Friday, August 13, 2004

Ba Baa Ba Ba Ba Baaaah

The Olympics have officially opened! Woo Hoo! I LOVE the Olympics. Summer, winter it makes no difference to me. For the next two weeks or so, I will be virtually glued to my television. I'm fascinated. The competition, the struggles, the personal stories, the thrill of victory and agony of defeat - I adore it all. And hey, the Olympics are not just entertaining they're educational as well. Where else would I have learned all about silly "sports" like curling? I've also learned of countries like Vanuatu, Eritrea, Comoros, Benin and Burkira Faso.

Here are my observations so far:

#1 - I'm sitting here tonight watching the opening ceremonies on NBC with somewhat mixed feelings. The major reason is because I despise Katie Couric. Can't stand her. She makes me retch. She is the most biased "journalist" (yes the quotes are on purpose) ever. When she finally figures out that her only job is to sit there and look pretty on the Today Show without channeling her obvious political views maybe I will be able to stomach her. And besides, she's too damned perky in the morning.

#2 - The commercials are very different than the winter games. Gone is the humor from Salt Lake (I loved those Bank of America commercials!) only to be replaced by lots of inspirational stuff. That's not bad, necessarily, but really it's opening night and I've already cried twice. I won't last if this crap keeps up. I did like the Corvette commercial with the kid though, mostly because of the fine print legalese that scrolled across the screen: "This is a dream. Do not drive without a license. Obey all traffic laws." Guess they have to protect themselves from moronic lawsuits. Thank you McDonalds and your stupid coffee lady.

#3 - I really could do without all the artsy fartsy stuff preceding the parade of nations. Sure, it was cool, but let's face it. I'm not an artsy fartsy kind of gal.

#4 - You've got to love how they announce the countries. First in Greek (which is to be understood), then French and then English. ACK! After 4 semesters of French I HATE the language. Why French? Is this meant to torment me? Why not Italian? Isn't Italy closer to Greece anyway? Or Spanish even - surely that language is more widespoken than friggin French. Bastages. The countries came in per the GREEK alphabet. Who the hell knows what that is anyway? I can name several fraternities, but I cannot hope to recite the alphabet.

#5 - The Greeks are big wusses. A big deal was made about security at the games. Greece was apparently announcing to anyone who would listen that they do not support the war in Iraq, nor the US policies there in hopes, I suppose, to ward off any possible terrorist attacks. Screw 'em. Who do you think Greece, France, Germany and the rest of them would come running to if they were actually under attack? You got it. Big Daddy. I'm all for the "truce" the UN was touting during the games (which is amazing because I usually think the UN are a bunch of morons). This is a sporting event and has nothing to do with politics. It just chaps my behind that Greece announced their nonsupport out of what I can only believe is fear. Buck up, tighten up and play on I say.

#6 - I really hate commentators, the professional ones anyway. If you've played the sport, rock on. But the cruelest thing I heard tonight was uttered by the mannequins counterpart (was it Bob Costas I think?). He made sure to mention that 86 nations have NEVER won a medal in a games, so this parade of nations was the biggest thrill of their lives. Ouch. Yes, it's certainly true, but damn! It just struck me as a bit nasty tonight to hear it out loud.

#7 - Was it me, or did anyone else think the US basketball team looked like a bunch of thugs in the parade? *sigh* And Alan Iverson's Mommy should have discussed the virtue of chewing gum with his mouth CLOSED. But hey, he's a hometown boy, so I guess I should feel some pride. I'm trying to feel it. Really.

Speaking of hometown heroes, we have another one in the games this year and it happens to be in one of my favorite sports. I am a big fan of women's soccer. Part of that is the fact that the Little One is a kick ass soccer player. I honestly don't say that because I gave birth to her. I promise. At 9 years old she is already being recruited by schools in the area. Hello....she's NINE! There is one coach from a private school that keeps telling me he'd love to coach her and constantly asks when she's going to come play for him. I reply, "when you pay her tuition." I'm not stupid. She even played a tournament this year as a guest player on a team. It was a big tourney, too. Teams came from as far as Canada. If you are not familiar with soccer tourney rules, teams are allowed 2 to 3 "guest players" that are not on the regular team roster. Back in the day I would call them "ringers." In the tourney she played as a guest player, she scored the only goal in the final for her team. Her team lost 2-1. BUT she was the only player to score against this team the ENTIRE tourney. Yup...until the final, the winning team was not scored on. The opposing coach even singled her out when he accepted his trophy. Her team was second and we have another trophy to collect dust. And DAMN do I sound like the proud soccer mom or what??? Those of you who know me know how ridiculously funny that thought is. I am NOT a soccer Mom!!! I will NEVER drive a mini-van. I do NOT scream from the side-lines....sort of. But hey, as long as she loves the game we'll support her. Who knows? Maybe there's a college scholarship in her future?

Which brings me back to our hometown hero (bet you were wondering when I would refocus). Angela Hucles is a member of the US Olympic women's soccer team for the first time this year. We ADORE Angela! First, as I said she is a hometown hero. She came up through boys soccer in our area because there was no girls league back in the day. You GO girl! Second, she went to the University of Virginia on a full scholarship...AND graduated with an anthropology degree. AND she played for the Boston Breakers in the WUSA. That's pro gang. But she always has advocated education. If injuries end her career, she has that degree to fall back on. She is very accessible to girls in our area, and very supportive to them all. She remembers them, which is a BIG thing for a kid.

Did I mention that Angela's Dad is my advisor at school? Yup. Dr. Hucles is many things, soccer Dad, Ph.D. in history, my African American history professor, referee for a couple of the Little One's games..and least in his list, he is my faculty advisor. I hope he is enjoying his trip to Greece! I can't wait to get the details when he returns for the fall semester.

Oh...and the icing on the cake? Traditionally there is one sport in the games that actually begins FIRST, before the opening ceremony. It's football. And the US women stomped Greece 3-1 on Wednesday. Mia Hamm had a goal and an assist. GO USA!!!

I was going to end the post the opening ceremonies were ending. THEN Bjork came out. God I love her. And as if I haven't been through the emotional ringer, there was the guy running the track as they announced each games from 1896 through 2004 complete with the city. I am spent my friends. Was it good for you too?


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Name: Cattiva
Location: Virginia, United States

About Me: I'm the mom of three: #1 Son (20), The Princess of Wails (17) and their baby brother - The Baby (6). I was a grad-student working on an MA in history until we were surprised - I mean blessed - with The Baby. I'll get back to it...someday (the thesis, not the kid - I have no choice concerning the kid). I am one of only a few people I went to school with who is actually using their history degree in my career (and to think my Father called it Basket-weaving!). I live a very hectic life amongst massive clutter. I call it a good day if we have managed to get home at night without losing one of the kids (no matter how hard I try!). Friends say I have a humorous take on life's happenings. The sad part is that what I write about is true. I laugh to keep from crying.

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