Thursday, August 14, 2008
The Top 9 Events That Should Be Dropped From the Olympic Games
Well, after Rob's previous post, this one was sort of inevitable. It doesn't have quite as much vitriol, but goddamnit, I would take Tug of War over any of these.
9. Modern pentathalon
The casserole of Olympic sports. It sounds like it was created by someone on a combination of amphetamines and goofballs. "Ungggggh... we're gonna have running. And swimming? I like water, water is so... watery. Yeah, let's have swimming. Also shooting! No, no shooting, shooting is scary! Wait, I like scary! They can shoot. But also swords! Swords are the best! Do you ever just like, think about kinghts! There were fucking knights once! Um um um um um also riding horses just 'cause this one time I was at my aunt's farm and there was this one horse..." It's not as though running, riding, shooting, swimming, and fencing don't appear in the Games. Redundancy does not equal glory.
I love handball. I love watching the old Filipino dudes in Ramon Aponte Park, I love reminiscing about my slightly pathetic backyard solo-handball days (where I played against myself AND did play-by-play)... I think this is a sweet idea of a sport. Kinda like how I thought The Prestige was a sweet IDEA of a movie. I wanted to give it first-tier credit, but... well... I couldn't. I loved it elementally, but I just... didn't like it. I'm not saying it isn't a sport. I'm just saying that I was really good at backyard solo-handball and I don't consider myself to be an Olympian.
7. Sailing, all kinds
This is a slippery slope, my friends. When you're on a bike, you're doing most of the physical work. The force exerted by the cyclists legs is converted into rotational energy. Awesome. But there's no energy conversion that goes into moving a sailboat from Port A to Port B. Oh, sure, there's probably cunning and guile and fearlessness involved... but so too in Madden or Warcraft. More importantly, we don't want to get to the point where NASCAR-style stockcar racing is an Olympic event. When you minimize the human element, you delegitamize the sport. Plus, this is easily the most classist event. Best (ie, most 'spensive) boat wins. EFF THAT. I'm a populist at heart. Rotational energy >> the almighty dollar.
Hahahahah, cool, an obstacle course! Lookit. I used to make obstacle courses at my friends' houses in grade-school and race them for their toys. (It would seem that my major criterion for whether or not something is an Olympics-worthy sport is if I did it during my reckless youth.) I won a whole bunch of Happy Meal Toys and even a few Star Wars action figures, but no friggin' gold medals. ALSO, if you wikipedia Steeplechase, you'll note that it is named after a horse-racing event. (Also a competitive dog agility event.) Awesome, we owe this event to horses and agile dogs.
5. 50m Rifle Prone
Let me preface this. I think shooting at things is a great idea, provided that they are a) made of clay or corkboard or b) defenseless, tasty animals. However, the concept of needless challenge annoys me, and that's my general beef with Rifle Prone. "Oh! The 100m Fly is hard, but let's put one ornery barracuda in the pool and see how tough that is!" NO! Shooting at a target fifty meters away while your belly is kissing the dirt sounds really, really hard. But not in a deserving way, more like a "this time could have been better spent on something less militaristic, like rugby, for instance" way.
4. Field hockey
I'm sure this is a noble and difficult sport. I'm sure these are ridiculous athletes and that they are treated like semi-royalty in their homelands. (Y'know... the Pseudo-Prince of New Zealand and such.) But to be totally honest, this event is the biggest tease of the Olympics. You can't just take a beautiful thing, stick it in a field, trade in pads for shorts, and expect it to be engaging. Field bobsled? Field water polo? Field cake? Bullshit. Just give me the cake, Olympic Guys.
We already have the X-Games. We already DON'T WATCH the X-Games. Please, please, please don't let this keep happening. I sincerely don't want to turn on the London Games and see some freckle-faced redhead named Slade competing in the Big Air Skateboarding Final. Then again... what other country is going to bother competing in this travesty of an event. I've changed my own mind! Bring on the free medals, bitches!
2. Table tennis
If you're at summer camp and it's rec time or, I dunno, if you're trying to mend relations with a distant, Communist superpower, table tennis is a fantastic pursuit. If you're a really iconoclastic frat boy and beer-pong is too gauche for your taste, go ahead, get out the paddles and use that table as God intended you to. But if you're an Olympian in the sport of table tennis... man, I just don't know what to say to you. I feel like this was created just to set up an Apatow movie. There's some shlubby gold-medalist ping-ponger at some bar in the Olympic Village, some gymnast babe comes up to him and goes, "What's your sport?" He says table tennis, but it's so loud, she only hears tennis. Later, they make Olympic love, but in the morning, when she finds out he's not exactly Pete Sampras, she runs off without leaving her number. It's gonna take his wacky partner, his wackier coach, and the American Dream to make it work!
This is the Table Tennis Defense times infinity. Anything that can be done drunk behind a frathouse does not qualify as an Olympic event. I KNOW you can do cool tricks on a trampoline. We all remember Bobby McFlashy doing flips at our 9th birthday party at the YMCA. What happened to Bobby McFlashy? He mixed Pixie Sticks and Ecto Cooler and missed the trampoline on his ultra-super-mega-triple-flip, smacking his head on an errant, rusty towel rack. Now he folds towels for the very same Y and calls everyone who talks to him "Mr. Dennis." PS: This event is so lame that it doesn't even fall under the category of "Rhythmic Gymnastics" (aka Ribbon Dancing).