The Summer Olympics has started again, and, once again, they’re are largely funded by corporate money from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, the two companies who are most responsible or destroying athleticism in daily life. However, it is not mere corn syrup and oily entrees that made America obese — it was team sports that did it.
Yeah, you heard me — team sports are what make people fat.
Have you played any team sports since leaving high school? – and no, fast-pitch rec-league softball doesn’t count — that’s not a sport. We all know that’s just an excuse for married men to escape from their homes and participate in binge drinking. Even those who do go one to collegiate or professional sports will only do so for a short while, until age or younger talent phases them out. The only difference between the collegiate/professional athlete and the amateur is that the professional will own the car dealership that they will both inevitably will wind up working at, while the other will just work there. The only people who truly keep achieve are those who make exercise or sport a continuous habit, or a way of life, like gym rats; or by involving themselves in activities where they compete against either themselves or some existing standard, like climbing, golfing, distance runners, and traditional martial artists.
I won’t be seeing much of this particular Olympiad, unfortunately. I don’t have cable, because I’ve given up on my culture, and I can’t view terrestrial broadcasts since I never got a converter box for the 13″ CRT television that I’ve been lugging around for the past ten years. I could get something new, yes — but I won’t buy any display device that’s not back-compatible with the NES. It simply makes no sense. Besides, even if I could see the broadcasts, and even though right now the world greatest contests of judo, fencing, boxing, weightlifting, swimming, gymnastics, track-and-field team handball, archery, and wrestling are going on, I still wouldn’t be able to see any of that — only long shots of Bob Costas starting at me from a desk, talking on and on about the majesty and beauty of sport rather than letting me witness it for myself. Occasionally he’ll take breaks to show me some swimming or gymnastics, or beach volleyball, but only enough to to give himself enough fodder to fill the dead airtime, which could be used to show the goddamn Olympics.
It wouldn’t be so bad if it wasn’t Bob Costas. Bob Costas is only a bottle of burbon and a series of debilitating strokes away from being Larry Merchant.
I’d love for Bob Costas to stop in the middle of one of his monologues and perform a spontaneous and completely dead-serious spoken-word version of “Hurt.”
I’d pay any sum of money to see that, and I would prostitute myself out to help raise those funds. Even to ugly chicks. Yes, I know! It’s enough to make a man sift through the dirt in Aspen, CO for the faint particulates of the scattered ashes of Hunter Thomspson, to mix with the blood of Link to save sportswriting from itself. So much of sportswriting is reminiscing about the past; of has-beens talking about other has-beens, like old friends at the bar talking about their days in high school sports programs. The zeitgeist of the moment cannot be resurrected. This is why sportswriting fails. Since I’m a cliche nobody talking out of my ass, and it’s the summer Olympics, I’ll talk about Kerri Strug’s noble vault in the 1996 Olympics; much like how in the Winter Olympics people talk about the Miracle on Ice, relishing in the triumph over a country that has not existed in over twenty years.
I could go on about how on that night, sixteen years ago, I held the late Miss Gina Izabear, who t’was but nary a kitten, as my whole family sat as one, mesmerized, along with 285 million of our friends, cow-workers, and neighbors, as we all — as a nation — collectively peer-pressured a girl into going a jump spinning flirpity-flip onto a busted foot for our collective amusement. To have such power over a person, would be like a string of cliches. No one can describe it well, not you, or me, or Bob Costas or anyone. You had to be there, other wise you’re like a person who’s never flown before listening to a observational stand-up comedian. So just stop with the desk bits and air the games.
From myself, and all of us here at SuperFunAdventureTime here in San Diego, saying “so long!”
For extra fun, re-read this entire article with Bob Costas’ voice playing in your head.