So we’re a week into the 2016 Olympics and there are a couple things that have been bothering me. These aren’t necessarily things that have never bothered me before. But they are things that I have just been keenly aware of this Olympiad and I just had to write them down and get other people’s input.
First, Tennis: My wife is a huge tennis fan. So it’s been on my TV around the clock for the last week. And this is something that’s not just about the Olympics, but here is where I’ve really noticed it. Tennis is a sport for pansy-ass wusses. And I’ll tell you why. I acknowledge that to be good it takes a lot of practice and training. These people are impressive athletes and the dedication that it takes to get to their level is impressive. So WHY THE FUCK DO YOU NEED ABSOLUTE QUIET WHILE YOU ARE COMPETING?!?!? Steph was watching a Serena Williams game the other day and literally after every single point the smart referee guy would get on his loudspeaker and yell at the audience, “quiet! Please! We must have silence. Please be quiet, please!” Every single point!
If I were a fan in the stands, I’d be pissed. It’s the fucking Olympics. In Rio! I didn’t spend a bajillion dollars to fly halfway around the world and watch the greatest tennis on Earth silently. I came to have fun.
This actually isn’t just the olympics. Tennis demands silence in every tournament, and I think it’s stupid every single time. I asked Steph about it and she said that it’s important because it takes a lot of concentration to play well. You know what? Bullshit! I agree that it takes a lot of concentration. But tough. Lots of sports do. It takes concentration to hit a baseball and people cheer. It takes concentration to pass a football and people cheer. Gymnastics takes MASSIVE amounts of concentration! And do you know what happens when you screw up and have a lapse of concentration on the balance beam? YOU FUCKING DIE! That’s right. You land on your head, split it open and you die! But that doesn’t matter. Not only does the referee not call for silence when someone is jumping up on the balance beam, but because of the way rotations work, right next to her is another girl flipping around on the uneven bars and directly behind her is another girl bouncing up and down on her floor routine while the loudspeakers blare some crazy remix of Beethoven and Beyonce. But the balance beam girl tunes that shit out, because she’s a fucking athlete and that’s what you do!
The only other sport I can think of that demands the same kind of absolute silence is golf. And tennis players, you don’t want to be like golf do you? I didn’t think so! Fuck those guys!
Second: Why is swimming a sport? Well, I get why it’s *A* sport, but why is it like 18 sports? I’m totally cool with the concept of swimming as a sport. In fact, at it’s heart I think it’s one of the purest sports. Racing! See, a long time ago, I determined that there were really only six sports:
- Get the ball to the other side of the field.
- Hit that target over there
- Keep the ball in the air
- Do your job better/faster than the other guy
- Beat the other guy up
All sports are derived from variations on those six. Swimming (and in fact all racing sports) are just sport #4. What I don’t get is why there are so many variations. Why aren’t all swims freestyle? See, I’m ok with there being different distance events. A 100m race is fundamentally different than a 1600m race. I totally get that. But there is no reason for butterfly or backstroke or any other specific stroke to exist. It’s a race. The only thing that should matter in a race is “who gets from point A to point B the fastest.” In track and field, there’s a 100m run. No one cares if you want to run it backwards. No one gives a fuck if you want to skip. How fast can you get to that line over there? GO!
I actually tried really hard to think of another sport #4 where multiple events were the same thing except for they made you use some random handicap and I can’t. There’s no event in horse racing where you can only trot. There’s no event in auto racing where you have to go backwards. The closest I can think of is the different events in weightlifting, but even that seems different and more legitimate. I guess MAYBE you could see the luge and the skeleton as basically the same event but one is backwards but that’s basically it.
I mean, it’s great that Michael Phelps has 8,924,345 medals or whatever. Really it is. But it just seems like swimmers get more opportunities than other sports. I’m betting if there was a 100m one legged hop and a 4x100m one legged hop relay and a 200m shuffle, Usain Bolt would have more medals too.