Tuesday, August 12, 2008

"U-S-A! U-S-A!"

I don't know anything about sports. I never played sports. I never watched sports. A few years ago, I inadvertently got swept up in the Winter Olympics and became fairly obsessed with it. And it wasn't so much the sports angle, though the feats of athleticism were impressive. It was the little mini-documentary profiles they show about the athletes that manipulate you into caring about them. I'm a total sucker for that crap. Triumph of the human spirit and overcoming impossible odds and all that rot.

I still prefer the Winter Olympics over the Summer Games because I like my Olympics cold with a cup of hot chocolate and a chenille throw on the couch. But I give the Summer Games a chance, too, and usually get swept up in the drama. So far, we've mainly been watching swimming and gymnastics which, besides wrestling, are the closest things to figure skating available. I'm happy for Michael Phelps and all, but now he strikes me as just greedy. Plus, his mini-documentary was mostly about no matter how much he eats, he can't gain weight. Sorry, that never elicits sympathy from me. So I've been rooting for whoever is bucking the system and refusing to wear those crazy full-body swimsuits.

The gymnastics have been pretty amazing, too. And I couldn't help but get wrapped up in the story of the 33-year old Russian gymnast who defected to Germany to save her son's life and ended up on the German team. Take that, you little 16-year old bitches. Then we watched the men's gymnastics team win the bronze last night. The big tear-jerker was the guy that didn't make the team and was put on the alternate list, then some other guy got injured, so they let the alternate guy on the team, but only in one event. Then all the team members screwed up their events, so it came down to the alternate guy (who was going last, of course) to save the scores and win the medal for the team! It was like an 80s teen sports movie with Emilio Estevez and Rob Lowe and I couldn't get enough of it.

So what does any of this have to do with my year in Asheville? Nothing, really. Except we're watching it for the first time in HD, which is very cool, except it proves once and for all that concealer isn't fooling anyone. Sorry, Bob Costas.

No comments: