Who would have thunk it? The United States of America, that noble bastion of individualism, is bombing in individual sports.
The current Wimbledon officially certifies that American tennis no longer exists except for that one family, name of
Yes, my fellow citizens, even as July 4 is upon us, whoever would've thought that globalism would mean that the U.S. would outsource blue ribbons and gold medals?
But don't give up hope, America, because holy
History tells us that Baltimore saved the nation in 1814 -- "Our flag was still there!" -- after the British burned Washington. History tells us that
Now in 2008, history is prepared for young Mr. Phelps to come out of Baltimore this century and not only save our national athletic honor but, by the by, to also save the National Broadcasting Company's ratings.
You see, it isn't just that Phelps is our great bright hope at Beijing. Time itself is on his side. Because Beijing is halfway 'round the world, NBC must present most all competition in primetime, insipidly, on a delayed basis. Even the premiere Olympic sport, track and field, will appear here on television hours after the results are known. Who wants to see re-runs of runs already pre-run?
But as a sop to the fading Yankee dollar, the Chinese did agree to schedule swimming in the morning -- evening over here -- so, at least for those viewers residing east of the Mississippi, the action in the pool will be authentic.
Phelps, who swam for six gold medals in the '04 Olympics and seven in the world championships last year, is bidding to win eight this time. That would break the fabled record of seven
So much is NBC counting on Phelps to supply both drama and glory in August, that it is hyping him now by showing four nights of the swimming trials in primetime.
But, heaven help us, should Phelps somehow fail to qualify for enough races so that he can't chase Spitz's record, NBC might just as well bag the whole '08 Olympics and cry out: "Everybody outta the pool!"