Monday Musings: Goodbye, #PhelpsFace. One more for the road?
Heck of a first week, Rio Olympics.
Punctuated by Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt's usual dominance, it was a week filled with great triumph but also disappointment so great it could suck the marrow from your soul. And enough absurd craziness to think this was a show based on a Seth Rogen script.
Before the final of the 100-metre sprint, CBC put up a neat graphic to show where some of the great sprinters of all-time would finish in a duel with Bolt. They had a little track and dotted it with where each of them would be when Bolt crossed the finish line. Donovan Bailey would be about two metres behind him. Carl Lewis about four. I think they had the first sprint winner of the modern era, Thomas Burke, about 20 or 30 metres behind. They failed to put a little dot where you would be, about 60 metres or so behind. And failed to put a little dot where I would be, crumpled up on the track about three metres from the start, after tripping coming out of the blocks.
So long, #PhelpsFace. I'll miss you. I had fun - didn't we all?- meming you during the first week of the Olympics. It was great to plop you into a picture with the Ikea Monkey and to make you a security guy at a Donald Trump rally. And to have you sit in as a drummer for The Bangles. Good times. Does it really have to be over? Are we on to the next thing? What IS that next thing? Where is my meme-able moment for Week Two? It will come, have faith. The universe is kind and will provide us with all that we ask. Until then, just one more #PhelpsFace moment. Phelps reacting to a post-game meeting with Saskatchewan Roughriders head coach Chris Jones:
With #PhelpsFace out of our systems, we can all go on to the next thing: Wondering why Usain Bolt carried that plush toy around with him for so long after winning the 100 and who did he give it to?
Really was a memorable first week of the Olympics. Penny Oleksiak's rise to fame, Bolt's splendid toying with the field before winning another sprint, the greening of the dive pool and the legend of a kayaker actually being capsized by a sunken sofa in the polluted waters of the Rodrigo de Freitas Lagoon. You would have certainly become bigger, #KayakSofa, if there hadn't been a little thing called #PhelpsFace. By the way; "SunkenSofa2016" is this week's internet login password suggestion.
THE LITTLE THINGS
Too bad Adele turned down the NFL's offer to play the halftime show at this season's Super Bowl. She didn't think she suited the event but, I dunno. Just adjust the lyrics slightly...
Edmonton Eskimos offensive lineman Tony Washington subdued an intruder during last week's game against Montreal and it wasn't an Alouettes' defensive lineman. When a spectator decided to jump on the field and grab the ball, Washington made a takedown. Judging by the dotted lines surrounding a portion of the frozen video, I'm guessing somebody's making a nifty screen-saver for his laptop.
Stay off the feild plz.... #lookattheref #yeg #esks #win #hesaidnicehit pic.twitter.com/tRkdTYHfkE
— tony washington (@t_dubsworld12) August 12, 2016
I don't know what Usain Bolt's future plans are but I know this: I want him to be the next James Bond. Who needs an Aston Martin when you can jet like that?
I noticed, while watching Olympic rugby sevens, that on occasion, when a player is hurt and being tended to on the field, they continue to play and just go around them. You are some kinda badass, rugby. Some kinda cruel, beautiful badass.
Penny Oleksiak started the week asking for Drake tickets. She ended it with a personal message from him inviting her to a show. Now I'm thinking he needs to write a song about her. Hell, an entire album. If it's too epic to handle, have Gordon Lightfoot jump in to help out.
Confirm or deny: That Olympic diving pool water got so murky and had such a chemical soup in it, at least one diver plunged into it in human form but emerged from it, seconds later, like this:
For all of the greatness social media can show us during an event like the Olympics, there are equal parts idiocy.
When American decathlete Ashton Eaton showed up to the women's heptathlon competition, he was wearing a hat the had the word "Canada" plastered on the front of it.
Eaton had a good reason for wearing that. A very, very good reason.
His wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, just happened to be competing for Canada in that event (ultimately winning a bronze medal) and like any good and supportive partner, Eaton wanted to make it clear that he was in Brianne's corner. I'm sure she already knew that and he could have worn a sombrero or a fedora or even balanced a live duck on his head and she'd be aware of that. However, Eaton decided to show the watching world, including his countrymates back home, that he is terrifically proud of Brianne and that he was rooting for his favourite Canadian in the event, hoping for gold for her.
Which, of course he was. Perfectly understandable, right?
Only he got a boatload of grief from some offended Americans who decided to either not bother to find out why he was wearing that hat or didn't care what the reason was.
So he got scorched on Twitter.
Now when that happens, often times the target will fold and apologize and that can sometimes leave me feeling unsatisfied, because the torches and pitchforks set gets a win even when they absolutely did not deserve one. Sometimes when you're feeling offended, you're the problem, not the target of your unfounded dismay. This was one of those cases and it was good to see Eaton answer with a swift "up yours" on Twitter:
Have I not represented USA well? Yet u demand more. Ur respect is hard earned. I support the country that produced my wife;who ru2 shame me?
— Ashton Eaton (@AshtonJEaton) August 13, 2016
Eaton loves his country and he loves his wife. They are not mutually exclusive elements in his life.
Let's remember that when the camera pans to Canada's heptathlon hero Brianne Theisen-Eaton this week, and we spy her wearing a Team USA cap while she watches the decathlon.