Unrealized Potential

The Olympic season is simply amazing. It’s a time when the entire world is united in captivation, watching finely-tuned athletic specimens compete at the highest level. It’s a time when Nationalism reigns and past wars seem less distant (Remember the Maine!!). It’s a time when young men and women can become global icons, but forgotten quickly enough that they don’t go all Britney Spears batshit crazy on us. It’s a time to forget about crippling unemployment levels and the Barclay’s scandal, and just throw ungodly amounts of depression-inducing money into funding a 17-day-long event. Finally, it’s the time, every two years, where I have the feeling that if I’d really tried, I could’ve made the Olympic Badminton team.

Honestly, it’s not just Badminton either. There’s also Curling, Luge, and anything equestrian to name a few. There are a couple of reasons I’m so confident I could make these Olympic squads if I’d tried. First, they’re not real sports. I mean, they’re not, right? Curling? Not a sport… If you’re sweeping you’re kitchen floor you’re unintentionally doing the most demanding part of curling. Luge may be one of the most fun-looking Olympic events ever, but it’s not a sport. McCannon, and I were posting Olympic times sledding down his back yard when we were 9. On to horses. Pretty easy: Olympics are for human sports.

I’m probably being too hard on these “sports.” In all honesty, my argument that I could make these teams has nothing to do with whether or not they fit as classic sports, it’s a numbers game. Can anyone reading this actually say they know, or have even heard of a friend knowing, anyone that plays any of these “sports”. Do you ever remember any of your friends growing up saying, “sorry I couldn’t come chill last thursday, my badminton practice ran long.” No. Of course you don’t. It has never happened. In fact, I’m pretty convinced that these Olympic teams are made up two weeks before the events, and are comprised of every day schmucks like you and I. Think about it, if you were watching complete amateurs compete in these sports, would you know the difference? No. We just assume this is as good as curling gets because it’s the Olympics.

Oh well. The truth of the matter is that I’m jealous. These “athletes” have found a way to beat the system and are now competing for the right to say they are the best in world; I can’t do that. But all is not lost. I still have a chance to live my Olympic dreams vicariously through a future son and you can be damn sure I’m not making the same mistake twice. That’s why I’ve got a plan to guide my son gently towards the sports in which he has the best chance at medaling.

Basically, if my son ever picks up a baseball I’ll call him a pussy. If he wants to dabble in soccer I’ll tell him that’s fine, but that Jesus hates his choice. If he asks about volleyball, he’ll learn that is how you get AIDS. I’m white so we don’t have to worry about basketball. BUT when my son inquires about badminton?! Holy shit… I’m immediately taking him to chucky cheese to ensure he knows he’s pleased his father. On the way home we’re stopping by sports authority and getting the most expensive badminton racquet and shuttlecock combo pack that they sell (thinking that’s around $35?). Then it’s just a waiting game. Eventually, because only one of 10 other people who take badminton seriously, he’ll compete in the Olympics. And because he’ll have my natural athleticism, he’ll get gold and I’ll be able to retire on some of that World Champion money.

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