Mon. February 18
Wrestling Pinned by Pretentious Cocktail Parties
Ken “Hawk” Harrelson is the long-time play-by-play man for Chicago White Sox baseball television broadcasts. One of his many infamous catch-phrases–“He gone!”–can be heard following every single solitary White Sox-induced strikeout from spring training to the final pitch of the season. It’s humiliating for the opponent and completely unnecessary.
And, even as a committed Chicago Cubs fan, I kind of love it.
Along those same lines, wrestling enthusiasts of the world were flabbergasted to learn this past week that as far as their beloved freestyle and Greco-Roman events go, come seven short years from now “They gone!” from international competition.
LAUSANNE (CNN) — Wrestling may have lost its grip in the Olympic Games.
The Executive Board of the International Olympic Committee announced Tuesday that it has recommended dropping the sport from the Summer Games beginning in 2020.
“Wrestling will now join the seven shortlisted sports — baseball/softball, karate, roller sports, sport climbing, squash, wakeboarding and wushu — vying for inclusion in the 2020 Olympic program as an additional sport,” the IOC said in a statement.
Wrestling? Really, International Olympic Committee? That’s what you just had to eliminate? The sport of wrestling is almost as old as the tendency for committees of snobbish elitists to make horrific, short-sighted and self-serving decisions.
And that hilarious wise-crack just now speaks to what I believe is the worst part of this unnecessary story: the decision to dump wrestling came down to whose lobbyists schmoozed best.
From a Los Angeles Times report:
International Softball Federation chief Don Porter is in Lausanne, Switzerland, because his sport of women’s softball was cut from the Games before last summer’s London Games and he is hoping to have it reinstated at meetings in May. So he goes wherever the IOC is and lobbies. Cocktail parties and coffee shops are his life.
“These are their Games,” Porter says, “and we have to play them.”
Reports from Lausanne said that the wrestling federation didn’t push as hard as the modern pentathlon people, that these are games won or lost not on the playing field, but standing alongside a bar, a glass of fine Bordeaux in hand.
This makes me physically ill to read. We should send American hero Bruce Baumgartner over to the stupid country that makes their fancy little watches and keeps all of Mitt Romney’s money in secret bank accounts so that he can smash a bottle of merlot over IOC president Jacques Rogge of Belgium’s head (before placing each member of the Executive Board into crippling figure-four leg-locks.)
I want to see something done to these cheese-eating wrestling-haters that would make even John Stossel cringe. (Note: if you failed to appreciate that reference, PLEASE watch this!)
Official Olympic records have been kept since 1896, but men have been competing in feats of strength, endurance, and agility for centuries. There is something visceral and primal about these types of athletic events. Prominent men of previous generations, whether they personally competed in them or not, understood this in ways that would be a waste of time to try and explain to the Gen: Peanut Allergy of today. Most politicians no longer care to speak up on behalf of masculine pursuits and pastimes too loudly for fear of being seen as anything other than a gender-neutral piggy-bank.
At the turn of the twentieth century, however, President Teddy Roosevelt was an avid wrestling and judo aficionado himself. Having boxed in college, after spending most of his childhood indoors due to asthma, Roosevelt embraced his masculinity via various athletic, physically challenging pursuits and encouraged others at home and abroad to do the same. While receiving visitors from Japan at the White House, Teddy witnessed a demonstration of judo by Yoshiaka Yamashita against an American wrestler. He was fascinated with the sport and began studying the art of judo under this same teacher, eventually becoming the first American to achieve the rank of brown belt.
My word–but what would the women of The View think! I pray I don’t live long enough to have to read reports that have Sensai Yamashita luring President Roosevelt into promoting the sport by refilling his caviar plate and empty glass of Chardonnay enough times during their vacation together in Martha’s Vineyard.
Alright, so why does any of this even matter? What’s the big deal with canceling a sport that gives guys cauliflower ears and ring worm, anyway?
Personally, I see the ease with which a council of progressive snobs removes a basic sport like wrestling from the Olympics as being merely example #14,562 of the 20,000 ways Western civilization is sending the message to men: STOP BEING MEN! Stop being manly! Stop wanting to be strong and powerful (or, at the very least, applaud and cheer on those who are)!
Enough with your boyish immaturities and start focusing on the important stuff like diversity training seminars and trust-falls during your company’s “team-building exercises” weekend retreat.
The important thing to remember is this: Table Tennis is an Olympic sport.