Saturday, July 28, 2012

The Olympics

The Olympics: If, on a regular basis, you do anything other than contemplate your navel, you're bound to hear people ranting about politics and about how the other guy[1] is a horrible person and how they're going to ruin America.  In fact, patriotism, or the lack there of, seem to always come up in some form or other.[2]  Similar arguments are heard when things like immigration, manufacturing and getting involved in other countries problems are discussed.[3]

And so we come to the Olympics.  For as much as people shout and rant about how much they love America, Patriotism, the Flag and anything else that is symbolic of our great country, you would think that the Olympics would be a Super-Mega-Gigantic-Huge!!!! Event.  But some how the Olympics get dismal ratings every time they come on.

Which simply stuns me.  What more could you want?  You would be hard pressed to come up with any way to better show how great a country we are than the Olympics.  In fact, the Soviet Union found the Olympics to be so important that in a country that struggled to keep people fed, they gave their potential Olympic athletes the best of everything so that they could win and rub our noses in their superiority.  In America, people watch the opening ceremonies and then once the parade of nations starts they flip back to the reruns of American Idol they have saved on their TiVo.

In case you haven't guessed how I feel about the Olympics let me quit beating around the bush.

The Olympics are beyond awesome.  A competition between people who have essentially dedicated their lives to trying to become the best in the world in their sports, competition, etc.  And for the most part why do they do this?  Not for the money, that's for sure.  No they do it so that they can represent their country and hopefully stand proudly, just a few inches higher than the guy who came in second while our national anthem plays and our flag is flown.

And it really doesn't matter what kind of sports you like, the Olympics has you covered.  Just about every team sport is represented.[4]  There are races of every variety: on foot, on a bike, on a boat, even on a yak and that's just the summer Olympic.[5]

Needs some violence?  Okay how about boxing, or judo, or taekwondo.  This year they even added in girls boxing.  There's weight lifting.  There are several events that involve guns.  There's two types of volleyball.  Countless things that are thrown, flung or shot through the air.  Need something a bit prettier?  How about so much gymnastics you think you're going to puke?  Or synchronized swimming?  

There's even Olympic Ping Pong.  Seriously ping pong.  And as silly as that sounds, go watch them play, it's astounding.  Same thing with badminton.  Yeah, I know you play badminton in your back yard and you think you're lord of the shuttlecock.  Trust me, compared to these guys you look like Slow-Poke Rodriguez.[6]

Maybe you simply don't like sports.  That's okay too.  It's the Olympics!  There's enough pageantry to overload even Morningside and Fields.[7]  Plus they spend plenty of time telling you all about the athletes, their successes and their trials and tribulations, that you practically feel like you've been rooting for them since they first picked up a racket, baton, oar, reins or whatever.

And how does this great nation do?  This nation that everyone seems to think is falling apart at the seams.  This nation that compared to some nations practically ignores its Olympic athletes.  We totally kick butt, that's how we do.  Out of the 16,321 medals awarded in the modern Olympics, we've taken 2,549 of them.[8] For those of you afraid of math, that's a little over 15.5%  The second highest has 1204 and that's the Soviet Union.[9]  How about on an individual Olympic basis?  Still dominating.  We usually end up with most medals and often the most gold medals.

Anyway my point is this.  These people spend their lives getting up at the crack of dawn to run, swim, ride, work out, etc, etc for essentially their entire lives.  The least you could do is sit on your butt and watch them. As they represent our country.

Now if you'll excuse me, some guy I've never heard of, from some country I'm never going to visit, is about to compete and I've got to go listen to Bob Costas make it poignant for me.

The Olympics: A+

[1] - As opposed to whoever it is you are listening to rant at the moment.
[2] - I know this post was supposed to be about the Olympics, hang on I'm getting there.
[3] - Heck, Glen Beck could probably use your liking Ketchup as a means to prove you're a commie, but then again he's an idiot.
[4] - Granted there's no football or rather American football.
[5] - Okay, I made up one of those.  But then you realize I was pulling your leg when you read the word 'boat'.
[6] - It's Speedy Gonzales' cousin, but you've probably never heard of him, because in a fit of PC stupidity, Warner Brothers caved and hid him in a closet somewhere.
[7] - IMDB it.
[8] - Not counting this year.
[9] -  And you don't have to worry about them getting any more

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