I love winning.
And I love America.
So I guess it sort of goes without saying that I love America winning (undefeated in two world wars, baby)!
Truthfully, America winning is probably the biggest part of the appeal of the Olympics. Let’s be honest; you’ve probably spent much of the past week watching sports you would never otherwise even think about — let alone stay glued to the television watching until midnight — had it not been for the appeal of watching one of your fellow Americans vanquish an athlete from a different country.
You’ve probably watched sports — handball, for instance — without fully understanding the rules or how it is even scored, because you want to see the Americans win.
And I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve shed a tear or two watching someone from the United States you’ve never heard of until the Olympics started standing on the medal stand while the national anthem played in the background (as a side note … in addition to having the best athletes in the world, we also have the coolest flag and the best national anthem, too).
Here’s the problem that I, as a proud American, have with the Olympics, however: We aren’t winning all of the medals and we aren’t dominating all of the sports. Don’t get me wrong, I’m proud I live in a country in which I can go to sleep every night knowing our women’s basketball team is probably never going to lose a game and the ultimate American winning machine, Michael Phelps, is going to stare some hapless South African swimmer into submission every four years.
But that’s not enough. Like most Americans, I want it all, baby.
Did you know there are actually Olympic events out there we do not own? As a matter of fact, there are Olympic events that exist in which we actually aren’t very good. For instance, did you know the Chinese are nearly unbeatable at both table tennis and badminton? More to the point, are you as appalled as I am that table tennis and badminton are even Olympic sports?
It doesn’t end there, however. It turns out Americans aren’t nearly as good as the Slovakians at canoeing. How can a country that created the movie “Deliverance” not be the best in the world at canoeing? Maybe we should have been sending Burt Reynolds to the Olympics as our canoeing representative all these years.
The list goes on and on. I guess Great Britain is the nation to beat in the Olympic sport of sailing (probably has been since the defeat of the Spanish Armada in 1588, truthfully). Hungary is the best in the world at water polo (not sure that’s a sport I ever want us to be good at — seems kind of cruel to the horses, to be honest).
I mean, sure, it’s great that America rules at most of the sports that people actually care about or pay any attention to, but again, like any true American, I want it all.
Which is why I think it’s time we add some more Olympic sports we know Americans will most certainly win. And while that may seem unfair to other countries, let’s keep in mind that, much like the aforementioned American winning machine Phelps, I don’t care about hurting the feelings of other countries.
Besides, they can keep their table tennis and their canoeing and their water polo — we aren’t looking to take those away; we just want to add a few new sports that are going to pad our gold medal total (and probably make lots of money for NBC, because we love watching our winning American Olympians on tape delay)!
For starters, I think it’s time we add bullriding to the Olympics. I’m pretty sure we’d dominate the world in that. We should also add NASCAR — not Indy Car (Europeans are way too good) — but real, American racing. We could also, of course, add American football. We wouldn’t even have to send our NFL players. I’m pretty sure we could send the Mount Union college team to the Olympics and still score 70 points per game against the world.
All of this, of course, is just a start. There are plenty more sports we could watch the Americans dominate.
For now, though, I guess we’ll just have to settle for what we have — which, of course, is all the good stuff.
Reach David Fong at [email protected]; follow him on Twitter @thefong