Hall of Fame
Because... damn. I don't really even care how terrible those girls are at volleyball, somebody needs to give them a medal. As a matter of fact, whoever the hero was at the International Olympic Committee Volleyball uniform symposium who, when it was his turn to offer a suggestion said, "Let's go with hot pants and spandex tank tops"... that guy deserves a medal, too. A gigantic, perfectly shaped, supple yet firm, gold medal. Are you listening, WNBA? If you can't figure out why your ratings are so low it's because dudes don't want to watch extras from "The Hills Have Eyes" run up and down a court while they're not dunking basketballs. And to think that I was once so ignorant to have though that indoor Olympic volleyball was just twelve dudes with Kleinfelter's syndrome smacking a ball hither and thither. Indeed, I have seen the light. My gender bias in sports has been washed away in a flood of congratulatory touchy-feeliness and a Golden Globe worthy performance by whoever the cameraman is for Olympic Volleyball. That guy definitely deserves a medal. Come to think of it, as long as we're handing out medals like clean syringes in Central Park, let's be sure to give one to the guy who decided NOT to field an Irish or Scottish indoor women's volleyball team. I think I'd rather watch Bob Costas pretend like he gives a shit about the heptathlon for an hour and a half.
That's why Michael Phelps smokes so much weed... Modern Warfare 3 isn't going to play itself for three and a half years straight. Hey Michael, it's like three weeks before the Olympics, don't you think that you should start stretching out or something? Shouldn't you get into a pool or, at least, a hot tub before you get to London? If a guy with damn-near two dozen medals in swimming doesn't give a shit about swimming, what hope is there for the rest of us? I've watched several dozen swimming events this past week and so far not a single person has drowned! It's like watching the worst episode of "Deadliest Catch" over and over. Crab fishing can be a cruel mistress and Olympic swimming can be equally as fickle. Soak it up, Ryan Lochte... nobody's going to care how fast you can swim when you're holding up the line at American Eagle because you still can't figure out how to change the register tape after a year and a half. I'm sure Michael Phelps could do it much faster. If his Olympic success and world-wide notoriety have taught me anything, it's that if you're not the greatest swimmer of all time, then nobody has any idea who you are. My apologies to Rowdy Gaines, Darrah Torres, and Mark Spitz... it was really nice meeting you all at the momentarily famous and currently unrecognizable Olympians support group the other night. I passed myself off as a bronze medalist in the 100m butterfly from the Atlanta games to get in, but nobody gave a shit enough to bother calling me on it... and the sign in sheet didn't even have a spot for your name, just two boxes labeled "Michael Phelps" and "Not Michael Phelps." The finger sandwiches were delicious but the bitterness was thick as the London fog.
The good news is that, if you really, really want an olympic medal... all you might have to do is check your local pawn shop. Former olympians need cocaine, too. The landscape for an athlete past their prime is a bleak one, especially if we're talking water polo instead of baseball. And with the price of bronze these days, who can really afford NOT to sell their third place triple-jump medal from the '88 games? The climb to the ranks of elite athlete is a steep one fraught with peril, but at the top is a few blinding moments of bliss.... followed, almost immediately, by an endless and unfathomably dark chasm where you should get used to hearing the phrase, "So, you don't have any sales experience?" After all, being the guy that yells at the real athletes to row from the front of the boat doesn't have the same kind of clout on a resume that it used to. And with the commission rates being what they are right now at Sears, it's a long, bumpy trip to the bottom. Just ask Kerry Strug, the architect of one of the most courageous moments in sporting history.... when you officially peak at nineteen, the gold on that medal starts to tarnish pretty quickly. She'll be okay, though... she's got assistant manager material written all over her. I heard that once, she sold seven extended warranties in a single shift while stuck in a bear trap... that sort of courage is as inspiring as it is rare.
Here's the deal, Gymnasts... I understand that you spend a lifetime training for your moment to shine at the Olympics and I don't mean to belittle that accomplishment with my wry commentary... but it's probably gonna happen anyway. This may sound callous, but I'm not really that impressed that you can do lots of flippies really fast. I'm not impressed that you can do flippies on the floor, I'm not impressed that you can do flippies on the bars, and I'm not impressed that you can do flippies on the big, springy thing. You've successfully spent the entirety of your time on this planet perfecting an athletic endeavor so useless that it's literally only applicable while on top of a balance beam... congratulations? I sure hope that bronze medal was worth the compressed spine and underdeveloped social skills. But, as we all know, the true measure of someone's usefulness as a human being is how effective they would prove to be during the impending zombie apocalypse. And, I'm sorry gymnasts, but if the apocalypse actually happened while I was at the Olympics, you guys would be at the very bottom of my list... way after the archers, riflemen, weightlifters, and anybody whose sport involves a boat. The last person that I need hanging around during a cataclysmic event is a borderline midget with a serious napoleon complex and a nagging, on-again-off-again roid-rage. Now, stop putting chalk all over your hands, quit worrying about your form, and put some shoes on, for the love of God, because we're all about to die. But it's okay, gymnasts, death is a fate far more palatable than working at Subway, which is what you'd be doing after the Olympics, anyway
Consider yourselves warned, rest of the world... if China put half as much effort into invading your lazy-ass country as they do into Winning the Olympics year after year, you'd be eating a lot more rice and a lot less of whatever it is that you people eat in your backwards, non-synchronized diving nation. I get the feeling that even the Chinese doubles ping-ping team could throw a triple gainer in your face in near-perfect unison. And let it be known that any country that takes badminton as seriously as it takes human rights is a country that you should fear no matter how you slice it. China's potential for Olympic dominance, however, is largely woven into the fabric of it's culture. What I mean is, the guy from the nation of one and a half billion who's better at the pommel horse than anybody else is probably going to wipe the floor with you, guy from not-China. And as to women's events in particular, when you're only allowed one daughter, you're gonna want to make it count. And by "make it count," I mean have her feet bound and ship her off to some desolate athlete factory as soon as she can say "uneven parallel bars." Having developed a healthy respect for China's homegrown brand of athletic sticktoitiveness, I hereby propose a bi-national, unilateral Olympic event proliferation treaty. You can have the summer Olympics, except for basketball, of course... and you just stay the fuck out of the winter Olympics. As a matter of fact, you can have that whole hemisphere over there if you just promise to leave hockey alone. Oh, and good luck with that whole Middle East situation, although I'm sure that you'll find a much more expeditious and ruthless solution to that problem.