The Weauxf Gods Do China 08/11/08
With the days of the 2008 Dead Zone dwindling down, NBC, the International Olympic Committee and McDonald’s have joined to provide a late-summer respite from the sports doldrums. The eyes of the world are fixated on the games of the 29th Olympiad in Beijing. That would include the Weauxf Gods.
I confess to not being the biggest fan of the Olympics. This is due to the relative obscurity of so many of the sports. I doubt there are many who closely follow the world team handball scene, although NBC did dig up somebody to provide expert analysis of the matches, although ‘team handball television analyst’ would seem a career path that offers few employment opportunities, basically ten days of work every four years.
Badminton seems a particularly goofy sport to pass off, the shooting competition, no doubt held in Tianamen Square, provides the televised sports equivalent of watching grass grow [I suspect even the parents of the participants are watching preseason football] and nothing will send me rummaging through my library of taped Virginia Tech football games faster than glimpsing a few seconds of synchronized swimming on my television screen.
Nevertheless, the Olympics are sports, after a fashion and they are on television. My customary perch on the recliner in front of my television dictates that I watch at least some of it.
A more hands-on approach has been taken by the Weauxf Gods. They had decided to kill the last few Dead Zone days by viewing the Games in person. They had dined on Five Taste Shrimp, checked the online good old N&O to read about the latest Carolina player to run his mouth about a football championship and were touring the Great Wall, pondering how well the boast made by Emperor Qin Shi Huang that the wall would enable his Qin Dynasty to “last forever” worked out, when something was brought to their attention.
That would be weauxfing by French swimmer Alain Bernard. The reaction by the Weauxf Gods upon hearing Bernard was no doubt the same as mine: a frog is weauxfing? After all, France is the country where the prime specification for rifles is that they be able to withstand dropping, military recruits are taught not close order drill or how to salute but instead the fastest way to get both hands into the air and restaurant menus are printed in both French and German.
Hearing French weauxfing must have seemed astounding to the Weauxf Gods, who had paid little attention to that country since hearing Napoleon utter, “Russia will be easy.” That a frog would brag about anything other than their rudeness and the high quality of their white flags would seem inconceivable. This is a country where crushing defeat is never more than an Ardennes Forest away.
Nevertheless, Bernard, showing an utter lack of knowledge of both the awesome power of the Weauxf Gods and virtually the entirety of French history, weauxfed it up. He guaranteed victory, adding that the French would “crush” the Americans. This seemed as prophetic as Marshal Bazaine vowing to crush the Prussian army at Gravelotte and about as truthful
Bernard quickly had the opportunity to put his medals where his mouth was in the 4×100 freestyle relays. The anchor for the heavily-favored French team, he had what appeared to be an insurmountable lead heading to the closing stretch of the event. Victory seemed assured, except for the fact that we are talking about France. The Weauxf Gods pounced.
Incredibly, American swimmer Jason Lezak caught and inched past Bernard to capture the gold, sending the US team into a wild celebration and the French coach sounding like algroh after a Tech game. While the government of China, in a bow to Western sensibilities, ordered that Beijing restaurants remove dog from the menu,
those in the hotel housing the French swim team have replaced it with crow.
The Olympics will continue for another week or so. We will discover whether Coacvh K and the US basketball team can return the gold to this country, whether Michael Phelps can break the gold medal count held by Mark Spitz and perhaps even why trampoline is considered a sport. We have already witnessed the most powerful force in sports, that of the Weauxf Gods.