eating when he was accosted by a frothing, insistent mob?

Ties used to mean mutiple golds or silvers or whatever. That changed after Atlanta in 1996.

Silacci and his boss, FIG pres. Prof. Bruno Grandi , each explained the rules and their history in heavy, wonderful Olympic accents.

What a mess.

She lost.

She still won all-around gold.

She'll still never have to work a day in her life.

And she's still as lovely as a daytime vampire.