Light a fire under this

I may lack Olympic pride.

Seeing that little Scruggs girl roll her ankle over didn’t make me buy an American flag. I only chant “U-S-A” at Fourth of July parties. And I think I hate the Olympic Torch.

A lot of it may have to do with my Neo-Purist tendencies.

Back in the day (I’m talking the day when people wore robes and since jock straps had yet to be invented there was a good chance that a long jumper would give the crowds a much bigger show than his jumping ability), the Torch Relay had to be have been a much bigger deal. I’ll confess, as hard as I looked, I found no torch relay history. So, I have no idea how long it’s been going on or how it was handled in the past. But I do know the modern Olympics began in 1896 and I’m pretty sure they didn’t have a scientifically engineered torch and they sure as hell didn’t have a motor home called Media One to track the torch on its bogus journey.

I only bring it up because the torch is coming here today. I understand…they HAD to fly it over here from Greece. You just can’t run a relay across the ocean (although I WOULD like to see those honorary relay members running around the deck of a Grecian fishing vessel for four days while it crossed the Atlantic…that’s entertainment). But once it lands here, that torch just shouldn’t have wheels.

Today, they’re bussing the thing from Atlanta to South Carolina. It will hop off the bus, a bunch of dignitaries and people with carefully selected and heart-wrenching back stories will run it up and down the road and then the torch will hop back on a bus and head on to its next destination. Before it is all over…the torch will hit every state except Hawaii, Minnesota, and the Dakotas. Frankly, if I were a torch-song type of guy in Fargo, I’d be a little miffed that Alaska gets to see the torch and I don’t.

In all…the torch will move at about 416 miles per day. I can’t imagine it moved that fast in the days of jock-strapless pole vaulters. At an average speed of five miles per hour, it would take the torch more than 80 hours to make that distance. That’s why they need the Torch Bus.

Now…maybe I’m just not getting into the spirit. Take this quote from the Olympic web site…”The Olympic Movement has survived wars, boycotts and terrorism to become a symbol of the ability of the people of all nations to come together in peace and friendship.”

I’m not necessarily anti-Olympic. I may just be anti-Torch. I think it has come to symbolize everything manufactured in our society.

So, I won’t be standing along the parade route tonight. I won’t track the progression of the torch along its 46-state route on web sites specifically designed for that purpose. And I won’t be buying any Scruggs Girl posters for my garage wall.

I might however flip on the Classic Sports network and watch the USA beat the hell out of those Soviets. Coming together in peace and friendship is one thing, but a little historical hockey dominance is another thing all together.

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.