Victory means exit strategy, and it's important for the President to explain to us what the exit strategy is.    The Honorable Governor of Texas, George W. Bush

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Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Oh Limp X Games

Actually, I've been watching quite a bit of the Winter Olympics. I've watched the ice dancing and figure skating, which I find to have a compelling drama quite unlike a lot of athletic endeavor. The character that goes into these efforts, or lack thereof, is immediately, thoroughly displayed. There is great courage in these skaters, as well as uncommon grace, stamina and perseverance. Each of them begins the performance needing little short of perfection, and most times leaves nothing in reserve in the attempt.

And the ski, skate, sled and board racers that train for so long and so hard to achieve that .03 second edge that makes them the best in the world, well, the efforts are incredible, the losses heartbreaking, and the wins indescribably ecstatic.

Not everyone feels this way, to be sure, as ratings for these tape delayed games are down. People like Bill Maher think gravity sports are a big joke, dismissive of the perfection required to win a luge or bobsled event. Okay, it's a cheap joke for a guy running out of decaying flesh in the colon humor. Annoying, but not nearly in the same league as the comments of that graduate of the Jim-Brown-got-a-major-hair-across-his-ass school, Bryant Gumbel:

Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t like them and won’t watch them ... Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world’s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the Winter Games look like a GOP convention. Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won ... So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin.

Bryant, Bryant, Bryant. Is this the same incredulity required when your phony-ass grinning no-talent self rode into Nagano? Are you and Greg actually related? Because that sense of humor gene seems to have taken the remissive role in your model. These are called the modern Olympics, Bry, and maybe one in a hundred professional American "athletes" would have anything near the athleticism required to get through a four minute pairs program.

You say you don't watch, and must then be subjectively judging the judging to be subjective. Or you do watch, and it only seems subjective to you because you watch with the same non-curiosity evident in your interviews. Which is it?

And then the black thing―the old twilight of the career, attention starved gambit of becoming a controversial spokesman for the oppressed in between rounds at Doral or Kapalua. I guess for real athletes we should have been tuning in the NBA All-Star Game. Then, instead of kiss and cry areas we could have been treated to piss and moan everywhere, and cushy padded folding chairs for the fat asses of real athletes who need to call time out if they have to actually run three lengths of an eighty foot court in succession.

Can't find this year's ratings, but last year this assemblage of the NBA fantastic drew a 3.5 rating ... live. The Olympics are averaging a 6.3 ... tape delayed, with an upswing expected toward the finale.

And then there's that March Madness you can't wait for. Last year the first two rounds, again live, pulled a 5.9 share (in the overnights, I haven't found the final ratings). Obviously more people are curious about this. If you have any curiosity about any of this, Bill Maher or Bryant Gumbel, look closer. Look a lot closer. Look at Marie-France Dubreuil, who early in her program crashed onto her hip and, not knowing if it was broken, returned to finish. Look at Irina Slutskaya, who trails by .03 points in the women's figure skating. While her mother awaits a kidney, and she fights a debilitating blood vessel disease, she maintains her humor, poise and dignity with her lifelong dream so nearly realized.

It's about something way, way beyond mere athleticism. It's about character.

And you gotta go diss it all playing the race card for hire. Shame on you. Oh, and by the way, as of this writing 16.67% of America's medals were won by blacks, who total 12.9% of the population. Oh, the paucity of it all!


At 9:50 AM, Blogger Bullock said...

Small-minded is right. Never liked B. Gumbel and his ego-driven "inside-sports" show. Network formula drivel.
Amateur sports are still the best TV-passive drama from whatever race, color or creed. Now, if they only put them on at a reasonable hour.This boomer starts nodding at 1700 PST. Who wants to watch Sasha Cohen at midnight?

Maybe I should illegally download it to my Ipod for a pre-tape podcast, watched from a prone position in a cozy bed.

At 10:16 AM, Blogger sequoit said...

maybe you should tack a plasma to the ceiling!

Nice to hear from you again.


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