- A man of many words. Profane, profound, loyal to a fault and a right rat bastard. I love the finer things in life: expensive cigars, cheap women and all the salted, cured meats I can eat. A friend to dogs, lover of humanity and despiser of people. If I were King the world would be a better place, because, well...I would be King! Oh, and I like ice cream.
Sunday, August 12, 2012
The Olympics: In My Opinion
So the games of the something or other Olympics have ended. Only the closing ceremony remains. Due to a recent move we have no cable or satellite hookup, so I won't be watching. No matter. I saw the opening. After Beijing I knew it would be a tough show to follow. No one, and I mean NO ONE does opening ceremonies like the Chinese. But the London opening was interesting...and odd. The whole Industrial Revolution thing was a strange theme. Funny how they skipped over the colonialism and the slave trade. Those had as much or more to do with Britain's rise to a world power as anything else. But that's water over the bridge. Now as to the games themselves, I have my personal preferences and dislikes. Which I will share with you now. I realize I may be opening myself to criticism and accusations of sports snobbery and I don't know what else. But certain things need to be said. If I were appointed Czar of the International Olympic Committee there would be big changes. Now, I am not alleging that certain events are not difficult to perform. Jason. That's not the point. It's the kind of "making up" of sports to fit into the games I object to. So for instance, any "sport" with the words Synchronized or Rhythmic in them would be abolished. You all know this. They aren't really sports. Seriously, if ribbons or hula hoops are involved: Out. Any sport with a "Kiss and Cry" corner. Gone. I mean come on. Again, I'm not saying this stuff isn't hard to do. It's just that the whole thing depends on the judgement of some ideological nitwit or potential child abuser with a grudge to determine the winner. Although I'm writing about the Summer Games this goes for figure skating too. Essentially any sport where you feel the need to wear glitter and ridiculous eye makeup (Eastern Euros) has to be shown the door. I realize I may be doubling up here. Moving on, soccer: Out. Soccer (aka futbol)has both mens and womens world cups. Those are HUGE, vastly entertaining events in and of themselves. Olympic soccer doesn't have half the value. Basketball: Gone. I know this is usually a lock for the US. They should just automatically award the Americans the Gold and let everyone else play for Silver or Bronze. Any sport that requires another species. Aka Dressage. This is what county fairs and rodeos are for. Air rifle. Shoot a real weapon. Boxing. Gotta go. Its a great sport with a great Olympic tradition. But the game is so crooked, the matches so fixed its lost all its allure. Can it. Same apparently goes for badminton. Ping pong, I mean table tennis, too. A third of the planet plays it so it will be around for a while. That indoor cycling sprint relay thing where I can't figure out what they're doing and its over in 20 seconds. Lose it. I like the kind of recent tradition of having the womens marathon being the first track and field event with the mens coming last. A nice bracket. I'm basically a track and field fan. To me THAT is the Olympics. The Olympic motto is "Citius, Altius, Fortius." Faster, higher, stronger. Stick with events that fall under that. So swimming stays. Rowing stays. As an aside I noticed some of the teams had Concept II oars. I bought a prototype Concept II rowing ergometer from two grad students at Northeastern University who developed it in 1981. Glad to see they're going strong. Most races stay. Even the triathlon, although I have a little problem because it isn't run the full Ironman distance. The 26 mile 385 yard marathon is that unusual distance because in the London games of 1908 organizers wanted the race to start near Windsor Castle so the royals could watch. Due to the need to stretch the course distance from a planned-on 25 miles it became the Olympic distance. The triathlon became a famous race because of the Hawaiian Ironman. THAT's the distance that should be used. Also on the branding thing (which has absolutely nothing to do with my enlightened leadership), since the Olympics has become a whore for advertising value,you may or may not have noticed the Chinese brand Li-Ning prominently displayed on jerseys, shoes and other accouterments. I believe Li-Ning will in the near future be as ubiquitous as Nike, Adidas and Puma. I've purchased several Li-Ning shirts and shoes when I was in China and found them to be of very high quality and good value. Any of the currently existing races and feats of strength stays. Under my leadership the whole shebang will take about six days. So the Tour de France is over. The Olympics is over. Tiger Woods is over. Hey the Pirates still have a shot at the playoffs. I haven't been able to say that for twenty years!