Why I’m “meh” about the Olympics

Get ready for the onslaught. Get ready to be pummeled with “feel good” stories and a multitude of “one shining moments.” Ready or not, the Olympics are here. Me? I’m officially blasé about the whole thing.

I’m not boycotting. I’ll probably end up watching because it’s summer and there’s nothing else on. My viewership will depend heavily on how the Pirates are doing. Why the malaise?

Maybe it’s the weird and slightly disturbing cyclops mascots…

Maybe it’s the bizarre and extremely European Olympic logo that looks more like a map of the splitting of the continents…

Or maybe it’s just because I can’t deny a bit of trepidation over what a target for mayhem it is for any aspiring world terrorists with a bee in their bonnet…

Mostly, I think I just like the Winter Olympics better. There are fewer sports to keep track of. They don’t have as many weird sports. It’s stuff you do in the snow and ice. I like that. I enjoy the ski racing, the speed skating, the hockey, the snowboarding, the luge, and even the figure skating. I even love, love, love the curling, except I think that drinking should somehow be involved.

The Summer Games could stand to hone things down a bit. Here are some quick suggestions…

Let’s keep it to human beings only. And nothing you can do in a top hat should be considered a sport.

I don’t deny that I’m impressed, but Cirque du Soleil is impressive, too, yet it’s not a competitive sport. We have another word for what they do with hoops, ribbons, and a rubber ball. It’s called playing. Now, go play and let the adults talk about sports.

While I’m sure that badminton takes some athletic ability, I refuse to pay attention until other picnic sports are allowed, including jarts, Frisbee golf, tug-of-war, and this game.

Race walking. Were they that hard up for sports one year? “Let’s do running but slower, and where you always have to have a foot on the ground!” How exciting. That would all be fine and good if they could just do the event without looking like a drag queen in a beauty contest.

The hammer throw. What kind of medieval crap is this? What happened to the axe and catapult events? Seriously, how has no one ever been killed by one of these? Is it going to take an eye? You don’t even want to put it on TV because you know your kids are going to go out and try it with mom’s exercise bands and dad’s bowling ball. Bad things gonna happen.

Once again, this is theater, not sport. If ballet isn’t a sport, this shouldn’t be.

Trampoline. Yes, I was surprised to find that this has been an Olympic “sport” since 2000. I’d feel better about this if it were done outdoors… in someone’s backyard… with a tramp that’s obviously been left out in the rain too much. As God intended trampolining to be done.

Really? Boating? Why not bring race cars? And why do I picture the Cuban team on a bunch of rafts that are tied together, yet still winning before we send them back home?

I’m sure I could come up with more. But I’ll leave it there. The regular sports like track, swimming, gymnastics, wrestling, boxing, volleyball, cycling, soccer, team handball, and water polo… it’s all fine, I guess. Ho hum. Even basketball. I sort of wish we were still sending our college kids over there instead of the dream teams. It sort of weird to feel that we must crush everybody or else we underperformed. I think I liked the Olympics better during the Cold War when our athletes went up against all the roided up freaks from Russia and East Germany. Now, the world is already so global. The whole thing just doesn’t seem that unique anymore.

And how is ping-pong an Olympic sport, yet golf and bowling just haven’t caught on? Whatever. I’m sure NBC’s editors and composers will suck me in with tearful profiles and weepy string sections. But right now, I’m all… meh.

Let’s go, Bucs!

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About carpetbagger

Tom and Jean are just a couple of Chicago transplants in Lawrenceville, a neighborhood of Pittsburgh.

Posted on July 25, 2012, in Art, Misc, Sports and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 6 Comments.

  1. I agree with you on almost all of these, but I’m a sucker for synchronized swimming. It amazes me that can do all of that while holding their breath. Also, while I agree boating is lame, rowing is amazing. That sport is HARD. I know, I used to do it. Competitive walking though? wow.

    • I’m with you on the rowing. At least it’s man-powered and not dependent on the wind. I don’t deny that the synch swimming is hard. But I wonder why men don’t do it. They do gymnastics and figure skating and ice dancing. Maybe if they made it more competitive. Like have two teams out there at once. Let them try to mess each other up. I don’t know.

  2. I agree with all but the hammer-throw. I’m in favor of making a sport out of throwing heavy, oddly-shaped objects. In fact, I think they should incorporate some of the events from the Highland games… the caber tossing, ax throwing and log rolling.

    I can’t help but watch the Olympics… I have so many fond memories of the games gone by. But I think the whole she-bang started going downhill when they started jamming the broadcast with all the human-interest stories. I’m over it. Just show me the freakin’ events!

  3. I could not care less about the Olympics, and I make no apologies for that. I feel like I should indoctrinate my kids into rooting for the good old US of A, but I’m not going out of my way to do that. If they ever show aptitude toward becoming an elite athlete, I guess maybe my feelings will change. Even if they decide to do the trampoline. ;)

  1. Pingback: Meh to Feh « Carpetbaggery

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