Tuesday, August 24, 2004

Other Olympic Things

I've been on the basketball team a lot.  Well, not just the team....but USA Basketball mainly.  But, there is so much more going on it Athens that I just needed to make little comments on:

PAUL HAMM. I’m am not a gymnastics fan. Not at all. But, you gotta be proud of the man winning the Gold medal. Sure, he has a voice which makes me sound like he represents the lollipop guild [the lollipop guild, the lollipop guild]. But, with any kind of judged competition, it has reared a controversial ending to it. South Korea feels they were robbed, which they probably were.  I mean, c'mon...learn how to do math!!!!  And you have a Russian gymnast complaining. WOW! And now Hamm settles for a silver even though he tied for first on the uneven bars. This after the whole figure skating debacle in Salt Lake City two years ago. Again, sports that involve judges only to score events WILL always have problems and controversy. There is no way around it if people, who have biases, are in charge of scoring.  Right, Roy Jones Jr??

USA SOFTBALL TEAM. Remember 12 years ago when the “Dream Team” bowled over opponents to win the basketball gold?? Well, that’s what this women’s softball team did….outscoring teams 51-1 over the Games. They allowed a mere 1 run. ONE!! And that was in the Gold medal game against Australia.

MICHAEL PHELPS WAS AWESOME. Stop saying Phelps “failed” to win 8 gold medals in a single Olympics. Yeah, and I “failed” to win $100M in the lottery. What he did in these Olympics is nothing short of spectacular. 8 medals….6 gold. And the unselfishness to take himself off of the relay and get the best team out there simply made him legend.

BASEBALL. Yeah, the Americans didn’t make it to Athens. Or did they?? Many don’t realize, but the Greek team….which is only in the competition because they are the host country…is completely comprised of Greek-Americans who found an opportunity to compete in the Olympics. The Greeks won their first every Olympic ballgame over Italy, 13-7. The team in made up of children or grandchildren of Greek immigrants. Former MLBers Clay Bellinger, Eric Pappas and Clint Zavaras are on the team. The team itself is funded by a son of a Greek immigrant….Peter Angelos. You may know him as the owner of the Baltimore Orioles.

NATIONAL DISGRACE. Four years ago, in Sydney, sprinters Kostas Kenteris and Katerina Thanou medaled. Now, they are disgraces to the country hosting the Games. The sprinters “missed” a drug test by “staging” a motorcycle accidentin which neither was hurt. Now they’ve found 641 boxes of foods containing ephedrine in a warehouse owned by…..their coach. Nice.

ATTENDANCE. I don’t have the numbers in front of me….but my eyes work. And unless this is a George Lucas airbrush job on my TV screen, there aren’t many people at these venues. Yeah, I broke this story wide open, huh?? But, it is one thing to have empty seats……these are empty venues. Even the Olympic Stadium has huge gaps in the stands. And, maybe this is just me, but it looks as if organizers moved everyone to the center of the stadium so it looked good for the TV cameras. In the panoramic views, no one is sitting at the “end zones” of the stadium.

ALA’A JASSIM. An Iraqi woman competing in track and field. Amazing.

SPEAKING OF IRAQ….they are in position to medal in men’s soccer. Simply amazing with all that has gone on in Iraq and the history of torture and abuse by Uday Hussein.

BEACH VOLLEYBALL. This stuff is on at 2:00 am on ESPN2 all summer long. Why so much Olympic coverage of it on MSNBC or CNBC?? And why those camera angles during the woman’s matches??

THE 400 RACE. Wow. Over the past six Olympics….since the ‘84 Games in LA….Americans have won 13 of the 18 medals awarded in this race….including gold, silver and bronze today. Wow.

THESE ARE OLYMPIC SPORTS?? Every four years, I sit back and wonder why certain “sports” are in the Olympic Games. Yeah, handball, badminton and ping-pong head the list….but they do require some skill and activity. But still, there are events out there that boggle my mind. SAILING?? Why not auto racing then?? Synchronized swimming?? That is more like some staged magic show. I mean, why not have a line dancing team? I can just hear “ACHEY BRAKEY HEART” being played on the intercom. Equestrian events. I’m sorry…but I’ll never understand this crap. I sat and watched some dude just ride a horse around this little fenced-in circle. Not a running horse….one just trotting along. What is that?? Some guy in an 1890 aristocrat outfit is in the same Olympic village as a wrestler or shot-putter.

BEIJING 2008.  Is anyone looking forward to that??

No comments: