Tuesday, August 9, 2016

A few more (possibly heretical) Olympic thoughts

And while we're on the subject of the Olympics ... a few more grouchy old-man thoughts, at least some of which would likely get me cast into outer darkness by certain Olympic enthusiasts/people who watch the Olympics just because it's the Olympics:

*  Yeah, yeah, yeah. Everybody loves Gabby and Simone and all the rest of those flippy little Olympic gymnasts.

Well, not me. You can have 'em.

Women's gymnastics might be my least favorite thing in the Olympics, and I can't even say why. I appreciate the athleticism. I appreciate the skill. But I'd rather watch my dog chase squirrels in the backyard than Simone Biles turn cartwheels and somersaults or whatever they're called on the uneven thingy, or Gabby Douglas do a triple Salchow or whatever it's called on the balance thingy.

I'm sorry. I just don't care about it.

Maybe, just maybe, it's their voices. Remember Kerri Strug, gutting it out on a bum ankle? It was inspiring until she opened her mouth and the voice of a Muppet came out. Kinda ruined the image.

Stupid, I know. But there you have it. I'm totally "meh" about the most-watched event in the Olympic Games. Feel free to ridicule at will.

* If you haven't watched Team USA in men's basketball yet, you haven't really missed anything. This is shaping up to be the most boring Olympic basketball tournament since the first Dream Team beat Angola 257-12 or whatever. There simply isn't anyone in this deal who can compete with KD and Carmelo 'n' them, which is why almost every game is going to look like the Cavaliers vs. Ollie from "Hoosiers."

Yesterday, for instance, the Americans thumped Venezuela 113-69. At one point in the second quarter, it was a 24-22 game. Then the Americans scored, like, 400 points in a row. The halftime score was 48-26. Game over.

Rinse. Repeat until gold.

* You know what's great about the Olympics?

What's great about the Olympics is Ping-Pong.

(And, yes, I know, nerds, it's officially "table tennis." Whatever.)

Anyway, the Olympics are great because people in America will actually sit in bars and watch Ping-Pong like it's, I don't know, NASCAR or something. They'll also watch water polo. They'll also watch bicycling, mainly on the off-chance someone kills him or herself, which a couple of people almost have on account of the road-racing course turned out to be lifted from the set of "Death Race 2000."

Heck, people will even watch dressage, which is not a fancy name for putting your pants on one leg at a time but some sort of horse thing. People wearing fancy clothes jump stuff on horses and canter and what-not. It's actually sort of mesmerizing.

I know people watch this because I once walked into a neighborhood bar on the near north side of Fort Wayne -- a bar where the Cubs or IU basketball is the usual bill of fare -- and a bunch of guys were watching dressage. I felt like taking a picture just to freeze the moment for all time.

*  Finally, a couple of thoughts on swimming.

One, they should make Katie Ledecky swim in a pair of jeans and a parka, just to make it fair. That woman is a cyborg.

Two, the best part of the swimming so far has been the ready-room cam. How awesome was it to watch Lilly King pace back and forth, pointedly ignoring Russian nemesis Yulia Efimova? Or how about Michael Phelps game-facing while South African rival Chad Le Clos shadow-boxed in front of him?

Not even dressage could beat that.       

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