The Games Begin and It’s Not About Food Deprivation

Let the games begin or so we thought. I’m sorry London, but the opening night’s ceremony was disjointed, overly long and kinda creepy. The opening film was much like the beginning clip in the movies when you are optically strapped in a roller coaster and told where the waste receptacles are located.  Kenneth Branagh strutting about surrounded by six or seven Abraham Lincolns doing a very strange version of the cabbage patch dance was just plain odd. It took forever for those dang smoke stacks to rise and what was with the giant baby?

Each host country has its own issues with the ceremonies. Canada is still living down its giant beavers and Atlanta hangs its head over that embarrassing walking blue sperm, but last night? As one of Bashert friend’s said, one needed a PhD in British history to understand what was going on.

We didn’t make it to the torch lighting ceremony or to hear Sir Paul sing. With all the commercial interruptions made by NBC, what was probably two hours in person was stretched to something like four over here. The announcers kept making the comment that the march of athletes was moving at a record pace; sure couldn’t tell it as a home viewer in the USA. Two countries, three commercials, three countries, four commercials…

It wasn’t all bad. The bit with the Queen was cute. Who knew she had such a sense of humor to play along in public? Our biggest attention grabber came from Rowan Atkinson. Call us lowbrow, but his slapstick was funny. I will never look at “Chariot of Fire” in the same light again. The firework rings were pretty cool too.

NBC’s coverage hasn’t improved greatly. I mean, we are five hours behind the action, why in the world are they stuffing the program with inane material? Ryan Seacrest reviewing the number of tweets the Queen received was by far one of the most most frustrating pieces I’ve seen in a long time. I understand having to pay for the programming, but really? Seacrest? Can we vote him off?

What the next two weeks, plus will bring no one knows? Phelps defeated! USA number one in qualifying for gymnastics? China and Australia winning gold medals in swimming? So many possibilities, so much talent. Good luck, good health and good sportsmanship to all the contestants. Make the Olympic Gods proud! Maybe they will be pleased enough to send down a lightning bolt to take out Seacrest.

Are you ready for some futball? I’m not.

I’m not much on soccer.

Last time I played was in sixth grade.  I was the goalie, but never understood why I couldn’t come out of my little box. I once ran the ball all the way down the field only to find the coach and all my team mates standing back with mouths agape. Yeah, my soccer career didn’t last long.

We tried putting our son in the YMCA league, but that didn’t work out either.  We spent the first four years of his life telling him to share and then told him he needed to get the ball away.  Very confusing.  He didn’t like staying in the little box either.

I must admit I caught the fever in 1999 when the USA women’s team marched to the World Cup finals.  My partner and I watched the match with two friends.  I think we scared them with our, shall we say, exuberant couch coaching and celebrations.

But there’s really not been much since then.

It’s been with dispassionate interest that I’ve been watching my friends’ exchanges on Facebook about this year’s World Cup.  I wasn’t sure if I was up to the same fever pitch as 12 years ago.  Outside of the US, I was clueless as to who was playing.

But there was something mentioned about a Wombat, Han Solo and a singing coach, so I my curiosity got the better of me when my partner suggested watching the match and I said why not?

We ordered some delivery chinese food, took up our places in front of the couch and readied ourselves for the game.

Ah, they were playing the Japanese team. It turned out to be Abby Wombach and Hope Solo.  It was far more interesting the other way.  Apparently, the coach does sing though.

We were all very enthusiastic in the beginning.  Then slowly we sort of drifted away.  Our son went back to his game of Bejeweled®, my partner worked on her writing and I dozed on the couch.

Its not that it wasn’t an exciting match.  It was filled with skill and speed.  A nail biter all the way to the last penalty kick.  And up to a certain point I was all in the “Go USA” zone.

Its just that it was, well – soccer.

I must apologize up front to many of my friends, some of whom are die hard fans and others actual players. Soccer is just doesn’t run in my blood.

To meet me in person, one might think I was in to all kinds of sports, at least you would have before my last few years of stress eating and the resultant non-muscle bulk up and ever encroaching grey hair.  But no, not a sports nut.

I’m more the High Holiday sort of sports fan.  I watch maybe a game or two of the World Series and the Super Bowl, but that’s about it.  I do enjoy a good Iron Man competition though.  How many of those stones could you lift?

Anyway, back to soccer or rather my disinterest in soccer.

Soccer is a game of speed, skill and courage.  I couldn’t manage a game now if my life depended on it.  Going upstairs in a hurry leave me breathless these days. I am in awe of those who can play.  It’s a stamina that is most amazing.

In other countries, soccer is the impetus of riots, something over here usually reserved for political rallies and rock concerts.  Me, I can’t see rioting over much anything except maybe the argument over the correct pronunciation of the word pecan or if there should be sugar in your iced tea.

Soccer just doesn’t float my boat that way.  All that running about, butting the ball with your head – just looks like an invitation for a major headache and broken bones. And what’s with only one break?

No, soccer is definitely not in my soul.

More power to you soccer people.

Just don’t ask for my card.