Sunday, August 29, 2004

Letdown of an Olympic proportion

While drinking, I watched the finals of one of the Olympic wrestling competitions. As usual, the talk at the bar quickly changed to the sports you do not usually see on American television. It seemed shocking to see wrestling on TV, as it may be the only time they show it, especially in primetime. On Sunday morning, I was watching the Sports Reporters on ESPN and they talked about the same thing. They mention how NBC showed the same events all the time. They pointed out that if you watched only the main network, and not the cable channels showing events, that you would think the Olympics was all about gymnastics and swimming. Oh and also track. None of the exciting World sports are shown. Thankfully, their comments made me change the channel. I checked the guide and found they were showing hand ball, tae kwon do, wrestling and water polo on CNBC. That is when I found handball.
Croatia vs. Germany for the gold. I like watching these sports as I have no clue how the game is being played. After watching for a bit you can easily figure it out. Then you begin to understand the rules and the court/field. Handball is an exciting game. Some of the shots these guys get off are amazing. It is like watching a big dodgeball game, except you put the ball into the goal.
It was about this time that I started wondering if there are handball leagues in Europe. Do they have the equivalent of the NFL or MLB? From watching the game, I now know of World Handball Magazine. So I searched. There is the European Handball Federation. But this isn't a league. USA Team Handball has a site but it seems to be a general site to promote the sport.
But it was good to watch team handball. I was very disappointed I didn't get to see some other sports that I heard were fun to watch. I missed badminton. Yeah, that sounds weird but the play was supposed to be tremendous. Saw some wrestling, but I kept expecting a nice forearm smash or a piledriver. Yeah, I watch pro wrestling. It is a soap opera for men.
Other sports left me baffled. Like the competition on the trampoline. Huh? It made little sense. Why give a medal for someone who bounces and does a bunch of flips. I do not see much skill in that. Equestrian? The horse is doing all the work. Why not have horse racing as an Olympic sport too? But what has to take the cake is rhythmic gymnastics. This is the stupidest event at the games. Even worse is there is a team event. WTF? Tossing some hoops and balls in the air while you do a summersault is not a sport. Get this crap out of there!

While you are at it, get every event that needs a judge out of the Olympics. Yes, that would include most gymnastics and diving events, but these events lead to nothing but problems. Yes, these are some of the greatest athletes, but the winner always seems to be the predetermined favorite unless they royally screw up. An opinion should not lead to a winner. They should have predetermined routines for them to do. Routines that keep getting harder and force people to drop out when they cannot complete it. It would be even easier for diving. Make them perform tougher dives with more flips, turn, and twists until someone is eliminated and there is a clear cut winner. They could even be forced to do a Triple Lindy to win the gold!

One other interesting tidbit from last night. Someone had booked the party bar and no one showed up. There is a non-refundable deposit that is put down. Someone booked that party back in March. I wonder if they had the wrong date in their minds now. We are wondering if they are thinking they had it booked for a Sunday afternoon. I may have to drop in today to watch some volleyball to see if a party shows up expecting to have a party a day late!

1 comment:

Charlie Gordon said...

I lived in Germany for a while and they have amateur handball leagues. Not too sure about "professional" type leagues, but soccer and handball are the two huge sports there. Handball is usually for the guys that are too big for soccer.