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Practice for the Important Sport
Southerner’s Guide to Lovin’ the London Olympics
God bless your heart, you are really going to try this year. You’re really going to try.
Not to watch at least a little of the telecasts would be downright unpatriotic you tell yourself.
Truth is, you’ve never been terribly enthusiastic about the Olympics anyway. The only reason you really watch is to root for the Americans even though sometimes you have no Earthly idea what sport it is you’re looking at. What is “dressage” exactly, you’d like to know. It sounds like something involving a needle and thread or black patent leather pumps… something your snooty Great Aunt Edna might be drawn to watch.
You haven’t really been excited about the Summer Games since you arrived at the age at which you can no longer awake at 3:00 in the morning, watch live Olympic events twelve time zones away and still get to work by 9:00 a.m. somewhere in Dixie. The last time you tried it — the Sydney Games, you think it was — the experience left you all bleary-eyed, red-faced and you showed up at the office with a bad case of bed hair and looking like you’d been on a three day bender.
The best Olympics in your opinion was the one they held in Atlanta a few years back. It was in the right time zone and the people in Atlanta spoke “proper Anglish” the way that God and Billy Payne intended. Of course by your way of thinking, that Olympics was just practice for the really important sports event the people in Atlanta would put on later that year: the SEC Football Championship.
The Summer Games are just held at the wrong time of year, you think. They always have been. They ought to be held in February just after the Super Bowl, before baseball’s Opening Day and as a warm up to Spring football and when there’s nothing else much in the way of TV sports. Late July is Back to School Season and everybody knows that lil’ slice of time exists for one thing and one thing only: pre-season football camp… and determining who’s going to make the three deep depth chart rotation at Alabama or maybe Florida.
Really, you’ve always thought the list of Olympic events was a little suspect. For example, where you come from, two of the Olympics most high profile sports, track and swimming are non-revenue producing sports. Track guys are mostly ex-wide receivers with bad hands. Most of ‘em couldn’t catch fire even if they were wearing gasoline shoes and running through flames. They are running on the track team track because of all those dropped passes, they’ve lost their football “scholies.” As far as the swimmers are concerned, you can’t tell any of the tall, skinny white guys apart from each other whether they are in the water or out. You can’t tell Michael Phelps from Digger Phelps, Missy Franklin from Aretha Franklin.And yeah, they set Olympic records from time to time, but you want to see some some real world records set. You figure the best kind of performance enhancement for swimmers is not any of the hard stuff like steroids. Rather, you think that this year, the IOC should hold the swimming events in the Thames River and put a couple of great white sharks in one of the swimming lanes. That’ll motivate those swimmers to go fast, you say.
Come to think about it, you’re not sure that we even sent all of our best people to all of the events. A good example of this is the pentathlon, an event in which the competitors run an obstacle course of sorts and then shoot a laser gun at a static target. To you, this sounds an awful lot like a drive-by although in this case it might be better referred to as a “run-by” shooting. You’re also certain the U.S. would be better represented by one of the Crips or the Bloods than some little Midwestern girl with manicured nails, whose never shot at a rabbit or a squirrel in her life.
This year, the Olympic Organizing Committee have added women’s boxing to the list of events. You think women’s mud wrestling would have been more like it and imminently better. You bet you’ve seen better cat fights at Tooey’s Bar over in Marietta. And with mud wrestling, you wouldn’t even need uniforms. What about some truly Southern sports for a change: Olympic NASCAR? or Olympic Bass Fishing?
You admit to yourself there is one aspect of the Olympics that you do endorse: the Opening Ceremonies, and especially this year. You kinda like the choreography, how everybody marches in and does everything in synch with each other… You like synchronicity. And you reluctantly admit to yourself that with the break up of the FAMU band,the Opening Ceremonies in London may be the only time all season that you’ll get to see a good on field, half-time show.
Compared to FAMU, you say to yourself, every other school is just an Average White Band – and they broke up ages ago.
In the end though, you will watch if only to see what happens with all those back stories.
For example, one of the female runners, Lolo Something-or-other, who competes in the 100 meter dash, has been talking all over TV about the fact that she’s a thirty year old virgin. You don’t know if she’s braggin’ or complain’in. If she’s doing the later, all you know is that maybe she would have more luck if she just slowed her runnin’ down a bit and let some guy catch up to her.
You are also reminded that there are other issues: What will the Chinese gymnasts try to get away with this year? If its not the same gymnasts that were in Beijing, you bet that they are still lying about their age. This may be the only time in the history of womankind in which one of them has lied about her age as being older!
There is also behind the cameras intrigue in the broadcasting of the games.
For example, what role will Ann Curry, recently of the TODAY SHOW have in reporting for NBC.
In the most public of ways since former Mississippi head football coach, Jackie Sherill castrated a steer as a motivational technique for his football team, Ms. Curry was sacked from NBC’s TODAY Show. It was not fun to watch though most everyone, it seems, did over a couple of week period. Miss Curry was essentially left for dead, yet she will be one of the reporters from the Olympics in London. You will tune in to see whether or not they will have her demonstrate the new Olympic sport of Javelin Catching as a way of finally finishing her off.
Despite your concerns about the Games, you’re going to do your duty and watch. You’re no complainer. Watching is free—more or less anyway, you don’t have to get in traffic and not a one of the Kardashians is likely to show up… not as a competitor anyway.
You also promised your inner child that you’d watch together. And by now you’ve got him or her trained to only laugh at only the non-Americans who fall off the pommel horse. You also have those latent fantasies about Lolo Jones, the lightning fast virgin from Louisiana. You wonder how how fast she’d be able to run donned in shoulder pads while wearing the red of the Crimson Tide and the number “1.” Can she catch a football and make a few extra yards after the catch. Is she good enough to make the three deep depth chart in the Alabama backfield?
Rule Britannia….er, uh…Roll Tide.
- The Olympic photos are all from the official London 2012 Olympics site are used for promotional purposes - please immediately go to London, buy tickets and lots of official merchandise. The Lolo Jones photo is Robert Rosenberg photography via his flickr photostream and used under creative commons license. The photo of a fat couch potato eating a huge hamburger and watching television. Harsh lighting from the television illuminates the dark room is licensed by LikeTheDew.com at sumners / 123RF Stock Photo.
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