Know what starts today? The Olympics! Wooooo! And right at the perfect time too. It’s certainly the dog days of summer, sports-wise. Football is still a month away. Soccer has taken a break from playing every day during June and July. Basketball and hockey don’t start for months. And baseball is, well, baseball.
It also comes as a welcome respite from the political freakshow we’ve been experiencing for the last month. Look, I love a good dumpster fire as much as the next guy, especially when the main accelerants are hairspray, fake tanner, sweat and the black oil that came out of the aliens on the X-Files. But there’s only so many times I can scream “THAT’S A LIE!” or “THAT DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!” or “THAT’S NOT EVEN GRAMMATICALLY CORRECT!” at the TV. So, I’m very ready to switch the channel. Peace out, Joe Scarborough, I’m gonna go watch me some Judo!
Unfortunately, this does mean I’m going to have to put up with seeing Matt Lauer’s smug face everyday, looking like he is putting on the Olympics all by him fucking self. But that’s okay! Because for every time I have to see Matt Lauer trying to look important, I get to watch Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinski being Fucking. Fabulous.
Homeboy packed 9 suitcases for a 2 week trip! And instead of putting her stuff in suitcases, girlfriend just brought entire racks of clothing, including 100 pairs of shoes! God bless these two. I hope they’re not just doing commentary on gymnastics or whatever. I want daily culture updates from Tara and Johnny. I want segment where they go to a bar and drink Caipirinhas till they fall off their stools. I want to see them trying to play foot volleyball on the beach while wearing the most preposterous bathing suits you’ve ever imagined in your life*. I want to see Tara and Johnny singing “Copacabana” and “Girl From Ipanema” at a karaoke bar. I want to see them interviewing athletes about their Tinder habits. I want to see Tara flirt with Lebron, then see Johnny flirt with Lebron. Give me The Tara and Johnny Show. I need it.
*I’m picturing 1920s bathing costume, that is somehow brazil cut in the back. And a giant-ass sun hat, of course.
Of course I fucking love the Olympics. There’s sports on all day, everyday, for 2 weeks. Turn on the TV first thing in the morning? Sports! Come home from work and flip on the boob tube while cooking dinner? Sports! Have a small, secondary window streaming stuff at work? Sports! I’m watching the Olympics right now, and it totally doesn’t matter what time you’re reading this.
Granted, some of those sports are dumb. I’m looking at you dressage. Look at this shit:
What is going on? I can’t even tell if that horse is doing a good job or a bad one. And is that horse getting a medal? No? Then get the fuck outta here. You are not an athlete. You do not belong in the Olympics. Plus, you’re probably already rich*. You don’t deserve MORE acclaim. Save a spot for that Chinese boy ping-ponging his way through college.
*Case and point, that gif is Mitt Romney’s horse
Anyway, silly random sports are part of the fun of the Olympics. Basketball, track & field, gymnastics and swimming are awesome. But it’s also awesome to randomly flip to a sport that you haven’t thought of for four years and watch the two best fencers in the world try to stab each other. Or handball? Why isn’t handball a thing in this country, besides in gym class? Handball is awesome. It’s like a crazy orgy of basketball, soccer, hockey and dodgeball. And how about synchronized diving? I sometimes mess up just trying to jump into a pool and these two guys are doing flips and shit at the same exact time. Also, I think we need more synchronized events in our lives. Everything becomes, literally, twice as hard when people are trying to do the same thing at the same time. And it doesn’t just have to be sports. Reality shows, take a page from the Olympics. Top Chef should have synchronized chopping. RuPaul’s Drag Race should have synchronized shade throwing. Real Housewives should have synchronized chardonnay drinking and hair pulling.
There’s nothing better than armchair quarterbacking these random events, as well. I get to watch 45 minutes of a sport I haven’t seen before and suddenly I’m an expert. Oh, I totally would deduct points for that vault. That wasn’t a full rotation on that last flip.
It’s also fun to get caught up in rooting for other countries. Sure, America’s great and all that. USA! USA! USA! Yadda yadda yadda. But it’s also really cool to see other countries do really well in some random sport. Like those South Korean archers? They’re mad good at shooting stuff with bows and arrows. Last Olympics, I got caught up in watching this British skeet shooter trying to medal in front of his home crowd. They were going nuts after every shot, and I couldn’t help but getting fired up. This is something everyone knows. That’s what makes multinational sporting events so special. NBC advertises for the Olympics with Michael Phelps, Carli Lloyd, Gabby Douglas and… Usain Bolt. Know why? Because sometimes it’s more fun to root for the guy who’s better at something than everyone else, ever.
But best of all, I saw something amazing while I was going through the broadcast schedule*. I was reading through the events to see what was coming up. I saw Rowing. I saw Archery. I saw Water Polo, but not the U.S, but then I saw they play at 9am, so I made note of that. I saw Air Rifle. Oh word, the Olympics have Rugby now?! It’s just Sevens, but I’ll have to be sure to check that out. And then I saw it. I’d forgotten it existed. But it returned to me in all it’s glory:
That’s right. GOLD ZONE. It’s like Red Zone, but for the Olympics. And much like comparing the Olympics to football, Gold Zone is not as nearly as cool or exciting as Red Zone. And I’m sure the host, if they even have one, is no Scott Hanson. But I’ll take it. Gold Zone, you want to mainline all the best Olympics directly into my veins with no commercials? Give it here. What’s that? You want to give me a double box of Italy-France water polo and Germany-India field hockey? Go right ahead. But be sure to switch the the USA-Spain women’s basketball at 11am. You already have that covered? Nice. Now you want to show me the Men’s Trap Final medal ceremony? Oh, Gold Zone, you know what I like. Gold Zone you are the methadone to my Red Zone heroin.
*NBC’s site is horrific, by the way. I can’t wait to have streams constantly crash for 2 weeks straight. But I’m sure it’ll manage to show me the same Coke commercial in sparkling, crisp HD, every time that happens.
Look, and I know things about the Olympics being in Brazil are awful. There’s zika virus. The government is corrupt. The water is basically poop. The accommodations are terrible. But that’s not the athletes’ fault. That’s the fault of the Brazilian government and the IOC, who ranks second in front of the NFL and behind FIFA in the Corrupt Sports Organization power rankings. This thing should never have been put in Brazil. It should be on Olympic Island in the middle of the Atlantic. We don’t need the Azores do we? We should definitely keep all that stuff in the back of our minds, but, for all those reasons I stated above, let’s all enjoy some dope ass beach volleyball.
Invite Picture Power Rankings coming early next week