Monday, August 6, 2012
THE BIG OLYMPIC DEODORANT
No matter how you carve or Favre it, the world of sports turned into a giant cess pool
over the last four years. It has wreaked of scandal, been soured by selfishness, and
punctuated by sin. There was Tiger's massive infidelity, the Penn State scandal, the
trial of Roger Clemens, LeBron's "Decision", pictures of Brett's "little Favre", and
the Bernie Fine follies at Syracuse. Porn stars, pedophiles, and philanderers became as
much a part of the sports pages as the standings and box scores. You'd be hard pressed
to name five feel good stories or players whom you'd want to be a role model for your
The 2012 Olympic games in London have been the giant deodorant that's covered
up the stench that's permeated the sports world over the last few years. They have made
us feel good about sports again and really appreciate the athletes and their remarkable
accomplishments.There are no holdouts, salary demands, or the crying like Latrell
Sprewell once did because he had to find a way to "feed his family" while making just
$12 million a year.
The Olympic games have been as close to perfect as any international competition we've
seen over the last 25 years. They have made us smile and they have caused tears to well
up in our eyes. Was there a more spine-tingling moment than watching Oscar Pistorius,
a double-amputee runner from South Africa, making the semifinals of the 400-meter
dash with his carbon-fiber blades? Im Dong Hyun of South Korea set an Olympic record
in archery. He is legally blind. How inspiring is that?
The breath of fresh air provided by the Olympics has helped fumigate a sports world
that's been polluted by athletes who have the "disease of me", the malady where
self-centered prima donnas like Terrell Owens, Alex Rodriquez, Brett Favre, and
Dwight Howard try to convince very one that the world revolves around them and
them alone. Olympians like Missy Franklin and Gabby Douglas who are so young,
unaffected, and pure, have been thoroughly refreshing, helping to rinse away the
bad taste left over by a professional sports world filled with malcontents and those
with the "look at me" attitudes.
These Olympic games have made us appreciate the true greatness of Michael Phelps
and Usain Bolt, two athletes with mind-boggling talent, who've proved once again,
they indeed, are the kings of their respective sports. They chased and achieved
Olympic immortality, inspiring us with jaw-dropping performances and celebrating
with the enthusiasm of Little Leaguers who have just captured the World Series title.
To many people, watching sports is fun again, even if they know the outcome of events
long before they hit NBC in prime time. Sure, we can complain about that, but at the
mid-point of what has been a spectacular Olympic games, that's not really something
to make a fuss about. But the the games in London have been the big deodorant the
sports world has long needed, and I'm loving every minute of it.