Thursday, August 21, 2008

Olympic Observations

KorfballWe have a thick orange electrical cord winding from a surge protector in the family room past the bathroom, through the hall, up the stairs, through the living room and into the kitchen wall JUST so the guys can get their nightly Olympic fix.

I kind of like watching with them but the hours and hours of footage have spawned some interesting thoughts. There's just so much material to poke fun of it's hard to know where to start.

1. If you want to succeed at the Olympics get a really great name. On Team America alone there is Damu Cherry, Rafeeq Curry, Beezie Madden and Deontay Wilder. With a name like Deedee Trotter she was absolutely, entirely, contractually bound to have an Olympic career. It's on her birth certificate. However, I wondered if Porntip Buranapraseatsuk representing the lovely country of Thailand found that "Porntip" gave her the edge she needed to bring home the gold.

But the award for Best Olympic Women's Name Ever? Goes to Libby Trickett. I could say that over and over and over to myself in this chunky Techno beat while I'm watching stupid Target commercials during the breaks, "Libby Trickett . . . Libby Trickett . . . Libby Trickett . . . YEA!" Best men's name? This one is too easy. Usain Bolt. Andrew, as a former track man, is definitely in love and keeps saying, "Did you see him run? Did you SEE the way he just glided along it was like he was flying! Did you see that?" Apparently he thinks I need glasses.

2. Olympic "sports" are getting completely out of control. What do boules, buda, glima, kaatsen, savate, longue paume and (no lie) korfball have in common? They have all been demonstration sports at past Olympic games. It's really too bad that the IOC hasn't added Korfball permanently to the venue because darn it but I love me a good game of korfball--where they throw that korf around and go korfing about in all their korfy awesomeness.

But whatever korfball is it can't be any more ridiculous than some of the sports on the current Olympic agenda. I'd love to meet the person responsible for creating the synchronized diving competition--as if the synchronized swimming weren't mocked enough as it is. Forgive me if I'm wrong but is there any sort of a point to synchronized anything? If you're participating in a sport isn't the objective to be better than everyone else? Apparently not, synchronized diving is the activity where you desperately strive to be just like the guy next to you. The better you blend in the better your score--the Rockettes should form their own Olympic team. Crazy.

Or what about beach volleyball? I'd really like to hear the reason beach volleyball was given it's own status separate and complete from regular volleyball. Oh, nevermind. I just got it--d'uh it's the bikinis.

3. I'm in training for the London 2012 Olympics. Yes, you read that right. I'm on a very rigorous Olympic training schedule because I'm going to make the 2012 rowing team. I plan on earning the spot as the coxswain. Don't know what a coxswain is? It's the person who sits in the stern and yells at everyone to row faster. Yup, I'm eminently qualified because that's pretty much what I do here--yell at everyone to go faster.

Can you possibly get a better Olympic gig? I submit that you cannot. I'm a natural coxswain, just ask the kids how I can turn around in the minivan and call them into order, and when I heard that they actually pass out medals for this skill I was all over it. All I need is a fancy uniform and I'm on my way to Olympic victory.

Cher4. Olympic outfits are getting sillier and sillier. Speaking of snappy Olympic uniforms am I the only one who wonders why they've apparently got Cher designing the uniforms nowadays? Not that I'd want to go back to the super tight men's basketball shorts of the 1970s (delete that mental picture quick) but boy the stuff seems to get smaller and smaller.

I just don't get why it's a good idea to wear a bikini to run a race or play volleyball. Just because you can do it doesn't mean you should--seems to focus on women in a way that detracts from their skills and puts the focus back on skin. Because we need more of that.

The ONLY sport that might be able to get away with tiny coverage is swimming based on the theory that small is more aerodynamic (or would that be hydrodynamic? Not sure) but ironically enough swimming is the only sport that has actually increased the fabric production--and hats off to the swim team because I for one think the new look is fabulous. Anything to rid the men of those horrid Speedos. Anything.

I was watching Sanya Richars run the 400 meter finals and noticed she had this skimpy little boy-shorts number that made her look like backup for MC Hammer. If you're an Olympic star perhaps the argument could be made that watertight spandex is more aerodynamic and shaves bits of seconds off of your time but then the woman had all of her gorgeous long flowing hair rippling about her shoulders in a way that totally blows that theory out of the stadium.

And then there were her gauntlets. Did you notice those shiny light blue spandex thingies she had on her lower arms? They were slightly ambiguous as to purpose I can only imagine they were for overall effect and an attempt to intimidate her rivals with her bold fashion moves or else as a safety measure reminiscent of Wonder Woman's golden bracelets to stop random bullets. Or maybe they were bug screens because she's so darn fast she doesn't want bug guts cluttering up her beautiful arms? It was odd. All she needed were some huge puffy sleeves on her uniform and she'd have looked like she stepped out of an 80s prom picture.

5. Warm up moves can be misinterpreted. Lillian was watching that same 400 meter final with me and watched as the runners stood at the blocks, waiting for the race to begin. The women were pacing around, shaking out their leg muscles, shifting from foot to foot and dancing around in anticipation. Lillian looked at me kind of funny and said, "They all have to go to the bathroom!"

Maybe that helps with their times.

6. Olympic commercials have raised interesting questions. My children don't watch much prime time television (videos? Yes, Spongebob? Yes, 6 o'clock news? No) and suddenly with their new Olympic interest a whole new world of information has been opened up to them.

"Dad--What's a prostate?"

"Mom--What's depression?"

"Dad--Why are they selling diapers for grownups?"

Ah my son, that is the beauty of being nine years old. Complete innocence about the wonders of aging.

7. Some people don't age. Speaking of aging, I have to say that Bob Costas is amazing. The man has hosted--What? Like thirty or forty Olympic games? And he still looks amazing, he's the Dick Clark of sports. Maybe they've got him hermetically sealed in a room there behind the desk and just bring him out every four years. May I age as gracefully as he hath.

I wish I could say the same for Tim Daggett.

8. What happened to sportsmanship? Was anyone else a little embarrassed at Valeri Liukin's behavior when his daughter Nastia Liukin won the silver medal? Xe Kexin and she were tied but because of a new tie-breaking procedure Xe Kexin was declared the gold medalist. Disappointing for Nastia I'm sure but that's the game, someone had to win and the rules are there to pick a winner.

Well it's pretty obvious that neither father nor daughter were pleased with this development and I suppose that's understandable but forget a good-will handshake, a smile to the crowd, a thank you to the judges for doing their jobs, instead while his daughter was making her way to the platform to receive her--WOW!--silver medal where was he? He was wrapped up in argument with the judges to argue their decision. Odd priorities my friends, odd priorities.

I guess silver isn't worth what it once was.

9. I'm confused about where the Olympics are being held. I kept hearing that they're being held in Beijing or did they switch things over to Branson, Missouri at the last minute? Because I have yet to see one non-English word anywhere. All the team uniforms are in English, does this seem odd? Surely we're not the only country broadcasting the games? Do the French find this irritating? Heh. I bet they do.

Every team uniform, every sign, every banner is in English. Has this always been like this? I remember the Turin/Turino debate a couple years ago so maybe this has all been diced out before but it's the first time I've noticed that NBC thinks we're the only guest at this party. This must chap the Chinese something fierce.

10. Maybe the language barrier explains other issues. Now that I think about it, perhaps the English-only conundrum explains quite a bit. If everyone's going around using English maybe that's why there was that crazy mix-up at the Passport Office--both the lines for "children" and "adults" were in English and the Chinese gymnasts merely got in the wrong line. Total accident--could happen to anyone.

11. I don't know that the Olympics are doing much for Chinese world relations. There has been a lot of talk that China sees the games as an opportunity for a better world image but after all the stink about human rights violations leading up to the games followed by gymnasts who haven't even got their permanent teeth and the Milli Vanilli move at the opening ceremonies where they let the little six year old know she wasn't pretty enough to show her face in public regardless of her other talents I don't know that the "Let's be friends, you can trust us" message is getting through.

I have to say though that the Water Cube and the Bird's Nest are the most beautiful buildings ever made for any Olympic event and the opening ceremonies were impressive. But has anyone measured the pool at the Water Cube? I've got this theory--stick with me here--that the pool must be a yard shorter than it's supposed to be--why else have there been a crazy number of world records set during the swimming competitions? It's as if world records have become so common there that they hardly attract attention anymore. Yup, get out the measuring tape because I bet the pool's short a couple feet. Either that or there's something in the water.

12. Women's sporting events bring out another side of my husband. He loves track and field, watched every moment of the marathon and cheered every race but when it came to the women's sprints he got the teeniest bit cocky.

"You know," he says with the slightest trace of effort to impress me "the world's record for the women's 400 meter is about 48 seconds."

"Really?" I said, having no clue what the numbers really meant.

"You know what this means don't you?"

"Nope. Enlighten me."

"That I could run faster than all those women."

"Your fastest time was better than that?"

"Yup, I could beat all of them."

"Wow. You should have that put on a t-shirt: 'I'm faster than the girls'."

But would he get to wear the cute little outfit with spandex arm protectors?

13. The IOC is missing some great publicity opportunities. Maybe having a race like that would be a great move for the IOC, instead of just having straight legitimate races maybe they could do kind of a Million Dollar Halftime move where they call up random members of the audience to join the race and take their shot against the greatest athletes on earth. That would be cool. You know, "Come on guys, take your best shot and race against the fastest women in the world--can YOU run faster than a GIRL?? Take the Pepsi Halftime Challenge!"

OR . . . even better they could do a mixer where they take athletes from each field and mix things up by having them compete in another totally different event. You know, watch Michael Phelps on the uneven bars, see Dara Torres try her legs at cycling, really shake things up. Oh! I know! They could call it a Chinese Firedrill Olympics.

Or how about this? You could have Celebrity Day at the Olympics where various guest celebrities get to match muscles against the best of the best. I know I'd totally watch to see Jackie Chan on the rings. That would be cool. Heh. Cool in ANY language.

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60 comments:

San said...

Hehe..it sure is news that there's a medal for the strongest vocal cords too! (in rowing ie)..

Speaking of vocal cords, I tried to look up the actual Lin Miaoke/Yang Peiyi video, but it has been pulled down from every website, including YouTube?! There are only the parodies, but nowhere the original one..

Does anyone have a link of the anthem being sung?

lifemoreabundant said...

I could get behind that Chinese firedrill idea! I like the idea of watching cocky athletes look like fools! How about the women's volleyball team on the shooting events. Hee hee. Bikinis not such an advantage there.

Jennifer said...

In regards to number 4... did you see the female runner from Bahrain? She was covered head to toe for her race. I admired her ability to participate without compromising her standards.

Edi said...

I love great sounding names like Libby Trickett. Dickens was great at doing that - Martin Chuzzlewit (one of my favorite movies) had an abundance of very fun names that totally fit the look and personality of the character. Thing is it didn't seem to help Dickens in naming his own children.

I think the Olympics in China and the "hijinks" the Chinese have pulled, can only hurt their image more. Knowing what we already knew about China though - should any of this surprise us?

I say skip all the "fluff" like beach volleyball and ping pong...and get back to the "core" athletic competitions.

Tammy said...

LOL Thank you for the laugh this morning. It provided a welcome diversion from my morning sickness. :-)

karen said...

About #4...I was wondering if Sanya Richards was wearing those to cover scars from cutting? Then I remembered her major sponsor is Nike, and a little Googling taught me that Nike's new "Swift System of Dress" for runners includes those armband thingies.

P.S. @Jennifer - the female runner in full covering is Mehboba Ahdyar, of Afghanistan. I'm also impressed that she competes without changing her personal standards! The female runner from Bahrain, Maryam Yusuf Jamal, ran in a tank top and shorts and has caused quite a scandal in Bahrain.

Sheri said...

I agree with number 8 especially. My husband and I were watching, I forget what event, and the favorite ended up getting bronze. The announcers kept saying things like "she's walking away with only a bronze". Excuse me, a bronze medal AT THE OLYMPICS!!! How is that a let down?

One Mom said...

What do they call women in bikinis working up a mighty sweat and rolling around in the sand? You got it - women's beach volleyball. And why are the men playing beach volleyball wearing basketball uniforms, shirts tucked into long shorts all prim and proper? Shouldn't they be in speedos?

Amber M. said...

As always, your Thursday 13 had me rolling. Good luck in 2012.

Killlashandra said...

I think I'm with you about the Olympics. My husband has to watch them every night. When we sat in the ER with his broken hand last week, what did we watch the olympics of course. Twice as we were in the ER all night and saw the taped late night version too. ;)

Parents and poor sportsmanship, sometimes they do give the rest of us parents a really hard obstacle to overcome. I have this problem with my step daughter's dad at Horse Shows believe me!

Ok, and no, I did not know trampoline was actually an Olympic sport!

Mandy said...

My husband and had the same conversation regarding the clothes of the marathon runners. I kept thinking if they trip they are going to get seriously skinned up! Yeah, I don't get it either.

The Source said...

Terrific thoughts! One of my favorite names was Ksenia Semenova, a gymnast from Romania, I think. Has a cool ring to it.

I have the swimming issue solved. Those LZR racer suits have little turbo jets installed in the lining!

Lis Garrett said...

HA! You are so funny, Michelle, and your observations are spot on. My husband is sick and tired of always hearing out of my mouth, "How can they play volleyball in that?!"

And the men's synchronized diving . . . . weird! I watched it simply because I could not avert my eyes!

Owlhaven said...

I wondered something similar about all the swim records....

And we may be fuddyduddies but we have boycotted women's beach volleyball. Aurgh. Very painful, but it's just too tacky.

Mary, mom to 10

Isunji said...

OMG! This is only the funniest post EVER! I laughed from beginning to end. I love the way your mind works. Have a good day and Keep those posts comin'!

Maya said...

This post is hilarious. I don't watch the Olympics but now I have all sorts of (very) funny images in my head.

Janelle said...

Heehee...Jackie Chan on the rings. I like it. The funny bright blue arm sleeves are supposed to reduce drag, but I'm with you on the flowing hair thing. I never thought of Bob Costas being the Dick Clark of the sports world, but you're right. I've always thought of him as the George Stephanopolous of the sports world...we only see him every four years. And the Olympics DO have a history of cool names. Who was the fastest man in the world last time around -- someone-or-other El Guerrouj? It looks like someone wanted a cool name, so they spelled their real name backwards or something. Thanks for the laughs!

Flea said...

You are ON today. What fun! I've only been a hit or miss Olympic observer this season - which is better than the last winter Olympics, when I got so tired of freakin' curling that I refused to turn on the TV.

Scribbit said...

Jennifer--yes we say her and we were actually cheering all the way. Something about seeing someone do something a little harder than everyone else was fun. I was kind of hoping she'd win.

Heather said...

Yeah, what's up with jumping on a trampoline as an Olympic sport?

I keep telling my husband that those people who ONLY get bronze are real losers. I could take them.

Or not.

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

I watched the beach volleyball gold medal match last night and I really enjoyed it. I thought the women were very athletic and good at their sport. They made me wish I could do that. BUT, my *bleep*ing husband was next to me practically DROOLING like a dog. So, yes, I think the bikinis helped it get into the Olympics!

Yes, my name is Arizona said...

And I totally think men's beach volleyball should be played in Speedos. Then I could drool a little. hehe...

MommyK said...

It boggles the mind that the bikinis are required by the rules for the women beach volleyball players...but the same rules require that the men wear shirts and shorts. I wouldn't mind the bikinis so much if I got to watch Phil Dahlhauuser play shirtless.

Then again, if my body looked like Kerri Walsh's, I'd probably wear a bikini everywhere.

Did you see that the synchronized swimmers' special suits (they lit up)_ were banned? In a sport where sequins are practically a requirement?

LK said...

You know, there actually is something a little different about the pool in the Water Cube: the temperature is kept at optimal temperature for maximum swimming, and there are drains at the end to decrease resistance in the water. Add that to the oh-so-popular compression bodysuits (which make the swimmers look androgynous to me), and you have record upon record being broken. Is it fair? Probably not. But you don't have to be bitter about it: http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,407562,00.html

Munchkins and Music said...

Hahahaha!

Kathy G said...

Too funny!

I've only watched the Olympics sporadically, but I've seen waaay too much beach volleyball!

Last Saturday I had some type of bug, so I laid on the couch drifting in and out of sleep. They showed some of the lesser sports; I believe there was some water polo, some table tennis, and women's shot put (I think).

PJ said...

I was thinking about the language thing. It would be interesting to get reactions from Germany, France and other non-English nations.

Gabrielle said...

OMG, you are soooo funny, I have had some of the same "olympian" thoughts running lightning fast through my brain! I am so with you on the coxswain gig....Whatdya say we enter as synchronized rowing, Cher can make us all outfits, we will have Lightning Bolt run us down to the water, Libby Tricket can pull us down stream, and you and I will scream our lungs out commanding the team to ROW! ROW! ROW~! :-) Bet we'll medal! and if the judges don't think we've won we can send our fathers down to argue it all out! Pure Class I tell ya!

Cuddle Cottage said...

Thanks for another wonderfully entertaining read, you really make good writing seem effortless:)

Scribbit said...

San--I think what's happened is that NBC owns exclusive rights to footage of the games adn I've heard they've been ultra careful about making sure they protect their rights by shutting down pirated copies on You Tube.

Scribbit said...

OH and Mary--we don't watch the beach vollyball either. Mostly because I'm working hard to teach my two boys to treat women respectfully and it's really hard when they're then shown women as sex objects during a sports event. I don't need to make their little lives harder than they already are in that regard :)

Pencil Writer said...

I'm still cracking up laughing. This post is probably one of my most favorite! Thanks for your comments about the lack of clothing. I was thinking along those lines as well, and praying they don't EVER move back to the "Original Greek" uniforms--which were totally non-existant, as I heard somewhere or the other. I won't expand (ha, ha, ha) on that note.

Love all your observations. I have to agree with just about every one of them. Please, write a letter, brochure, essay, newspaper article, book--whatever--and present it to the IOC. They desperately need another perspective! Yours works for me!

Laurie said...

Bravo! Bravo! Scribbit, this is one your best posts yet! And I agree about the beach volleyball. Of course, like another person observed, we could always go back to the "classic" look of the Greek games, a la nude. Keep up the good writing!

Jennifer said...

I totally identified with 3 and 6. Laughed my butt off at the last one! Great ideas...Chinese Firedrill!! HA!

Janet said...

This was hysterical - brilliant observations!
Pikabo Street started that whole weird name thing. Or maybe it was Mark Spitz.
And I gave up on sportsmanship ages ago. Besides that girl's father was the weightlifter who threw away his bronze medal because he thought he should have had the gold one. They did at least take even the bronze one away from him.

I like your Chinese firedrill idea too. As to the poor little child who wasn't pretty enough to sing, I hope whoever made that decision runs into Indiana Jones' ants.

And I remember being frustrated at either the Australian Olympics or the one in Norway about the lack of coverage of anything that didn't involve the US. They didn't even show medal ceremonies where no American was present, and very little of the competitions of other countries. It was probably Australia because that was summer games, therefore it would have been the lack of soccer coverage that frustrated the Mountain man.

Doll Clothes Gal said...

Fabulous observations - some funny, some extremely accurate!

Rani said...

I peed my pants. Which really isn't all that unusual anymore, sigh... Thanks for the giggles.

Kim said...

Love the list!

As for the English thing, English and French are the official languages of the Olympics. They also use the language of the host country. Why they don't have French on everything is a mystery.

I have wondered about the beach volleyball thing, too. Don't get it. And the poor sportsmanship shown is disappointing. Though, they do need to do something about the scoring in gymnastics.

imadramamama said...

Not only are all the signs in English, but they are playing Western music during the bikini contest...I mean beach volleyball...

Drives me nuts!

dieMutti said...

I really love the Olympic bit - every four years only, of course. Watching those teens on the balance beam makes me think (EVERY time) that it's no biggie - I can do that. Pretty much wrong. Yeah, I can barely walk straight on that thing.

I'm with you on the sportsmanship and the attire. And the media can get out of control. When Lolo whats-her-bucket lost the hurdles because her foot caught on one, they showed her under the stadium and the announcer said, "She found a place away from the crowd and the tears are flowing now." or something like that. Are you kidding me? Leave her in peace, people!

As for the random sport choice, my husband (a skate-or-die guy) is appalled that they have horses prancing around as an Olympic sport (called dressage I think), but no skateboarding. Just keepin' it real, here, right?

Loved the post!

Lilibeth said...

So what I don't get is: "why is softball being dropped from the games and replaced by bmx?" A sport? Next we'll have drag racing and horse racing.

blueviolet said...

I thought Nastia's behavior was "nasty" in general. She's a beautiful athlete but her personality is lacking.

~TAMY 3 Sides of Crazy~ said...

Michelle you took many words out of my mouth! I've been wondering much he same about most these topics. The sportsmanship issue is a big one with me. Hello, you made it to the Olympics, a great accomplishment win or lose, so be gracious for crying out loud! You're right about Bob Costas too! Is he in a time warp while we're all still aging?? And I'm with you on #3. That job is right up my alley!!

Lei said...

Also a huge Bolt fan. Seriously like the most amazing human.

Never knew what a coxswain is - I learn soemthing new form you every time I stop by! :)

Oh and about the faster swim times, all thos records beat this year, I read an article on those spiffy new one piece suits and how they're supposed to have some aerodynamic advantagein the way they are actually made. Did you notice how tight they were? They're lined with something. Obviously I didn't read it very closely, but it was very assuring I can tell you that. :)

MoziEsmé said...

What a humorous list! I love it!

Amanda D said...

Great post! English is the official language of the IOC. Everything is announced in English, French and Chinese.

I agree with you about Nastia's dad and the arguing but the problem in '04 with the Korean guy was that they waited to find out until after so he didn't get the gold and Paul Hamm got to keep it.

Anonymous said...

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Mean Mommy said...

DITTO on the beach volleyball. It seems we've seen more coverage on that than any other event and I just don't get it.

I have to say, though, that I feel bad for Nastia. To have clearly performed on a gold medal level and then be handed the title of second best must have been a big ouch for someone who devotes her life to her sport. They should have both received gold, in my opinion. I thought she behaved with dignity, even though she must have been fighting back tears of disappointment. But that's just my humble opinion. :)

Barbara H. said...

I agree about the skimpy uniforms on some of the women's events. Good grief!

I was thinking the same thing about Bob Costas.

We were smiling over the use of McD's and Budweiser as sponsors -- like people who indulge in those things much would be fit enough to be Olympic athletes.

In what I saw, Valeri didn't miss his daughter's ceremony or argue with the judges. As his daughter was on the way to the podium, the US gymnast's team coach was explaining how Nastia came to be in second place, that's all. Nastia herself was wondering in an earlier exchange with her dad, as were the broadcasters and probably everyone viewing. From what the broadcasters said, there is no arguing with the judges because the rules for tiebreakers were determined beforehand. I don't know of he filed any kind of protest later, but in that brief moment they showed at the time, it wasn't arguing and it wasn't during the medal ceremony. I felt bad that he was accused of such in this post.

dianne - bunny trails said...

Awesome post! I especially love the idea of the Chinese Firedrill Competition. LOL!!!

Great laugh to start my day. :D

laughingatchaos said...

Oh hon, you and I are waaaayy too tall to be a coxswain. ;) I saw a team the other day; the rowers were tall ladies, the coxswain was teeny tiny. Sorry. ;)

Kaye said...

I love, love your writing and you did not disppoint here! Thanks for the laughs!

CONGRATULATIONS! You have won the Mrs Nespy’s Frugal World Gold Medal for August 21st. Go to http://mrsnespy.googlepages.com/grabyourmedalhere to get the code to post your medal if you’d like. Thanks for the great writing!

Kaye
http://mrsnespysworld.blogspot.com

Heather said...

Too funny!

Lisa in California said...

The official languages of the Olympics are English and French. Whenever things are announced, they also include the language of the host country (in this case, China). That might explain why you are seeing so much printed English.

Kevin said...

You and my sister both really wanna see as you call it a 'Chinese FireDrill Olympics' only bad part is Michael Phelps can barely walk apparently.. and running. I hear it's entertaining. I say we send it in to the IOC.

Suzanne said...

Great observations. I think beach volley-ball is just a thin excuse for bikinis. But I'm a little cynical.

jeanie said...

lilibeth's comment is a mantra in our house!!

Do you know, before Libby Trickett married her way into her wonderful name, she was Libby Lenton - still works, wonder if that was what she was looking for in a husband!!

Hair Girl said...

Too funny! Now I can't get the visual outta my head of men's basketball in the 70's. I thought they looked goofy back then and I was in school!

Mike said...

Everyone in my office just turned out because I was laughing out loud. Thanks for making my day

Kara said...

Absolutely adore your writing... this one was no different. I love reading an "article" and having the opportunity to both laugh at it as well as think through the truth of what's being discussed.

My only response is to your comment on sportsmanship and Nastia's father... there are absolutely too many times when parents over-shadow their children's success and as someone who's coached young children and had to deal with those parents, I condone no such behavior. But in this case, I agree with some of the earlier commentors that I don't believe Valeri did miss any of Nastia's medal ceremony and in my opinion (opinion only, of course!), I believe he had a right to at least second-guess the wretched judging (especially tie-breaker) system in place for his daughter's event(s). Someone said it earlier but I can only imagine that it would be hard to stomach the silver medal (which I agree WHOLE-heartedly with you, should not be shameful! - what an honor, even the silver is!) when even the judges have given you enough points to warrant the gold.

But that aside, thank you thank you for your humorous and thought-provoking posts, always.