more about the Olympics!
to the iOlympics
by Mad Dog
If thereís one
thing you discover after watching 8,247 hours of the Olympics on TV,
itís that even a funny commercial becomes tiresome after seeing it
three commercial breaks in a row. Well, that and it all starts to feel
awfully, well, familiar.
||The Winter Olympics
are in full swing. This is when 5,500 amateur athletes from 82
countries compete in 86 events over 16 days
while wondering why their professional counterparts are raking in the
big bucks and theyíll be lucky to get their face plastered on a used
Wheaties box. But thatís not really what itís about. Itís about
pushing the human body and spirit. Itís about intense competition.
Itís about bringing together representatives from more countries than
could be mustered for the coalition that invaded Iraq. Okay, so itís
40 times as many countries. Whoís counting?
thereís one thing you discover after watching 8,247 hours of the
Olympics on TV, itís that even a funny commercial becomes tiresome
after seeing it three commercial breaks in a row. Well, that and it all
starts to feel awfully, well, familiar. This shouldnít be surprising.
After all, the Olympics have been around for 2,786 years and they
basically havenít changed. You get a big crowd together, light a
torch, then watch competitor after competitor try their hand at the same
event. True, athletes nowadays have to wear clothes when they compete.
And Greece was in better financial shape back then. But hey, thereís
no need to pine for the good old days.
are a lot of differences between the original Olympics and the current
ones. For one thing, the modern Olympics are held every two years,
rotating between summer and winter sports. Obviously the ancient Greeks
didnít have winter Olympics because snow boards, Scott Hamilton, and
the Zamboni hadnít been invented yet. Not to mention that if youíd
tried to convince the ancient Greeks that sliding a heavy round stone
across the ice while your teammates use brooms to sweep in front of it
was a sport, theyíd have sacrificed you to Zeus. On the other hand,
they did have the feta throw, synchronized Spartan toss, and Greek-style
wrestling (*wink*wink*) so you know they had fun.
laugh, in 1995 the International Olympic Committee declared bridge a
sport. Of course keep in mind that they also deemed chess and ballroom
dancing to be sports so it was probably hard to tell the bridge players
It doesnít help that there are no new events this year. Going
into it theyíd considered adding skicrossóa ski version of snowboard
cross, which is a version of motocross, which is, well, a
raceówomenís ski jump, and mixed doubles curling, but really, those
are just variations on old themes. Itís not like a couple of Olympics
ago when they added the skeleton, which has competitors sliding down a
hill head first atop a grown-up version of a Flexible Flyer, pretty much
like you did as a kid except they donít have to dodge cars at the
bottom of the hill. Leave it to the Olympics to take the fun out of
That same year they added the
womenís bobsleigh, which was more notable for the mysterious dumping
of the name bobsled, which is what it had been called since 1924. Heck,
this year was so slack no one even tried to get bridge added as an
Donít laugh, in 1995 the
International Olympic Committee declared bridge a sport. Of course keep
in mind that they also deemed chess and ballroom dancing to be sports so
it was probably hard to tell the bridge players no. That was all the
World Bridge Federation (motto: ďWe knew trump was important before
Donald was even bornĒ) needed to hear. They turned around and lobbied
to get bridge sanctioned as an event in the 2006 Winter Games in Turin.
True I.O.C. rules say winter events have to be held on ice or snow, the
WBF probably figured they could play while wearing skis or laying on a
skeleton. Luckily the Powers That Be thought better of the plan,
probably because they realized that a card playing tournament holds all
the excitement of Charles Grodin on Ambien and,
well, watching Bob Costas looking like a deer caught in the headlights
is sleep-inducing enough.
include the 80GB iPod song shuffle, the 300dB cell phone shout, the
marathon coffee drink order, team texting, and the 140-character Tweet
What we need is new event blood. Like maybe a couple more
biathlon events. They keep expanding the winter version of the biathlon,
which logic defyingly combines cross-country skiing and shooting a
rifle, so why not have curling using a hand grenade for the stone? Or
figure skating while the competing teams wield slingshots? Better yet,
letís drag the Olympics out of ancient history and into the 21st
Century. Thatís right, itís time to make it over as the iOlympics.
So itís not too much of a shock,
they could ease into it slowly by adding one event to start. Say, the
post-modern pentathlon. It could include the 80GB iPod song shuffle, the
300dB cell phone shout, the marathon coffee drink order, team texting,
and the 140-character Tweet relay. Needless to say, uniforms will be all
black, winners will be announced on their Facebook status, and it will
be shown exclusively on YouTube. It would liven things up, give everyone
something to talk about and, best of all, we can combine some of ancient
and modern Greece together by watching it naked while broke. On our
iPhone app. Now that sounds like a gold medal winner.
©2010 Mad Dog
Productions, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
These columns appear in better newspapers across the country. Read them while
sweeping the ice in front of that hand grenade.