Friar’s Random Olympic Thoughts

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If there were aliens observing us, they’d find this whole Olympic thing pretty funny.

I could just imagine their report:

“Every fourth orbit around the sun, the hairless apes on the Third Planet put great emphasis on which fellow primate can move between point A and B the fastest, or who can throw an object the furthest.

Great excitement is displayed over the dominant ape who wins:  these are awarded shiny round pieces of colored metal.”

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The only sports that are truly fair are the ones that you can measure with a stopwatch or tape measure.

When humans are used to judge a score to within five significant figures, I’m sorry, that’s just bullshit.

Come on!   Can you HONESTLY tell me the gymnast with a 16.550 was better than the one who had 16.540?

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They have the biathalon, triathalon, pentathalon, heptathalon, and decathalon.

So that takes care of numbers 2, 3, 5, 7 and 10.

But what about 4, 6, 8 and 9?

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So apparently those munchkin female Chinese gymnasts are all sixteen.

Of course they are.

I know this because the Chinese government tells me so.

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My brother-in-law once said:  it would save a lot of time by scheduling all the running events in one big race.

All the athletes would line up and start at once.

They’d just finish at different times, that’s all.

Hard to argue with that, actually.

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What if Michael Phelps won seven gold medals instead of eight?

The whole planet would be heartbroken for him.

But what about the poor bastard from Upper Dorkistan who didn’t even qualify, who came in Dead Freaking Last?

Nobody cares about the DFL guy.

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Why would I want to watch Womens’ Olympic Softball, when I could watch Mens’ Olympic Baseball?

Why would I watch Mens’ Olympic Baseball, when I could watch the Major League Baseball?

Actually, why would I watch Major League Baseball, when the Olympics are on TV?

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The marathon is said to be the toughest event of the Olympics.

These athletes run a grueling 26 miles in just over two hours.

Compare this to the pistol shooter, who just stands there, firing bullets.

Yet the winners in each sport get the SAME gold medal.

(Boy…THAT seems fair.)

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Candy-Ass Olympic Sports that I think should be banned:

– Pistol shooting (see above).

– Softball (see above).

– Synchronized anything.

– Any equestrian event where they wear a top hat.

– Rhythmic Gymnastics. (C’mon…dancing with a ball and ribbon doesn’t fool me!  You just didn’t make the REAL gymnastics team, did you?)

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Coming back to the poor bastard who came in DFL.

All those years of training and sacrifice…for what?

If he had just stayed home and done NOTHING except watch Oprah and eat bon-bons…

…he’d have accomplished the same thing.

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Boobs + Gymnastics = Mutually Incompatible.

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If it weren’t for the bathing suits,

I couldn’t tell the difference between male and female swimmers.

I really couldn’t.

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Some countries can be really harsh with their athletes.

Like if you come in second, you’re a national disgrace and they send you and your family to the salt mines.

In Canada, it’s different.

Heck, we’re thrilled if the athlete has enough bus fare and makes it to the stadium.

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There shouldn’t be weight categories in boxing.   You’re either the best fighter, or you aren’t.

The only real winner, I think, is the Super-Heavyweight champion.

Because he can pummel not just everyone in his own weight category, but probably everyone below him too.

Midget and flyweight boxers.  Huh.

Sorry.   I just can’t get excited.

Not unless they can beat the Super-Heavyweight guy.

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Sailing as an Olympics sport.

With about seventy different boat categories.

Yeah, right.

Why not hot-air ballooning, while we’re at it?

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If the Touchy-Feely Barbie-Bloggers ran the Olympics,   every athlete would be a winner, just for being a source of inspiration to us all.

There would be no Gold, Silver, or Bronze.  We’d just give out hugs.

Then we’d write about it, and weep tears of joy and gratitude as we did so.   🙂

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62 Comments on “Friar’s Random Olympic Thoughts”

  1. Cath Lawson Says:

    Hi Friar – this is hilarious. I especially loved this bit, “In Canada, it’s different.

    Heck, we’re thrilled if the athlete has enough bus fare and makes it to the stadium.”

    Thanks for the link to my Barbie post too.

  2. Karen JL Says:

    The Olympics are on?

  3. Friar Says:

    @Cath

    Yeah. (heh heh). I get annoyed reading the editorials in the paper, where people say “ooh, we should just be proud that our athletes are competing”. What kind of winning attitude is THAT?

    By the way I think your Barbie Doll post was one of the cleverest things I’ve seen in a while. I hope the expression catches on!

    @Karen JL

    Well, if you’d STOP drawing your storyboards and watch a bit more TV….you’d be more in the loop! 🙂

  4. Writer Dad Says:

    Friar, you are a funny man.

  5. Friar Says:

    @Writer Dad

    I’m relieved that SOME people think this is funny. I”m just waiting for a lot of comments from irate pistol shooters, rhythmic gymnasts, horseback riders, and flyweight boxers. 🙂

  6. Kelly Says:

    Friar,

    ROFLOL as always.

    My big beef is that they’re not ameteurs anymore. That is NOT right.

    The reason we used to get so excited was because you were watching young people prove themselves for the glory of it. I have a hard time now that many of them are already pro. I mean, you’re making money off it, so what’s to prove?

    The Barbie-Bloggers’ Olympics killed me. That’s the best thing I’ve read since… the last best thing you wrote. 🙂

    Regards,

    Kelly

  7. Brett Legree Says:

    But Friar, pistol shooting is hard… 😉

    (Well, there is skill involved, but I see your point.)

    My opinion:

    If it wasn’t a sport in ancient Greece, it shouldn’t be at the Olympics. Then you wouldn’t need every single freaking channel on TV covering it 24/7. I mean, the rare time I actually wanted to watch something “live” the other day, my 400 channel satellite system has like 200 freaking channels of Olympic coverage. I understand the sports channels having it, but the networks too… argh!

    Competitors should have to compete in the buff. No shoes. No “supports”. No fancy swim suits. That way, a kid from a less privileged background might stand a chance of getting there on pure talent, just like the good old days.

  8. Friar Says:

    @Kelly

    Yeah…the USA basketball team is a bunch of NBA players. What’s the point? (What…your millionaire salaries aren’t good enough?). How much more recognition do you need? (Same as the tennis players).

    I wonder how my Barbie-Doll thing comment will go over, though. Will some people take it the wrong way? Will I get excluded from the Group Hugs? (I hope not!) : -)

    @Brett
    Oh, I agree. Pistol shooting takes a lot of skill. But I’m sorry, the shooter is NOT an athlete.

    We should give them a gold medal, with an asterisk and inscrption: “There are NOT atheletes. These are pistol shooters. But thanks for coming out anyway” 🙂

    Naked atheletes. Ugh. Not too crazy about that. Don’t care to see the men. And as for the women..well, half of them are so wiry or bulked up, they already look like men.

    Though if there was a Womens Pole Dance event, I could get into that. 🙂

  9. veredd Says:

    “When humans are used to judge a score to within five significant figures, I’m sorry, that’s just bullshit. Come on! Can you HONESTLY tell me the gymnast with a 16.550 was better than the one who had 16.540?”

    I agree! Watching the Olympics last night, when Liukin and He both received scores of 16.725 and then some elaborate system was used to determine who would get the gold medal, my husband and I shook our heads in disbelief (and not just at the obvious fact that the Chinese gymnasts are KIDS, there’s no WAY she was 16). It was just ridiculous.

  10. Friar Says:

    @Veredd

    I saw that..!!! It made me SO MAD!

    Basically, the judges said these two women were equal, to within one part in TEN THOUSAND.

    Yet they waved the numbers, and Nastia lost.

    Why coudln’t they even have allowed TWO gold medals to be awarded? (Like other Olympic events do? ).

    No…apparently there is another stupid rule that they started, and they no longer do this in Gymnastics.

    What total B.S.

    I watched Bela Karolyi rant about this with Bob Costas afterward…he pretty much said the same thing.


  11. Best. Illustration. Ever.

    @Brett: Naked Olympians? Fencing could be pretty dangerous — and I don’t even want to think about wrestling …

  12. Karen JL Says:

    @ Firar
    My comment was my reflection on how much I care about the Olympics. I don’t.

    For many of the reasons stated above. I think it’s turned into so much bullsh@t about money and politics..bla bla bla. Why don’t they just get rid of the damn thing? (Oh, I know why…money!)

    I mean anything that because a person is .0001 slower than another person is considered a big *loser*…well, that’s just screwed up.

    I thought it was cool back in 2000 when Vancouver won for 2010. But when I see how much money is being spent on them, how the construction is ripping up the city (and closing businesses) for them, it’s sick. And all for *two freakin’ weeks??*

    I’ll be hitchhiking to Hawaii in February 2010. 😉

  13. Karen JL Says:

    Oops…Friar!!

  14. Friar Says:

    @Rebecca

    Thanks! (I always like to throw in the occasional dog cartoon!)

    Notice how the dog judge gave the best score. (Maybe I should have drawn a cat giving a zero!)

    @Karen JL

    Most guys are really into watching sports on TV. I’m kinda missing that chromosome…I really couldn’t care who wins the Superbowl or the Stanley Cup.

    But once every four years, it’s kind of novelty, the Man-Sports Chromosome kicks in and I will watch for those two weeks. Then I get sick of sports all over again.

    You’re right about the money. Countries were sending foreign aid for the Chinese earthquake victims (Canada gave $30 million, I think). Yet China’s paying $40 BiLLION to host the Olympics.

    Hitchhiking to Hawaii in 2010 (Blub blub blub..!) Actually, that would be a good time to go (Everyone else will flocking to Vancouver). 🙂


  15. I agree with Brett – the sports should all be ones that were in the original Olympics or if not then everyone from around the world should get the exact same equipment. Otherwise it’s not even remotely fair.

    Of course, the Olympics really has very little to do with the athletes and much more about the multinationals having an indirect way to advertise and have people feel good about it.

    I didn’t know that about the money (your last comment) – that’s pretty outrageous!

  16. Karen JL Says:

    @ Friar
    My boyfriend is also missing the ‘sports chromosome’.

    …We shall be living happily ever after. 😉

  17. Friar Says:

    @Alex

    Yeah..I’m all for helping out less fortunate countries. But I think the cut-off point should be when a) they can build nuclear weapons b) they have a Space Program, and especially c) when they can afford to host the Olympics.

    You have a good point about original sports. I think some of the traditional ones (running, javelin, discuss, wrestling) are reasonably fair. The Jamaican who won the 100 m sprint trained at home, on a dirt track.

    As for the others (sailing, equestrian, gymnastics, swimming), that’s so specialized. Makes you wonder, are they the best athletes in the world? Or are they the best atheletes who can happen to afford it?

    Remember the African swimmer in 2004? (His country didnt’ even have a POOL!) 🙂

    @Karen
    My Dad just watched sports sports sports sports on TV all the time. Mabye that’s why I got sick of it so much.

    Maybe that’s a good selling point for single guys like me! (Hey, ladies, I dont’ WATCH sports on TV!)
    🙂

  18. Brett Legree Says:

    Never mind fencing and beach volleyball. I vote for “pankration”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pankration

    Full contact, like a mix of boxing and wrestling. Hey, it was a traditional Olympic sport way back when…

    Hey, if they have Mixed Martial Arts on the Spike Network, why not at the Games?

    (apparently they tried to revive a non-nude version for 2004, but it was rejected)

    But like Alex and others (I think) have said, it’s so much about the advertising.

    I mean, Canadian athletes on “Team VISA”? Come. On. What about “Team CANADA”?

  19. Steph Says:

    I love watching people take their bodies to the max. But winning or losing, as competitive a person as I am myself, makes no difference to me. If I could just watch people do their sports, with no winners or losers, just people doing their best work, I’d be happy.


  20. Pankration looks frightening – nude or not.

  21. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    I dont’ know WHERE you come up with this stuff. I read a lot of books and stuff, but this is the first time I ever heard of Pankration. (You must be a walking Wikipedia!)

    Looks like it’s the same as Extreme Fighting. Except the Greeks came up with it first, 3000 years ago).

    @Steph
    What I like about the Olympics is to see the Underdogs beat all odds, and win. (like the Jamaican woman who won the 100 meter sprint). She never won a major title before. She was was so ecstatic, she couldn’t contain herself, and you couldnt’ help feel good for her. THAT’s the kind of stuff I like to watch.

    Unlike some of the other prima-donnas, who might get a silver medal, and they’re pissed off like the world owes them something. So you’re 2nd best in the world. Wah. I have no use for that.

    @Rebecca
    I’m with you. Looks scary. (And looks alpha-aggressive enough, that I think only males would be stupid enough to compete in it!)

  22. Davina Says:

    That’s hilarious! If there was a Comedianathon you’d get my vote for Gold.

    I actually couldn’t give a hoot about the Olympics so I guess I’m missing that sports chromosome too. The Olympics are all I hear about here in Vancouver too.

    I watched a half hour at a friend’s house because they were watching it. Then I saw another half hour that another friend taped. I do have to say that I was impressed with the opening ceremonies, except for the lip-synching episode. That pissed me off when I heard!

  23. Friar Says:

    @Davina

    I missed the opening ceremonies too. Oh well. I suppose I’ll live! 🙂

    How would you like to be the girl who actually sang? Her whole life, she’ll be known as the little girl with the great voice, who the Govt. considered to ugly to to show on TV.

    I heard that that fire-works were partially fake too (digitally added to the TV screen!)


  24. Dare I say it? I don’t even watch the Olympics.


  25. The opening ceremony was an incredible marvel. Seriously. They integrated very ancient and super high tech in such a way that opened huge possibilites. I won’t bore you with the art history, the culture and the show. The important thing that I saw is folks, we better be on our toes. It was in effect as huge an effort as that great wall. And they are ready to compete.

    I love the cartoon. LOVE IT. And these are too true and so funny.

    But Friar, I happen to love watching dressage and steeplechase and yikes, love the yachting too…think miltary history and prowess…imagine them as vikings 🙂

    There is NO way that little Chinse girl is sixteen and Nastia was way better.


  26. Funny as always Friar 😉 Do they have dancing in the Olympics or is rhythmic gymnastics as close as it gets? I could never understand why dancing isn’t considered a sport as well as a performing art.

  27. lbc Says:

    As a new synchronized swimmer, I can’t agree with you on this. Synchro is an incredibly hard sport to learn and master. We shouldn’t be penalized because part of our job is to make it look easy. There are a lot of things you have to think about during any given moment of a routine. Is my core tight? Toes pointed? Arms at a precise angle? Extended through my fingernails?

    And that’s before you add other people to the pool. Then you have added concerns like: Am I in my position of the pattern? Am I traveling as fast as everyone else? Did I hit the same angle as my teammates? Am I on count? Oh crap she just kicked my noseclip off. Where’s my spare? Can I find it and put it on without missing a beat, losing height, screwing up the figure, getting off count or letting the judges see?

    That’s just a small portion of what goes into a routine. Knowing all of this, I’m constantly amazed at how many people are so comfortable declaring that synchro is not a sport. But then I suppose it’s very easy to sit in judgment over something you’ve never actually tried.

  28. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar,

    See, it’s like this, I work at “The Factory”, where independent thought is not encouraged. Of course, I didn’t get the memo, and my little brain is bored bored bored… 😉

  29. Friar Says:

    @Urban Panther

    You’re not the first. I’ve read some blogs, where others arent’ interested. Some are even deliberately boycotting the Olympics.

    @Janice
    I missed the opening ceremony, but I saw clips. (With the thousands of people, including people rapelling down the big spherical “Death Star”. It looked pretty awesome.

    Except the parts that they faked (like the digitally enhanced fireworks, and the Chinese girl who wasn’t actually singing). 🙂

    I think I would get more interested in sailing if they were able to attack other boats and board them! HNYARRGH!!!! 🙂

    @Melissa
    Weren’t they considering ballroom dancing last Olympics (as a demonstration sport?) I agree, though. Why dont’ they have ballet, then?

    In the early 1900’s, they had it. (Croquet too).

    @lbc
    ” But then I suppose it’s very easy to sit in judgment over something you’ve never actually tried.”

    Well….YEAHHH!!! It IS easy to judge! That’s why I do it! (insert tongue-in-cheek here). 🙂

    But (more seriously) thanks for commenting, and telling us more about synchro swimming (I bet very few people actually know what’s involved).

    I agree that Synchro is incredibly difficult, physically. But my point is, so is ballet dancing. Why isnt’ that an Olympic sport?

    Or Trapeze? Or Tightrope? Tapdancing? Synchorized Aerobics? Cirque de Soleil?

    All those take great physical skill…where do you draw the line? And how do you judge these sports fairly to within 0.001 points?

    Well, that’s my opinion. But I respect yours as well. Thanks for stopping in. Feel free to drop by any time.

    @Brett

    Use that boredom to keep coming up with your wild and crazy Blog posts (that’s what I’m trying to do too).

    Wonder if the Vikings had their equivalent of “Pankration”? (Or did they just call it “Kicking the shit out of the Thralls?”?)

    Wasnt’ ballroom dancing a demonstration sport, not too long ago? (Or mabye they were just talking about it).

    I agree…though. Why not include ballet? Or any other dancing? Or yoga?

  30. nancy Says:

    the watching baseball thing…best circle analogy ever.

  31. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar,

    Oh, I’m a bad boy for sure, though I spend more time thinking about business plans or writing my actual books… I tend to write the blog posts at night, or early mornings…

    If I had to pick a “sport” to add in that doesn’t really belong, it would be “professional computer gaming”… hey, why not? There is skill involved, you have to train to be good at it (if anyone doesn’t believe me, go and try to play Quake 3 or something online right now… you’ll get a whuppin’ if you don’t know what you’re doing).

    Besides, watching folks blow each other to flaming bits of hamburger is pretty exciting compared with some of the other sports that are already in the Olympics… even if it is only simulated…

  32. Friar Says:

    @nancy

    Thanks! (Now, let’s just hope I don’t offend some women softball players in the process!)

    @Brett
    Bet you’d work up more of a sweat playing Quake 3 than you would during PISTOL shooting! 🙂

  33. Rita Says:

    Friar,

    Sorry. I just CAN’T relate to this post. I haven’t given the Olympics (is that what you call them?) any thought. What is it? Athletes competing or something? How does it work? Is there a blog-o-lympics? Any information you could provide on this cultural phenonenon would be appreciated.

    Or is it just Canadian. Do you have like Chinese Canadian gymnasts competing against some other (like, maybe) Jamaican Canadian gymnasts?

    Please, next time an intro into the topic would be helpful. And that Canadian Phelps guy DOES sound pretty cool, I guess. For a Canadian.

    🙂

    Rita

  34. Rita Says:

    @ Brett,

    Are you saying that Candian Christians should be thrown to Canadian lions? Oh, wait – that was the Romans, not the Greeks. So you’re saying that Canadian…oops, no more on THAT!

    Rita

  35. Friar Says:

    @Rita

    The Beijing Olympics are kind of like Scooby-Doo’s Laff-a-Lympics.

    But in real life, with human beings instead of Hanna-Barbera cartoon characters.

    Hope this helps you understand better. 🙂


  36. Friar-What, we can’t atttack other boats and board them?

    Brett- A friend of mine founded the Cyberathlete Professional League. I was a guest at one of their international tournaments here in Dallas. Serious prize money at stake. Kind of like watching poker players arriving in Vegas for the big game for this, but these were very pale looking kids. This was a two day event. They had one whole huge game room that was dark and pizza was delivered round the clock… seriously. The event competitors played in an adjacent lighted room on all identical equipment, all things made equal , so that it was skill that determined the winners.
    Until he shut it down a few months back, they had about 10 international tournaments a year all over the globe and gave away about a million a year in prize money each year.
    So those cyberathletes would show up in major numbers at an Olympics. You’d just have to keep them in pizza.

  37. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    That would make the sport worthwhile, I think. Mabye your boat is faster, but so I’ll take it instead (and set fire to my old one with you in it!). Mabye keep the losers as galley slaves and make them row.

    @Brett and Janice

    There was a Southpark episode, where the kids got hooked on this on-line video game. They got fat and lethargic…they’d sit there in the room, playing non-stop, while the parents brought in food (Pizza pockets).

    There was this really hilarious scene (but gross) where Cartman had to go to the bathroom. (I won’t elaborate here). But it’s Southpark at it’s Finest!


  38. I think I have sailed with those guys. I know I have been mistaken for a galley slave… course I do make the best sailing sandwiches ever. 🙂

    ooh more south park..er, cultural research.

  39. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    If you were on my boat, I woudlnt’ force you to row. (But I’d probably still ask for some sammitches!) 🙂

  40. Brett Legree Says:

    @Janice,

    I think I remember seeing you in my Viking crew…

  41. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    I bet you Janice would look pretty hot, in a helmet with horns. 🙂


  42. Blush. Sammitches coming up-made specially for Vikings. 😉

  43. Ellen Wilson Says:

    I cannot get excited about the Olympics. It is all a bit…oh I don’t know…militant for me.

    Boobs that are small work well in gymnastics. There are these things called sports bras that help mash your boobs in.

    Yeah, I heard you compare yourself to Skipper on your Gilligan Island/Splat Creek comparison.

  44. Brett Legree Says:

    All women look hot in horned helmets.

    Makes them look horny, you know.

  45. Friar Says:

    @Ellen

    Not ALL events are militant.

    Like twirling a ribbon, or lying underwater and moving your legs in the air.

    That seems pretty harmless to me…!

  46. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    Except the Fat Opera Women who sings (when it’s all “over”).

    She frightens me.

  47. Brett Legree Says:

    @Friar,

    Just have more wine then… and all will be okay 😉


  48. I watch it here and there.I like some of the gymnastics but I find myself sceptical of anything that might get a recall when they find out in six months that that were speed enhancing drugs involved. It’s old.

    Pretty funny stuff Friar!

  49. Friar Says:

    @Wendi

    Gymnastics is one of my favorite things to watch (I just don’t like the judging, that’s all).

    Some of these women (especially the runners) look so stringy and muscular, and they have such strong jawlines….you gotta wonder if there isn’t any drugs involved.

    Looks like half of them can beat ME up…!!!

  50. Friar Says:

    @Brett

    Yes, with enough wine, even the scary big-horned Opera women will start to look better! 😉

  51. veredd Says:

    Yeah, it made us mad too. It was beyond ridiculous.


  52. Maybe Friar will draw a little sharpei puppy pleasing all the judges….: )

  53. Friar Says:

    @Janice

    Basil would EAT the Sharpei (or probably try to hump it!) 🙂

  54. Friar Says:

    @veredd

    I guess we can look forward to more of the same type of judging with rhythmic gynamstics, synchro swimming, and diving.


  55. […] a taste from one of his recent posts with some thoughts on the Olympic games. If there were aliens observing us, they’d find this whole Olympic thing pretty […]


  56. This was indeed hilarious! Ban all candy-ass sports or let them have their own candy-ass Olympics. I’m really pissed this year that the TV coverage has gotten so blatantly homered in the US. If we don’t have a favorite they may no televise the event.

    Also way to much beach volleyball!

  57. Friar Says:

    @Tom

    I was reading about the history of the Olympics. Just be thankful we’re not in the early 1900’s, when they had CROQUET. 😦 That’s ULTIMATE Candy-Ass!

    I actually prefer the American coverage this year. We don’t necessarily always have qualified broadcasters. It’s almost like listening to a high-school kid do the play-by-play.


  58. When are you putting out a book? You are a riot. A compilation of all your blogs into a book would make for such a great gift item. I hope you eventually do it.

    I could not agree more with your observations, nor could I say it better, especially the Chinese 16 year olds, swimmer gender, and Phelps loser-winner perspective.

  59. Andy Says:

    WOW! the michael Phelps thing you mentioned is so true! What if it was 7 ….

    I commend him though, he worked hard to get where he was. I read on his background… it truely is inspiring.

  60. Friar Says:

    @Jaden

    You’re not the first to suggest this! But I feel I’m still getting my “sea legs”. I”m just starting to discover what people find funny. I figure if I keep doing this, within 6-12 months, I’ll have a collection of 30 “good” posts, that perhaps can be put into a book. Maybe even an E-book.

    Maybe I can be like another Dave Barry (who’s humor columns are syndicated everywhere!).

    @Andy

    Yeah…I admit, though, I was still cheering for Michael Phelps. (I find if Canadians aren’t going to win, then cheering for Americans is the next best thing!)

    But it’s true. He could have had seven medals, which still would have been freaking unbelievably awesome..but we’d still feel bad for him.

    I always wonder about the DFL guy (who you never hear about). Maybe he’s crying all the way home. I feel sorry for those guys…they probably worked just as hard. They just didnt’ have that extra 0.05 seconds of speed.

  61. lbc Says:

    Thanks for the welcome, Friar.

    To answer your question on judging…we have a pretty detailed rulebook. If you got to see the duet techs, you may have noticed that each routine had specific figures in them. The execution of those figures are worth 50% of the routine.

    Within the execution, the judges are looking for specific elements as defined by the rulebook. The score can drop based on how low the swimmer is, if they wobble on a spin, if they aren’t extended through their body or if they’re aren’t synchronized.

    Regarding other sports that aren’t in the Olympics, but are still challenging, it seems to me it’s based on worldwide competition level. From what I can gather, baseball/softball are being dropped because the US is too dominant in those sports. I could be totally offbase here, but this would also be why synchro and gymnastics are still in. There’s much more drama in a hotly contested race than in a total blow out.

    Think about it. Even Michael Phelps had some close calls before ultimately winning his eight golds.

  62. Friar Says:

    @lbc

    You make some good points.

    I understand that there are established rules for judging. But I think there’s considerable human error.

    On a scale of 10, humans are probably accurate to plus or minus 0.2. So if someone wins with by 0.01, you really can’t say they’re THAT much better, not with any statistical certainty.

    On the other hand, the electronic clocks are probably calibrated to plus or minus 0.0001 seconds. So if Michael Phelps wins by 0.01 secs., you know he won fair and square, within the margin of error.

    I also get mad where it’s quite obvious a judge gets a score wrong. (Not necessarily synchro swimming, but any judged sport).

    Time and time again, you see this. One judge is out to lunch. Everyone sees it: the sportscasters, the competitors, the audience, the coaches. Yet nothing is done about it. Some poor athelete is devastated, by human error. (And possibly worse…weren’t there stories of a French figure skating judge being corrupt?).

    Not that all judges are like this, but when you measure something my machine, it’s a lot more fair.

    (That’s what we need for Synchro swimming…ROBOT JUDGES!) 😀


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