Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Beijing 2008 Starts... TODAY

What's that you say? Friday? False. That's the Opening Ceremonies, homes. The first competition of Beijing08 began today -- Wednesday -- with something called "women's football." Not sure how women can play football, but, Hey, it's the Olympics! Right? Everyone gets a turn!

Anyhow, I apologize if this news comes as a bit of jolt, but no matter -- the important thing is that you've still had ample time to go see Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Warrior. Twice. So in light of that, let's take a little look ahead to all that lies in store for us -- athletics and otherwise -- during these three glorious weeks, using the most inspired element of M3 as our ruberic...

GYMNASTICS: Funny floor-routine music, impressive feats of athleticism and, this year, domestic intrigue: the US "women" could once again take home Olympic team Gold, just like those fetching young ladies did in Atlanta in 1996. Major difference? A team-wide crush on my part will would now be entirely inappropriate.

Excitement level... 10 warrior yetis

Running, swimming, pistol shooting, equestrian, and fencing. Remind me: when exactly was this event "modern"? I feel like a truly modern pentathlon would consist of Halo, Eating Snacks, Getting Fat, More Halo, and Whining. That said, I do like the spirit of this poorly-named event. I would like it more, though, if you had to fence another person while you were each riding a swimming horse, with the other competitors shooting at the both of you as they run along the riverbank. Then we all switch.

Excitement level... 5 warrior yetis

Will Michael Phelps break medal-winning records? Probably. Will I care? Doubtful. Let's be honest - swimming is the most overrated sport on the docket every four years. Having multiple "discplines" for the same act -- swimming -- is like contesting a 400 on the track but making everyone run backwards, or walk on their hands. It's asinine.

Excitement level... 1 warrior yeti

Also known as, LeBron's Chance to Meet His Future European Teammates. What does it say about Northeast Ohio if LBJ is talking more about playing in Russia than he is about re-signing with Cleveland? Oh, and if I hear the USA team automatically referred to as "The Dream Team," I may try to choke on my own tongue. There was ONE Dream Team. There will only be one Dream Team. I'm not sure anyone has ever laid awake at night dreaming about Tayshaun Prince playing ball.

Excitement level... 6 warrior yetis

I hear the Women's portion of the Olympic basketball competition was so unwatchable it had to be subsidized by the Men's portion. Hey-o! But here's hoping this guy travels to China to support his favorite WBNA-ers and to serve as an ambassador for our nation.

Excitement level... 0 warrior yetis

I like trampolines. When I was a kid, my neighbor had one one time and it was fun.

Excitement level... 9 warrior yetis

Maybe the best game ever invented, if only because in 68 tries, ben has beaten me exactly 2 times. To get a sense of what that looks like, watch Trinidad's Dexter St. Louis take on Wang Hao of China in the early rounds. Won't be pretty.

Excitement level... 8 warrior yetis

What do you do here? Grapple. Throw your opponent. That. Is. Awesome. I mean, even the
name sounds cool. Joo-doe. Jooooooo-doe. Moreover, it's the sneakiest of all martial arts, as "judo" means "gentle way" -- you hear that, you start to think you're about to get a massage or maybe some sort of exotic aromatherapy/facial peel and then WHAM!

Excitement level... 8 warrior yetis

WUSHU: I'm pretty sure this is some sort of traditional food item. Not sure how it made it onto the Competition Schedule.

Excitement level... incomplete

BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Not as sexy as it sounds. Or as it could be.

Excitement level... 3 warrior yetis

Not NEARLY as sexy as it sounds. Or as it could be.

Disappointment level... 100 warrior yetis

HANDBALL: Handball might be the coolest, most underappreciated ball sport there is. It's like soccer and basketball and hockey and ultimate frisbee rolled into one. Could some trampoline have been thrown in there for good measure? Sure. But there's still a lot of jumping, diving and balls flying everywhere. In other words, it kind of sounds like my typical Friday night.

Excitement level... 7 warrior yetis

Also known as Track and Field. (I will be using Athletics because it is beautifully compact, yet all-encompassing.) Do I even need to say that there is no better Olympic sport? There's more history here than in any other sport. No subjectivity like in gymnastics. And the Beijing08 edition should be a doozy when it comes to storylines: Lagat's double... the ouster of Russian cheats (unfortunately they still haven't caught the dirty-as-hell Russian steeplers)... Bolt v. Powell v. Gay... Jamaica gunning for the 4x100m WR... tons of talent in the 800m...

It just goes on and on.

Excitement level... 3,000,000,000 warrior yetis


Jake said...

You have to give the IOC credit for getting some of the women's team sports out of the way before the actual games & television coverage begins.

And I agree with the awesomeness of handball.. that was a staple game in the exercise and conditioning class I taught last winter. Its intense!

Jesse said...

But what about Phelp's fu manchu? Isn't that enough to bring up one more Yetti?

Drew said...

I thought womens volleyball deserved at least a 7

Ben said...

I think I'm with Drew, misty may and kerri walsh were the feel good story of the non-track games last year. Come to think of it, they were sometimes the feel TOO good story. Shame on you, Drew. sinner.

Jeremy said...

No bonus points for the 'stache, sorry. I mean, who does Phelps think he is with that moustache? Steve Prefontaine? Well, I have news for him... he is no Steve Prefontaine. Specifically, Phelps won't be finishing fourth in any of his races.