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Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

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Let the Games Be Done....

Let the Games Be Done

Have you been watching the worldís biggest toga party? They are calling it the Olympic Games, and the event is being held in Greece.

As NBC passes the torch from one affiliate to another in an unprecedented triathlon of television coverage, Iíve become bleary eyed from watching it all. My remote control skills are being subjected to a test of endurance greater than the skills of the athletes.

After days and days of it, one swimmer looks pretty much like another and those black and yellow blobs splashing back and forth just donít have the thrill of, say, NASCAR. Iím waterlogged and worn out and have discovered swimming strokes that I didnít even know existed outside of an aquarium.

Athletes spend most of their waking time practicing, and getting ready for the Olympics, we are told. Some spend an entire lifetime training and becoming physically fit. And they still have the guts to call it ďGamesĒ?

All this physical exertion leaves a dedicated couch potato sweaty and out of breath. I know itís important to have national pride and for young people to be physically fit, but it sort of makes me wonder if we are training the physical body at the exclusion of everything else. For the few that win, I suppose it pays off in big monetary ways with product endorsements and paid performances.

ďThe important thing is just to be here and to be able to compete,Ē say the athletes to the camera. Right - and thatís why we tally up each country's medals to see who got the most. Somehow it always seems to be the losers who are saying it doesnít matter. Everyone else is too busy counting.

Many of the sports were never really intended to be spectator sports. Watching someone throw a discus is entertaining? I donít think so. My shoulder has been out of joint ever since I saw the first throw. And they are throwing on the exact same field that the early Greeks originally used, says the commentator. Oh, yeah? Bet their ashes would turn over in their Grecian urns if they could see what their simple competitions have become.

The most watched event as a spectator sport seems to be womenís beach volleyball. Even the players admit that the spectators are not there to look at a volleyball game. Itís supposed to be sexy. So, I suck in my tubby tummy and hope no one notices the varicose veins. The way some of those Amazons look, however, we must be pretty desperate to see babes in bathing suits.
The cutest participants are the gymnasts, of course, bouncing around with glitter in their hair and on their eyelids. Why is it that looking cute in sequins enhances their performance, but the female swimmers donít wear a stitch of mascara or lipstick? For the sake of womanhood, I hope someone invents waterproof eye glitter before the next Olympic Games.

Actually, the gymnasts make me nervous. Holding my breath and doing a mental balancing act right beside them, I always think we will fall off and hurt something important. The announcers always see things that I donít. ďOh, look at that! Her toenail is hanging off the beam. You canít do that in Olympic level competition. And she bounced when she landed! Sheís out of it!Ē

Picky! Picky! Picky! May the gymnast with the cutest outfit win, I say!

Does all this sports coverage really do much to inspire us to athletic fitness? It certainly does inspire us to baggy, bloodshot eyes from too much television watching and helps us to understand the intricacies of offbeat sports like kayaking that we never have, and never will, give a whit about.

The new endurance record will be that of the dazed television viewers who have suffered through more hours of non-stop coverage than we ever imagined possible. When they start giving out gold medals and olive wreaths for couch potato participation, Iíll be there!

Copyright 2004 Sheila Moss

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