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Friday, July 30, 2021

The Olympics drinking game.

Really, how did it take us so long to come up with one?
  • Ten seconds into the show we're already at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium LIVE for a heat the Women's 400M Hurdles. The empty chairs go wild! I think track and field is where a lack of fans will be the most noticeable. In the biggest event, the Men's 100M, the stadium is dead quiet until the gun goes off, then an entire stadium of people starts cheering. This year, the gun will go off and there will be silence. There was silence at the swimming competitions, too, but there the athletes spend half their time with their heads underwater, so they don't notice as much. The track events are going to be surreal.
  • And just like that, the empty stadium becomes an issue. In the second heat, a second starting gun goes off… or is there an echo?… and some of the runners stop. Was there a false start? An echo? What happened? No one seems to know, but it probably wouldn't have happened in a stadium full of people.
  • Dalilah Muhammad is from Queens and she believes in community. She ran in a community center when she was a kid. The community supports her. Her parents are big believers in community. Did I miss a memo? Is this some kind of drinking game? "Community!" Drink! Fluff.
  • Dalilah wins her hurdles heat. You know, for her community. Drink!
  • More LIVE events, this time Women's Beach Volleyball, with US team number two playing Brazil. The Americans win!
  • How about a field update? American pole vaulter Sam Kendricks tested positive for COVID yesterday and was declared ineligible to compete. So what does the US do? They call home. Matt Ludwig finished fourth in US trials and was at home 36 hours ago. Now he's here vaulting in place of Kendricks. Think you could be ready to be called up to the Olympics in the next day-and-a-half?
  • Mary Carillo is back with some quality fluff. Caeleb Dressel is a Florida Man, proudly, and Mary is going to take advantage of that. The only thing wrong with this segment is that Mary isn't actually in it, she's just narrating. Anyway, Caeleb and his wife take a ride on an airboat through the swamps of Florida. They love it, and he says it adds to his "Florida Man" credibility.
  • Back in Florida tonight, there's a watch party going on for Caeleb and the US swim team. There are more people in the Florida room for this watch party than there are in the Tokyo swim facility. That's just weird.
  • LIVE swimming! Can Florida Man Dressel bring home the 100M Butterfly gold to the swamp? Not only does he win gold, he also gets the world record!
  • LIVE gymnastics update. Simone Biles won't be in at least two of the four women's individual events. Adjust your bets accordingly.
  • Back to the pool. Who wants one more Ledecky vs. Titmus race? We do! We do! Tonight it's the 800M Freestyle final. That's half a mile, so it takes a while. And after that while, Ledecky wins, so she's now won more gold medals than any American swimmer ever. Is that her last ever race in the Olympics, asks Michele Tafoya? Ledecky laughs off the question and says she's coming back in 2024 and maybe even 2028.
  • Medal time! Caeleb gets another gold. Doesn't the US Olympic Committee have a huge budget? Couldn't they have gotten some better masks, ones that don't look like muzzles? If I can't see the athletes sing, they should at least look good. Another complaint: what's the first thing every athlete does once their anthem is over? They take of their masks and smile for the photographers! What don't they just make wider podiums for social distancing and not force the masks on the winners?
  • On to the fastest event in the water, the Men's 50M, where Dressel, fresh off a win and a medal ceremony in the last hour, takes first place in his semifinal. How could he be ready for another event so quickly? I'm sure it helps that he has the support of his swimming community. Drink!
  • Get your coffee ready, it's Steve Kornacki time! He tells us how much faster, higher, and stronger Olympic athletes are than us normal people. Then he breaks down upcoming track and field records to watch for. Could this be serious reporting and not fluff? Well, it could be, if it wasn't for the anime characters making his points. That's okay. At least it was informative.
  • And now for something completely different! A brand new swimming event debuts tonight, the Mixed 4x100M Medley Relay. Each team has two men and two women that can go in any order, so on any given segment, there could be men racing versus women. You won't really be able to tell who's ahead until the very end. The US strategy is to hold Caeleb Dressel until the final leg when he'll do freestyle versus all the other countries who are finishing with women doing breaststroke. Is that a good strategy? Nope! The US is so far behind by the time Caeleb hits the water that he can't make up the gap. Usually there's not a lot of strategy visible in the swimming events, so it was fun to see a race where it was.
  • Hurdler Keni Harrison's family is really important to her. Might she say they were a community? Drink! No, she didn't actually say that. But she has a big family and wants to make them proud. Awwwww. Fluff.
  • We're back on the track, but not live, for the Women's 100M hurdles. Keni wins her heat.
  • Medal time number two. Katie Ledecky gets hers. Is she singing? It looks like her throat is moving, so maybe! And literally seconds after the anthem ends, the mask comes off and she smiles with her medal.

Just saying community (drink!) is a poor basis for a drinking game. We really need to put some more thought into this. We still have a week to go. Drop me some comments on my Facebook page and maybe we can work something out by the end of the Games.

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