Thursday, August 7, 2008

Every 4 Years... (& it's not the World Cup or the European Championships) or The Olympic Rant

As the Olympics are beginning tomorrow (yesterday actually, but apparently the official statisticians don't count women's soccer [or the men's matches today for that matter]), I thought a few words about the games might be in order. As a general rule, most of the sports are of little interest too me... I mean, Badminton? Is that really a sport worthy of international celebration? I always just thought it was tennis for Jr. high phys ed. class. It's the Summer Olympic version of Snow Boarding. I only have a few things against Snowboarding, but 1 of them is that it was basically started by people who weren't good enough to be skiers but wanted some sort of Alpine event. That said, I'm sure Hacky Sack & Disc Golf will be Olympic Sports sooner or later too. The history of Badminton dates back to ancient Greece, but I'm a little confused about how they made the plastic birdies back then. I suppose the Iron Age was followed by the Petrochemical Age, but I figured there was a little time in between. And Judo? Why Judo & not Ninjutsu? Ninjas will always be cooler than Judoists (Judi-bears?) (Judo Artists?). Taekwondo is another 1... what are those people called? Taekwondicks? I think that's a pronunciation change that dates back to The Great Vowel Shift (about 2,000 years after the Iron Age). I guess it's difficult to televise Ninjas since they're invisible. I also think Shooting is a funny Olympic sport. I don't know why, but I'm fine w/ Archery but not Shooting. Cross Bowing would be cool, or maybe Catapulting. It could be like Bobsledding: 1 person, 2-person & 4-person events & they'd blindly loft things over walls. Pentathlon is pretty cool though: the shooting is combined w/ Running, Swimming & Equestrian Show Jumping... that's too fucked for anyone to dislike it. The other sports I get: Decathletes are obviously bad-asses, & Synchronized Swimming has had to put up w/ so much criticism over the last 25 years that I'm willing to give it a pass here.

The real issue that bothers me w/ the Olympics though it actually 2-fold.
1) Television:
Coverage is obviously too focused on the little touchy-feely interest pieces about the athletes, but more importantly, to watch diving you have to sit through 3 hours of some douchebag saying, "After the break, diving, but 1st, here's a little coverage of yesterday's Softball competition." That is compounded by the fact that my real interest lies in the soccer competition, & few of the games are shown live or in their entirety.
2) The Soccer Competition:
Although the coverage is bad, the competition is worse which almost makes the lack of coverage almost tolerable (like the Woody Allen joke about the elderly women in the Catskills complaining about the food... tastes bad & small portions), the other issue is in the fact that it's sort of an Under-23 event but every country is allowed to send a few Over-23 full internationals. That means Brian McBride is going for the US, mainly because he is between contracts & has nothing better to do this month. But then Brasil is sending Ronaldinho in an attempt to win their 1st Olympic Gold (they lost to France in the 1984 finals). It is my belief that the games should return to the amateur level they once were. I'm not some Romantic dreaming of the old days, but when Ronaldinho (or NBA stars get to go, it really messes w/ the level of play... Ronaldinho vs some kid from New Zealand isn't really what I want to watch.
The other issue w/ the Soccer competition is the way teams qualify. Simply put, Europe & S. America should get more teams & other regions should get less. It's not like the Kiwis actually have a chance to win it.
In other news, be sure to check out Solstice's new post on her blog!

7 comments:

Happy Housewife said...

Petrochemical Age!!! I love it! I'm seriously laughing here.

Oh and Olympic Catpulting? I'd watch that! Can they use hot pitch and fire perhaps? Sweeeet...

Andre said...

I actualy thought ablut that while I was eating just now. One level of the competition would be while having boiling oil poured on them.

jason said...

They're called martial artists. How can you compare Judo and Taekwondo to bullshit like synchronized swimming and hacky sack? Is Judo different from boxing or wrestling to you?

Andre said...

That's the umbrella term, but each one must have it's own name like ninjas or pugelists. And I never compared those things. I compared badminton to hacky sack and Judo to Ninjustsu.

jason said...

You're saying that Judo is not a legit sport though. It totally is. As far as badassness, it's way down on the list of martial arts, but it's still a skill and a sport.

Andre said...

I'm not saying it's not a sport. I'm just saying there are better martial arts and if Judo is an Olympic Sport, the better ones like Ninjutsu should be too... or in stead of Judo.

Stephanie said...

I made a blog! Check it out!!