Ever since the creation of the X-Games, the Olympics have seemed a little… vanilla. Sure, athletic conquest is great and all but I want to see back flips at 80 miles per hour, and you just don’t get that watching hurdles. (Unless, of course, mandatory steroids injections are instituted, then we could totally see that.) The most boring part, though, as always been the passing of the torch. Right, we get it. Hundreds of runners carrying the symbol of athleticism. Inspirational, now make with the sports. I didn’t wait four years to see somebody running with a flaming stick. That is, not until now.
See, the Olympics are in China this year, and China… well, they’re not the most popular country right now. As a US citizen, learning that people hate countries besides us sort of injures my national pride. Regardless, I’m willing to share the hate, because it has created something that I think will sweep the world by storm. Apparently little things like decades long policies of human rights violation and ethnic cleansing are hot button topics these days. This is particularly true in countries like the England, where the general populous feels as though they know how the rest of the world should live. (Another thing people are ripping off from the US, might I add.) The result is that, as the torch makes its way through London, protesters are bursting out into the streets and trying to take it away.
I support this entirely. Not the protesting. I don’t know enough about what is going on outside my own head to form an intelligent opinion about anything. What I approve of is the full contact torch carry. We should have been doing this for years. Tell me you wouldn’t tune in to see a runner with a whole team of defenders trying to hang onto the torch whole teams of people from other countries try to take it away. It’d be like football on a global scale. First down and two thousand miles to go.
All we really need are rules. Here are my suggestions. First, whoever won the most medals the previous year starts the torch carry. You get a point for every hundred yards you carry the torch in your country, and ten points for every yard you carry it outside of your country. That’s because the entire country gets to help defend the torch. Now obviously if you want to join in, you need to order a special fireproof uniform. We need to know who you are out there so we know what team is getting the points. But other than that every citizen can be out there on the street, holding off the horde of foreign teams right up until they hit a border. Once you cross into foreign territory all but the designated defenders have to hang back and the new group of angry citizens gets to try to get their hands on the torch. Once the big torch is lit at the end we tally up the points and hand out medals. And burn ointment.
Picture it. A big, multinational, multi-ethnic, running riot. I’d watch every minute of it. Frankly, a defense would liven up a lot of the Olympic events. Let’s make the hurdles like on American Gladiators, with doors every so often that may or may not have big meaty guys with padded shields trying to slow you down. How about hammer throw with a chance of interception? If you can catch the hammer you get to do your throw from there. Now picture javelin throw with the same rules. You know what would spice up marathons? The night before, every team gets to set one hazard each along the course. I could go on all day, but what it boils down to is this. The Greeks came up with the Olympics, and my hat is off to them. But I think the Romans were a little closer to the target with the crazy, hedonistic, gladiatorial extravaganzas. We should bring them back with a modern twist. Vomitoriums too. Those protesters may have been the first step down a road that ends with me sitting in a sports bar puking to make room for more buffalo wings while I watch a team of east German women trying to tackle a flaming Ethiopian. I, for one, can’t wait.