Tag Archives: Olympics

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Day Eight

The endless “challenges” in various sports: F

One of the joys of the Olympics is bitching and moaning for four years over bad calls. The challenge system ruins that.

Teddy Riner: A

Hisayoshi Harasawa: A

Riner + Harasawa: F

Arguably the worst gold medal match your humble editor has ever seen. Everything that’s wrong with judo in one bout. No judo, just lots of hand holding, uniform grabbing and slap festing. The boos were deserved. Even your humble editor’s better half was like “what the HELL was that?”

Winning only because you sucked less not because you scored the most points: F

A no gold, silver and bronze only system for gold medal matches the suck: A

The actual practicality of such a system: F

Teddy bears: A

Calling a 140 kilogram (308 lbs) 203 cm (6’8″) man “teddy bear”: push

Joseph Schooling: A

Joseph Schooling “schooling” Michael Phelps: A

Horrible puns: F

Three-way tie for second: A

Having the third fastest time and getting sent home with nothing: D

Singapore’s first gold medal: A

Katie Ledecky: A

Jazz Martin: A

Jazz: C-

Great Britain’s warm up jackets: A

Swimming 800 meters: C-

Taking a boat instead: A

Kei Nishikori versus Andy Murray: A

3000 meter steeplechase: A

Running 3000 meters: F

Running 3000 meters if your life is in danger: push

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Day Seven

Olympic Golf: C-

Golf on TV: C

Golf highlights: A

Your Humble Editor’s one attempt at golf: F

A tie for first place in swimming: A

The tie turns out to be an Olympic Record: A+

Finishing with the second fastest time but only getting a bronze medal: C-

Simone Manuel: A

Hagino Kosuke’s silver medal in swimming: A

Hagino’s final 50 meters: A+

Michael Phelps: A

Michael Phelps now owning enough gold to start own gold-backed currency: A

Gold-backed currency: A

The fact the gold medals have a silver core with gold plating: B

Kaneto Rie’s gold medal in 200 meter breast stroke: A

Kaneto’s name meaning Gold Wisteria: A

Resisting temptation to invoke Duran Duran because of Olympic host city: B

Blame it on Rio: C

Michelle Johnson: Acting: F Everything else: No comment.

Michael Caine: A

Michael Caine pronouncing his name “My Cocaine”: A

Cocaine: A+

Cocaine (white powder version): DNI for Did Not Inhale

A Taste of Rugby!: New name for Rugby Sevens (ATOR! From now on.)

Fiji’s Gold Medal in ATOR!: A

Penalty boxes in ATOR!: C

Fiji’s ATOR! Jerseys: Pattern A

Rugby shirts that look like T-shirts not rugby shirts: C

Japan playing Fiji closer than Great Britain did: A

Japan getting crushed by South Africa: D

Japan’s rugby performance in general: B+

Jun Mizutani earning Japan’s first individual medal in Ping Pong (table tennis): A

Convincing your in-laws that watching TV counts as work: C-

Work: D-

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Day Six

Setting a personal record for Olympic consistency: A

Odds of remaining consistent: even

Replay review in volleyball: B-

Replay review in general: C

Japan women’s volleyball team: A

Brazil women’s volleyball team: A

Sheilla Castro: A

Fidel Castro: F

People who wear t-shirts with mass-murdering communists on them: F

Mass-murdering communists: F

Mass-murdering anything: F

Kohei Uchimura’s gold medal: A

Oleg Verniaiev’s performance on parallel bars: A+
It may be the best gymnastics performance your humble editor has ever seen.

Losing by .099 points: F

Losing because of one hop: F

Losing in general: F

Loser: B

Beck: B-

Worst everyday Olympic uniform: Ukraine’s confetti vomit “Diamond Ukraine” pattern shirts.
Cut a strip out of one and that’s exactly what your humble editor’s migraine aura looks like.

Migraines: F

Oliver Sacks’ book Migraine: A

Misunderstanding canoe (single blade oar) versus kayak (double blade oar): F

Doing research: A

Not bothering to check: D-

Getting an attitude before you get a clue: F

Popole Misenga: A

Refugee Olympic Team: B

Refugee Olympic Team acronym ROT: C-

The Fugees: B

Having your sister correct your pronunciation of “Fugees”: D

Baker Mashu: A

Tachimoto Haruka: A

Men’s ping pong (table tennis) at the top level: A
Those rallies where they are several feet back from the table firing away are fun to watch.

Olympic Boxing: B

Olympic boxing removing the head gear for men: push

Removing the gloves too: A-

Crazy Japan Times Facebook Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Day Five

Today’s Olympic review is brought to you by the colors purple and yellow. And by the color green.

Cheating by using this as your daily post: C-

Rugby Sevens: B-
Looks too much like a rugby simulator.

Japan defeating New Zealand in Rugby Sevens: A

New Zealand: push (never been there)

The “All Blacks” chanting the Haka before a match: A
Best “I must break you” cheer in sports.

Second best: the University of Texas fans singing “The Eyes of Texas (are upon you” whilst holding up the sign of the devil.

Japan women’s rugby player Marie Yamaguchi: A

Best Olympic insult that could be used as the opening line of a noir novel:
“Sun Yang, he pisses purple.”

Pissing purple: F

Pissing any color other than yellow: F

Discovering what color someone else pisses: ???

Yellow snow: F

Throwing yellow snow at your best friend: A-

Realizing you just handled piss soaked snow: D-

The joke being on you: F

Working the words “piss,” “pisses,” and “pissing” into an Olympics review: B-

Working the word “snow” into a Summer Olympics review: A-

The water in your diving pool turning bright green: D-

Officials assuring you the bright green water is safe even though they don’t know what caused it: F-

Sport most in need of an intervention: Swimming

US Women’s Gymnastics: A

Calling real gymnastics “Artistic Gymnastics”: C-

Implying other forms of gymnastics are not artistic: F

Epee tip that sprays blood on a successful score: A

Repeated attempts to add level of gore to sword fighting (fencing): D

Park SangYoung winning epee gold medal: A

Scoring five straight points to win epee gold medal: A

Surrendering 5 straight points to “win” silver after 20 years of never winning a gold medal: F

Rio Olympic Medals: B+

Japan’s first 800m relay swimming medal in 52 years: A

Fact the first medal in 52 years is a bronze: B-

Michael Phelps’ suction cup treatment circles: push

Maya Dirado: A

Takuya Haneda taking bronze in Canoe Slalom: A

Takuya Haneda being both first Japanese and first Asian to win a canoeing medal: A

Referring to “kayaking” as “canoeing”: B-

Your humble editor’s one attempt at kayaking: F

Crazy Japan Times Facebook Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Day Three

Surprising Yourself by Finding More Material: A

Archery: A

Bows that are more high-tech than my car: B-

Making a bow in Boy Scouts: A

The bow your humble editor made in Boy Scouts: C-

Team Handball: A

Ping Pong: A

Playing Ping Pong: C-

Lack of hand/eye coordination: D-

Watching Five Olympic Sports at the Same Time: E for Elvis

Elvis Presley: B

Suspicious Minds: A

A Little Less Conversation: A

Talking too much: D

A little more action: A-

Visiting Graceland: B

Visiting Graceland twice: D-

Graceland album: Then: B Now: A-

Michael Phelps: A

Kosovo’s First Olympic Gold: A

Majilinda Kelmendi: A

Serbia encouraging its athletes not to share a medal podium with Kosovars: F for petty.

Serbia not winning medals in that event: A

Kei Nishikori dropping his racket then winning the point: A+

Kei Nishikori: A

Getting stuck in an elevator: D

Getting stuck in an elevator then defeating Djokovic: A

Juan Martin del Petro: A

Olympic tennis: B

Playing tennis during PE class in the seventh grade: D

Elevator music: D

Mind games: C

Mind games in swimming: C

Australian Mack Horton’s mind games: A

Whining because your mind games weren’t as effective as Mack Hortons: F

Getting robbed at knife point: F

Government official working for ministry in charge of Olympic security getting mugged: push

Mistakes on Chinese flags used for ceremonies: D

Fact that the flags were manufactured in China: A

Crazy Japan Times Facebook Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Day 2

Early Bursts of Inspiration: A

Sustaining Inspiration: C-

Olympic Mascot Vinicius:
This is a pass/fail category with the only requirement being “Is it better than Izzy the Atlanta 1996 Mascot?”
Verdict: Pass

Name Vinicius: B-

Knowing Latin: A

Studying Latin: C

Vini Vidi Vici: A

Knowing it’s actually pronounced Wini Widi Wiki: C

Telling everyone you know it’s pronounced Wini Widi Wiki: D

Copacabana Beach: A+

Showgirls: D-

Lola: A+

Cherry Cola: C

The Kinks: A+

Barry Manilow: B-

Writing the songs that make the whole world sing: C-

Ear worms: F-

Favorite cycling phrase: Peloton

Peloton being French for “Big ass group of bikers”: B

Fake French: C-

Winning the first gold medal of the Olympics: A

USA Winning Women’s 10 Meter Air Rifle: A

Virginia Thrasher: A

Complicated Air Rifles: B-

Daisy Red Ryder BB Gun: A

Putting an eye out: D-

Hearing “I told you so” after you put an eye out: F

Thrasher Versus Lively as a last name: Victory to Thrasher

Changing name to Dwayne Thrasher: A

Dwayne as a name: B

Girls with Guns: C-

Tommy Shaw: B-

Tommy Shaw with Styx: A-

Styx: A

Styx post Tommy Shaw: F-

Music Time: Abomination

Musical references proving age: C-

Fencing: B+
Happens way too fast to be interesting.

Name “fencing”: C

Calling fencing “sword fighting”: A

Repairing barbed-wire fences: C-
Note: Your humble editor actually did that once in Boy Scouts.

Pushing your friend into a barbed-wire fence: A
Note: no comment.

Japanese bronze medals in judo: A

Japan’s opinion of winning bronze medals in Judo: F

Judo: A

Judo as Olympic Sport: C-
Too much time spent trying to grab uniforms.

Serbian rowing pair capsizing in lagoon that’s basically a toilet: B-

Swimming in a toilet: F

Trainspotting: A

Heroin: NED
For Not Enough Data

Rowing as a TV sport: B

British commentators attempting to make rowing interesting: E for effort.

More to follow. Probably.

Crazy Japan Times Mere Blather Invasion: Summer Olympics 2016 Reports

Note: this was originally posted on Facebook, but I tweaked it slightly and decided to include it here to make up for days lost to technical errors a while back. Also may appear on my other site some day.

It’s been a couple years, but once again an Olympics is upon us and that means it’s time for your humble editor to crawl out of his suspended animation shell (i.e. internet games) and file a few reports and give a few grades.

The first thing to understand about the Rio Olympics is that the Olympic Committee, in its infinite wisdom, chose to award the Summer Olympics to a place where it is currently winter. This makes sense when you remember that the last Winter Olympics was at a beach resort.

Winter Olympics: A
Summer Olympics: A-

Opening Ceremony
All opening ceremonies are glorified half-time shows and automatically receive an F.

Giant Glowing Macrame Thing: A-

Acknowledging Slavery Existed Outside the United States: A

Slavery: F-

Depicting the Japanese “invasion” of Brazil: A

Invasions: F

The British Invasion: B-

Projection mapping: A+

The 3D Building Effects and Parkour: A+ for Awesome Plus.

Parkour: C- for “What are you people? On Dope?”

Paper Airplane World of Tomorrow Moment: D for Why?

Giselle Bundchen: A

Glowing Roller Sleds: D for ???

Capoeira: A

Doing the opening ceremony without the athletes present: D

The big dance fest at the end: C

High school dances: F

High school: D-

Your humble editor in high school: “In God’s name and under the stars what for?”

Hip Hop guy/Lorax sequence: D

The hypocrisy of having everyone fly to your country and then protesting carbon emissions: F

Hypocrisy: C-

Virtue signaling in lieu of action: F

Hip Hop: C

Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax: B-

Dr. Seuss: A

Green Eggs and Ham: A

Ham and eggs: A+

The March of Nations
The woman on the tricycle who led Bangladesh and a couple other countries: A

The Dick Tracy Villains following each contingent: C

Albania: C  Suits and skinny ties. Meh.

Albania: A

My life in Albania: C+

My friends from Albania: A

Germany: F for WTF?
It has become increasingly clear that, at this point, Germany is just trolling the haters. Shorts with leggings for men; gray mini-skirts with leggings for women? Really? Really?

Mini-skirts: A

Mini-skirts with leggings: D-

Angola: A-
The khaki plus red shoes was cool.

(Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes: A-

Elvis Costello: A

Argentina: A
for proper wear of mini-skirts.

Australia: C-
They are apparently a lost school group that can’t find their school bus.

Bermuda: B-
Liked the shorts but the jacket ruined the effect.

Burundi: A
for bringing weapons to the opening ceremony. Actual costume: C

Cambodia: C
Solid purple grapes?

Japanese guy moving to Cambodia to be on marathon team: B-

Japanese guy having to wait five years to be on the team: push

Canada: C-
Untucked shirts under boring jackets. Apparently just woke up after a beach party and gotta get to the ceremony, eh?

China: A
for proper wear of short skirts.

Communism: F

Driving tanks over your own people: F

Driving tanks over anybody’s people: F

Cook Islands:
Women: A Floral dresses and flower crowns looked great.
Men: who cares?

Korea: C+
Boring, but nice hats.

Croatia: F
for Forgot to bring checkers.

Denmark: A
for red dresses.

Lady in Red song: D-

Dancing cheek to cheek: B

Having Lady in Red stuck in your head now: F

Djibouti: A-
for proper wear of skirts even though they were all men. Fair is fair.

Slovakia: D
apparently stole Croatia’s trousers.

Cross-country Skiing in Slovakia: A

Realizing that “cross-country skiing in Slovakia” is not a euphemism for something else: push

Boring and a bit casual, but not embarrassing.

Ralph Lauren logo that’s smaller than the moon: A

Out-cooling Canada: A+

France: B
for Boring But Better than Germany.

Georgia: C-
for the stern school mistress look.

The Night the Lights Went Out in Georgia: B-

Vicki Lawrence: B-

Georgia (the state): A-

Great Britain: C-
They apparently are looking for the same school bus as Australia.

Guyana: C-
Looked too much like playing cards.

Honduras: D-
Apparently raided souvenir shop in airport on way to ceremony.

Hungary: C-
Same designer as Croatia.

India: C-
for boring. The women would have a B- if they hadn’t worn the jackets.

Indonesia: F+
Probably the worst outfit not worn by a German.

Japan: B+
Boring but not embarrassing. The red blazers are sharp.

NHK constantly cutting to the Japanese team instead of letting your humble editor analyze uniforms on non-Japanese countries: F

NHK coverage before Japanese team came out: A


Italy: B-
for boring, but chic. We expect more from you, hence the minus.

Jordan: A
The red keffiyehs with the navy blazers looked good.

Madagscar: B Odd stripes, but it worked.

Mexico: B-
Great colors, bad scarves.

Norway: C-
Warning, prolonged exposure to jackets may trigger seizures.

New Zealand: C-
Boring but not funny boring.

Netherlands: A+
Probably the best uniform. Subdued versions of their flag colors looked great.

Panama: F
for no hats.

Portugal: A
Patched jeans look, nice jackets. What Canada could have been.

Kenya: Flag A. Uniform B.

Best national flags:

Runners up:
South Korea

North Korea: B-
but liked the striped ties that looked pink at a distance.

Shooting missles at your neighbors: F

Repressive communist shit holes: F

Romania: B-
Cabin attendant chic, but nice colors.

Russia: A-
Suffered from a bit of Dalton Academy Warblers chic, but one of the rare cases where the men looked better than the women.

Bowties: B-

Doping: F

Glee: A- (first two seasons) then D.

Sweden: C+
Soccer dads and Disco dancing queens. (Or maybe Mafioso and Moll.)


Dancing Queen: A-

Having the time of your life: A+

Having Dancing Queen stuck in your head: F

Switzerland: B-
Chic look ruined by glowing shoes.

Taiwan: C
Should have stolen Switzerland’s shoes to match their shirts.

Stealing shoes: F

Stealing anything: F

Czech Republic: A+
Nailed the stripes. Also liked the hats and short skirts.

Tonga: B
Didn’t rock the skirts as well as the men from Djibouti.

Pita Taufatofua: B+
You’ve already won the Olympics AND the internet but, damn, dude, lay off the body oil.

Brazil: A
Short dresses, hats, just enough color. Did not embarrass selves in front of home crowd. (Hey, this ain’t the World Cup.)

Hopefully, from now on, your humble editor will be able to watch some actual sports.

Once Upon an Olympic Year

When I was a kid, the Olympics were an event. Now, they’re mostly an excuse to write comic summaries.

I suspect there are a couple reasons for this. First, when I was a kid, an Olympic year occurred only once every four years, always during a US Presidential election year. The year opened with the Winter Olympics, and then the Summer Olympics provided distraction in the summer right before the party conventions and the general election campaign. (This was in the era before primaries became something to cover on TV.)

The year ended and you didn’t have to think about the Olympics for another four years. Because of that, the Olympics were a huge event.

Then, in the early ’90’s they switched to an Olympics every two years. This seemed to suck the energy and interest out of them. Bringing in professional players also hurt. When Michael Jordan originally refused to go to the podium because he’d have to wear a logo that wasn’t his regular sponsor, you could feel the Olympics die a bit. Wrapping himself in a flag and draping the flag over the logo just made it seem even more petty.

Making things worse, television coverage, at least in the USA got crappy. When I was a kid the network that got the Olympics actually showed the Olympics. All day. As a result you got to see odd sports such as archery and air rifle and the equestrian events.

Now, because there’s more money involved, the networks focus mostly on big money sports: sprints, basketball and gymnastics in the Summer Olympics; hockey, figure skating and alpine events in the Winter Olympics. Granted, the Winter Olympics is smaller with fewer events, but the Summer Olympics is huge and there’s a lot more to watch. Anything that’s not a big money sport gets relegated, if you’re lucky, to a secondary channel you hope your cable provider carries.

As if that’s not bad enough, US TV coverage usually involves lots of talking heads and interviews and music laden features telling us how hard a star athlete has worked to get to the Olympics. Then they cut to the athlete’s race and follow that up with more talk. You end up with several minutes of sport, dozens of minutes of talk and dozens of minutes of commercials.

Luckily, I’ve not had to see US coverage for a couple decades. Japanese Olympic coverage has its own quirks, and some sports can only be found by “roundabout” methods, but that’s another post.