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.
BUT NOT SO FAST.
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.
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.
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.