Well the Olympics are over and even though overall I found these Olympics to be a little disappointing (I don't know what it was but I wasn't all that interested in so many of the events) I am still disappointed that they are over and don't really know what to do with myself (and I can't even turn back to my regularly mind-numbing tv programming because the Democratic and Republican conventions are sucking up all the prime-time air time--like we even care at this point). It kind of makes me want to order that Michael Phelps dvd just so I can pretend the Olympics aren't over yet.
Now that they are over, though, we can now look forward to the London Olympics in just 4 years. Did you like the little hand-off that they did during the closing ceremonies last night? I liked the bus and thought it was fairly cool how it opened up and all but I can't say I cared for Leona Lewis at all. To be fair I didn't care for her to begin with but she definitely didn't win me over with a completely lackluster performance of Zeppelin's "Whole Lotta Love." With all the icons of British rock I just think they could have done so much better. And having David Beckham pop up at the end just seemed awkward. Oh well, I love London and I am really looking forward to the Olympics being there.
Along with looking forward to London I think now would be a good time to start talking about getting rid of some Olympic events--realistically speaking as we continue to add new events that means we must drop some events to keep the entire production affordable. So the following is my top 8 (I couldn't come up with 10) list of events that we should drop.
First, though, let's talk about the criteria for dropping or keeping events.
1. Relevance. The sport should be relevant to a worldwide population of spectators. Sports (or events) that are only popular in one area of the world really have no business showing up in a world-wide event. Along with this notion, I think that if a sport is only competitive among athletes of a single area of the world the event also has no part being a part of a world-wide competition. Sports that fall in to either of these categories need to do some self-promotion to the rest of the world to prove their worthiness as an Olympic event--I'm pretty sure this is one of the things that must be proven by events trying to get into the Olympics so it only seems fair that current sports be occasionally reexamined using this criteria.
2. Sport. The event should be a sport and not a hobby. This one is a bit difficult to define exactly when ESPN covers things like bowling and gambling. But if a sport contains elements that belong prominently to the world of backyard or basement hobby then they shouldn't be in the Olympics.
3. The Ben Stiller Factor. If a "sport" has or is likely to be featured in a Ben Stiller parody movie (or similar) it should not be an event in the Olympics. This factor automatically precludes Ballroom dancing (or Dance Sport as they are trying to call themselves) and dodgeball from becoming Olympic events (but you should still see the movie Strictly Ballroom).
OK, now that we have gotten that out of the way here goes:
8. Baseball and Softball. Let's just start this one off easy. They have already eliminated this sports. While the US isn't dominate in baseball in the Olympics we do dominate Softball to a ridiculous level making this an issue of relevance--I think the men's and women's events must somehow be linked requiring the elimination of both or perhaps there is enough of a popularity issue to get rid of Baseball.
7. Basketball. While the US dominance has been a little iffy at time it is not because we should not have easily won all the games we have participated in. Until other countries become more competitive Basketball should go.
6. Handball. I'm calling this a relevance issue since the teams consisted almost entirely of European teams and the finals did have only European teams. Also the sport seems to be a bit of a cross between soccer, water polo, and basketball. Since we have those three sports in the Olympics, do we really need Handball as well?
5. Trampoline. Not a sport--backyard hobby equipment.
4. Rhythmic Gymnastic. Not a sport: uses hula hoops, ribbons, and other backyard hobby equipment.
3. Synchronized Swimming. Not a sport based on the Ben Stiller Factor--if a project isn't in the works then Ben is dropping the ball on this one.
2. Badminton. Not a sport: uses backyard hobby equipment
1. Table Tennis (Ping Pong). Not a sport: uses basement hobby equipment.