Olympic Fever – Vaccinate It!

Man, am I pumped. I cannot wait for this year’s Summer Olympics. The return to Athens, Greece where it all started, the first SUMMER Game since 9/11, and another chance for the United States to show the world how superior we are.

All of the big-name athletes will be there. There’s the that female tennis star that’s so good – I forget her name. Then, of course, that guy that runs real fast will be there for the track and field stuff – I forget his name, too.

Oh, and we mustn’t forget about Ol’ What’s-His-Name that does the swimming, and that cute little girl who plays point guard for the Women’s Basketball team. Both of them are worth the price of TIVO to make sure you don’t miss a minute of their action.

Of course, all of these athletes are overshadowed by the cloud created by the athletes who won’t be in there. Between the dopers and scaredy-cats, it’s amazing that the USOC hasn’t called me to come tryout for some of the events.

The BALCO trial (if you don’t know what the BALCO trial is, visit ESPN.com and search under keyword “Barry Bonds”) has put suspicion on several athletes while causing some athletes to confess to using steroids without even knowing whether or not they were named in the Grand Jury proceedings.

As if losing our best athletes to steroids charges wasn’t enough, then we have the wimp-list of athletes who are too afraid to go to Greece for fear of terrorism. We have soldiers in Iraq who put themselves directly in harm’s way for a pay that is less than what some school teachers make, and NBA players who make millions can’t risk playing a few basketball games in a secure facility.
You would think that a “Dream Team” would consist of at least a few players from the NBA Finals, but Kobe Bryant will be starting his rape trial in August and Shaq is staying behind to officially change his self-given nickname from “The Big Aristotle,” to “The Big Sissy.”

Only one of the players from this year’s NBA finals is playing in Athens, and 25% of the squad will be from the Phoenix Suns, one of the worst teams in the NBA. This team should probably be called the “Wet-Dream Team.” The build-up will be exciting, and we’ll all try to convince ourselves that they are for real, but in the end it will just be an embarrassing mess.

Even without the big names, I hope these games will be just as much the world-wide warm-fuzzy love-fest that the 2002 Winter Games were. Remember the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City? Just five months after the towers fell, the whole world showed their support for a wounded America.
I can’t wait to see if the team from France will be waiving American flags during the opening ceremonies again. Plus we have a brand-new entry this year – “Free Iraq.” The new Iraq loves us so much that they’ll probably just fly our flag instead of that new Jewish-colored flag we gave them in the spring.

Speaking of New Iraq, I can’t wait to see them compete in some of the new non-medal events that they convinced the IOC to include this year. The “Naked Sack-over-the-head Race” should be exciting. That’s the one where the participants run naked through a prison-like maze with black sacks over their heads. The winner is the team that can amass all of its runners in a body pile at the finish line first.

I guess my other big anticipation is to see whether George W. Bush makes an appearance in Athens. In 2002 he was in the crowd of American athletes, signing autographs and talking on the cell phone to one athlete’s family. I wonder how many of this year’s athletes will want to be standing next to Bush this time.

I can’t imagine if the big name athletes are chickening out over security concerns that any of the athletes who actually show up would be eager to place themselves within blast range of the most-hated man in the Middle East.

Then again, “Old What’s-His-Name” and “That guy that runs real fast” just may have the guts (or the lack of brains) to stand proud next to the Pretender-In-Chief. If so, then God bless ‘em, and God bless America and our crappy Olympic team.


by Stephen Milstead