FURTHERMORE COVERS THE GAMES
Furthermore, my irascible Masonic pet raven, and I are about to resume our Olympic coverage. Thats right, sports fans and Brothers! The games are afoot! And America has won its first Gold Medal already. It was in snowboarding, dude. Furthermore and I were really impressed. I mean, who even knew snowboarding was, like, a real sport? Snowmobile racing is probably next up. We hope so. Theres some real money to be made in the side bets there. And we wont even talk about the fact that Canada was robbed. Cause they was.
Of course, Furthermore is just thrilled that there are sporting events at all. At first, we thought the Olympics was a two-week series of glitzy television commercials broken up with tear-jerking stories about the personal sacrifices of the athletes and their parents. Sort of like the build-up to the Super Bowl, you know?
This was okay, of course, because Furthermore is a great fan of tear-jerking stories and hes absolutely mad about Coke and Nike and Home Depot and so on. He thinks its really thoughtful that the Olympic athletes have a dedicated hardware store like Home Depot, just in case they need a screwdriver to loosen the grips on a competitors skis or skates just before they perform.
What has really sold us on the Olympics this year, however, are the new sponsors. The young athletes now have their own official beer and, yes, even their own official hard liquor. And they have this for the very first time in a state where buying booze is almost impossible and drinking it is a sin. Theres irony in there somewhere, if you are looking for it. Which, of course, we usually are. What we dont understand is if the athletes knock back a few brewskis before or after their events.
Speaking of mixed messages, which we were, whether you were following along or not, how about this?
Furthermore claims that no athlete ever loses because they are too slow or poorly prepared or badly coached. Its always because of death of a family pet, their own poor showing in a previous race, a revolution in their home country, etc. One guy lost because he was upset when some people tried to take over the government in his tiny home country. After discovering they couldnt change the government, they settled on changing the format of the local radio station from classical to country and western. In other words, its never the fault of the athlete when they fall flat on their tush on the ice. Its societys fault. Your fault.
Of course, I allowed as how I didnt believe a word Furthermore was saying.
No! Its true! Would Bob Costas lie to us? Is he smart enough to lie to us?
Furthermore may have something there. Not about Costas, but about the other. This theory of Success Or Failure Through Unrelated Trivia does seem to apply. As one young woman accepted her medal, the commentator noted with the pride born of an exclusive scoop that the athletes father drove a trolley car in Minsk. Probably been skimming the transfer fares for years to support his daughters habit.
"I also learned," Furthermore continued, "that being the second most fastest individual on ice in the world at age 17 isn't enough. The guy on television said the child had to settle for a silver medal. Well, I know I was heartbroken for the poor tyke."
Furthermore does not like small children, especially the perky kind that do Olympic sports, so I knew he was lying there.
His next point was more telling, I thought.
"I'm sad about what they do to the language," he added. "Sports has devalued the English language. I don't mean just grammar. I don't expect sports writers (an oxymoron?) to appreciate grammar. I mean the actual words. Words such as courage, sacrifice, devotion, bravery and the like. We used to use these words to describe how men and women fell in battle, in defense of their country and their flag. Or how a good Samaritan came to the rescue of someone in danger. Now we use them to describe how a skater survives a fall, Marbury shoots a basket or Tiger sinks a long putt. Seems a shame, you know? Theyre only games, after all!"
This was about the time our attention was diverted. The Budweiser people were on television explaining how this Bud was for all the members of the snowboarding team or some such thing. Naturally, we applauded. We think the Clydesdales will probably nail down at least a Silver Medal before its all over, you know?