Wednesday, August 6, 2008

August 6th, 2008

    Could we, please, just cancel the Olympic Games?  Too many athletes, too many different sports half of us have never heard of, too many stories in the Sports Section--it's hard to keep up with how the Cubs are doing, for heaven's sake--just too much of a muchness all the way around.  Corporations have paid billions of dollars to broadcast this stuff.  But who cares?
     I think having world champions is fine, but we do that other years without all this bombast.  Maybe if they spread them out--you know, we'll have track events in Beijing in August, and swimming in Delhi in September, and equestrian events in Manila in October, and so on until we're done.  We'll give out medals, but no fair carrying the totals over from one city to the next.
     That's probably the worst of it--this pandemic of national chest-thumping.  I've read story after story about how barracks-full of Chinese have spent the past four years doing nothing but training and yearning and breathing for a gold.  Well, the Chinese are admirable and determined people and China now is a great power, whatever that means these days, but isn't it all a bit much?
     In the original Olympics, according to a book I read, the athletes competed naked--no national colors, no shorts, come to that.  Maybe that would perk up these ponderous games.  But, of course, the TV networks would object.  The Olympics, like many other sports, is all about big business now, about TV ratings much more than about which kid finishes first.   It's too bad, but I don't think we'll be able to fix it.
     If you want Old Style Olympics, go down to a grade school playground and watch the eighth graders race each other.  They just want to be the best, and that's how it used to be, remember? 
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