The OlympicsI can't stand the Olympics.
You'd think as a sports fan, I'd eat this stuff up. But really, the Games are insufferable.
The only sports I watch in the Olympics are soccer and ice hockey. And that's because they are soccer and ice hockey, not because they're in the Olympics.
The Olympics, especially the summer version, are the triumph of pomp and hype and nationalist hysteria over sport. I can appreciate the grace of synchronized swimming or the sheer energy of the 100 meters, but not when it's accompanied by insufferable announcers imploring me to realize that I am witnessing the greatest performance in the history of humanity.
In addition, you have some people with the audacity to suggest that supporting anyone other than American athletes and teams is, get this, unpatriotic. It shows how the word 'patriotism' is so overused almost to the point of being meaningless if it can be invoked in the context of a sporting event.
You hear all this self-aggrandizing nonsense about the Olympics are all about humanity coming together as one people, blah blah blah. This is the biggest myth of all..
If it's about humanity coming together, why is it that, at the medals' podium, they raise three national flags and play the national anthem of the winner? Why is unity represented by separation?
If it's about humanity coming together, why is that announcers (regardless of where the coverage originates) always say, "The USA wins the bronze medal in the skeet shooting" instead of "John Smith wins the bronze medal in the skeet shooting"? Did the whole USA wake up at 5 AM and spend hours every day doing grueling training? Was it the whole USA who performed under pressure and fended off stiff competition? No. And to suggest otherwise is to deny the individuals their due credit.
If it's about humanity coming together, why does the press make huge deal about the medals' tables? Is Australia a superior country to Chile just because they have more Olympic medals? Again, it's about the country trying to steal credit away from the individual athletes who succeeded.
If it's about humanity coming together, why, following a controversial officiating decision, do people feel as though the official personally insulted the entire country?
And let's be honest, if the Olympics were all about humans uniting as one people, then would the Miracle on Ice really have been so special? If that game had been against anyone other than the Soviet Union in 1980, would it have had so much social significance?
Oh, and I don't care a whit about the USA men's basketball team so I wish ESPN, Fox Sports and the rest of the sports media would stop yammering on about it. The rest of the world has gotten better so maybe our basketball players should realize that tatoos and fancy dunking no longer cuts it.
I take that back. I do care about the USA men's basketball team. I hope they lose. It's mainly because I despise the NBA. But I also can't stand arrogance in athletes. And the NBA pretty much incarnates that. Thank you Puerto Rico and Lithuania. Maybe now, the 12 year old basketball players will realize that their 14 year old brothers play with a better understanding of the game's fundamentals than any man wearing a USA or NBA jersey.