Olympic PreView

January16/ 2000

 So you consider yourself a hardcore sports fan … (1) Give the approximate dates of the upcoming Olympics; (2) Name a likely US Olympian not named Marion and not in the NBA; for extra credit; name the current Head Honcho of the IOC? Let me guess, all you know is its in Athens and Al Queda will be the prohibitive favorite in Syncronized Terrorism and Greco-Roman Beheading.

   The dates are August 13-29 in Athens … the Olympic Poohba is Jacques Rogge … and Michael Phelps is America’s best hope to win multiple medals.  Vegas oddsmakers have it at 30-1 that even Michael’s mother’s hairdresser doesn’t know who he is or what he does (he swims!).

   The Olympics have gone downhill in America’s sports consciousness faster than Peekabo Street chasing Suzie Chapstick. Even in a “normal year” (defined as !!??!!) it’s doubtful you would have much “awareness” but throw in BALCO, Iraq, Ossama, and Bush v Kerry and you have a “sports event” that will be high jacked by every bizarro special-interest group on the planet.

   Since it’s in “Athens – The Birthplace of The Olympics” maybe we can conjur up some mythical showdown between Achilles and Hector with the winner getting Paris Hilton.

   The #1- 87 stories will, of course, be “terrorism” related for obvious reasons.  The same fanatics that stole Munich are still on the loose in Palestine hating Israel. The best security force on Earth is Israel’s because they don’t give a rat’s butt what Maureen Dowd or Carl Leven might say about their “methods”. Greeks are known for feta cheese and Zorba … not “security” and administrative expertise.

   America HAS to go or else it’s “Bush’s fault” … of course if our team does go and “anything” happens it will be “Bush’s fault”.  Speaking of the absurdity of “blame Bush” … I keep waiting for some Lib-Nut to absolve Dickie of the Torbush-Beamer-Doherty snafus and shift that blame to either Dubyah or John Ashcroft.

   Remember our theory on generic NUTS … it was ultra-Righty Eric Rudolph that likely set off the bomb in Atlanta.  Does anyone remember the name of that hapless galoot that was the first suspect?

   There were two Olympic stories this week … Marion Jones and TransSexuals.  Do I think Marion does/has done illegal steroids?  Yes, I do.  Her “Try and stop me and I’ll sue” press conference lacked any evidence that she was not an active partaker of BALCO products.  Her current boyfriend and father of her son was supposed to attend that press conference but didn’t. I realize that as a former Tar Heel we are suppose to assume she is as lily-white pure as all Tar Heel athletes ALWAYS are including Lawrence Taylor; but I don’t buy it. The whole mess with ex-hubby C.J. Hunter stunk from Day One when she was dating him while an undergrad and he was a UNC Assistant track coach.  

   Marion had “drug tests” issues back in high school and C.J. was banned in Sydney for an illegal substance.  Actually my biggest question about Marion Jones has been why doesn’t she get $5,000 worth of orthodonture and fix her very crooked teeth.  I realize that sounds trite but check out her smile if she ever smiles again.  Her on-track accomplishments are incredible and she has been on the verge of Super superstardom but there has always been “something” not quite right.


Swagger Stumper

John Thomas and Valeri Brumel dueled in what sport?


   I thought the TransSexual decision was resolved back in the days of Tamara Press.  The lovely and gracious Comrade Tamara was the glamour “whatever” of the Soviet “lady” shotputters in the 70s. Now we can look forward to all sorts of Renee Richards’ to emerge with rearranged plumbing and turn The Olympics into The Island of Dr Moreau.  (Only BobLee, Ricky Packard, and Dennis Miller will catch that obscure reference!)

   The East German lady swimmers were a hoot back in the 80s.  Half of those fem-freaks had gills and webbed feet and nobody said a word.  Lord Killanen and Juan Antonio Samaranch made Bud Selig look like Jack Welch. Can we look forward to The Creature From The Black Lagoon showing up as a backstroker for Upper Volta?

   Will the #1 excuse for failing drug tests be “it was for my asthma” or “it was consenual”?

   The big worry about “The Olympics” is the mantra that the rest of the world plus “the Blue States” hate America. Our athletes are being told not to get too patriotic and wave the flag or any such overt “I’m an American and Proud of it” demonstration.  Can we look forward to Michael Moore leading our team in the opening ceremonies? 

   In the “old days” there was enough televising of “Olympic sports” in the year before that certain athletes gained notoriety prior to “The Games” … name one gymnast, swimmer, or track & field athlete other than those already mentioned?

   Remember Jim McKay’s stirring oratory … and even the uber-insipid Bryant Gumbel’s “Up Close & Personal” stories on athletes.  Now it’s all about drug tests, gender tests, and DNA tests.  I have no idea, which network paid bazillions to telecast these Olympics but it will take more than Janet Jackson doing the Full Monty to generate much interest.

    Has “The Modern Olympic Era” passed?  There used to be a sort of global naivite around sports that seems to have pretty well joined skate keys, 8-track tapes, and Nehru jackets in the “used-to-be graveyard”. Let’s blame it on Ronnie Reagan.  If Ronnie hadn’t vanquished Gorbie and the Red Menace we could still have ideological battles decided by “those $%^#@ East German judges” against Bela Karoli’s latest pixie flippers.

   My favorite “Summer Olympics” moment was Mary Lou nailing the vault.  Whatever happened to Dick Fosbury … Igor TerOvanesyn … Alberto Juantorena … and C.K. Yang?  I see Bruce Jenner every September in LA … the guy has had more “face work” than Joan Rivers and wears a button that says “I Used To Be Bruce Jenner”.  

    That no-name Marlin pitcher temporarily “saved baseball” last October … maybe we will have some new fresh face hero emerge to bring us together as a nation for just a few hours in Athens in mid-August.  That would be nice I think.

Alexandra Paul was The Virgin Connie Swales with Dan Akyroyd and Tom Hanks in “Dragnet”.

Swagger is off to Dallas-Ft Worth this weekend … just 36 hours; but always nice to visit old stomping grounds. Might try and catch a Rangers game. I like that Ball Park. 

An ol’ buddy is playing Shinnecock this weekend before the US Open next month.  I saw a guy get a hole-in-one out there on the tip of Montauk a few years ago.

Remember the State fellow that married the Carolina coed in “the perfect wedding” we chronicled a few weeks ago?  Well they are still together … go figure.  Kid had dinner with them Wed night and reported that the new bride makes a mean “mac & cheese”.  

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