OK, we’ve seen Andy Murray and Serena Williams win singles – great, exciting, pip pip, etc. But tennis shouldn’t be in the Olympics (and the same goes for golf, which is regrettably planned to be introduced as an Olympic sport in Rio in 2016).
WHY do I make this cranky and probably unpopular statement?
Simple: the Olympics is where the world sees who is the best athlete in each individual sport, where there aren’t generally well-publicized events otherwise. (quick: do you remember the last time world champions were decided in Women’s 8s?). These are athletes who are almost all amateurs, making remarkable sacrifices to be able to prove their mettle to the world (and themselves) on a grand stage.
Well, tennis happens to have a schedule of major tournaments that are conducted among the world’s best players 4 TIMES EVERY YEAR! French Open, US Open, Australian Open..and we just finished Wimbledon, for crying out loud! So why do we need yet another tournament that will only steal television coverage from those athletes who are more deserving of this quadrennial spotlight? Additionally, these pro tennis players already have more fame and fortune than most humans – – perhaps being deprived of the honor of representing the US is the price they have to pay. On the other hand, maybe the US competitors could start by doing better in the Davis Cup! ‘Golden Slam’? Spare me.
Ditto for Golf. We just don’t need it in the Olympics. Let’s start by doing a little better in the Ryder Cup, eh chaps?
And in the ‘is this a joke’ category, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has apparently started lobbying for ‘US-style football’ to be included in future Olympics. He claims there are 64 countries already playing the sport, which is some sort of requirement. Well, I’ll agree that Texas and a few other states could be considered countries, but mostly – – ARE YOU KIDDING ME?
While we’re making a list of sports that shouldn’t be part of the Olympics, let’s not forget to add basketball? Why on Earth do we have a sport with a trillion or so professional, overly paid athletes playing? These are all the same guys that I can see playing together each February in the annual All-Star game. Geez!