Short-Changed: The 2012 Summer Olympics

The 2012 Summer Olympics have concluded, and I’ve got a few bones to pick:

  • Was it just me, or did you also watch the horrifyingly bad opening of the London Olympics and think, “This aint’ fuckin’ with what China did”?
  • FUCK YOU CHANNEL 4!!!!!  For many of us, track and field and its aquatic counterparts are the most exciting events to see.  So, why in the hell do I have to wait until midnight to watch a PRE-RECORDED event?  Why were these events not just shown in real-time or at least a decent our?  All over the world, the Olympics were on as long as there were events to see, but in the U.S., the focus was so heavily on the “story” of this or that American athlete that we missed many of the other events.  Sometimes NBC wouldn’t even show all of the semi-final heats.  They’d show the American athletes, and then we’d see the finals.  Perhaps I’m wrong, but where did our “melting pot” go?  This country is full of Jamaicans, Eastern Europeans, Nordic folk, Africans, and people from Middle and South American nations.  I wanted to see how the Russians and the Latvians were doing!  I wanted to see how Spain fared against France. The NBC coverage of the London Olympics was abysmal at best and disgraceful in my honest opinion.  The purpose of the Olympics is, in part, to bring nations together, and yet this nation couldn’t figure a way to show what others were doing!
  • Why yes they do have their own symbol.

    HANDBALL!?  REALLY?!  HANDBALL!?!?!?!  I tuned in to the Olympics and watched a semi-final game in handball.  Now, when I heard there is Olympic handball, my initial thought was, “What’s poppin’ with some Olympic kickball cuz I know I could serve some chumps in that shit!”  Look it up.  Handball is literally dudes running around with a little ball trying to throw it in what looks like a hockey net.  It’s an Olympic sport….I’ve been in an ongoing debate about what should be allowed to be an Olympic competition and what should be allowed to played at parks and grade school only.  Here are my criteria: (1) the competition must be universal enough that most countries that are participating could send a team; (2) the competition must be athletic–not a skill competition–an athletic competition.  That’s it.  Now, you can see the list of summer Olympic competitions here.  I vote that the following be forever removed from the summer Olympics: handball, trampoline (especially since everyone knows that Cirque du Soleil people are the dopest at this), all diving competitions, figure skating, curling (it’s not a summer competition, but I hate it that much), sailing (it fits my criteria, but this shit still sucks ass), shooting, archery (and don’t tell me how long it’s been an Olympic competition; that’s not an argument; that’s a tradition), golf, equestrian, fencing, canoe/kayak, table tennis, and badminton, which should only be played at a barbecue.  No barbecue, no badminton.

  • Why is RYAN SEACREST involved in the summer Olympics?  No really.  Why is he involved?

  • Okay, so I’m the only one who thought Bob Costas looked like he could’ve been playing the perp’ on an ill as episode of Law & Order SVU?  Aight.

8 thoughts on “Short-Changed: The 2012 Summer Olympics

  1. You are wrong.

    Why exactly doesn’t Handball fit the bill???

    1) Not athletic enough ?
    You gotta be kiddin. Using language you might understand, i.e. American football lingo, a handball players must have the skills of a
    – quarterback (throw balls, take hits)
    – wide receiver (catch balls, run lanes)
    – linebacker (defensive play including tackling)
    In addition, he also needs to be able to jump for jump-shots and his conditioning must be top notch because he is moving/running around all the times without any “downs” to break up the flow. Did I already mention the ability to read your teammates and the opponents? Oh, and to remember some dozens of standard plays and being able to adapt them to the situation?

    If you don’t believe me, how about these guys:
    http://espn.go.com/blog/olympics/post/_/id/3496/my-new-sports-love-team-handball
    http://www.grantland.com/story/_/id/8213663/handball-handball-handball

    Or someone who tried for herself?
    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/eticket/story?page=olympianpart2

    Being a goalie is even tougher …
    http://blogs.wsj.com/dailyfix/2012/07/17/team-handball-how-hard-can-it-be/

    2) Not universal enough?
    Look, just because you Americans are insular people who never heard of handball doesn’t mean that the rest of the world must follow suit.

    Handball is a big deal in Europe. Europe, with Russia, that’s 600 + million people in 40+ countries. Handball is played in ALL of them (except maybe Ireland). At least 20 of them can field competitive teams (not just central Europe, but also Spain, the whole of former Yugoslavia, most former communist countries including Russia …). OTOH, North America, thats just 2 countries …

    Outside Europe, Handball has a strong tradition in Japan, Korea and Northern Africa (Tunisia, Algeria, Egypt). Teams from the Arab Gulf are getting better all the time and seriously challenging Japan and Korea for the Asian spots at the WC (at least the men’s temas). Women’s handball is big in Angola (Cuba is suffering from economic problems but has the potential to get good again). And Handball is getting more and more popular in Brazil (300 mio people) and Argentina. Last week, Brazil won out during group play in womens handball only to loose to the later gold medal winner in the quarter finals … http://www.wired.com/playbook/2012/08/olympic-handball-awesome/

    BTW, the last Handball world cup 2011 had a cumulative tv audience of 1,5 BILLION viewers … Maybe 500 of them from the US …

    P.S. Not relevant for the discussion, but Handball was voted best sport of the Sydney Olympics by the Aussie spectators … The Aussies could be better in handball, but their big problem is travel time + costs wrt getting to Europe to get more experience …

    • LOL Goodness gracious did I touch a nerve with someone on this post.

      Why do I get an image of you angrily squeezing an official handball while searching for sites to defend the “sport?”

      After skimming through the sites you sent me to, I am further convinced that my description of handball was dead on. Thanks and thanks for the history lesson on a “sport” that I don’t find legitimate.

      “Why doesn’t Handball fit the bill???”
      First, why did you capitalize “handball?” Secondly, it simply sucks. Kayaking is also difficult, but it also sucks. Deal with it. Perhaps the latest handball championship earned you a little extra pussy, and if that’s true, I suggest you continue playing.

      “Look, just because you Americans are insular people who never heard of handball doesn’t mean that the rest of the world must follow suit.”
      Surely if you read the entire post you’d see that my nationality has little to do with my opinion, and I’m not the most patriotic of Americans, but since you decided that we’re “insular people,” let me tell you what I actually think of handball: it’s little more than an opportunity for countries with low medal counts to feel significant during the Olympic games; it’s a step above the Special Olympics, but at least those athletes are courageous.

      • ROFL. Ah, now I get it. The Olympics should only consist of the sports you personally like. If you like’em, their legitimate. If you don’t, they get axed. Yep, that sure will fly. Thanks for clearing that up. If you had said so from the outset, I could have saved some time by simply ignoring you. My bad. Stupid me thought the title of the blog to indicate a willingness to learn. Oh well …

        – Yes, you being American (or rather: residing in the US) matters. Because Americans’ knowledge about sport taking place outside their borders (potential exception: football world cup; no, its not called soccer) has become dismal thanks to the way US MSM nowadays cover it (or rather do not cover it) … And yes, I have lived and studied in the US, so I know what I’m talking about …

        – Low medal count? Muhahaha … Looking at the medal table, if you just combine two countries were HANDBALL (do you like this version better?) is a big deal, Russia (no. 4) and Germany (no 5. on total medals, no. 6 on gold), you get 126 medals to the US’ 104 – with a mere half of the US population numbers. Korea (no.5 on gold) ended 4th in women’s HANDBALL. No. 7 on the list is mens gold medal winner France. No. 9 Hungary took 4th place in men’s HANDBALL.
        The only countries doing somewhat better were China (pop 1.3 billion), the US (putting more money into sports than much of the world combined) and the home team GB. Try again …

        – Funny thing that one of the few places where HANDBALL is played at college level in the US is the service academies. Guess those “warrior-scholars” at West Point must all suck … http://wpteamhandball.wetpaint.com/

        • I think one of your problems is that you assume that your opinion is somehow more legitimate than mine. You like handball (your bad), so you think it’s legitimate. On the other hand, I recognize it to be the crap that it is, so I don’t find it appealing.

          It’s not so much that I think only the sports that I find interesting to be worthy of the Olympics because, you’ll notice, I didn’t say that synchronized swimming, water polo, several events of track and field (of which most track and field stars find to be worthless), and tennis, which I find to be unwatchable, should be removed from the Olympics. For that matter, I don’t care for baseball (no it’s not called “stick ball”) either, but I honestly find handball so repugnant that I simply cannot live my life properly without letting you and others know that I think the activity sucks. That’s all.

          And, I wouldn’t say that the individuals who play handball suck (you might not even suck), but I don’t care who at Westpoint enjoys the activity. Handball just sucks.

          • Lets see:
            “NBA superstars Dirk Nowitzki, Rick Smits and Hall Of Famer Akeem Olajuwon have always been gracious ambassadors for the sport, given that they grew up playing the sport themselves. Former Seattle Supersonics All Star Shawn Kemp and current 2012 Dream Teamer Russell Westbrook have even gone public stating that they would love to represent the US in team handball.”
            http://www.teamusa.org/USA-Team-Handball/Features/2012/August/14/Connecting-the-dots.aspx

            But you just KNOW this sport sucks. Sure. Whateva …

            • Hey thanks for the completely irrelevant list of people who like the activity. What did you think was going to happen?

              Oh shit! Dirk Nowitski AND Russell Westbrook said they’d play handball? NOW I’m convinced!

              C’mon. It’s handball. Do you know what handball is? It’s the activity you play when you don’t the equipment to play soccer, football, or rugby. Let’s get a serious game of kickball or tetherball on TV. I’d watch that.

              Dude, I don’t like handball. Live your life. I’m just one of BILLIONS who don’t like it.

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