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SUN 05 SEP 2004: 44 Is Too Many

WEEKLY WHINE

From the torch to the grill

It's just about time to disconnect the propane tank from the Olympic cauldron [which isn't even a cauldron in this case], so before we do, it's time to hand out some awards. No, not the medals. Those are actually meaningful and desirable. These awards are completely useless and don't even correspond to any actual trophies or anything. In fact, we can't actually guarantee that the GoobNet Athens 2004 Committee has actually chosen these awards based upon merit. Randomness is the order of the day.

Note: By the time you read this, the 2004 Summer Olympic Games may well be over already. Boo hoo.

GOOBNET ATHENS 2004 COMMITTEE MEMBERS

Best Sight: Iraq, men's football
Debbie says: Iraq started off with a 4-2 win over Portugal and didn't look back. Emad Mohammed bashed home a low altitude bicycle kick - the kind with the training wheels still on - to defeat Australia 1-0 in the quarterfinals. Though they were dismissed and lost the bronze medal match, this was quite a team, and quite a tournament.

Worst Sight: Nizami PASHAYEV, Azerbaijan, men's weightlifting
Reg says: Look out! In the snatch, Pashayev was trying to lift 180kg, but he lost his balance and pitched forward. He dropped the bar, but it rolled toward the edge of the platform and nearly hit a judge. Not the best way to curry favour with the authorities, is it?

Silliest Sight: The woman with the glowing womb, opening ceremony
Edvard says: The hell? But we can't really complain that much. We got partial nudity, after all. Honourable mention to Cube Guy. The Vegas odds on who's appearing at the closing ceremony: Tetrahedron Guy 2:1, Octahedron Guy 4:1, Dodecahedron Guy 3:2, Icosahedron Guy 12:1.

Jeff Agoos ¡Autogolazo! Award: Loukas VYNTRA, Greece, men's football
Deb says: Well into the second half of Greece's first match, the home side were trailing the Korea Republic 1-0 and needed to get back into the match. Not really the best time to deflect the ball into your own net, is it?

Jackie Chan Taxi Award: Anonymous taxi driver, Athens
Debbie says: Diederik Simon won silver as part of the Netherlands' men's eights rowing team, but he left it behind in a cab. Yes, the driver eventually found it and gave it back. Brings a little more honour to a profession normally known for a knack for always finding the longest route to the airport, doesn't it?

Best Music: DJ Tiësto, Netherlands, opening ceremony
Edvard says: That's what I'm talking about. Here at GoobNet, we cannot get enough of Samuel Barber's Adagio for Strings. The original was okay. William Ørbit's electronic arrangement was better. ATB's mix is fun. Ferry Corsten's mix is fucking awesome. And Tiësto's mix? I think we have to go buy his Just Be album now.

Worst Music: United States, women's football
Reg says: Was it funny when the US women won gold and "sang" along to the national anthem? Or was it just sad? Maybe both.

Silliest Music: Fans cheering thinking that the United States anthem is over
Reg says: For some reason, the version of "The Star Spangled Banner" that they've been playing at these Games has a really quiet "And the rockets' red glare" part. So, people who can't hear that part think the song is over, and they start cheering. And here's us thinking there's not supposed to be anything funny about anthems.

'Umm, There's an Olympics Going On Right Now' Award: Athenians
Edvard says: They can go on and on all they want about how well the tickets are selling, but have you seen those empty seats? Like yesterday at the men's football gold medal match? Maybe we should have gone there. We could have our own GoobNet sections.

Wallace and Gromit Wrong Trousers Award: United States, men's basketball
Debbie says: Yesterday's bronze medal match against Lithuania was delayed about 45 minutes. Care to guess why? If you said "Because the US thought they were the home team and only brought their white uniforms", quit cheating.

Most Useless Sport: Modern pentathlon
Reg says: Okay, we all know that you have to be one hell of an athlete to compete in the modern pentathlon. You gotta shoot, fence, swim, ride, and run, all in the same day. That's not the argument. We're cool with that. It's just, you know, what the hell? Today, the ultimate athlete is no longer somebody who can ride a horse and poke another guy with a metal stick. Instead, let's combine the most popular Olympic sports: swimming, running, gymnastics, boxing, and beach volleyball. That would be a pentathlon.

Best Name: Whitney PING, United States, women's table tennis
Deb says: Do I even need to make a joke here?

Worst Name: Anju BOBBY GEORGE, India, women's long jump
Deb says: Just because your husband is named Robert Bobby George doesn't make it okay for you to take his name.

Chas Tenenbaum Safety First Award: Toby STEVENSON, United States, men's pole vault
Deb says: "Crash" Stevenson wears, you guessed it, a crash helmet when he vaults. Whatever works, right?

Best Fans: Olympic Indoor Hall, men's horizontal bar
Deb says: Wasn't that great? Ten minutes' worth of booing when Alexei Nemov got only a 9.725 for a badass routine that should have been scored out of 11. As Leela might say, "It's the judges' decision to make. And they made it wrong."

Worst Fans: Olympic Stadium, men's 200m
Debbie says: Was anybody else bothered by the fact that the fans were booing the final of this event just because Kostas Kenteris wasn't there? If you really want to protest, how about a protest in front of the IAAF's offices?

Silliest Fans: Brazilians, Olympic Beach Volleyball Centre
Edvard says: Especially that guy in the yellow spandex. The opposite of the average female Brazilian fan - in every respect.

Anti-Midas Award: Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique
Edvard says: Just as everything Midas touched became gold, everything the FIG touches is becoming worthless. First the scoring blunders in the men's all around final, and the entire question over whether or not the Korea Republic team actually did submit their protest in time. Then the suspension of the judges. Then the fiasco at the horizontal bar final, when two judges had to revise their scores for Nemov. Then the ridiculous letter to Paul Hamm, where they basically said, "I know we gave you the gold medal, but we didn't really mean it." So here's a quick list of everyone who's against the FIG now: United States, Korea Rep, Russia, the IOC, and fans. Anybody we left out?

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