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August 26, 2004

The Games of the XXVIII Olympiad

Just a few thoughts that came to mind during the boring (non-sports) parts of the Olympics coverage. Sharing the love with my fellow citizens of the world:

Iraqi Soccer

Now that Uday Hussein is running the torture chamber for Allah, the Iraqi soccer team has suddenly begun to play better than ever before. You might have to look hard to see any gratefulness from the Iraqi players or coach.

Star player Ahmed Manajid asked: "How will (Bush) meet his god having slaughtered so many men and women? He has committed so many crimes."

I guess a good old electric shock to the scrotum was just the thing Ahmed liked after a tough game. On behalf of America, I apologize to Ahmed for robbing him of one of life's little pleasures.

Manajid said if he was not playing soccer "for sure" he would be home in Falluja -- a hotbed of resistance to the U.S.-led occupation -- fighting American soldiers.

Ah. Many a revolution has been derailed by a carelessly scheduled sporting event.

"Uh, guys. I would love to oppose British tyranny with you, but I've got polo this afternoon and croquet first thing A.M., so crossing the Delaware will just not work for me." -- G. Washington



Euro Vacation or Worse

While watching the Olympics almost every night, and seeing people from foreign lands, I am reminded of how little I wish to visit any of them. While many people view a trip to Europe (or worse) as a treat, it seems to me like a cruel and unusual punishment. I'll exclude Australia, Canada, and maybe Britain, but the rest of what's out there looks like a nightmare.

Why would I leave my home, my dog and my Tivo to spend thousands of my hard-earned American dollars acquiring severe jet lag, eating questionable food, and being sneered at behind my back (at least by those polite enough to wait until my back is turned)? I can learn everything I need to know about these countries on the Travel Channel, and I am spared the inconvenience of learning it in a country that smells like rectum.

It makes no sense to me, though I never understood the thrill of slumming.



The Olympics - A Time to Put Aside Our Differences

The Olympics are supposed to be free of politics, but I'm hearing a great deal of booing for American athletes this year. It's more than the usual "cheer for the Americans, but cheer louder for the underdogs," which I expect. This is actual booing of American successes. If I can applaud the achievements of Chinese and French athletes, I would hope that other people could put aside their dislike for America to support our athletes.

Every time I take a try at humility, I run headlong into the unavoidable fact that I am better than other people.



China is Logan's Run

The 2000 silver medalist in the 10m platform in Sydney is 21 years old, so the Chinese replaced her with a pair of teenagers. China is actually the civilization from Logan's Run.



The Olympics are Run by Idiots (Part 1)

Greece? Are you kidding me? Let's have a gigantic Olympic Games and try to fill 6 million seats... in Greece? Attendance would have been only slightly lower on Io. Let's have the next Olympics in Qatar.



The Olympics are Run by Idiots (Part 2)

Olympic basketball is officiated like a tea party or like a football game, depending on when you're watching. The players don't know what's going to be called next, and you end up with a tentative, disjointed sporting event. This isn't purely an Olympic problem. The most popular American sports all have referees or umpires, and not all of them are good. The problem is more pronounced in the Olympics though, when you add in the language barrier and you some referee from Antigua who has never officiated above the high school level. Still, it's basketball, and basketball is a good thing. I can shrug my shoulders and live with it.

The judged events are another matter. I've never liked them. When something happens in a sporting event, I want to know what it means. Instantly. I don't want to wait for a bunch of judges to get together, crunch the numbers, cut deals, and announce the quality of the performance I just watched. It's the same reason I don't like instant replay in football. You lose the joy of the moment.

Your guy leaps into the air. He catches the ball. He comes down in the end zone. The official's arms go up. IT'S A TOUCHDOWN! Maybe.

Judged events stink, and that's when everything goes well.

Judged events in the Olympics rarely go well. Rules are misinterpreted. The Russians are perpetually unhappy. No two people involved seem to speak the same language. And the judges are fantastically corrupt.

This last bit, at least, they've managed to handle in a manner that would make the United Nations proud. When marks are shown, the little flag showing the judge's nationality appears next to each respective score. Thus we are assured the event is fair. We can now see that the dirtwad judge from Canada will balance out the slimeball judge from Russia. By balancing the relative scum-bagginess of the disparate judges, we arrive at a situation where eight wrongs come within 0.012 points of being a right.

The sporting world would be better off if they packed up the gymnasts, divers and figure skaters, and sent them on the road like Cirque du Soleil. At least with a decent director, the gymnasts might not make that unpleasant thudding sound when they hit the beam.



What is Greece Going to do with these Lovely New Venues?

Thanks to a few billion dollars down the hole, Greece now has the finest man-made kayaking facility known to humankind, along with a pile of other equally useful venues.



Dream Team

I am beyond sick of all the references to the United States men's basketball team as the "Dream Team." It isn't because they were thrown together at the last minute out of the small list of NBA stars and non-stars who were willing to make the trip. It isn't because they're losing to such dogs as Puerto Rico. (Beat Spain today, though).

It's simply because there is only one Dream Team. Take a look at the roster from the 1992 team, because it's easy to forget how insane it was. Jordan, Magic, Bird, Olajuwon, Malone, Stockton, Barkley, Ewing and more. It was the greatest collection of basketball talent in the history of the Earth. They'll have to make a new wing in the Basketball Hall of Fame just for these guys.

The 2004 team might win this tournament, but if they come home with a substandard medal, or no medal at all, can we finally give the Dream Team crap a rest?



Palestinians are Like Cockroaches

It has been 32 years since the Palestinians broke into the Olympic village in Munich and murdered 11 athletes. It is amazing the world has not managed to exterminate them yet, and it doesn't really seem to be trying.

Also, how do the Palestinians rate an Olympic delegation? There they were marching in the opening ceremony as if they were an actual nation. If any band of dangerous outcasts can apply, I'd like to see a contingent of New York street people. They would probably stand a chance at race walking. If you took a ribbon and a ball and handed them to the guy I saw spinning around and staring at the sky in Central Park, you'd have a rhythmic gymnast.

There are still a few days of Olympics left. Don't miss out on the love.

Posted by at August 26, 2004 11:19 PM | TrackBack
Postscript:
First time visitor to House Hraka? Wondering if everything we produce could possibly be as brilliant/stupid/evil/pedantic/insipid/inspired as the post you just read? Check out the Hraka Essentials, the (mostly) reader-selected guide to Hraka's best posts, and decide for yourself.
Comments

Bigwig,

Who is this guy and why are letting him dumb down and mean up your blog? He's got a point about the "Dream Team," but the rest wasn't much more than xenophobic ignorance.

"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime."
--Mark Twain, Innocents Abroad

Posted by: Julep at August 27, 2004 02:49 PM

You kidding, man?!

The Blog is alive again with Hrairoo!!

Go get 'em

Posted by: Clif at August 27, 2004 04:09 PM

Clif,

Don't make me come over there and play Spades with you!

Posted by: Julep at August 27, 2004 06:00 PM

just learned that the American basketball team lost, and I, for one, could not be happier! Can't wait to see how the trade action heats up now.

Posted by: mangum at August 27, 2004 06:15 PM

After 9/11 and seeing how our europeans have behaved since, I too have lost all desire to ever travel to anh European country, except perhaps Italy. No patience for Euro-lefty terrorist lovers and terrorist enablers!!!

Posted by: ronin at August 28, 2004 11:39 AM

Having worked during the "controversial" Salt Lake City games (remember the vote-trading by the Russian and French judges in the couples figure skating?) I can add this to Hrairoo's observation:

The Olympics are run by corrupt, elitist, snooty, kleptomaniacal, Third-World idiots.

If anything, I think Hrairoo was too kind.

Posted by: Captain Holly at August 29, 2004 02:55 AM

After reading what I just wrote, I can't pass up an opportunity for a xenophobic two-fer:

The UN is run by corrupt, elitist, snooty, kleptomaniacal, Third-World idiots.

Posted by: Captain Holly at August 29, 2004 02:58 AM

Um...folks are pissed because we invaded a country on false pretenses...all the while trying to bully them into going along with it...

The Iraqi soccer player who talks about Bush meeting his maker with all that blood on his hands... I wonder myself.

Bush's war was wrong.

Posted by: ScrewyHoolie at August 29, 2004 10:01 PM

What, Screwy Hoolie. You forgot to add "Bush lied!!!" and use the words Cheney-Haliburton-Rumsfeld-Abu Ghraib in your post. You obviously didn't get the party memo about proper netiquette.

Next time, try a bit harder or else we will think you are just some crack pot on crack and pot.

Posted by: El-ahrairah at August 29, 2004 10:35 PM

> Bush's war was wrong.

Restore Saddam!

Posted by: Andy Freeman at August 30, 2004 10:53 AM
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