She’s Not Impressed

Associated Press

Jerry Seinfeld famously pointed out that the Silver Medal is the tragedy of the Olympics, because 2nd place is really the number 1 loser,

“Nobody lost better than you… of all the losers, you came in first… of that group.”

While there may be a bit of wry reality in his statements (no athlete is really shooting for silver) every Olympic event gives out the Silver Medal as the second highest honor that an athlete can achieve in international competition.  It’s an achievement, not a demerit.

Still, not everybody is impressed with a Silver Medal finish…

…occasionally it’s the Silver Medalist.

This year’s Olympics have featured quite a few petulant 2nd placers, not the least of which is 16 year-old American gymnast McKayla Maroney.  While Maroney’s athletic performance fell shy of the Gold, her dramatic performance during the medal ceremony will be remembered for years to come.

Maroney couldn’t force her face to hide her disappointment, and she also couldn’t bring her eyes to look at the medal after receiving it.  She actually crossed her arms in front  of it, hiding it from view.

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Do Cheaters Prosper?

Associated Press

This week South African swimmer Cameron Van Der Burgh won the Gold Medal in the 100 meter breastroke, and set a world record in the process.

In a dramatic twist, he also admitted to cheating while doing it.

In international breast stroke competition, swimmers are only allowed one “dolphin kick” (wiggling like a worm underwater) before beginning their strokes. Television cameras showed Van Der Burgh taking at least three.

Dolphin kicks maintain the momentum from the dive or wall push, allowing you to continue torpedoing through the water… as opposed to say, swimming.

To be fair, many Olympic swimmers do this. In fact, dolphin kicks were completely illegal until it was discovered that nearly all competitors were performing them, then the governing body decided to allow one.

This giving an inch has led to taking a mile, or in Van Der Burgh’s case 20,000 leagues.

To be honest, Van Der Burgh didn’t volunteer that he cheated, but when confronted, he confirmed and then defended his decision.

“‘If you’re not doing it, you’re falling behind.  It’s not obviously – shall we say – the moral thing to do, but I’m not willing to sacrifice my personal performance and four years of hard work for someone who is willing to do it and get away with it.”

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Blazing Spaghetti Bread

The Spaghetti Factory is one of my guilty pleasures.  I know that it’s not high-quality Italian food, but it’s better, faster, cheaper, and more fun than the majority of its competitors.  I say more fun because for some reason the folks behind Portland’s world-famous purveyor of pasta decided that they needed to build doors big enough to allow Hagrid entrance to their establishment.  Where else can you get to eat spaghetti and feel like you are visiting the set of “The Hobbit”?

I like to order salad with the creamy pesto, an iced tea, the Mizithra cheese or the meat sauce with zesty sausage, and finish it off with a rock hard scoop of spumoni.  For my money there’s only one problem with a visit to the Spaghetti Factory.

The Bread Course.

Now it’s not that the freshly baked loaf they bring to your table isn’t delicious.  It’s just that there’s absolutely no way to eat it.  The Spag Fac’s Achilles heel is delivered alongside your steaming bread and garlic butter.

It’s the world’s dullest knife.

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