“What amazing athletes they are yeah,” the lush exclaimed, motioning in my direction.
I glanced back up at the TV just in time to see a pimply-faced, one-hundred pound, gangly Kyrgyzstanian archer pull back a crossbow, getting ready to send his arrow spiraling into the Beijing sky.
“Yeah,” was all I could muster to shoot back at the intoxicated primate, as I noticed one of his tossed popcorn kernels had made my pint of Sierra Nevada its final resting place.
The archer had released his arrow and at no point during the entire process did this out-of-shape archer (yes this is a word, I looked it up) break a sweat or seem to put duress on a single muscle in his body. I truly believe the guy could have been high on LSD and obtained the same score.
Amazing athlete or just one step removed from a game of darts at a local dive bar? No offense to the archer community out there, but I’m pretty sure I can steal a few bar darts, find a sturdy rubber band and shoot to my heart’s content with just about as much success. And what is the off-season training regiment that these archers are participating in? I’m pretty sure they aren’t doing two-a-days and running up flights of stairs to gain that competitive edge. And are there famous archers that these “athletes” aspire to live up to?
And is it me or is every event in the Olympics always resulting in a new world record? Michael Phelps is on pace to break eight world records this Olympics. You’re actually telling me that throughout the entire history of the Olympics there hasn’t been a single guy better than Michael Phelps in every single event, or is the official guy in charge of the stopwatch just losing a step each Olympiad?
Lets take archery for example, since were on the subject…
“Next we have Svetlana Kohsivich from Russia…She pulls back the bow, wow, look at that amazing muscular structure – Svetlana has been training 19 hour days for competition…and she shoots – Bulls eye – new world record, amazing!”
“Now Chips Magee stands up, a 7-11 store clerk from North Dakota. Lets see… reading his profile, Chip’s training regiment consisted of twelve PBR’s a day and a heavy dose of illegal narcotics… lets see how he does - Chips reaches back, grabs a Mickey’s 40, pounds it, shoots the arrow-bulls eye! New world record…! What an exceptional athlete he is...”
Chips relaxing after an exhilarating archery match
So the question is, what really determines a sport? I feel that any sport I can do while intoxicated and achieve the exact same success rate if I was sober should not be a sport. This eliminates about half of the summer and winter sports.
We’ve already covered Archery, but there are additional sports that really don’t have a place. Badminton? Canoeing? Kayaking? Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved a game of badminton and often have enjoyed a day of leisure drinking and paddling a kayak, but I just can’t support them as Olympic sports. Maybe if there was just one kayaking event, I would be ok with that, but is it necessary to have both flat-water kayaking and slalom kayaking as events? Are these really spectator sports anyway? I apologize if I’m upsetting any slalom kayaking enthusiasts, but really? Other than a few lost hikers and a couple of moose having a leisurely drink at the river’s edge, who is watching these events? Can’t we just send a few archers in kayaks out on the open water with a few tall cans and see who can stay upright on their kayak the longest without accidentally submerging themselves in the water or taking an arrow in the jugular? That would take care of three unnecessary sports right there.
Badminton is a sport that I thought previously only existed during my middle school P.E. classes. Before these Olympic games, I thought finding people that play badminton on a competitive level would be about as hard as convincing my Mom to crowd surf at an Alice in Chains concert, but I guess you live and learn. Are these badminton players training year round at underground badminton communities, surfacing only to compete for Olympic glory? I can’t recall a single time I met someone and asked him or her what they do and they respond with, “I play badminton for a living.” Some may find badminton exciting, whereas I on the other hand find it rather uninspiring. However, I do find it comical watching grown men dressed up in full pajama looking outfits like the ones four-year old kids wear with the attached slippers stabbing each other with swords. Since fencing rules make absolute no sense, we could eliminate both badminton and fencing in one fell swoop and introduce Fencemitton to the world. This game of skill would combine the riveting excitement of badminton with the ferocious stabbing of fencing. Rules would be simple: a player hits the shuttlecock over the fence and the partner on his team will run to the other side and can maim, stab, bite, or eye gauge the opponent on the other end until the shuttlecock is returned to the other side. The team with the most points, or the most flesh wounds would be deemed the winner. You could also combine this with Taekwando. (You haven’t really watched a sport until you’ve seen someone jump kicked while trying to return a shuttlecock).
Now were getting somewhere!
I finally had the pleasure of watching a real water polo game for the first time and to my surprise, I’ve actually been playing water polo for years! The rules are fairly simple; you throw a ball around the pool while attacking, strangling, groin kicking, or drowning your opponent. Ultimately you’ll have to throw the ball into the net, but that is not exactly an arduous task; the goalie covers about 10% of the actual goal and since he or she is treading water, they have the same vertical jump as a cow on rollerblades. (The team with the most goals or players remaining that still have full use of their family jewels are deemed the winners). How does this differ from you and your buddies drinking a few cold ones, jumping in the pool and attacking each other for an hour and a half while attempting to get the ball between your Mom’s petunia’s and your dog Scrap’s water bowl?
I think if we all band together to support the change in Olympic sports we can bring the Olympics back to the way they were when the Olympic forefathers started them in Greece. Of course, back then they did compete naked and while that may not work for the new archery games, since I’ve heard taking an arrow in the groin can be slightly painful, I think we’ll be on the right track…
Some future sports to consider?Ro sham bo
Pin the Tail on The Donkey
Chutes & Ladders
Duck Duck Goose