What a summer it will be: nothing is worth watching

Just as the NFL draft came to a close last Sunday, and as my pondering about the NBA playoffs neared completion, I am left wondering what this summer will hold. I can be relatively sure that it will be devoid of exciting sporting events, regardless of how seriously I take baseball or the Summer Olympics, or even, dare I say it, NASCAR.

Even if I wanted to get excited about the ‘roid festival that is Major League Baseball, the fact that Utah doesn’t have a team really puts a damper on my ability to enjoy the game.

After all, it can be fun to go to a Major League game to kill time, especially if you like watching fat, middle-aged men in leotards running back and forth between the mound and the dugout.

Pitching changes are typically my favorite part of the game, other than the seventh-inning stretch. You get to watch the intense decision-making of experienced baseball managers as they grapple with the age-old question of whether to use a righty or a lefty.

Then, as if the delay of the decision wasn’t enough, they take a break in the middle of the game to let a new pitcher come to the mound and practice! Why can’t they practice in the bullpen? Baseball, for all of its intensity, can put me to sleep almost any day.

All ranting about the boring sport of baseball aside, it would be more fun if there were a team in Utah.

Next on the chart of lame summer sports is the Olympics. You might think that the Olympics will be more exciting this year because of the rampant nationalism sparked by the attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

Whether you live in France, the Middle East or the United States, there is a good chance you have developed a stronger sense of oneness with the people of your country since the devastating terrorist attacks.

I think many people in the U.S. will feel vindicated when a Frenchwoman takes a spill on the uneven bars (assuming the French have any athletes that make it to the Olympics), or when some Middle Eastern runner gets beat by some American athlete (who, for all we know, is not a native of the United States at all, but now lives in America which makes him/her American).

Honestly, how does the success of an athlete from one country reflect on the country as a whole? I know this entire country melted when Mary Lou Retton dominated the 1984 Olympics, but why? Was it because a person from a “free” country defeated legions of communists who were, according to many accounts, taking illegal supplements to make them stronger or faster?

If that was the reason, we should be careful about who we cheer for this upcoming Olympics. Marion Jones and her husband are both Olympic athletes (from the United States) who have both been implicated in the recent BALCO steroid scandal.

In fact, several members of the U.S. Summer Olympic team have already been called to a federal grand jury, which doesn’t make them guilty, but it doesn’t make them innocent either.

And even if I could rally behind the empty banner of nationalism, how could I possibly invest much emotional zeal to one of the most corrupt institutions in the entire world? The IOC is so corrupt, it makes the Chinese government look good. Hell, the IOC is so corrupt, it even makes the U.S. government look good.

Now, if we could only find some way to deal with the incarceration crisis in Guantanamo Bay, we might even start to look like a democracy!

The nationalism of the Olympic Games is what bothers me the most about it. When there were still several communist regimes in the world, it was like every victory in the Olympics was a victory for or against your way of living and your way of governance.

When Jesse Owens defeated lots of white boys in front of Hitler, that proved that democracy was better. When the East Germans dominated the female swimming events in the ’80s, that proved to East Germans that communism was better. The same sentiment was felt by the Americans when Greg Louganis beat out the Chinese in diving, and obviously the same feelings were present when Retton won gold in gymnastics.

Without question, Hitler was wrong for being a racist, but Owens beating the Germans didn’t mean that democracy was better. Really, it just meant that the Founding Fathers of America were extreme racists who had been heavily involved in the slave trade. Just like East German women being turned into men didn’t prove anything either.

The point is that the quality of a country’s athletes rarely reflects accurately on the current system of governance.

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq had several world-class athletes, for example.

The final “sport” that I could take an interest in this summer is NASCAR. You can count on Americans to get excited about racing stock cars, even though every other country is more interested in competitions between highly advanced, super fast machines.

Americans are not interested in ultra-fast cars. We want to see a complete piece of s*** beat out some other piece of s***.

That way Ford and Chevy can still compete!

I could go on and on about white trash love for stock car racing, but it’s just too easy. It’s a stupid sport, but it’s all that I am left with.

At least cars can’t take steroids.

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