Monday, August 11, 2008

U-S-A, U-S-A, U-S-A!!!

How you like us now France?

You wanna know why I can hardly talk today? It's because last night...along with a ton of other Americans...I became a swimming fanatic.

Yes indeed people, the 2008 Olympic games are here and if you haven't been watching I suggest you stop being such a commie and switch on NBC for a while tonight and root your face off for athletes who you don't know...but will soon make you their biggest fan.

In case you missed it last night (I dunno how you could) the American Men's 400 freestyle relay team put on a performance for the ages. When Jason Lezak entered the pool as the American's last swimmer...he trailed the last swimmer from France by an entire body length. The French, who earlier had claimed they were going to "Smash the Americans" were still one body length a head as the two swimmers turned to make the final trip down the pool. It looked as though the Frenchies were gonna take it, but then Lezak, the teams oldest member (32), swam faster than anyone ever before him in the same event. As the two swimmers got closer to the finishing wall...Lezak got closer to the Frenchman. Then, in what has to be one of the best buzzer beaters in sports history...Lezak out touched the Frenchman by .08 of a second...lifting his USA team to a Gold medal and lifting me out of my chair and into the air!

In a race where the Americans crushed the world record, (in fact the top 5 teams in the race beat the previous world record) they also showed the greatness of the Olympics.

Within seconds of the race I got two phone calls, one from my older brother and one from my good buddy Tom up in New York. "HOLY CRAP THAT WAS AWESOME" screamed Ben. "I HAD TO CALL SOMEONE AND I KNEW YOU WERE WATCHING" barked Tom. Indeed boys, Indeed. The show quickly turned to the studio where Bob Costas and Chris Collinsworth sat as giddy as two little school girls. You could tell they had just been up celebrating as well. This morning, talk radio shows were filled with callers talking about how they were just screaming "GO!! GO!!! YEAAHHHHHHH" at their television. Another caller talked about being outside for a cigarette and hearing other people in their neighboorhood screaming at the top of their lungs...only to realize they had stepped out and missed such a great moment.

You see, that's whats great about the games. In a country where sports are as important as can be, rivalries often get the best of people. Whether it's Yanks vs. BoSox, Cards vs. Cats, Heels Vs. Dookies...people are often divided, sometimes in their own homes, when it comes to sports. But, during the Olympics...everything changes. Mothers, sons, fathers, uncles, daughters, neighbors, friends and strangers are all rooting for THEIR country. Even though most people who watched the race last night probably couldn't tell you 2 out of 4 of the swimmers' names...they will be able to tell you years from now where they were and who they were with...and most of proud they felt.

Me, I was with my mom...screaming at the TV, pounding my fists on the arm of the couch, jumping up into the air and screaming in joy as if I had done something to help Michael Phelps, Garret Weber-Gale, Cullen Jones and Jason Lezak provide what is sure to be one of the best moments in Olympic history...but I wasn't alone...there were plenty of other newborn American swim fans doing the same thing last night.

If you're sitting there thinking, man...that was such an awesome moment why should I waste anymore time watching the clearly were more productive than me this weekend. I watched about 50,000 hours of Olympic coverage and here are a few things to look forward too.

1.) The Men's basketball team opened with a monster game against China...winning by 30 points and looking like they are THE team to beat regardless of what has happened to them in years past. They play tomorrow morning at 8:30, I think you can watch the game for free online at

2.) Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor play again tonight in primetime as they look to defend their gold medal in beach volleyball...these chicks can roll...just watch.

3.) That Michael Phelps dude...he's back in the pool tonight looking for gold medal #3 and looking to keep alive his hopes of winning 8 golds this Olympics and becoming the greatest Olympian ever!

Also, I just want to say that love him or hate him...the presence of the President at all the events has also added to the enjoyment of the games for me. It is great to see him cheering on these atheltes who get less glory than MLB, NBA and NFL athletes, but work twice as hard and face more pressure than you and I will face in our lives combined. However, it doesn't seem as though the president minded being over there and meeting the athletes too know what I'm saying?
He also apparently told the basketball team before the game to, "Go get a W, for W!" What a hilarious man.

Ok, sorry for the long post...but I love the Olympics. Do yourself a favor a tune in tonight.


Song of the Day: Bruce Springsteen - Born To Run
Beer of the Day: Pabst Blue Ribbon! (No imports for the next two weeks)

1 comment:

Leslie Hast said...

Wow...finally someone who loves the Olympics as much as I do!