Tough to ‘balance’ Olympic viewing


Tough to ‘balance’ Olympic viewing

We all can learn a lesson from former Lakers forward Matt Barnes: don’t mess with the Department of Motor Vehicles. Barnes was arrested last week on an outstanding misdemeanor traffic warrant, reportedly driving with a suspended license. The irony of the whole deal is that Barnes was arrested while walking down a busy street. He wasn’t impressed with the arresting officer and apparently had some words for the ambitious cop. A felony charge of threatening an officer was tacked on to initial charge.

Just got back from Lake Erie, where the family spent a few days lounging on the beach and watching the Olympics on one of the three channels we could get at our rented cottage. (No ESPN for three days, so I’m a tad bit cranky.) On Day 2 of our mini-vacation I decided to throw the kids into a canoe and tool around the water. Let’s just say I now have a much greater appreciation for rowers. We didn’t capsize the aluminum vessel, but our efforts were just like the water: choppy.

Here are some answers to my kids’ Olympic questions. The balance beam is 4 inches wide, and it would make a great sobriety tool at those traffic checkpoints.

There is no music in the men’s floor exercise because there is no dancing and, frankly, the men probably just want to get it over with without anyone noticing. At least that’s how I approach anything that even resembles dancing.

The 10 events in the decathlon: 100 meters, long jump, shot put, high jump, 400 meters, 110 hurdles, discus, pole vault, javelin (old-school favorite) and then finally, the 1,500.

Last answer: I have no idea what language Bela Karolyi is speaking.

The Olympics are about more than medals and listening to exasperated gymnastics commentators label one mistake as “catastrophic.” As much as they’re about gold, they’re also about green, as in money. Gabby Douglas, come on down.

The gymnastics all-around champion will no doubt cash in; her personality, smile and back story are a marketer’s dream. It’s amazing that most of us watch gymnastics once every four years, and we had no idea who Gabby Douglas was two weeks ago. Now, we’ll soon buy whatever she endorses.

Speaking of endorsements, if Missy Franklin is my kid, I’m thinking she’s finished swimming for her high school team. It’s time to start building up that college fund, young lady!

The Olympic commercials have been OK, but Subway should consider dropping Apolo Ohno from its lineup. Maybe they could save a few bucks and actually put some meat on their sandwiches. “Uh, hey, could you put more than a teaspoon of tuna on that bun, please?”

The Sherrod Brown campaign spot that doubles as an ad for Chevrolet is unique and well done, even if the Cruze’s wheels aren’t made in Ohio. Oops.

Here’s an idea to jazz up swimming’s individual medley event: Let the athletes pick the order in which they do the butterfly, backstroke, breaststroke and freestyle. That would be complete chaos, and good television.

What’s with the spacesuit jackets that the U.S. athletes wear on the medals stand? I thought our colors were red, white and blue, not gray. My wife thinks they’re raincoats. You know, London and precipitation.

I’m looking forward to some track & field events. I’ve watched so much swimming and gymnastics that I’m starting to grow gills and tumble around to the sounds of Russian folk music.

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