Sunday, August 17, 2008

Olympian quibbles

Why don't the Americans sing, or at least lip-synch, the national anthem when they're on the medal stand. The Chinese certainly do, and athletes from most of the other countries. I know it's a ridiculously difficult song to sing, but nobody can hear you in that context. But they can see whether your lips are moving or you're yukking it up with your buddies. I'm not even a big one for overt displays of patriotism, but at least pretending you know the words seems a minimal thing to ask.

And interviewers everywhere (but especially at NBC apparently). Can we retire the tired old question, "What was going through your mind when . . ." You never get anything resembling an insightful answer because chances are, if you're referring to an athletic endeavor, nothing was going through your mind because the adrenalin rushing through your body blocked any possible thoughts, and thinking might have interrupted the focus needed to get the physical job done. I know it's hard to think of good questions for athletes who have just achieved something significant, in large part because most athletes seldom have anything very interesting to say (remember the people in high school who were the jocks? how many were mental giants?). But that question is particularly lame.

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