Tag archive for "2012 olympic coverage"

Shades of Gray

Mr. Miserable’s Friday Blast Off – Special Olympic Edition!

No Comments 27 July 2012

Ok, fine. The Olympics are here and all you fools will get excited. For what?

You think these games are all about fun and international companionship? I’ve got news for you boy-o. You’re dead wrong. The people in charge of this thing are laughing all the way to the bank. Even worse…the sons of bitches are fascists. No joke.

Lets start from the beginning shall we? A twit by the name of Baron Pierre de Coubertin is supposedly the father of the ‘modern’ Olympic games. He was a stickler for this goddam event being a beacon of good hope that brought the world together. Well tell that to Avery Brundage. Good ole Avery was the chairman of the American Olympic Committee in 1936 and lobbied hard to NOT have the games moved from Berlin at the height of the Nazi reign. He had a good reason though. He figured only 12 Jews had represented Germany in the Olympics up until that point so its logical that they wouldn’t have any representation on the German squad in 1936. These are facts….look it up.

The people at the IOC thought Avery did such a good job in his post as American Olympic Committee chairman that he was elected president of the IOC in 1952 and he held this post for 20 years. During this time the Olympic ‘definition’ of amateur increasingly became more lax until, in 1971, the keyword amateur was eliminated from the Olympic charter. During the tragedy when 11 Israeli olympians were murdered by Palestinians at the 1972 games in Munich, Brundage was the one who said “the games must go on” and allotted only one day for mourning. What a softy eh?

During this time the countries behind the Iron Curtain were paying their ‘amateur’ athletes by giving them trivial civil service jobs which they never had to show up for. All this while the rest of us were sending….actual amateurs to the games. Good looking out Avery.

In an effort to keep the hits coming the IOC elected a Spaniard by the name of Juan Antonio Samaranch as Brundage’s successor. Samaranch was impressive in his own right. This all is despite his status as being a bonafide fascist. As in being photographed attending a ceremony mourning fascist martyrs in 1956 AND photographed giving a fascist salute as late as 1974. This guy was the president of the IOC until 2001! And he awarded Moscow the 1980 games despite the Soviet’s invasion of Afghanistan. Oh, and Samaranch was elected honorary IOC president for life. How does this happen?

I’m literally stunned, shocked and outraged with the IOC’s resume. But what else is new. The current IOC president Jacques Rogge explained the Olympic mission in 2009 as such:

“Through the Olympic spirit, we can instill brotherhood, respect, fair play, gender equality and even combat doping”

Given the IOC’s track record I’d say that mission statement is a little off.

I’ll end on one other juicy nugget about the IOC. They put up zero money for the operations of the games but control all the rights and profits for licensing Olympic symbols. Cities have to compete for the honor of hosting the games. BUT the IOC is sure to collect a portion of the advertising dollars that come in through selling partnerships to companies like McDonalds. Oh, and nations have nothing to do with who gets voted into leadership positions. Thats all handled internally.

So as you’re enjoying the games over the next month just think about all the bullshit and downright criminality that comes along with these games.

Mr. Miserable.


My Favorite Olympian – An Essay

No Comments 27 July 2012

Every four years the Olympics brings out some of the best athletes the world has to offer and this go round in London is no different.  Some of the accomplishments of these people can really rip at your heart strings and make routing for them nothing short of obligatory.  Whether it’s a 45 year old swimmer trying for her sixth Olympic games or amputee running without his legs the Olympics gives us someone that we didn’t know much about and now we have a chance to give them cheers on a world stage.  I will most certainly be putting my “cheers” aside for Evan Jager.

Like most of us Evan grew up just North of Chicago and began to excel at track in high school.  He was part 4 straight state championships in high school, competed at national championships and went on to the University of Wisconsin to compete for the Badgers.  However, after his freshman year Nike came calling and signed him to a professional contract making him ineligible for college competition.

Then it happened.  Evan suffered a rare and debilitating injury.  In June of 2010 he was diagnosed with a stress fracture in his foot, although doctors couldn’t pinpoint how the injury occurred they believe it may have been from the amount of running Evan was doing.  While rehabilitating from surgery with longtime coach Jerry Schumacher a discovery was made; Portland has a lot of rainfall and Jerry noticed Evan’s uncanny ability to jump over puddles.  Jerry brought in US steeplechase champion Pascal Dobert and Pascal agreed Evan should switch events and begin training for the steeplechase.

Evan entered his first “steeple” in April and won.  He followed that up at the US trials by dominating the competition and earning his spot in the 3000m steeplechase at the London Olympics.  That is when the real controversy began.  No allegations of PED’s, no sex tape.  Evan has long hair and his coach at the Olympic committee want him to cut it.  They think it will shave some time off his already impressive numbers.  When The Shade reached Evan for comment he said, “Why the hell would I want to cut my hair?  I just starting jumping over puddles this April and I’ve been pretty good at it.  Living in Oregon I have way more opportunities than the Kenyans to jump over puddles.  Plus we all know what happened to Samson.” (Samson was a gift from God that promised not to cut his hair for immortal abilities.  His girlfriend Delilah demanded that he cut his hair for their prom pictures and denied him post prom sex if he did not.  Samson wanting to get lucky after prom had a friend of Delilah’s cut his hair.  He was subsequently kidnapped by the Philistines, has his eyes stabbed out and forced into slave labor.)

After our short but sweet conversation with this candid young man my heart goes out him.  Overcoming injury, not cutting his hair for fear of Philistine revolt.  I’m with you Evan and the rest of The Shade staff is supporting your efforts to cut at your leisure and to run and jump like hell in London.  Raise your glass, “Here’s to Evan keeping his socks dry.”

The men’s 3000m Steeplechase begins Friday August 3rd.

Reins Hagglemeyer
The Shades Olympic Correspondent

Checking It Out

The Shade’s 2012 Olympic Coverage – How We Get Started

No Comments 25 July 2012

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Its that time of year again. Yes – the Olympics!

A time when random acts of nationalism are thrust upon us and we pretend to care about sports that we literally watch once every 4 years.

And if THAT wasn’t enough the Olympics really fills out our daytime viewing schedule. Now we’ll finally have something to look forward to between the end of The Price is Right and the beginning of Wheel of Fortune. Yes!

Seriously folks, whats not to get excited about? Sport – much like music – is a global language. Its possible to play on a team (or compete) with other people who all speak a different language – and communicate.

Its one of the few events that breaks down cultural barriers and shows how we can all work together if we want to. Except for when the opposite happened like in 1976, 1980 and 1984. But those were weird times before we lived life in HD and had the internet.

Sharing little else other than a common space and purpose (and striving to get the job done) is something The Shade gets behind. We’re also massive sports fans.

As such The Shade will be providing our cracker jack coverage of the 2012 Olympics to our readers! We’ll be bringing you thoughtful pieces, exposes`, possibly in-depth coverage of aspects we find interesting along with various other ‘odds and ends’.

So please stay tuned, stay cool and for god’s sake feed the cat.

The Shade Team

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