Well played, Team USA. Well played!
But the real suspense comes down to this: who deserves to be the flag bearer for the United States???
That’s a real nail-biter.
After the Brits lackluster stunt of having seven relatively unknowns finally light the Olympic torch at the Opening Ceremonies, handicapping the possibilities became much more difficult. Will Team USA vote for a predictable choice? Will it be someone totally unpredictable? Or will this amount to a lifetime Olympic achievement award?
All U.S. track + field athletes were disqualified from consideration. Thank goodness for DVR so that I could fast-forward past all the excessive NBC feel-good features so that I could just get to the important 10-seconds worth of the actual competition.
Flaming Bag of Poo contemplates some of the U.S. flag bearer possibilities for the London Olympic CLOSING CEREMONIES:
MICHAEL PHELPS AND RYAN LOCHTE – It’s been almost impossible to mention one champion without mentioning the other in the same breath. So, in some twisted joke, the rest of Team USA—tired of these guys monopolizing the patriotic spotlight—votes to have the two swimmers carry the torch together. Very awkward moment. Close on their hands accidentally touching while holding the flag together. Awkward like when two guys cross swords in the middle of a threesome. That would be an instant classic made-for-TV moment!
Prediction – NO.
America is less fascinated seeing swimmers with clothes their on. Unless Phelps and Lochte were carrying a bong instead of the American flag.
MISTY MAY-TREANOR AND KERRY WALSH-JENNINGS – I don’t know which one is harder: recovering from a ruptured Achilles, or recovering from two pregnancies. I’ve only experienced one of those—which was painful enough. Thus, for my money, Misty May-Treanor gets the nod over Walsh-Jennings. And because we’ll probably end up seeing Kerry “without Misty” in Rio de Janeiro 2016. You know, totally without her–except for the 100 times per match when NBC will flash to Misty cheering on her three-time partner/champion from the grandstand.
Prediction – NO.
These beach bodies are over-exposed enough without having to defend why May-Treanor and Walsh-Jennings are carrying the U.S. flag in their patriotic bikinis–or even Wonder Woman outfits. And NBC won’t have to defend filming them from behind…tight close-up.
U.S. WOMEN’S FIELD HOCKEY – I used to think that Olympic field hockey was just a faster version of croquet. And even worse, the American teams were never any good compared to other teams that actually qualified for the Olympics. But then, the U.S Women’s Field Hockey team upset Argentina in the Pan Am Games. I soon found myself watching MSNBC in the middle of the night to watch tough (but cute) women with tremendous stamina and tenacity whack (and trap) the ball with precision. Almost made Poo want to don one of those form-fitting skirts and hit the blue turf.
Based solely on getting me to actually watch all their games—and boast about it like the weird creep who tells you his weekend Boy Scout stories around the watercooler, I vote for fellow University of Virginia Wahoo Michelle Vittese to carry the U.S. flag. While the South Africa game was rather torturous to watch, Vittese’s diagonal pass assist against Argentina was even better than LeBron James’ 64-foot bounce pass to Kevin Durant on a fast break while defeating France. Great on-field vision is underrated…in any team sport. And with my vision, I caught Vittese!
Prediction – NO.
America just isn’t ready for another great female national team other than our soccer team. America’s loss, I must say.
GABBY DOUGLAS – This 15-year old All-Around Gymnastics Champion performed like Keanu Reeves in THE MATRIX. I kept waiting for her to falter. Or at least sob. She did neither. Sometimes young kids don’t realize yet that life is supposed to be tough.
Prediction – NO.
Douglas is still too young and naïve to fully grasp the magnitude of this honor. But this certainly isn’t the last we’ve seen of Douglas. In fact, pretty soon you may have to start fast-forwarding through all the Flying Squirrel’s commercial endorsements.
MISSY FRANKLIN – It would be a stretch to call her the “darling of the Olympics” when she could probably bend Flaming Bag of Poo into a pretzel. NBC can thank Franklin for attracting the surprising surge in its teen viewing audience for the Olympics. Plus, since Franklin is a native of Aurora, Colorado where the movie theater tragedy occurred, it’s an uplifting moment for that community.
Prediction – “Call Me Maybe”…but NO.
Franklin does score added points for the catchy lip sync video promoting the hip swim team. Points, however, were deducted for being such a rabid Justin Bieber fan. As a consolation prize, I hear that Cameron Diaz wants to play Franklin in the movie version of her life…directed by Opening Ceremonies director Danny Boyle.
ABBY WAMBACH – During pool play of women’s soccer, did you catch Lady Andrade of Colombia sprinting up to Wambach and clocking Wambach in the eye with a total sucker punch? That ain’t no lady! But like the true team captain and champion that Wambach has been throughout her U.S. women’s soccer career, she lifted herself off the turf—with her eye nearly swollen shut—and turned the other cheek. Minutes later, she scored a brilliant go-ahead goal against Colombia. Other U.S. National Soccer teammates may grace the pages of Maxim one day (please). But Wambach’s black eye will remain the face of U.S. women’s soccer even after she soon retires from the national team.
Prediction – ALMOST, but not quite.
Wambach is already known as “that other starting forward” thanks to Alex Morgan (Flaming Bag of Poo is probably largely to blame for Morgan’s popularity). So, Wambach earns our bronze medal in this flag-bearing competition…only because there are two champions more worthy. And Wambach has always gotten her fair share of props over the years for her World Cup play. She doesn’t need to carry the flag to validate her illustrious contributions to the best example of “team” that I know today in sports.
KIMBERLY RHODE – Who dat? Only the first American with individual medals in five straight Olympics. Heck, that wimp Michael Phelps has only medaled in three straight Olympics. He’d be an old man of 35 to equal Rhode’s accomplishment. In winning her third Gold medal in skeet shooting, Rhode hit 99 of the 100 targets that she faced in the competition. I may not be a supporter of the NRA, but even I have to tip my hunting cap to that feat.
Prediction – YES…but not quite on target.
Only because there is just one athlete better this time than Rhode. Hard to imagine that! Thus, Rhode only gets a silver medal in this category. Who better to personify the enduring Olympic spirit than someone who will likely be the favorite in her sixth Olympics in Rio. We will still see all the above-mentioned U.S. champions in a dizzying number of commercial endorsements over the next few months. But this may be Kimberly Rhode’s only moment in the spotlight among her peers. America loves a good feel-good story.
KAYLA HARRISON – The American public probably prefers sexier champions and sexier stories than 78 kg judo gold medalist Kayla Harrison. But before the London Games, the best finish by an American female in Judo had been ninth place. Really, only ninth? You mean after all the chick fights that we see on YouTube and reality TV, we could only send a fighter to finish ninth? But Harrison’s biggest triumph was well before these Olympic Games, and her biggest opponent was away from the judo mat. As a victim of sexual abuse, Harrison stood tall back in 2007 and testified against her abuser–a former judo coach. Olympic athletes should be able to trust their coaches to help them reach their Olympic dreams. For awhile, it looked like Kayla couldn’t. And still, she overcame that painful obstacle to make her Olympic dream come true.
Prediction – YES, because honor deserves the honor. Harrison may not need to carry the U.S. flag to prove her honor, but there’s still nobody more deserving.
Citius, Altius, Fortius.
Faster, Stronger, Higher.
If Judo champion Kayla Harrison isn’t elected by Team USA to carry the flag at the Closing Ceremonies, then everyone else on Team USA should be drug-tested!