The London Olympics start today, and I’m really sort of trying to make myself care.
This is after basically not concerning myself with the Olympics since probably 1976, and that was mainly because that year McDonald’s had this promotion where you could win Big Macs, Quarter Pounders, etc. when American athletes won medals in various events.
What it comes down to is, while I want my countrymen to do well, with or without free junk food attached, I just don’t find the Games, summer or winter, all that interesting. And the way they’ve often been telecast — tape-delayed, with a heavy emphasis on gauzy features on athletes overcoming one challenge or another — makes them seem less a sporting event than a prime-time soap opera. Like “Dynasty” with skates or hurdles.
We’re dealing with the Summer Games now, of course, where the three marquee sports — track, swimming and gymnastics — are so “marquee” that they are effectively never on TV except for the Olympics.
My favorite sport in the Summer Olympics is basketball, but as much as I love the game, it’s always seemed really out of place in the Summer Olympics, inasmuch as it’s a winter sport in our country. But it can’t be in the Winter Games because that’s strictly a snow and ice affair.
Despite all of that, I’ve decided this time around to try to pay a bit more attention to the Games. Not completely sure why, really; I just have, even though my favorite overall sport, baseball, has been bounced from the Games, along with softball.
I’m not too up in arms over that, though. Baseball seemed kind of lost amid the modern pentathlon and the horse and archery stuff and of course the track, swimming and gymnastics.
Basically, it’s always seemed to be that the only sports that really belong in the Olympics are those sports for which the Games represent the pinnacle. Baseball, for example, has the World Series, and the College World Series for that matter.
But as I said, I will try to follow Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps et al. as they do their thing in England. Wish me luck.
And now, Catch of the Day No. 15, a mid-1960s Wilson 613 that I picked up a junk store in Couer d’Alene in 2001. Most Wilson model numbers feature an A followed by four digits; not totally sure why this one doesn’t — maybe it’s a military-issue glove. Anyway, here it is — the leather patch was a repair job done by Albany’s No-D-Lay shoe shop: