Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Going viral

So Jason Day has decided to opt out of the Rio Olympics, claiming fears about the Zika virus as his reason for staying away.

That makes him the sixth golfer to cite Zika in deciding to give Rio pass, following Rory McIlroy, Shane Lowry, Charl Schwartzel, Branden Grace and Marc Leishman.  The Blob suspects at least one of them -- Leishman -- is telling the truth, given that his wife's immune system remains weak after a near-fatal episode of toxic shock syndrome last year.

The others?

I think they just don't want to go. And I don't blame them.

Rio begins a week after the PGA Championships, for one thing, and, for another, it's shaping up to be the colossal cluster of all clusters. That the IOC, because of its greed and addiction to graft, is so callously putting its athletes at risk in so many ways -- Zika, dangerously contaminated venues, serious security issues -- is damn near criminal. That its members have the gall to criticize any athlete for staying away from this mess is equally so.

Set aside for a moment the Blob's contention that golf (or tennis, for that matter) is no more an Olympic sport than NASCAR or the NFL, and therefore shouldn't be included in the Games, anyway. If an Olympic medal isn't the pinnacle of your sport -- or at least close to it -- it shouldn't be an Olympic sport. Nor should any sport that doesn't have at least some traditional tie to the Games.

That definitely excludes golf and tennis, whose traditional ties include the British Open, the Masters and Wimbledon. The Olympics? What's that except something to watch on TV every four years between rounds at St. Andrews or sets on Centre Court?

So it's perfectly understandable why the Olympics aren't a priority for Day and McIlroy and the others, and I don't know why they just don't come out and say so. After all, who would they offend by doing so, except a bunch of corrupt bureaucrats who line their pockets in a rigged game that rewards the Games to sites that have no business hosting them?

If the IOC was remotely on the level as an organization, it would assign the Games to a revolving slate of four or five sites fully capable of hosting them. But that would take away the bribery aspect, and I'm sure the IOC would find that unacceptable. So don't hold your breath waiting for it to happen.

In the meantime, Jason Day's staying home. Good for him. I think there's a whole bunch of IOC officials who should follow his lead and stay home, too.

"Home," in their case, meaning "house arrest."

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