Summer Games 2008: A Look Back

On the eve of the opening ceremony of the 2014 Olympic Games, here’s a look back at my old live blog coverage of Beijing. This is much more loose than anything I would be likely to put out in public today, but people seem to love this overview and the whole stream of consciousness bag. It’s probably the thing I’ve written that people bring up to me the most. So here it is, warts and all.  

8/8/08

Just got in from a party that was out in Simpsonville. I drank beer, I ate meat I cooked on a grill, I played volleyball, talked mad shit, and I celebrated life. VCR set to record the Grand Opening ceremony, but came in the door just in time to catch the broadcast replay, so here’s the play by play.

One of those promo things where they show inspiring shit going on and a dude with a striking voice says “They have lived their lives as atheletes so that they may become champions and write their names in history.” It was cool.

Then there was like a half hour of dumb local commercials and then some stuff about how Ping Pong brought China together with the world. China’s a trip. Like I saw this thing where they were saying they tore down this whole Shantytown people were living in so that they could build Olymipcsville, and they talked to a guy on the street who said, roughly translated, “I’m glad they tore those shacks down, because they looked ugly.”

Imagine you come home from work and your whole neighborhood has been leveled so they can build a big track and field type thing there, and you got this chauncey dude saying “Your house looked ugly.”

There’s gonna be 15,000 people involved in this opening ceremony, Matt Lauer is telling me. He’s also telling me that all these world leaders are going to come out and possibly get into a big slap fight.

That chick who won the beach volleyball medal that time and then took off her shirt -which was awesome- is up in the stands gettin’ rowdy. Lebron James is about ready to kick some ass.

They keep showing too many goddamn local commercials and cutting into the good shit. We rejoin in the middle of shit.

And…countdown…it’s started.

I’m just mystified by this shit I’m seeing, I’m just gonna watch it. Fascists really know how to put on a spectacle.

8/9/08

Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Girl’s fencing. American chicks. When each one won they screamed like banshees. Because they can. It’s intimidating. I know if a collegiate broad stabbed me in the chest and then emitted a loud shreek I’d freak out.

The main chinese gymnist dude may’ve just screwed his comarades on the bars. He was all up on it and then he just decided to drop his narrow ass on the bar for a second and blew it. Your whole life leads to that and you fucking blow it. And now his coach will beat him with a bamboo rod.

Michael Phelps is a Fish-man.

This guy is a trip. He could’ve swam to China from Florida. It’s the qualifying rounds and he beat his own world record. Again. I’m pretty fast myself, but I didn’t want to shave my entire body to compete, so, you know….

MP done did it again, and beat the world record he just set in the qualifications while he was at it. Dude’s got dolphin DNA.

The father in law of the USA men’s volleyball team just got murdered. That sucks. Right now, said team faces Venezuela. The dudes are on a hardwood floor and dress pretty much like basketball players, which is good news, because the chicks wear foxy bikinis and get down in the sand.

Speaking of, the American girls beat the Japanese girls in their 102nd straight victory. Misty and Kerri are badass. I just watched their Gold Medal winning match from Athens on nbcolympics.com . They embraced at the end. On the ground. In the sand.

The McDonald’s commercials every 15 minutes penetrated my psyche and I made a latenight run. Big n’ Tasty (the 4, I believe) which I’m sure is the kind of thing you eat all the time if you’re an Olympic athlete. My cup of cola has Ryan Lochte on it, who is (not) famous for being the US swimmer who is not Michael Phelps.

8/10/08

Water Polo? Seriously?

The Redeem Team beat the Chinese Loser Team, in other news. Even with the gimme from the mutant asian who plays in the NBA. Proud to be an American, where at least I know I’m free.

Did you know that there’s a Starbucks at the Great Wall? There is. And barista chicks look the same regardless of Nationality, I assume. The girl on the fluff piece between games report was wearing cute little Lisa Loeb glasses and had her hair 2 different colors and done up in a little thing. Bet her communist dad hates that.

Girls biking hard out in the rain around the Wall, I assume they don’t stop at Starbucks for a Mocha Frappucino, as I would. 5 pumps of chocolate, extra cream, and put a bannana in it. The British girl wins that race,and hugs everyone. the British Empire takes the Great Wall!

***SPECIAL REPORT: Russia is kicking Georgia’s ass!!! For real, with missles and shit!!**

Michael Phelps gets a thumbs up from Bush as he qualifies for the next big race. He comes in second because he’s a slackass. He better pull that shit together.

And now: Girl Gymnasts. World champion Americans vs. Chinese losers. 4 years ago, the china girls messed up, humiliated their nation, and were beaten about their heads and shoulders. If they don’t win this year, they will go before a firing squad.

One of the sourpuss candyasses on the French relay team said “We came here to crush the Americans.” Then he stuck his finger in his butt and licked it. You can’t front on America, you douchebags. Michael Phelps is number 1, French Frog is number 10. The only medal they’ll get is gonna be a foil covered chocolate coin.

The American gymnast girls, not doing so great. You know, you train all your life so that you can be this superhuman, then you get to the Olympics and fall off the bar. Luckly in the case of these girls, they’re only about 16. They got plenty of time to get knocked up and do Crystal Meth. Talk on cell phones while they drive. Dumb shit like that.

There’s some dumb commercials in heavy rotation. There’s the one where stiff non-actor Olympians say stuff like “i’ve been dreaming of it since I was a kid” and “I won’t go home without it” and it turns out they’re talking about a McDonald’s chicken sandwich. As if their stomach’s wouldn’t explode if they ate that shit.

And there’s a local one for lasik from John Kenyon eye center where a guy with a really nasaly, snippy voice sings “You’ll see better than you did before, throw those glasses out the door” and I get it stuck in my head and fixate on it when it’s on because it’s so lame, like when somebody holds up something gross they found and says “here, smell this, it stinks” and you totally do it.

Natalie Coughlin is a California girl who likes to swim. She’s going to win a medal. She has a world record.

Or no…

Scratch that. Just got beat by a white girl with a rubbery face from Zimbabwe.

Men’s 200M!!

Phelps even kinda has a face like a fish. Like a big guppy thing with a large mouth. He’s got a six foot wingspan. Dude’s a freak. you wonder if he likes swimming or if he’s just really good at it so he figures what the hell.

Speaking of sea creatures, look at this shit:

AHHHH!!! What the fuck?!?

Australian chick won the 500m Butterfly. I guess that’s like a special little water move? I don’t really know what the hell is going on, man.

Brendan Hansen vs. a Japanese dude who keeps spanking his butt in previous Olympics. This is like…I dunno what race this is. They don’t use their arms in this one….and it’s the Japanese dude! World Record! Gold medal! In swimming without your arms!

I deserve a gold medal for opening CDs. I can open a CD in 5 seconds.

Switching gears, There’s a 33 year old Russian woman who is part of the German gymnastic team, with the 16 year olds. Oksana Chusovitina. She’s competed at a record 5 olympics.She left Russia because her son had Lukemia, and only there in Germany could they help him. he’s 8, his disease is in remission, and he’s on his way to being an Olympic hopeful himself.

Oksana just qualified for a shot at the Gold, and her story is the kind that makes watching hours and hours of this stuff so compelling.

Another is France’s Laurie Manaudou. She’s racing against Italy’s Federica Pallegrini. she stole Laurie’s boyfriend and then got him to put her nekkid pictures on the internet. Oh no she didn’t.

But America’s Katie Hoff is leading!!!

But juuuuust got edged out by the British Chick!!!

FUCK!!!

Allright…composing myself…

Here’s the rally, against the French Fucks mentioned on the top line. Hopefully they won’t make the water all murky with their body filth and prevent Phelps from being able to see to lead his team to victory.

THEY GOT IT!!! FUCK YOU!!! THEY WIN!!! WE WIN!!! SUCK MY ASSHOLE YOU FRENCH FUCKS!!!!!!!!!! WORLD RECORD!!!! WORLD RECORD BITCHES!!! YOU BITCHES!!!!

Male synchronized swimming is gay.

And the announcers seem to know it and riff on it. “Bruce says when he closes his eyes he can see it, jeff says that he feels it inside of him and can’t sleep at night. They’re talking about the Gold Medal.”

Misty and Kerri pranced and pummeled right through Cuba to their 102nd win. between rounds, they rubbed oil on each other.

Ok, they didn’t, but wouldn’t that have been something?

Rubberface from Zimbabwe was met with defeat by katie Whatsherface, the American chick I was talking about yesterday, the one who had the record Rubberface beat. Who the fuck am I, Sports Illustrated? Important thing is: USA! USA! USA!

Also in the “Watercube” -which is what they call the bigass pool building that looks like a mattress from the sky- Mikey P. whips ass and gets another Gold as casually as I ate a huge burrito for dinner. He is magnificent!

The American Male Gymnast team is also kicking ass on the rings and vault things. They call them “apparatus” which is disturbing. the Japanese are better at this stuff than us, I’m gathering. The Parallel Bars Dream Team. They got cool little suits. They have a little cheerleader type chick with a cuecard that follows them around. Which is cool, you know.

….

It’s cool cuz when they jump off the bars and land on the mat all the dust from all the slappin’ around they do billows up.

…….

So, uh, there’ll be more swimming later.

————————————

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz…..

Michael Phelps, Carl Lewis, and like 4 other dudes

China wins the Male Gynast Gold! Japan’s dream team gets Silver (What? What?) We got the Bronze. The USA Gymnast guys seem pretty cool, like they’re gonna party down and are content with the Bronze. I’d love a bronze medal. but it would probably end up in a shoebox or something.

Natalie cries through her Gold winning ceremony and tries to sing along with the Star Spangled Banner. Which I don’t recommend because nobody really knows the words. Especially her. But she didn’t call to ask me.

Michael Phelps now has a 9 medal olympic career, which matches him up with Carl Lewis and several people who are not Carl Lewis. A record he’ll hold for about 20 more hours, at which point he’ll shatter it.

Once again: Fuck France.

8/11/08
Chinese Liars, Girl Acrobat Haters, Wrestlers At the Great Wall.

Thought I had to work tonight, turns out I don’t. Surprise!

Watching the pre-show show, here’s what I got:

So it turns out that the cute little Chinese girl who sang at the opening ceremonies was actually lip synching, the actual girl who sang was considerably less cute. The people responsible for leaking that information are most likely dead or in a state you wouldn’t call living and both girls have been exiled to an unknown location.

Speaking of abusing young girls,I’ve been reading alot of hand wringing lately about how these girl gymnasts are being exploited and such. I’m going to on record and say that if you’re 16 the best thing you can possibly have in your life is some kind of strong goal and regiment to accomplish that goal. My main goal when I was 16 was to cop a buzz, and my regiment included drinking my parents’ booze when they were at Country Line dancing and disappearing with the Sears Ladies underwear catalog for hours at a time. Look how I fucking turned out. Mary Lou Retton got to have bumpers during saturday morning cartoons that taught kids about fitness, I was in this shit.

So keep on drinking that haterade, motherfuckers. When I’m in my car they like “He ain’t shit. he ain’t shit.”

Alicia Sacramone didn’t get to compete in athens because she fell or something, I didn’t catch it. Tonight she’s going win a medal.

I bet.

Hell, I dunno.

The US Wrestling team went to the Great Wall and wrestled each other. No kissing on the mouth.

You know what, this motherfucker. Damn! He just fucking does this shit like it’s not a thing.

and now he’s doing the relay. He’s about to spank all these clowns. The greatest swimmers on earth are in the kiddie pool with this guy. What in the hell.

He’s just smoking their asses!

now this Ryan Lochte or whatever gets tagged in… way ahead. Don’t wanna jinx it, but if this fucking guy blew it. This lead is insane! They’ve already beat the record, like already. ALREADY!! ALREADY!!!!

They are pummeling the world record in this shit. What the fucking hell. i’m just having my mind blown every day by this shit. Nobody is even close in this. I’m watching this shit live at 4 in the morning. I feel less and less adaquete as a person with this going on all the time. like I’m maybe pretty good at…

So they did it. They set a world record by like 3 full seconds.

And girls do gymnastics, who gives a shit.

I found out one thing tonight, chicks dig Michael Phelps. But only when he’s swimming. When he’s not swimming, he’s just this gangley dork. But that’s the beauty of it. when he puts on that little rubber hat that holds his bigass ears down and his gimp suit, he’s a superhero. Olympians are superheroes.

Anyway, I dunno if he’s got anymore races and I’m going to bed.

EDIT: I didn’t see that relay live (although the corner of the screen clearly says LIVE) I saw the replay i missed. That’s what i get for taking my eyes off the TV.

8/12/08

You know who I don’t like?

Bernard. Beer-nahrd. French fuck. Poor Lazek can’t beat him. But still, all the twat can say is “We crushed the Americans if you don’t count Michael Phelps.”

I was able to carry on virtually no conversation today that was not focused on the Olympics. Except with these very well read pimps that came in and bought a bunch of Donald Goines and Iceburg Slim books, Outkast’s Love Below/Speakerboxx, and Shirley Temple movies for their 3 snowbunny hoes. I’m dead serious. We watched the trailer to Black Caesar together on the computer thing and bonded. They were all very polite and well spoken, bought 200 dollars worth of stuff mainly in ones. One of the hookers told me that she “used to be addicted to heroin” and wanted to learn more about Sid and Nancy and specifically talked about the year 1977. I managed to not start blathering about the mystic year 1977 like I usually do since I wasn’t really into talking a bunch of manic shit to a whore. I just took it as another cosmic sign and a moment to recall why I love my job. and got Big Daddy to buy her a Mojo book on the ol’ UK Anarchy. I didn’t have England’s Dreaming or Rotten’s autobiography, sadly.

Speaking of mistreating women, the Chinese gymnast girls won the Gold medals and shit. Which when you think about it is Ok, because the American girls got Silver and the Chinese girls got to keep all their toes.

It’s the girls swimming relay just now, it’s looking like Australia is going to get it. But Italy has that triflin’ Palligrini bitch that done stole that French broad’s man. Either way, the world Record is going to get beat by about 300,000 gallons of water. I don’t know how many meters. Y’know, fuck the metric system.

Katie Hoff is doin’ it…Bronze!

hey, what happened to that 42 year old woman who was supposed to be swimming for the US? What happened with that?

The Karate competition is going to have this American family of asskickers facing off against Chinese warriors. I’m picturing Bloodsport. But it will be nothing like Bloodsport, sadly.

I’m going to eat some chips and dip, read some comic books. I’ll check back in when Michael Phelps wins another Gold Medal.

NEWS FLASH

I puked dip in my mouth.

Also, this Japanese dude fell off the rings and busted his ass, it was fuckin’ sick! He was supposed to be the top guy before that shit happened. too bad Godzilla’s not real. Toot Toot!

I wonder how many hundreds of hours of Olympics I’m going to end up watching? i’ve resolved to watch nothing but Olympics on broadcast TV. Longtime readers will recall that my similarly obsessive coverage of the Winter Games started to read pretty Travis Bickle by the end. I doubt that’ll be what happens here because shit is cool, but keep reading! I could freak out at any time!!!

So I’m not as sore at Frenchie now, he shook hands and made up with Lazer. I guess I can appreciate some trash talk. Maybe a word like “crush” has a different connotation in French. Maybe the more direct translation would be “squeeze” or “nuzzle.” And we sorta broke even, because that whole relay thing was their shit until we shit in their cereal on it.

Did you know Coca-Cola means “can of sunshine” in Thai? i did. I somehow managed to get 4 of the 5 Collector Coke Cans without trying to. I just happened to get them all here and there. I don’t usually like it in the can. Har Har!!!

Alot of men’s gymnast stuff going on that’s not too interesting to me. The American kid is cool, he keeps saying that after he wins he’s going to go swim in the river. There’s no river around, but he’s going to find one and swim in it.

There’s some fly track suits on display in the background.

I felt grimy today. I went to a bar last night, which I don’t often do these days. I won’t say which one (it was the Mag Bar). It’s always good times for awhile at a bar and I wonder why I don’t go out into the shit more often until like 1 AM hits and reminds me why I like hanging out at people’s houses so much more. It’s because all the kind of complete retards I spend all day avoiding are in a dark and enclosed place with me and they’re trashed. Oh yeah! That’s why.

It was also much more exciting when I wasn’t supposed to be in there circa 1997-2000.

And more tolerable when I used to get shitty drunk.

I don’t really imbibe too much anymore for my own reasons, and it’s always funny to watch people react when I turn down an adult beverage. Like it’s somehow less arbitrary than turning down a glass of lemonade or something. Why don’t you drink? Are you in AA? Are you straightedge? Do you think you’re better than me? What if I get drunk? Get loaded, cowgirl. That’s on you. I’m not a preacher and I got no palpit. I just personally saviour and prefer clarity at this stage of the game.

This gymnastic shit just goes on and on. It’s after 1 AM. Which means 1 PM in Bejing. Normal people who sleep at night are missing out on all the good shit.

oh SNAP!!!

08/13/08

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

Yes.

These pimps weren’t really flashy, just like 2 street black dudes. And the whores weren’t really either, besides looking as slutty as many girls do these days. Just “cute slutty” type shit you can buy at the mall.

Booty shorts and tube tops and sandals. And they were all young, younger than me. It all goes back to the shit I said in that Star Wars Holiday Special review, about how the sexual revolution of the 70’s was stunted by AIDS and mutated into this. Weirdly puritanical on top, where just underneath it’s all about dirt and grime. The whoring out of little Disney girls once they hit 16, but Janet Jackson’s tit at Super Bowl Halftime was the fluff outrage of the 00’s. But “Pimp” is a compliment of the highest order for anyone who looks sharp.

Young “urban” pimps and whores, who are on Maury clapping their ass every morning, are becoming Mainstream America. Hope you weren’t gonna try to raise kids in this shit, because this is no place for the young and tender.

And who loves it the most? Heads of state. This Senator’s got a “wide stance” in an airport bathroom, that Senator’s got a thing going on with a glamorous hooker he fucks about as often as I go to McDonald’s. And when the shit hit the fan? Homegirl’s myspace blew up and she sold her shitty “song” on itunes, made a million bucks on top of all the paper she got out of coozing her little pussy around. Eat that shit up, everybody!

But who am I kidding? I love it. I’ve got 500 milligrams of Seroquel and a gallon or orange juice, motherfuckers.

Oh, and Michael Phelps won another fucking Gold Medal.

The NBC webpage calls it “Beijing Bling.”

8/14/08

wasn’t home for it, but Prince Phelps the Sub-Mariner won this one by a tiny fraction of a second, beating out a Serbian dude who then stormed off like a big wet baby. That silver medal will always remind him that he is a douchebag.

This chick Nastia got the Gold in the girl flipping around contest.

The late night coverage includes big dudes who do that thing where they put a rock up to their neck, spin around, and wing it. I figure I could do that shit. Also-people running.

There was a deal where a wrestler from some godforsaken place got bronze but clearly thought he should’ve gotten better. The publicity is that he threw a fit and stormed off, but I saw the clip. He calmly reached over, shook the hand of the gold winner, walked off the podium and dropped his medal as he went. I thought it looked like a pretty well measured move if he was screwed by an international group of judges who may’ve conceivably made some screwy decisions. I’d have to research it more, and I’ll not be doing that because my attention span will burn out…now!

8.15/08

8 Gold Medals. 8 wins out of 8 events in the 2008 Olympics which started on 8/8/08. The year that Coke has now sponsered the Olympics for 80 years.

88888888

Michael Phelps is the shit. He is tits and ass. Shit, tits, ass, Michael Phelps. I like to say that “(blank) is the Michael Phelps of (blank).” Rocko is the Michael Phelps of eating Official Olympics Reese’sMinature Cups. Where’s my medal at?

8/16/08

Marvin Gaye sings the National Anthem used in a Nike’s commercial.

Fuckin’ bad. I try to hate Nike, but they’re screwing up my plan. I’m still pissed about those ads where they used Revolution and Instant Karma 20 years ago, but if they hadn’t brought this particular thing to my attention, I likely would not have ever seen it at all. Add this to the other one where they use the best part of that Killers song and save me from listening to the other minute and a half of said song, and it’s all good. I forgive you, Nike brand. But I’m not buying your shit just yet.

I’m an excellent consumer who responds well to advertising, but it has to be good advertising. There’s a cynical bent that everytime something is endorsed in some remarkable way it’s to be taken as some kind of trick to sucker you into buying something. There’s certainly some of that. For instance, you could make a case that if Marvin Gaye were alive today, he would disapprove of the use of that video. but I doubt that he would in the context of the statement being made. That being, the mega badass black basketball players that are tearing a swath in the name of the USA (they’re tearing a swath in the name of the USA, by the way) are part of a form of National Pride we don’t get enough of. That also is embodied by the Marvin clip. if you wear Nike shit, it’s a low level sign that you’re a simpatico with the message. LeBron is on my TV telling me he’s proud and loves to be an American. I’m with him.

Reese’s has me eating their chocolate/peanut butter crack in no small part because they are endorsing The Olympics. I love Reese’s cups and I love the Olympics, so it’s a win/win. This time last year they also had me as a result of their Elvis banana creme peanut butter cups. They really nailed my demographic with that shit. Now, I wouldn’t buy Olympics Payday because I think Paydays suck. I wouldn’t go to Captain D’s for Olympic sub-grade fish. I’ve got a crush on Flo, the kooky Progressive insurance chick. But I got Kentucky Farm Bureau and they’re awesome. And besides that, they’ve got Freddy Farm Bureau.

It’s no coincidence that I’m a child of the Star Wars phenomenon. It’s also no coincidence that I am myself a salesman who believes in my product. My boss once told me I could sell ice to eskimos. I told him I was more into selling them warm coats or -more like it- good shit to listen to in their igloos. I put a gawky kid with a mohawk into AC/DC on to The Dirtbombs yesterday at the store. Probably changed his life. Front on that shit.

Similarly, I’ll banish that which does not impress me in it’s advertising. This Christian Slater show they keep advertising looks retarded. I won’t watch it. I don’t buy Charmin because I find the commercials with the cartoon bears shitting to be unpleasant. And by that I mean fucking gross.

I find advertising fascinating. There’s an ad on right now for JC Penny’s where they recreate The Breakfast Club with modern teens in the shit modern teens wear. now these kids don’t remember the goddamn Breakfast Club. But their parents do, and mom’s got the purse.

So I figure I’m one more awesome commercial away from a tight pair of Nike kicks.

8/17/08

Filling in some blanks

All these events and shit get confusing. For example, did you know that there’s another couple chicks who are a US sand volleyball team besides Misty and Kerri? I didn’t either, until today. When they -much like Coy and Vance before them- were wiped out, making way for the duo we know and love.

Every time there’s a race, it’s just one variation. There’s 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, 10,000, there’s a marathon, there’s the other marathon, the men, the women…I tell you what, it’s cool when Jamaicans win. they flip the fuck out and do flips and shit. It rules.

Perez Lobong didn’t win shit, but he was at the Olympics. Pretty good gig after surviving ethnic cleansing in Kenya. See you in London in 4 years, Lobong. Those are some pimp shades, by the way.

The 42 year old swimming broad got a silver, missing the gold by a fingertip to an 18 year old.

Nastia’s a bad lookin’ bitch. Like she’s got a trailer park type face, and she always looks like she’s about to beat some bitch’s ass for fuckin’ with her man. She’s gonna go out there and use what she’s got to get what she needs, and if you cross her daddy she’ll cut your face deep.

Liu Xiang was China’s Michael Phelps. He was a hurdler, and he dropped out because his ankle was fucked up. I think I may’ve gotten his name wrong. Did you know that “Handicapped Restroom” translates to “Deformed Man Toilet” in Chinese? That puts it all in perspective.

China still leads us in gold medals, however. By a pretty good margin. I guess I can live with that shit. One of the Chinese gymnast girls cried when she lost, and I realized that was because she knew it would result in her family cutting the eyes out of every picture of her in the family album.

8/18/08

You are Lolo Jones, and your life is devoid of meaning.

You’re 26. You’ve made it through adversity in life by focusing on something. Something you’re good at. Something remarkable. Something you can do that few can, and something that can make you a little bit famous. Rich, by most estimations.

You were right on the way to a Gold Medal, but your knee clipped that last hurdle. You were lucky to finish at all. Hero to zero in a fraction of a second. You’re going home with nothing to show for it. You’ve got bills to pay. In 4 years you’ll be too old and beat up to try this again.

And so you weep.

Let’s try another one.

You are Shawn Johnson’s mom. Your husband works 2 jobs and there’s a second mortgage on your small house, the one you moved into after you sold the bigger one a couple years ago.

Your 16 year old little girl is very bright and very talented. You would’ve been happy with any productive thing she would’ve been interested in. She’s special to you, but it turns out that she might be special to the whole world, too.

Your Shawn Johnson is Shawn Johnson: one of the greatest gymnasts alive.

She needs to practice and hone her skill, she’s driven. She has a goal beyond anything you could have ever conceived of. You work a job and go to bed at night in order to wake up and do the same again tomorrow. You watch TV to pass the time. you are like most of us. But your daughter is not.

You could squash her and make her like you. You could tell her that reality just isn’t what her dreams are.

But you don’t. Instead, you hire a coach, you install training apparatus in the basement, you drive her around to different competitions all over the country. You make sure she gets good grades, that she is eating right and in good health mentally and physically. You want her to be happy, and to her that means success on an epic scale. Beyond anything you, as a mere mortal, would ever conceive of.

And now her dreams are reality. Gold Medal.

And so you weep.

8/19/08

How exciting do you figure a volleyball game can be?

Even beyond the aspect of lithe chicks in bikinis bouncing around?

Misty and Kerri narrowly defeated the inferior Chinese versions of Misty and Kerri, making it like 108 straight wins and a second set of Gold Medals. And The Chinese seemed to love it. USA! USA! USA! That’s how you do it. You can’t front on Raw Power. Or cute girls in bikinis. For that matter.

The local news in between primetime and late night Olympics coverage tells me that local meth labs have been popping up as a way for people out of work to try to make quick scores. And presumably people out of work wanna do Meth. Get Down!

After the news in late night, it’s women’s non-beach non-bikini volleyball. But per my Olympic commitment, I’ll watch it anyway. My TV doesn’t leave channel 6.

8/20/08

If I was Michael Phelps, I would be completely insufferable. I’m a complete megalomaniac and I’m not even really good at anything.

No, I’m a bit more in line with the other greatest athlete alive- Usain Bolt. The World’s Fastest Motherfucker. Here’s a cat who blasts everybody away while sporting some shades, rings, and a gold chain, slows down right before he hits the finish line, looking back at your slow ass, then dances like Jackie Wilson. Points at the camera and says “I’m number one!” Fuck yeah you are, dude!

See, and only someone who’s not American can do that shit. Dude’s Jamaican. Aside from all the street crime and murder and shit it’s the most chill place on the planet. Behind Amsterdam. I haven’t been there, I dunno.

Anyway, thank you for your poor sportsmanship, Usain. I say fuck’em. I hope he’s gettin’ down with some of those acrobat chicks.

He’s got 2 golds and he gets another one tonight, so tune in. America already shit the bed on this one. Tyson Gay thought he had a Bronze in the single race but didn’t cuz he’d stepped out of the line, then he thought he had the relay in his hand but he didn’t so he dropped it, and that’s that. It’s sad shit watching a guy who thought he’d won something get the word that he didn’t get a goddamn thing. When I order my eggs with cheese and my hashbrowns covered, diced, and chopped I get what I wanted. Aim low.

After that latest staggering loss, Bob Costas made the obvious joke- “they laid an egg at the Bird’s Nest!” -and pointed out that where every other Nation has nicely printed signs on their runners, we just have “USA” in black magic marker. Ghet-to.

Leshawn Merrit got a gold waaaay ahead of Jeremy Wariner’s silver. What the hell kind of a name for an athlete is Jeremy, anyway? American dude also got the Bronze but diving across the line, so SWEEP! Broom upside your ass, China! After every race they cut to Michael Johnson, the previous record holder from 8 years ago, and he’s always fired up. Better than Mark Spitz’s hater ass.

Also, the men’s US beach volleyball team won the Gold. So that was the “Skinny Beast” beating “Jaws” from Brazil or somewhere. Whatever.

8/21/08

Australin pole vaulter, long curly red hair with a headband, bright green and yellow outfit. Gold Medal. His name is Hooker, and that’s all you need to know.

An American guy whose name I don’t recall won the decathlon, which makes him the World’s Greatest Athlete if you don’t count Batman. I bet that guy can’t swim for shit, though. And I bet Lightning Bolt can run faster. So there.

Kim Kardashian’s stepdad Bruce Jenner was a previous Gold Medal decathlon winner. He now spends alot of time around the house pretending not to look at Kim’s ass. I imagine he probably just wears sunglasses alot of the time.

8/22/08

It’s down to two Chinese dudes for the Ping Pong Gold, and these dudes do not fuck around. there’s some serious shit talking and stinkeyes getting shot back and forth quicker than the little ball. Sweaty hatred. I predict that China wins the Gold.

There was 6 minutes (I didn’t time it exactly and you didn’t watch it, so it’s 6 minutes) of javelin coverage, which was pretty impressive. when those dudes chuck those things they throw themselves into it and eat gravel just about every time. It makes me wanna try it. One of those things where I’d think I looked real cool doing it, then see the video and figure I’d make a great Special Olympian.

the American relay teams actually managed to both get Gold after having previously gotten confused and figured the object of the game was to throw the sticks down . It’s not, you’re supposed to hang on to them while you run, and that game plan meant Jeremy Whitedude gets a Gold Medal to wear on the plane ride home. As does Sonya Richards, who is cool. She said funny and clever things going in and then got more and more bummed out as she kept losing events and shit, so it’s good she rallied back (har har har!).

The most awesome thing that happened today: a Kung-Fu Cuban took too much recovery time in the middle of a round and got the DQ. He then reacted by kicking the ref square in the face. Tear it up! He’s now been banned for life and will now forever be that guy who kicked the ref in the in the face. Good job, Castro.

8/23/08

Lebron’s wearing his new Nike shoes -The Lebron Gold Medal Editions, which I guess you can go get for 300 bucks at Foot Locker tomorrow if you’re a total sucker. I love product placement and respond very well to celebrity endorsement, but if you’re going triple digits there better be some serious sugar in that pot. I want a shoe filled to the brim with cocaine for bread that thick.

Spain’s actually kinda bringing it here (America’s playing Spain, by the way). The Spaniards have managed to get on the World’s shit list for putting out a picture of the whole team doing the slant eyed finger face pose. Real classy and smart if you’re staying in the heart of China for half a month. Midnight Express.

I like pro-basketball, and in the region I live, that’s a minority opinion. Here, it’s all about College Sports. U of L/UK, and the line is that the professionals are overpaid big babies. Which they are, that’s part of the fun. Big personalities. Alen Iverson’s thugged out shit, Rip Taylor and his mask. Then guys I don’t like, such as The Lakers circa 2004. Fuckin’ Kobe and Shaq. Kobe’s an asshole and Shaq gets by on being a freak. The guys who invented basketball didn’t figure there’d ever be a seven foot tall 250 pound dude who’d just come in and knocks grown ass men around like toddlers. It’s like professional wrestling in it’s grandiosity.

I hate College sports in their current incarnation. For the same reason I hate College in general. It’s all a big racket. These kids go out and work and sweat so that rich old white fucks can take all the dough it generates. And does it ever generate dough, the merchandising alone has to be huge monster revenue. T-shirts for 25 bucks, packets of paper plates with cardinals printed on them for 15. Bought up by the ate up. The actual players get nothing but registration fees to pay off, a pile of textbooks that cost about a hundred bucks each, probably an injury or two to carry around through the rest of their workaday lives at a cubicle or whatever the fuck a degree in Communications gets you.

Not Lebron, though- he skipped that jive and headed for the NBA straight out of High School. And for that, I salute the brother. Fuck all that bullshit, go get yours.

End of the first quarter and it’s USA 38-31. Kobe hits it up quick with a 3 pointer as we begin to crush our foes….then he steals a deflection hard, burns up the backend and hits the net like he’s playing a bunch of 13 year olds. the Spaniards on the bench jump up and start cryin’ the blues and the ref -who looks exactly like Sting- tells them to cool it. That’s where it’s at.

Our team has been kicking ass all over the place. The highlights are off the chain. Video of our strong badass players dunking hard on horrified foreigners makes me want to paint Old Glory on my face. Our guys nail turnovers like they’re pulling cookies out of the oven.

Woah, this dude Howard just got slapped in the face by Caramelo Howard! Tag!

Allright, only kinda paying attention until the last quarter, as you do.

91-89 with 8 minutes to go, our lead….

Lebron’s one foul away from getting exed, and Kobe just knocked a guy on his ass.

This is our first tight game, they’re telling me. I haven’t seen them because you needed to have the good cable. But now we’re up by 9…and 11…

Kobe nails a 3 pointer and then stands there straight mackin’. What? What? I don’t even like the guy, but this shit is righteous.

Uh oh, Spain’s catching up…

Oh no they’re not…

Aaaand looking sorta like a blowout. Dwayne Wade slips and falls for the 3rd time, 3 seconds on the clock. Don’t buy his shoes if you don’t wanna fall and break your ass.

And that’s that. Undefeated. fucking A.

Bedtime.

8/24/08

And so the story ends with Hugh McCutcheon. The man who coached the US Men’s Volleyball team to their Gold Medal, the man whose father in law had been murdered just weeks ago. Hugh had brought his extended family with him to Beijing, where someone would senselessly murder one of them.

Our team -who were not favored to win- focused all of their chi on Victory. And, as athletes sometimes do under do or die circumstances, took on superhuman attributes.

Just ask Jason Lezak. It had to be seen to be believed and even when I see a replay I can scarcely believe it. Michael Phelps won 8 Gold Medals, but he’d have one less if Lezak hadn’t somehow become something beyond human and pulled out the win in that relay ahead of a staggering lead.

Or Dara Torres, who at 40+ was considered fortunate to make it to the Olympics. She’ll take home Silver, finishing a fraction of a second behind a girl in her teens.

Shawn Johnson, who was met with heartachingly rough results due to a few mistakes in gymnastic events, costing her Gold. She then earned that Gold with her last shot on the balance beam, which she vaulted and flipped around on with the same easy grace as you would walk across a room.

The Olympics are epic and immense. Unfathomable. The 99.9% of us who are not capable of the feats on display can only wonder and feel pride that these men and women are one of us, they are of us. And they make it seem so easy. With every 4 years come records that are continually broken again. People like Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps are the greatest in their events as there have been in the recorded history. Sometimes they set records only to break them later themselves. They indicate credence to the theory that humankind is still evolving, striving to something greater than we’ve known before. At the closing ceremony the countrymen of every nation competing in the event pour out into the arena and then pour together, a mass of humanity coalescing. It makes me proud to be an American, since we first had that idea 200 years ago. An idea the rest of the world could catch up within our lifetime, that we are all more similar than we are different. All set this year in China- not yet quite a part of the Free World, but getting there. This Olympics is a big step.

There are heroes history will remember forever as well as villains we will soon forget. Conversely, triumphs will forever eclipse failures, and those who have led lives to this point with hopes that have been dashed will surely face hard days ahead. 2012 is a long time from now and London is far from Beijing. But The Olympics are about confronting the impossible, and so we shall see. God Save The Queen.

This is Rocko Jerome, signing off.