It’s easy and healthy to despise the Olympics. As well as the US Olympic team, the stars, over-exposed physical fitness freaks sold on their superiority by our culture of lickspittle.
Having given up cable, the wall to wall coverage still allows me to enjoy the embarrassed tears and expressions of bamboozlement when our most heavily promoted Olympians, predicted to be invincible, come croppers.
Buzz Bissinger’s (he of Friday Night Lights) takes the Olympics and our stars down. It’s worth a read:
The big events during this first week are in swimming, and unfortunately I have to say that the big guns of the men’s teams not only seem unlikeable but also choke artists. Michael Phelps’ official Olympic photo, with scraggly beard and hair sticking out like professor Irwin Corey, was insulting. He does irritate me when he talks, a little bit too cool for school and obviously (also rightfully) thinking he is superior to everyone else, given his incredible past performance in Olympics with 16 medals and needing only three more to break the record. During an interview with Ryan Seacrest on NBC during the opening ceremonies that was unconsciously played instead of a tribute to the 52 victims of terror attacks in London in 2005, Phelps was asked if he would consider himself the best Olympian of all time if he won his 19th medal. He could and should have been gracious and contrite. Instead he paused and then said it was something he would have to think about if it happened.
He didn’t train very hard for London, and it showed in his first race Saturday, leading any reasonable person to conclude that he didn’t want to be there in the first place and just should have retired. He seemed a shadow to his competitive nemesis, Ryan Lochte. The Florida native does have a certain charm, except when he drapes about on his skateboard during those insipid NBC bits with John McEnroe, who is wearing an undershirt for chrissakes. And when Lochte puts that silver contraption in his mouth, he looks like the guy in a James Bond film who once played Lurch. But Lochte did kick ass in the 400 Meter IM on the first day of real competition, making Phelps look pathetic in the process. He won the gold while Phelps did not even medal.
Being a fair-weather fan of vast proportion, I immediately picked Lochte as my official American hero, until Phelps swam an incredible second leg in the 400 meter freestyle relay and Lochte, in the anchor position with the lead, got caught …
So Phelps has choked. And Lochte, too sold on himself and his mouth jewelry tore down the goal posts before he’d actually scored all the winning touchdowns. Yay.
“[The] the helicopter ride of the Queen and Daniel Craig as 007 was stupid … Rowan Atkinson as Mister Bean was even more stupid, first acting like his usual idiot self,” Bissinger writes of opening night.
And then, again, there’s the best tune on the Olympics, ever. Sadly, a little under-appreciated.
Most popular in Cayman and the Isle of Man.
How unfortunate. He won a gold.