Leftridge: The One in Which I Complain About the Olympics

I love this country.  We invented Cool Ranch Doritos, the jackhammer, the skyscraper, the corn dog, the iron lung, the electric guitar, the internet, the ATM (1939!) chicken nuggets, baseball and the first commercially practical incandescent light (though not the light-bulb itself, as many believe).

Only in America can people find fame and fortune because of a homemade sex-tape (Kim Kardashian) or having all of the inherent intelligence, wit and humor of a velociraptor (Larry the Cable Guy, Katt Williams, Carlos Mencia).

In addition, I love sports. All kinds, even. Cricket? Sure. Indian Leg Wrestling? Why not? If there’s a semblance of athletic competition involved, with something on the line, I’m pretty much in.

Therefore, it would stand to reason that the Olympics are just about the greatest thing ever. All kinds of battles on the field and on the court and in the pool, AND I get to root for THE GREATEST COUNTRY IN THE WORLD? Sign me up.


See, I just have a hard time getting into the Olympics. I feel like I’m admitting something awful here—that I like watching amputee porn or something—but it’s true. Every four years the games arrive, and every four years I go through the same cycle of emotions—anticipation, unease, confusion, angst and disgust with myself for reacting so strangely. Allow me to try and explain the reasons behind this awkwardness, if you will.

It’s Overwhelming:

NBC has like, 15 channels running 24-hour coverage. I like the idea of being able to watch badminton at 3 am, don’t get me wrong, but I DON’T like seeing the on-screen description for several hour blocks being “5 am-6 pm: Boxing, Javelin Throwing, Spear Fishing, Synchronized Swimming, Jump Roping, Tennis, Murderball.” Just tell when shit is airing SPECIFICALLY so I know what time to tune in, alright? Is that seriously so hard in this day of digital programming?

And yeah, I know, I could TOTALLY go to Yahoo, or ESPN.com or something. But seriously, go look at Yahoo right now. I’ll wait. It looks like someone threw up Olympics coverage all over the fucking place. There’s a medal tally at the top, along with some of their “stories of note,” but there are more stories down in their “main-headlines” section or whatever. Things about the US Rhythmic Ass-fisting Team are popping up when I move my mouse. I feel like a grandparent trying to use a computer for the first time, and this is exceptionally sad because I’m 31 years old.

It’s Fleeting:

Meet Antonio Washington. He was born in the projects of New Orleans where he was shot daily. He was raised by a friend’s grandmother, because shit was so bad he didn’t even have his own. He’s lactose intolerant and has a severe shellfish allergy. He almost died on an excursion to Captain D’s when he was visiting some relatives in Mississippi. At some point in young Antonio’s life, a strange white guy took a shine to him and helped him become a gymnast. Later, the strange white-guy somehow died in a parasailing accident that bizarrely also killed the young man’s fake grandmother. Antonio’s in the Olympics now, by God, and he’s going to tearfully dedicate his medal to the memory of his mentor and his friend’s grandma, too.

There are a BILLION of these stories in the Olympics, especially when you start factoring in the countries where they have to eat the family donkey every winter or whatever, and they’re really, truly engrossing narratives.

The problem is, after the games are over, I won’t know what became of the little Romanian table tennis player who was born without a nose who’d I’d previously rooted so hard for. I feel like a foster parent to a thousand sad athletes, and when I stop and think about it, it’s a little depressing.

The Games Confirm My Status as a Pervert:

So the US Women’s Gymnastics team tweeted a photo icing down after a practice. Apparently, this is the “hot new thing!” if you believe the internet. Anyway, I found myself looking at the girl in the center (see photo at left) and thinking, “wow. She’s CUTE. Who is SHE??” So I looked her up. And found out that I’m a pedophile apparently, because she’s McKayla Maroney, and she’s SIXTEEN. Jesus Christ.

See, it was cool to lust after Dominique Moceanu when she was kicking ass in the 1996 Olympics, BECAUSE WE WERE THE SAME AGE. Now, I’m just one step above that puppeteer in Florida who wanted to fuck and eat children, I guess.

Getting old is sad.

The U.S. Can’t Win it All:

And that just plain sucks. In the end, it all comes down to medals. And try as they might, there are just some things they’ll lose at. Obviously. But it’s just not fair, goddamnit, because WE ARE AMERICA, THE GREATEST NATION IN THE WORLD.

That’s right, suck it Cameroon.

So who’s watching the Olympics? Thoughts? Anything you’re looking forward to seeing? Let’s hear about it.

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30 Responses to Leftridge: The One in Which I Complain About the Olympics

  1. chuck says:

    Funny stuff Lefty. 🙂

  2. smartman says:

    I’d rather watch Oprah interview the Kardashians and have Kim tell about the night she and Glazer made a sex tape but they forgot to turn the camera on. The Olympics make the UN look like Tibetan accountants. More money is laundered and pissed away through Olympic organizations than through the GSA. In the hopes of what, international peace, love and understanding? C’mon, all these fuckers HATE us, including the Brits. We send over Muhammad Ali and they toss in David Beckham? Are you fucking kidding me? The Olympic Village would make Caligula blush. It’s OK for everybody to FUCK EACH OTHER but please avoid the Big Macs, BIG MAX from Uzebekistan, he’s OK.

    The Olympics are phonier than Sarah Palin’s intelligence. At best they offer coaches and athletes the opportunity to seek diplomatic immunity and an interview with Bryant Gumble or perhaps a spread in Playboy or Hustler. “No mamma I deed not ween a meddle, but I deed make moe-ney een dah Beaver Hunting”.

    With all the free porn on the internet I can’t even get a good stroke on to these Olympians like I could back in the day to Dorothy Hamill, Katarina Witt, Peggy Flemming or Olga Korbut. I’ll take a set of milky white cheerleader thighs over these juiced up, Bowflexed and botoxed babes any day.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      So wait… are you watching the Olympics or not, man? Your wishy-washy response, full of vagaries and cautious, side-stepping language, tells me NOTHING.

      • smartman says:

        Nyet Komrade Lefty. No telly for moi. Getting my updates on ESPN and Yahoo.

        • Brandon Leftridge says:

          Well, I was being a *bit* sarcastic. I am a little surprised you’re still interested in results, though.

          • smartman says:

            British betting parlors take action on anything. I’ve got 10,000 Euros on the under 1 medal for Bangladesh. My interest is purely financial and not nationalistic.

  3. the dude says:

    Damn man, all that training I did for the synchronized squat thrust team as a kid was all for naught after all. I found out they did away with the sport at the ’32 olympics. Wasn’t Aryan enough for der furher or something like that.

    Screw the olympics.

  4. Andrew says:

    I really do like the Olympics, but I was just complaining about the same thing yesterday–just tell me exactly when specific events are going to be on so I know when to tune in! The NBC Olympics site doesn’t even do that. I thought it did last night, but then I realized that the times were all off (and that was after I took it off London time). I care about lots of the events, including some lesser-known ones, but I don’t care about all of them, nor do I really want to have the TV on for hours and hours and hours, and I don’t want to hear a bunch of interviews or special interest stories. Just show the games, and make it clear what is going to be on and when.

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      “nor do I really want to have the TV on for hours and hours and hours”

      Precisely, but it’s hard NOT to.

      Great points.

      • Andrew says:

        Well, NBC just wants us to watch as many commercials as possible. I am just going to start DVRing big blocks and then skipping commercials and stuff I don’t care about.

  5. the dude says:

    Synchronized leotard sniffing, now that is a sport I could get into.

  6. NBC that butt that gymnast has? says:

    I just want to know since when are 15-year old girls “women?” Only in the Olympics. Just call it Girls’ Gymnastics, for God’s sake.

    And at least warn me when women’s volleyball comes on! My wife walked in while I was watching it and I had to quickly change the channel to porn.

  7. PB says:

    I still watch (hey, I’m married), but only out of habit anymore since it was such a big deal when I was a kid. Can totally do without all the sappy human interest stories you referenced. Heck, at least give us those crazy ones as the Feral Boy turned decathlete backstory holds my interest. Now even that stuff is boring. Instead we get to hear that gymnast Gabby Douglas had to leave home to move to…gasp…Iowa to train under a renowned, handsomely-paid gymnastics coach. Wow, really touches the heartstrings. And Ryan Lochte flips tractor tires! Would have been more amazing if I didn’t see some out of shape knob doing the very same thing outside of a shitty, stripmall gym in Overland Park 2 or 3 years ago. And yes, I had a crush on Dorothy Hamill too.

  8. Kanya says:

    I think its wrong of you to talk about my future wife and what ever mistakes she may have made. What’s next an article about how I hurt Taylor Swift’s feelings?

  9. Super Dave says:

    Sorry I lost interest in the Olympics around Atlanta time. Maybe it was due to being in involved a lot with ad specility at the time and really saw it was no longer about the athletes but who could make the most money getting their name out there.

    Corporate greed has just about ruined anything good in our lives I mean look what it has done to NCAA, MLB, NFL, NBA, NASCAR, and INDY CAR.

    To me time to bring sports back into sports.

    So in answer to your question Lefty no I have not really watched any of the games on TV. Main reason probably is I have no idea when anything is on and since NBC could care less if I do I can care less if I watch.

    • Markus Aurelius says:

      Corporate ad dollars have taken over sports because it’s the last bastion of television that is still watched live – meaning that the viewer can’t FF through the commercials.

      The rise of the DVR coupled with the internet as an on-demand source of television content made it inevitable for corporate greed to latch on to the most viable source of old-school advertising.

  10. bschloz says:

    Nice post Lefty—Agreed on Overwhelming, couple that with events being on tape delay and it gets tough to know whats going on.
    I did manage to lose $20 on the God Damn Lithuanian’s in Mens hoops.
    Would love to see the Argentinian’s beat The Dream Team II.
    Please let me know when Usain Bolt is running , and pay close attention to
    Michelle Jenneke http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tMgmYutL9W0

    • Brandon Leftridge says:

      Thanks, B.

      Another great thing– apparently Yahoo is groin-grabbingly stupid when it comes to the concept of “spoiler alert.” For the last few hours, they’ve had “Phelps and Lochte Lose To Teammates: SPOILER ALERT.” Hey dipshits, “spoiler alert” means you don’t TELL me what happened. It means you allude to something shocking or revealing, perhaps, and you allow me to decide if I want to see it or not.

  11. harley says:

    because as much as I hate to say it…some of the funniest stuff ever on here
    (including my own) has been written here.
    I left for a couple weeks…looked in…and as much as I hate to say it..
    smartman the gay man/chuck the tv repairman/lefty the right handed jackoffer/
    and even glaze’s stuff has made me laugh for hours.
    I hate every one of you but glaze should take all you guys and put together
    a comedy show…i’d pay at least $5 to see it.
    seriously…where do you guys get this shit. funny stuff. You should write
    for lewis black or ck….funny funny stuff. Smartman…i can’t stand you but
    some of the stuff you write is very very creative…and SICK!
    keep up the great work. Now go jack each other off! hahahaha!

    • Big Tom says:

      The above is the first sign of the end of the ages.

    • mike says:

      Glad to have you back!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t know how we ever got along without you. You contribute such a vast amount of wisdom and original thought to any discussion, I am in awe every time I read what your write and see your immense intellectualism. We are lucky to have a man as sucessfull and busy as you are find the time to read what all of us wage slaves have to say! You are magnanimous indeed! We are not worthy!

  12. harley says:

    mike…or mikey the mental midget…you stalk me…you follow my comments.
    Got a hangup? I’m sure hearne is glad to have me back because I create
    exctiement on this site. In between the boring articles hearne writes..the
    articles written by the german travel agent about movie theatres…articles
    about peter pan ( god help us) without me and lefty and smartman
    there would be no kcc. But where is wilson???? He’s good for some
    funny stuff too.
    Get this straight mikey the mental midget: You are b o r i n g.
    Stop stalking me…go stalk the old lady in the apartment next door to you.
    at least you have a chance with her!
    yes i’ve been busy. TAKE CARE!

    • mike says:

      You definitely create excitement on this site. I wish I could be half as interesting as you but few people are. You should write articles on here and show Hearne how it is done. I would wait with baited breath for each and every article you would write but might not be smart enough to understand them all. I am lucky to have a library to go to as I cannot afford my own computer with my meager income. I wish I could live in my Mom’s basement like some of the other douchebags on here but trailers don’t have basements. TAKE CARE OH GREAT ONE

  13. sonia says:

    a my god i am from a english back ground, what happned to elton john??? who was was watching all night for but he did not come on? what did he think he was to good for the english back ground to his fame??? please explain. my god the best of the games was the spice girls and gorge michael as i new him as boy gorge. thats what i have to say it broke my heart when a girl sang a queens song that really sucked i am sorry but i am half english .i feel i have to say it wasnt that good sorry i expected more from u as been engligh

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