Well, the 2012 Summer Olympics in London are well underway and people from all over the world - I included - have 1 burning question on our minds. And no, that question is not 'why hasn't Destinee Hooker ever legally changed her name.' The question, in question, is 'what's up with that synchronized swimming?' Now, now. Don't act like you've never made that inquiry! You know you have. We all have. A bunch of swimmer's performing the Nutcracker underwater? What IS up with that?
I'm not trying to offend all our synchronized swimming fans out there. I'm sure in some totally incomprehensible way, synchronized swimming provides great satisfaction for maybe dozens of fans all over the world. What I'm not sure about is whether it should be classified as an Olympic sport. Or a sport in general.
Ok, so I'm not a fan of synchronized swimming. That much is obvious. But I'm not here to denigrate this pseudo-sport alone. There's a whole heap of summer games in this Olympiad that begs the question, 'what's up with that?' For instance:
Race Walking. First of all, race walking is an oxymoron. Like 'jumbo shrimp' or 'first place Mets.' You're either racing or you're walking. You can't do both simultaneously. The object of this activity is essentially to win a race by not going too fast.... Say what, now? That's right, sister! Running is illegal. Competitors can only walk and they have to do it within stringent guidelines, like having 1 foot on the ground at all times and not bending their front leg. This makes them look like they all have to pee really bad, which is race walking's singular entertaining attribute. According to Merriam Webster, the definition of the word race is: a contest of speed. So how can you have a race if it's against the rules to go fast? What socialist sore loser invented this game? Walking isn't a sport. It's something you do when your car is in the shop.
Rhythmic Gymnastics. Admittedly, this event looks extremely difficult to perform. Nothing says pulled hamstring or herniated disc like the spins, leaps and twists of rhythmic gymnastics. That being said, degree of difficulty should not be the sole determining factor when contemplating the legitimacy of a sport. Otherwise, we'd have Olympic Rubik's Cube and nobody wants that. Dancing, juggling, ribbon twirling? That's not an Olympic event. It's a beauty pageant.
Sailing. Ok, new rule. Anything you can do in a paisley button down, khaki shorts and flip-flops while sipping on a strawberry margarita is NOT a sport. It's a fun weekend in the Hamptons. That's that!
Trampoline. Seriously!?! Where, exactly in London, are these Olympics being held? At a Chuck E Cheese? What's next? Olympic pin the tail on the donkey?
Horse Dancing or Dressage. Oh come on now!
Badminton. This one was a close call because badminton has all the necessary ingredients of a real sport. Strategy, physical prowess, head to head competition. It's all there. Unfortunately, somewhere along the line, it was adopted by the National Backyard Barbecue Association as a weekend diversion and I simply cannot get past that. Declaring summer shindig activities like badminton, lawn darts or Baggo actual sports is not Kosher. The world doesn't work that way. And if it did, beer pong or flip-cup would make so much more Olympic sense.
Field Hockey. Field Hockey was invented in the early 1800's by Sir William Blackheath of England. As legend tells it, on a cold winter's morn, Blackheath headed to a nearby frozen pond to teach himself how to ice skate. He spent the next 5 hours on his tuckus. Later that same day, a bruised Blackheath took to the street with an old pair of roller skates strapped to his feet yet, unfortunately suffered the same painful result. Following his final spill, Blackheath ripped his skates off his feet, threw them to the curb and yelled 'screw this!' 15 minutes later, skateless hockey was born. I don't know if any of that is true, but it sounds credible. Hockey without skates? What is that? You can't invent a sport by dumbing down another sport. That would be like taking the sport of swimming, removing the water, then having the athletes run from 1 end of the pool to the other and renaming the whole thing Land Swimming. Hockey is played on skates! Final answer!
Basketball. This only applies to USA basketball. All you other countries, whose hoop skills range from mediocre to Philip Seymour Hoffman in Along Came Polly are excluded. As for the United States and it's decision to send NBA super-talent to London, the only humane thing to do now would be to pull out of the tourney immediately, get on a plane home and never speak of these games again. As if we needed to give the rest of the world another reason to hate us. Nothing says imperialist scum like United States 156, Nigeria 73. Anyone who derives enjoyment from that is probably the kind of depraved sicko who enjoys pulling the wings off of butterflies. Lebron James, Kobe Bryant and Carmelo Anthony versus Mokhtar Ghayaza, Pablo Prigioni and Koko Archibong are to competitive basketball what the Harlem Globetrotters were to competitive basketball. All that's missing is Chris Paul dousing the crowd with a bucket of confetti.
And there you have it. One man's list of head-scratching, Summer Olympic 'sports.' I kept it short and sweet but this list could have extended way beyond it's current length. These games provide a vast pool of spurious sporting events to pick on. Archery, for one, was close to making the cut. Mainly because mankind has made great strides in weaponry over the last 1000 years. There's no slingshot or catapult events in the Olympics. Why archery?
Well, you get the picture. What it really boils down to, I guess, is I'm just not a great, big fan of the Summer Olympics and I'm certainly not condemning anyone who is. To each his own. That's what makes America so great. If you draw pleasure from a water polo match then I truly hope you enjoy each and every minute of these games. It's all meant in jest, anyhow. By the way, water polo-what is up with that?