*Make no mistake about it, gold medal all-around winner Paul Hamm is a tough guy; do not be mislead by the fact that, when Hamm talks, he sounds as if he had a horrific pommel horse mishap at puberty.
As of this drug test, Maurice Green is the 100- meter favorite, but why haven’t we heard anything about who is favored in the 100-meter backwards run? Or how about the 200-meter skip? Or the 400-meter crawl on your knees?
Well, that’s because, unlike the seemingly endless array of swimming events, track only awards those who go from point A to point B the fastest. It’s a good thing NBC has enthusiastic and knowledgeable announcer Rowdy Gaines instead of, oh, say me. If I were the swimming color commentator it would go something like this:
Well, Dan, it looks like everyone is swimming . . . again.”
The thing is like “Groundhog Day Goes to The Pool.” Synchronized diving for the love of Richard Simmons? Even Greg Louganis snickers at those folks.
The swimming medal goes to the person who covers the distance the fastest. Period. If somebody wants to swim on their back instead of doing the crawl, that’s hunky dory, just don’t expect to be talking to NBC uber-babe Melissa Stark after the race. And is there really that much difference between the 100- meters distance and 200-meter in swimming? On the track yes, but in the pool the difference is, well, kind of a wash.
Here are the events we - if I may- normal folks would want to see. Keep the 100-meter freestyle and 400-meter freestyle. Then we would have one long swim, like 5,000 meters, but out in the ocean. (Let’s factor some ocean critters in this thing) Maybe keep the 400 I.M. if you want to see those fancy strokes like the breast, back and butterfly.
After that it would be cool pool events. The Biggest Cannonball Splash. The Marco Polo Championships. The Farthest Underwater Swim. The Who-Can-Restart-the-Grill-Fastest-After- Getting-Splashed-By-the-Cannonball-Winner event. And, the pinnacle of water sports, the Who-Can-Go-Swimming-The-Soonest-After-Eating-Without-Drowning-From-a-Cramp.
Why, oh, why doesn’t anyone talk to me before they plan these things, Torn Slatterns and Nugget Ranchers?