Daily Dirt: Seriously, we lost to France?


by Steve Eighinger

So, the Tokyo Olympics are underway. I haven’t yet caught Olympic fever, but here are a few reflections on the first few days of competition in Vol. 18 of the Daily Dirt:

1. I’ve had some early takeaways from what constitutes the 32nd modern Olympiad:

A. Five of the newest events are 3×3 basketball, skateboarding, sport climbing, surfing and karate. Of those, only 3×3 basketball and skateboarding really matter. The 3×3 hoops is fast-paced and exciting, primarily because it is played on a half-court setting. If fans were allowed, I think this would be a major hit. They would be right on top of the players, fueling the excitement.Skateboarding has always been cool, and is a favorite with both men and women. Skateboarding also plays well to a television screen.Sport climbing? I’m not really sure what even is. Surfing? I can’t swim, so I’d just as soon watch chess. And karate? Save that for the action movies.

B. The U.S. men’s basketball team lost Sunday to France. F-r-a-n-c-e. The Americans have now lost five of their last eight international contests, so I wouldn’t be holding my breath for a gold medal.

C. I wish more of the U.S. women’s softball team would be shown by NBC. This is a powerhouse U.S. team that we should get behind.D. Beach volleyball — both men and women — is one of the most exciting Olympic sports, and works especially well as a TV property. It will be interesting to see how much prime-time play NBC offers, especially with the U.S. teams being strong medal favorites.

2. There’s quite a bit of current conversation — and rightly so — about the next James Bond film, which is due in U.S. theaters in early October. Each time a new 007 movie emerges, I can’t help but think about the old TV series, “The Avengers,” starring Patrick Macnee (John Steed) and Diana Rigg (Emma Peel). I’ve always felt that 1960s TV show never received the credit it deserved. Its secret agent sophistication was well ahead of its time, and in its own right, helped propel the James Bond popularity. (James Bond aficionados probably know that Rigg, who died last fall, appeared in the 1969 007 film “On her Majesty’s Secret Service.” That was the only movie for George Lazenby as James Bond.)

3. An underrated member of the snack kingdom? How about Combos? Rarely do I ever pass up a Combo purchase at gas stations. They’re a great road snack, accompanied by a Classic Coke or Mountain Dew.

Steve Eighinger appears daily in Muddy River News.

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