Every couple of years, the world turns its eyes to a country to watch the pomp and circumstance, the agony and the defeat (as the brilliant Jim McKay put it), the drama and potential glory that is the Olympic games. This year's spectacle are the summer variety being hosted by London. It will be hard to top the scene that China staged in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, but the Brits will give it the old college try.
As classic summer events like basketball, swimming, diving, gymnastics, track and field and others pass before our semi-interested eyes, I have to believe at least a few of us will be thinking to ourselves, "There has to be more." The Olympics have struggled over the years to determine just what events they should allow in and what are consistently turned away. Is badmitten really worthy even if hearing the color commentator say "shuttlecock" repeatedly gives you the giggles? Are there other deserving sports that are not getting a shot?
In fact, I think there are quite a few. Here are eight of my favorites.
8. Roller Derby
Honestly, roller derby kicks ass. Who doesn't want to see a bunch of tattooed chicks riding around a wooden rink knocking the living shit out of one another? Ok, maybe it might be a little uncomfortable for certain fans and the rules are a bit on the odd side, but if curling has a spot in the Winter Games, we can't imagine why roller derby doesn't get a shot in the summer.
Have you ever watched this damn show? It's basically people bouncing off giant rubber balls and being shot with water canons before tumbling ass over ears into a muddy pool of water. It's genius! We are always so awed by the brilliance and grace of Olympic athletes. How about making a few of them look human on the old wipeout course? I say yes.
Mixed Martial Arts made it into the Olympics, so, to me the whole "urban ninja" thing absolutely belongs. Imagine the kind of course they could create to foil these guys. The crashes would be as amazing as the athleticism. Bring it on!
5. Live Action Role Playing (LARP)
For those who have never been to the Renaissance Festival or have never seen the movie Monster Camp, LARPing is when a bunch of nerds get together to win the battle for Middle Earth or save the queen or something. It's sorta like Civil War reenactments, but with rubber axes and Zena costumes. If fencing can make the Olympics, why not LARPing? 4. Jackass
I want an Olympic even that challenges participants to do the stupidest, most asinine thing they can imagine so we can watch. Drop a rock on your balls. Shoot a bottle rocket out of your anus. Ride a giant shopping cart down a hill with no controls. Whatever the "athletes" do, we are all winners.
3. Slap Fights
And while I'm on the topic of stupid, few things rise to the level of ridiculous as slap fights. With boxing dating back to the original Olympic games, why not slapping? Seems logical...and awesome.
2. Robot Wars
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The Olympics really need something to win the hearts and minds of the hard core geeks out there. They've been shut out of sports their whole lives, but they basically run the planet now. Throw them a bone and let them build kick ass robots that will slice and dice each other. It's harmless to humans. It involves incredible feats of engineering. Plus, just imagine the merchandising opportunities. Remote controlled robots will sell a lot better than Michael Phelps speedos and will look a lot better on your fat Uncle Bill.
1. Competitive Eating
You know it's coming. It's disgusting. It's terrifying. And people freaking love it. Like boxers have weight classes, they could have food classes for simple foods like hot dogs to more complicated fare like fois gras. Sure, it's a terrible message to send to poor countries that participate and for some, it might represent a years worth of food for an entire family in one setting, but it's a dog eat dog world out there...or a human eat dog world in one particular event.