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Sunday, August 10, 2008

Quick Olympic Editorial (?)

I was watching the men's trap shooting today and was disappointed that no American was anywhere near the finals, let alone medaling. Now, of all there are some sports we should always be in contention for. We invented Baseball and Basketball, and while we've dominated the later, we've never really been a baseball power, and even with MLB players we had a disappointing finish at the WBC a few years ago.
Which, I digress now, is partially why it makes no sense for the IOC to have this be the last year for baseball. Softball makes sense just because the American team has been so painfully dominant, and fewer countries play it. But Baseball is more than ever an international game. And for the first time its probably more popular out of the US than inside of it. And not only in the Caribbean countries where it's feverishly popular and in some rivaling soccer. But its growing in many central and south American countries, is of course huge in Japan, Korea, and Taiwan, and is growing in Thailand, the Philippines, and China. In fact, in preparation for this Olympics several former MLB types were brought over to China to help grow the game. So. I don't know where the IOC gets off saying not enough countries play it.
But aside from Baseball and Basketball, the "re-deem team" so coined, nothing is more American than guns. We are a nation built by guns, made up of guns and gun lovers. We have more guns in this country than any other nation in history. We love our guns almost religiously. We have a reverence for the right to own and shoot ridiculously unnecessary types of guns (maybe that's the problem, maybe the IOC needs an armour piercing bullet, or M-16 category). Guns even have more rights than some of our citizens. So how is it that it seems each Olympics we lose to European countries where its nearly impossible to get a gun, let alone find a place to shoot it. Now, I'm not talking about the air rifle category. Those guns aren't guns so much as technological contraptions, I mean they look like something for the Wii. But how is it that we can't find anyone who can shoot a shotgun better than an Italian or a Czech? The Russians I can understand just a little bit. But are we just not looking? Are you telling me that we can't find a few good ol' boys to shoot some clay pigeons? So, let's appoint Ted Nugent to head a committee, find some gun nuts and lets show the world our priorities. Gymnastics? bah. Swimming? Meh. Beach Volleyball? Bikinis, ok. But Guns; Rhythmic movement or whatever they call it isn't in the constitution. Lets get on this and show the world what really matters to us. We spend so much on weapons already why can't we get spend a little more and get a good Olympic shooting team? Because chanting "USA USA" at a cycling event just isn't the same as chanting "USA! USA!" to a guy joyously holding a shotgun above his head as the American flag is raised in a small cover of gunsmoke.

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