You Go Girl: U.S. Women Clean the Table
The medal table, that is.
Once again, in the post-Cold War era, the United States has rocked the summer Olympics, winning the most medals and doing so in the premiere events. Only this time, Team USA had to get there without much help from the boys. The American girls left burn marks on the track, defied gravity on the mats, stroked breasts, and slapped balls (hey, I’m talking about sports here, ya perv!) en route to a hefty hardware haul.
Meanwhile, almost every U.S. male Olympian not named Michael Phelps came up short… Men’s volleyball bombed. Their track dominance ended in a streak of Jamaican green and yellow. They left their best gymnastics moves in a vault somewhere (wait for it). What happened?
No doubt they trained as hard and with as much determination as ever. But is the rest of the world catching up? Are other nations spending more money/developing better performance-enhancing drugs to support their athletes? Are Wheaties box appearances not as lucrative as they used to be?
No, I don’t think those are the reasons. I blame the rampant overuse of penis-enlargement pills.
Sure, you look great in spandex, but your center of gravity is thrown way off and you are unnecessarily weighted down. That, and certain contortions required in athletic activities become well-nigh impossible. Anyway, that’s always been my excuse for being bad at sports. “Man, I can’t do a jump shot. The junk bounces around too much, y’know?”
[Be careful saying that, though. You don’t want to end up in a secret two-year relationship with your gym teacher, Mr. Fabriano. Those things never end well.]
Actually, I have no idea why so many U.S. men missed the podium in London. I’m not a sports psychologist or a freakonomist. I only ask questions, not answer them. To answer them, I’d have to know something, and nobody likes a pedant.
On the other hand, the ladies’ events featured so many standouts it’s hard to list them all: The all-U.S. beach volleyball final, where lovers of never-say-die athleticism, teamwork, and fine, fine bikini butts were treated to a visual feast… The basketball team, so overpowering that silver-medalist France was elated to lose by fewer than 50 points… Swimming champ Missy Franklin and her endorsement-friendly smile… Gabby’s gang, the gymnasts who pulled down an assortment of gold, silver, and bronze medals yet needed stepping stools to reach the podiums… And the track sprinters, led by Allyson Felix and Sandra Richards Ross, who made it look so easy that few of us fully appreciate what they accomplished.
As a long-time believer that women can do whatever men can do (although they might do it a different way), I was proud of what the ladies of Team USA accomplished these past two weeks. Unfortunately, I’m pretty much the Andrew Dice Clay of feminists, so I have a hard time not saying, “Wow. She’s hot,” while beaming with said pride. So, to Allyson Felix, Hope Solo, Alex Morgan, Destinee Hooker, Misty May Treanor, Catalina Ponor (yeah, I know she‘s Romanian, but wow, she’s hot), Ellen Hoog (yeah, I know she’s from The Netherlands, but wow, she’s hot), Michelle Jenneke (yeah, I know she’s Australian, but wow, she’s hot), thank you for representing your respective nations with such an amazing blend of grace and grit. While wearing tight shorts.
A note on NBC’s Olympics coverage: NBC has taken a lot of heat for showing premiere events like women’s gymnastics and track-and-field sprinting on tape-delay in primetime, after we already know the outcomes, while featuring goofy shit like power walking live. We know it’s for the advertising revenue, blah blah. The problem won’t exist in Rio’s 2016 Olympics, since Rio is only an hour off of New York time, and by 2020, technology will have evolved to the point that everything will be on demand. Still, nobody likes to be bitched at, even a crumbling, faded TV network.
So how do they respond to the criticism? They lead Saturday’s primetime Olympics broadcast with an hour-long documentary about Winston Churchill! What? I guarantee that every last person in the United States (besides my Uncle Ed) who turned on NBC at that moment was like, “What the fuck is this?”
Dear NBC, regarding your Olympics coverage, I can’t make this any simpler: More Sports. Please.