Monday, August 11, 2008

Taking the good with the bad


The Beijing Olympics are well under way, and I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. I've written before about my distaste for even staging the Olympics in a repressive country such as China, and I found it very distasteful that the Chinese spent God knows how much money on an elaborate opening ceremony when it has millions of people in its own country who live in squalor and don't have enough to eat, but I guess that's (diverted) water under the bridge. Now we can either watch the Games or ignore them, and I'll do a little of both. Sunday night, I found myself watching women's gymnastics (I think the missus put some sort of paralytic substance in my snack foods, and I just couldn't get off that couch.) While I'm impressed with the athleticism of the girls when it comes to the vault and the uneven bars, I'm wondering why the floor exercise is even part of the event. The tumbling runs require great athleticism and body control, but the girls spend half their time rolling about on the ground or doing little prancy-dances accompanied by supposedly artistic hand and arm movements. Now, it might not be nearly as pretty, but I can do some of that stuff myself, and I'm a 50-year-old, out-of-shape smoker. Maybe they could just do the tumbling without the prancing. Of course, the traditional gymnastics is much preferable to the rhythmic gymnastics, which involves girls flitting about with streamers, hoops and big balls. It has as much business in the Olympics as the Nathan's hot dog-eating contest. I enjoy watching the swimming and the track-and-field events, which, in my mind, are the kind of athletic pursuits the Olympics should be focused on, but I can't understand why volleyball, trampoline and badminton, for gawd's sake, are on the schedule. It sounds like the activities at a backyard keg party. If this is the direction they're heading, I'd like to be the first to nominate kickball, Wiffle ball and Cornhole for the 2012 Games. And if anybody still has a set of Jarts, bring 'em along.

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15 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I lost interest in the Olympics long ago when I realized that nations were using them for political purposes to prove the superiority of their policies through the performance of their athletes. Your point about China spending gazillions while its people are starving could be applied to any host country, including the US. And please tel me how beach volleyball make the list. I keep looking for Spuds McKenzie in the crowd.

August 11, 2008 at 9:51 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I'm guessing that beach volleyball made the list because a lot of men and women alike enjoy watching scantily clad members of the opposite sex getting all sweaty. And that means ratings. And ratings mean money. And, as we well know, it's always all about the money.

August 11, 2008 at 10:06 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I'd never heard of cornhole until this summer... now I see it EVERYWHERE...

I can't watch any of the olympics... none of the "sports" are ones that I would watch under any other circumstances, so I'm not going to tune in just to join hands across the world or whatever it's pitched as...

-ellipses

August 11, 2008 at 10:16 AM  
Blogger Brant said...

I had never heard of cornhole until a couple of years ago. My wife and I were riding in the car with my in-laws in Cincy when my father-in-law, who is definitely in the Top 10 nicest people on the globe, pointed at a bar and noted that the patrons there were really into "cornhole." I thought, damn, Jim could've just mentioned that it was a gay bar without the graphic reference. Then I found out it was a beanbag-toss game. What a relief. And, you're right, I see it everywhere now. Even played it on vacation.

August 11, 2008 at 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How 'bout adding dodgeball?

--Brad Hundt

August 11, 2008 at 1:15 PM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

I'd watch dodgeball...

Is table tennis an olympic sport?

-ellipses...

August 11, 2008 at 1:40 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

I'm afraid so.

August 11, 2008 at 1:56 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In 2012, olympic:
Jungle gym
Shuffleboard
Parcheesi
Old Maid

August 11, 2008 at 7:27 PM  
Blogger Chris Dugan said...

And don't forget, hide 'n go seek. ... But no baseball and softball in 2012. Go figure.

August 11, 2008 at 9:28 PM  
Blogger Brant said...

Perhaps we should also consider "Smear the person with the alternative sexual orientation."

August 12, 2008 at 9:58 AM  
Blogger Ellipses said...

Monkey in the Middle!!!

Jail Break, Freeze Tag, It Tag... skipping stones... fishin'

-ellipses

August 12, 2008 at 11:43 AM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

I'm watching some of the Olympics, although prior to the start of the games, I swore to myself that I wasn't going to watch anything...well, maybe a highlight or two of Phelps. I wasn't taking a political stand or anything. I just don't like it when things like that take over my television and the conversations of everyone around me.

But as I was running through the channels on Sunday, I stopped to watch an event that was nothing short of gripping: women's beach volleyball. I don't care about the stories behind the athletes, I don't care about the records, etc. But I am a man, and frankly, my interest in the sport is nothing more than lascivious. Skimpy bikinis on taut, lean bodies...wow. And the same goes for the women's gymnastics. I like to consider myself a bit more evolved, but frankly, I'm not.

And love the Olympics or hate them, for whatever reason, you have to admit that it's fantastic watching Michael Phelps slap his competitors around, particularly those smug French bastards who said they were there to "smash the Americans."

August 12, 2008 at 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Captain said...

And now the world knows the little girl who sang their national anthem was a fake....I thought it sounded kinda funny and mentioned it to my wife....she did not agree or care either way.....did you see the picture of the little girl who did sing it? I thought she was very cute and most young children can/are awkward in some fashion as they are maturing. They (China) said she was buck toothed. Perhaps their communism should have fixed that!! As for whether she is/is not the image they wish to project is BS to me. I think little girls (i have a 2 year old daughter) are all gorgeous even if they are not the prettiest. Even I was or maybe still am ugly even as a 42 year old. Point is -- another reason why we should rarely believe what we hear, read or even see, even if it is taped LIVE.

As for watching, I love most of it and watch whatever I can. I am so stoked about Phelps attempts. I was not even 7 when Spitz attemted his 7 and heard today his goal was to get 6 to break the old mark but went after 7. Good for him. I wish Phelps the best and I also think the USOC should have invited him the the games. But I also agree that he should not be crying about it publicly. Did he suggest to invite the man whose records he was trying to break?

Thanks for listening/reading. Enjoy your evening!

PS: Priguy....your right we want to be more evolved but we simply cant!!

August 12, 2008 at 7:07 PM  
Blogger PRIguy said...

Captain, do you suppose that by acknowledging that we're knuckle-dragging Neanderthals who love to ogle female athletes possibly constitutes some sort of evolution? Frankly, I doubt it. But it's nice to think it does.

August 12, 2008 at 9:02 PM  
Anonymous Captain said...

Priguy....even the Neanderthals coveted women...least I would hope they did! I dont think it evolution par se...I would say its just how we are wired albeit for the good of the race or the bad. However, technology allows us access to more potential viewing pleasures as it does the entire world.

As a man I embrace that level of testosterone, as a father of a daughter I cringe at it.

Hey we are talking about the women but my wife and her girlfriends are lusting over the male swimmers hard bodies (Phelps and Company) and have been hearing about it nightly. I ask them why they are so enthralled with those bodies thousands of miles away when I would happily show them my 42 year old 215 pound formerly rippled abs currently covered up with the happiness of marriage and kids. Fortunately for me...they declined!!

August 16, 2008 at 6:20 PM  

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