Not so Olympic Sized Thoughts
Every four years, we become mesmerized and consumed by the NBC Olympic hype machine that makes us care about sports like swimming, gymnastics, and track and field we normally click past on a Saturday afternoon. We spend time paying attention to recreational activities disguised as sports like badminton, handball, and table tennis that should be relegated to ESPN’s “the Ocho” where “if it’s almost a sport….we’ve got it here” for you “Dodgeball” fans! Thankfully, I always get sucked in, in part because the Olympics fall during the sporting world’s equivalent to the Sahara when my choices for nightly sports include only MLB or previously recorded college football games DVR’d from last year’s season and, in part, because NBC does such a good job making us care. Whether it’s the “Duel in the Pool” competition between Phelps or Lochte or the travails of the diminutive “Fab Five,” for a fortnight every four years, we give a damn.
So less than a week into the London games, here are my musings, random thoughts, observations, and emotions thus far:
1. Seeing many of the Brit fans and Olympians is like watching the Austin Powers trilogy. Are there no dentists or orthodontists in the Isles?
2. Air rifle is a sport…really??? They shoot targets at 10 meters with rifles powered by compressed air while wearing more gear than a Navy SEAL trained sniper.
3. I’m glad I didn’t go to a college where there were male water polo players or I’d have adapted a Pilot fish mentality.
4. Asians have the corner on the table tennis market even if they aren’t representing Asian countries.
5. Allowing only 2 gymnasts per country to participate in the “All-Arounds” even if 4 of the top 5 finishers are from the same country is why The Berlin Wall fell and must have been the creation of the same folks who believe ‘everyone should get a trophy.
6. There has never been anyone as smooth as Bob Costas, and no one interviews with more depth or creates better backstories to keep you from turning the dial.
7. Does my wishing for a little rain during the women’s cycling to make the pavement slippery categorize me as sadistic or a NASCAR fan? Both?
8. I’m not used to the sight of a bunch of synchro diver dudes in micro suits in a warm down hot tub together. Enough said.
9. I’ll never tire of the sheer, unabashed excitement when swimmers who medal do their first unfiltered interview with Andrea Kremer on the pool deck immediately after the race.
10. I get chills and watery eyes when any medalist thanks their parents for all of their sacrifices for making this moment happen.
11. Women’s beach volleyball is borderline soft porn and wouldn’t be an Olympic sport if they wore sweat pants and tee shirts.
12. Johnny Mac is intriguing even when he’s not talking tennis and is still one of the three living individuals I would want to have a beer with. The other two….Henry Kissinger and former Director of the Israeli Mossad, Meir Dagan.
13. It’s OK for NBC to run major Olympic events delayed in primetime, but don’t show a Missy Franklin “Today” promo just before her 100 back saying, “When you’re 17 years old and win your first gold medal, there’s nobody you’d rather share it with.” Buzz kill.
14. More on “The Missile,” Missy Franklin….she’s only 17, stands 6’1” and wears a size 13 shoe yet has the poise and grace mixed with the naiveté that makes her so marketable. Swimming seventeen races gives her a chance to have a Phelpsian Olympics.
15. Rowdy Gaines is to American swimming what Keith Jackson was to college football.
16. It wouldn’t be the Olympics without “Chinese” and “doping” used in the same sentence. Sixteen year-old, Ye Shiwen, swam the last 50 meters of her gold medal performance faster than her male counterpart, Ryan Lochte. Maybe a Gillette Fusion endorsement is in the offering.
17. Love or hate Coach K, but only he could continue to get groups of Megalomaniac megamillionaire NBA stars to perform at a level where his only criticism is “they’re too unselfish and sometimes make one too many passes.” Carmelo Anthony can pass?
18. Hope Solo should have read Mark Twain’s works and then would know, “It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than open it and remove all doubt.”
19. US Soccer star, Abby Wambach, was sucker-punched in the face by Colombian defender ironically enough named Lady Andrade. Lady was subsequently suspended by FIFA for two matches. Question: If roles had been reversed, would Wambach even be allowed to return?
20. Since I’m asking rhetorical questions: If the Chinese had really skilled baseball and/or softball teams, do you think they would still be Olympic sports? Just saying!
Enjoy as I will the remainder. There will be more seminal moments that will be relived for years to come. There are Wheaties boxes to be adorned and energy drinks to be endorsed before we go dormant another four years until Rio. Thankfully, it’s less than 30 days until college football kick-off!
The opinions in this commentary express the views of the author and in no way represents the views of LPL Financial. The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.