Monday, August 16, 2004

OLYMPICS WRAPUP POST DAY #5: Hey. A lot of stuff happened today. Here are the AP capsules.

Gymnastics, Women's: I'm glad our team doesn't look like adolescents any more--it's much less creepy. Team China still does, even though they're teenagers. Our captain, Monishi Bhardwaj, is actually 25. Anyway, we qualified for the next round, so even though we didn't look completely great it doesn't matter.

Team China smiles way too much. I think they're getting something special in their Wheaties. Contrast that with the dour Romanians, where the State is no longer quite the benevolent sponsor is was during the communist days.

Swimming, Men's: Michael Phelps blah blah blah Ian Thorpe blah blah blah blah. Enough with your crappy story of the week, NBC. Thankfully, South Africa punctured the tires on the "8 medals for Phelps" motorcar. I have nothing against Phelps, or Thorpe for that matter, but there's no reason to care about something just because NBC has decided it is something I'm supposed to care about.

Basketball, Men's: I was optimistic coming in to the Olympics. I thought, "No George Karl. We have a chance." Evidently, we put together the same sort of crappy team we put together two years ago--the one that finished in fifth place in Indianapolis, remember? I thought, we have Tim Duncan--the best player in the game--and Allen Iverson--once the clutchest player in the game. It'll take some doing, but we could still win, even if we don't have a coherent team and Carmelo and Lebron and Dwayne Wade have no idea what they're doing.

We could still win. I just don't see how right now. Hey NBA: when even Bob Costas is saying you screwed up by forcing this team on us, you screwed up. I mean, this could be some Machiavellian plot to build up the rest of the world by sending out a crappo team so non-Americans have more of a reason to watch the NBA, but I think it's more of the general pattern of David Stern slowly losing his grip.

Meanwhile: Serbia-Argentina was a fantastic game. GI-NO-BLI won it on a last second shot and there was way too much celebration from Argentina for an opening game, but still, it was a great ending.

Not even China knows how to give the ball to Yao Ming, apparently. Maybe nobody does.

Cycling, Women's: USA showed the road race through the streets of Athens live and in its entirety this morning. You can't slag NBC too much if they're doing stuff like that. I couldn't tell you who won.

Beach Volleyball, Women's: Misty May and Kerri Walsh wore tiny outfits and they beat two Japanese ladies who were also wearing tiny outfits. Occasionally the one Japanese lady would slap the other one on the bum. May and Walsh won and I have no idea how I remember THAT.

Actually, another thing I have no idea how I remembered it is the fact, mentioned during the telecast, that the US has never won gold in women's beach volleyball, a sport we invented. May and Walsh are number one in the world--this should be our year.

Field Hockey, Men's: Was this anywhere on teevee today? We better get the semifinals and finals live, NBC.

Shooting: Another sport not on television enough. I think you could sacrifice some Queer Eye episodes to get on some shooting.

Softball: We mercy-ruled Australia out of existence. Thank god for Title IX, here and in women's basketball, two sports where we dominate.

Table Tennis, Doubles: Hey! I didn't see this, but both our teams advanced. Tawny Banh is ON FIRE

Soccer, Men's: Hey Franklin Foer--so is this just another meaningless victory for Iraq? A team that had to get airlifted out of Baghdad, if the NBC propaganda is to be believed, is undefeated and playing great for a whole lot of very good reasons. I wonder how far they have to go before they become meaningful.

Tennis, Women's: I watched Ai Sugiyama beat somebody from China. I sure did.

Badminton: The sport NBC was telling us would be the cult sport this year. The curling of 2004. I saw a lot of curling in 2002, NBC. I have yet to be served a steady diet of badminton. Get on the ball.

That's about all I saw or thought to talk about today. Hey--the NBC schedule says it's only two hours to LIVE HANDBALL! Who's with me? Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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