As our two weeks of fun in London come to an end I’d like to right my wrong and chime in with my two cents on the 2012 Summer Olympics.  I don’t take back my comment from earlier in the week in that I think the Olympics have been more than entertaining but not quite enthralling.  Maybe thirty-one years of consuming the product has numbed me, but if I told you three weeks ago that the Americans would dominate in the pool, the Jamaicans would tear up the track, Roger Federer and Andy Murray would play for the men’s final and Serena Williams would conquer the women’s tennis world, US Women’s soccer, Kerry Walsh & Misty Mae-Treanor, and all things USA Basketball would turn up golden, you would have had no trouble believing be right?  Well it all happened and that’s exactly my issue.  I am fully aware that there were upsets and good stories that emerged but twenty years from now what will be your lasting memory of these games?  Usain Bolt claiming the title of greatest spinter ever?  Probably, but I would have made that claim a month ago and you would have agreed.  My personal memory will be from this morning’s telecast of the Today show where Ryan Lochte announced his dream to move to LA and get into fashion, “I definitely want to make my own clothing.”  At least I’ll be able to tell my grandchildren where I was when I learned that news. 

So I apologize for being Danny Downer here, because truly I love the Olympics and watched the coverage like a junkie at every lunch and evening break I got, but that’s my take on the past two weeks.  In many ways it was very apropos as the English were delightful hosts in every way, just not very memorable.  With all of that said here are a few items that I thought worth bringing up while everyone still has Olympics on the brain – Quick Quips style…

  • The fact that there were two athletes known as “The Flying Squirrel” threw The Wife for a loop from which she never recovered. 
  • It’s pretty much written into NBC’s contract with the IOC that there’s a bitchy Russian gymnast that the American audience will learn to love to hate right?
  • I feel shorted in that I never saw any Rhythmic Gymnastics coverage.  I may just be watching at the wrong times, but of all sports can American really be so bad at that that we don’t even cover it?  Are America’s teenage girls so lacking in rhythm that we can’t even compete on a world stage?  Is this the fallout of a generation raised on a steady diet of Brittney Spears, Miley Cyrus, and Justin Bieber?
  • Water polo has to be one of the goofiest sports out there.  First of all, in the 21st century why do any athletes still wear this kind of attire?  Secondly, the entire sport is built on trying to drown your opponent – that doesn’t strike anyone else as strange?  Finally, how can you take a sport seriously when a guy like this can coach a National team?
  • I think being a water polo referee is every power-tripping lifeguard’s wet dream.  You basically walk up and down the pool deck and blow your whistle every 3.7 seconds and point at people.  Plus you get to wear some pretty sharp white pants… so they’ve got that going for them.
  • I’ve found myself wanting to beat China in the medal count more than I thought I would.  I check the box scores every morning to see who has more, and specifically who has more gold.  As of this writing the US is up 90-80 and 39-37 in gold.  Suck it China.
  • Ivan Ukhov is my favorite non-American athlete.  He literally lost his uniform in the middle of the competition and had to compete in his t-shirt.  He ended up finding his jersey and winning the men’s high jump clearing 7 feet 8 inches.  Awesome.
  • It’s a bit hypocritical but I think snowboarding and some of the other “extreme” sports fit in well at the Winter Olympics but BMX biking doesn’t quite have a home at the Summer Games.
  • I got into all the crew events this year.  I thought it was really cool that the spectators follow the race on their bikes – I totally would have done that.  I also am in favor of any sport where you get to throw the person who was just screaming at you through the duration of the race into a river/lake at the end in celebration.
  • I never understood what people were saying about the Olympic logo looking like Lisa Simpson “servicing” Bart Simpson… oh wait, now I see it.
  • Well, at least there was nothing sexual about the mascot… dear lord.  Those Brits really are cheeky bastards aren’t they?
  • I’ve read the answer online but I’m still not buying it.  Why do divers need to sit in a hot tub between dives?  Their event involves jumping off of a platform or spring board – how exhausted can their muscles be?  I think they’re like a union in that at somepoint they got someone to put in a hot tub for their down time and now they feel entitled and have it written into their labor agreement.
  • Apparently beach volleyball players can wear whatever they want to during a game.  So why is it that they opt for skimpy bikinis?  I’m not complaining, just asking…
  • The next Women’s World Cup isn’t until 2015 correct?  Does that mean we now have three years before we need to hear from Hope Solo again?  Good.
  • …but that means it’s three years until Alex Morgan is a part of our life once more?  Not so good.
  • I said it earlier but Usain Bolt is a freaking dude.  His lead over the fastest men in the world is akin to what I’d like to think I could do against sixth graders.
  • The gold medal for best digital media package from these games is awarded to the New York Times:

  • I don’t get the whole Lolo Jones controversy.  I don’t care that she’s a virgin.  A lot of athletes came from a rough background having to work really hard to get to where they are.  Sure she’s attractive but again, so are most athletic women in their twenties.  Give her teammates who medaled their due.  Get ‘em next time Lolo and the spotlight will be yours.
  • Who would have thunk that in 2012 a ginger from Great Britain would be the longest jumper on the planet?
  • I have absolutely no issue with the Olympic coverage.  All those people going crazy about the tape delay are nuts.  Not to go all Lee Elias on you but, don’t you people have jobs?  I have the luxury to come home for lunch and I watch whatever event is on at the moment.  When I get home at night I want to sit down and watch the big events and particularly those that Americans do well in.  Keep up the good work NBC.
  • On second thought, how about that Dutch field hockey team?  NBC, we really need to get together before Rio 2016 and re-prioritize the focus of your coverage.
  • I’m down with any sport where floppy hats are kosher.
  • I don’t care what you say, the hardest thing in sports has to be trailing in the home stretch of a close race walking meet and having to fight the urge to break into a jog.
  • Back in the 70s and 80s the easy joke was to make fun of East German women and their freakish steroid-induced size.  It’s hard to throw stones when you live in a glass house now I guess.

That’s all I’ve got kids.  Again, it’s been a great Games and I re-iterate my love of all thing Olympics.  I’ll be watching through the weekend and then anxiously awaiting Sochi in 2014.  Thank you London for a lovely job hosting and God bless America for being so flipping awesome. 

Happy Friday everyone!