Wednesday, August 13, 2008

I Still Don't Like Bob Costas but...

I have become obsessed with the Olympics over the past few days to the point where I even forgot to see how my L.A. Dodgers are doing. Luckily, we're still chugging along, 1 game back from the D'backs, and in the usual constant shift of our lineup. The Olympics on the other hand have had in their short 6 days of life proved to be full of fun and random stories.

First, the little girl who sang China's national anthem was actually just a cute face, while the real singer was placed behind the Wizard of Oz curtain, due to some unsightly teeth. Maybe the director of the Opening Ceremonies, Mr. Zhang is just a big fan of Milli Vanelli and C&C Music Factory. Either way I'm a bit surprised by everyone's shock and horror of this bait and switch on the Olympic viewer. If anything we here in the U.S. value looks above all, just look at recent finalists on American Idol, I'm sure that Chicago would do the same thing in 2016 if it came down to it.

Then there was the faux pas by the Spanish basketball team posing for a picture while trying to make their eyes look slanted. I spent some time in that country and they definitely have a different definition of politically correct. I think for most Spaniards any non-Spanish individual is so abnormal to them that other races and nationalities suffer from the most inexcusable stereotypes. The big deal in Spain is whether you're still a good practicing Catholic, had family connected to the Franco regime and if you sympathize with the Basque separatist movement. There is little discussion about the discrimination suffered by immigrants, primarily from Morocco and Africa, and I don't know if that will change soon. It is definitely a case of something that is a big deal to the U.S., but still an evolving phenomenon for other countries.

And finally, Michael Phelps. There is no star bigger than him this year. I love watching how quickly he goes from 3rd to 1st and puts more than entire body lengths between him and his closest opponent. Overall, he just seems like a young kid that channeled all his energy and focus into one thing that he is amazingly good at. His popularity has also made me realize how based on what sport the U.S. is best at in that particular Olympics, the news media and attention quickly shift to highlight it. In the past, it seemed we were all about track and field with Jackie Joyner and gymnastics with Dominique Dawes and Shannon Miller. I remember boxing being big when De La Hoya fought. But I couldn't remember many of the big swimmer names until this year. Now I feel like Piersol, Coughlin, Lesak and of course Phelps are household names and have launched swimming back into the American public eye.

Hey, we're America we like to watch sports where we're guaranteed to win. Which is my soccer loving friends, Professional Soccer leagues will never take off to NBA and MLB levels. The U.S. team just got booted out by Nigeria, geez now that's embarrassing.

1 comment:

DRE DAWG said...

Actually, the loss to Nigeria isn't embarrassing because Nigeria is good (ranked 27th in the world, U.S. is 31st). What I love about the world's national pastime is that it's not closely tied to the team's nation's wealth. Cameroon, Ghana, Côte d'Ivoire, and Nigeria are ranked before the U.S. It's not an elitist sport, everyone from all levels of income can play. At minimum, all you need is a ball and a friend.

Unfortunately, Olympic futbol is being broadcasted from 3am - 9am. Pinche NBC Putos! I lost major sleep when the World Cup was in Korea/Japan, but I'm holding out for the semi-finals and finals for the bags under my eyes to be worth it.

After all, it's the Olympics not the World Cup. 2010 South Africa...I'm ready to go!!!