In the fall of 1972 Mark Spitz had just finished his assault on the Olympic record books, winning 7 times in Munich. In two short weeks Spitz had transformed himself from World Class athlete in a sport nobody cared about, to World's Best athlete in a sport everyone would soon remember they didn't care about.
These days he spends his time as a stockbroker and as an avid viewer of pornography. "I have almost every movie Anita Dark ever made" Spitz tells me from the living room of his Modesto, CA home. It was a Saturday night in August, the night that Michael Phelps, America's newest vacuous hero, was poised to break Spitz' long standing record of 7 Gold Medals and 7 World Records in a single Olympic Games.
"You know. I thought I'd take that record with me to the grave," said Spitz. "I was a perfect 7 for 7 with 7 golds and 7 records. How could anybody beat that? And you know what, nobody ever would have if they hadn't added the 50m freestyle ... if they had that in my day, I would've won that one too. And now they have these fancy swim suits, and frictionless water. Shit, I did everything I did with a hangover, a mustache and a full bush. Sure we knew about friction back then, but I wasn't some kind of teenage virgin like Phelps. I needed my pubes. We all did. But I'd rather go a little slower in the pool, if I could bang a little faster. It was the 70s, and a dude without pubes, wasn't any kind of dude at all."
"You know that poster of me in the Speedo's with all my gold medals", he says as he points to the one mounted on the ceiling above his sleeper sofa. "That was the biggest selling poster for 4 years ... until Farrah Fawcett sold all those hard nipple posters," Spitz said with a hint of sadness, as if he could feel all his records crashing down around him.
Spitz had been enjoying the Olympics so far. Michael Phelps had helped to revive his fame a little, and had brought back some good memories. "I even got recognized at the Dairy Queen the other day without having to do that "index finger over the lip thing" that everyone always makes me do when they think it might be me, but then don't believe me when I say 'it's me.' You know, so they can picture me with a mustache. I shaved it when it went gray ..."
As Spitz' words trailed off into nothingness, he gazed out his window with palpable nostalgia. After a moment he turned to me, visibly shaken "No matter what happens tonight, Michael Phelps will never know what it's like to be Mark Spitz. He'll never get to see Zeppelin live, he'll never get to meet John Lennon, he'll never be on Carson or Sonny and Cher or "Emergency" 'cause that show got canceled, and the other 3 people died in a motorcycle accident. I was a TV star, dammit. And Phelps might have all the fame and money in the world, but he'll never get to have tons of indiscriminate sex with girls with big bushes and real boobs. No. Not without a condom he won't."
The shag carpeting of Spitz' anachronistic living room cruelly flickered like digital water in the cool glow of Spitz' even more sadly outdated 32" non-HD Cathode Ray Tube television. The American men, who had never lost the Men's 400m Individual Medley, took to the pool. And Michael Phelps, the young man with flippers and gills and weird ears and messed up teeth and a personality like Soy Milk, swam the third leg of the relay easily and without visible effort, in comfortable oblivion to the man sitting next to me. Although Phelps was the one swimming his 17th swim of the Olympics that night, when it was over and Phelps had won his 8th and final gold of the games, it was Spitz who looked exhausted.
Unable to find the remote, Spitz slowly walked over to the TV and turned it off. He quietly opened the sliding door to his balcony, and proclaimed to the valley of newly christened Michael Phelps disciples below him, "It's just swimming. It's just gold medals. Nobody cares. I invented this shit. I had a mustache."
Thursday, August 14, 2008
I Started feeling bad for Alicia again. And then I remembered that she's just a sorority chick from Brown, and as such deserves no sympathy. Then again, the dude she knocks out in this video seems like a bit of a douche ... so things even out. And now I feel bad for her again. I just can't make up my mind.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Last night Alicia Sacramone, the real life daughter of fictitious mob boss, John "Johnny Sac" Sacramone, fell on her ass a couple times and the U.S. won a silver medal in Women's gymnastics at the Beijing Olympic Games. Sacramone, a 5'1" goliath, looked out of sorts all night, and turned in an uneven performance, where she looked both nervous and hot the entire time.
The Chinese entered the balance beam portion of the contest, holding a 1 point lead, which in a sport that deducts points for camel toe and armpit sweat, is nearly insurmountable.
The U.S. was ready to symbolically concede the world to China, but then from out of the sky came a gift from the always pro-American God in heaven .... Gasp! one of the 5 year old Chinese girls made a fatal error in front of an entire nation of 5 year old girl murderers. When the 35 pound China doll fell off the balance beam, the whole stadium drew firearms and threatened to sell her to a Fruit of the Loom factory.
With that 8 tenths of a point deduction, an American comeback seemed probable ... for a moment. But then that hot Amazon from Brown University, who at a towering 5'1" looked like some sort of white Serena Williams, ruined everything when she launched her huge 105 pound frame from a spring board, and failed to execute a simple front flip onto a 4" wide bar suspended 4 1/2 feet above the ground, in front of roughly 1 billion home viewers.
(I might not know the first thing about Gymnastics, but I watched the Chinese kindergartners mount the balance beam from a step stool. Not quite sure why Alicia thought she had to get all crazy.)
And then, with the taste of failure fresh in her mouth Alicia took to the floor exercise, where she did flips and aerials with force and strength that would make Tony Hawk (or almost any other guy) cream in his pants ... and ended up on her ass ... and stepped out of bounds. And then the anorexic blonde girl .... stepped out of bounds. And then the little powerhouse girl, who could kick the doors off a bank vault ... stepped out of bounds. And somehow this team of vertigo stricken teenagers ended up with a silver medal. And of course we, the sore losers of the United States of America, still find a way to bitch. Because a silver medal isn't good enough.
I think everyone needs a little perspective on this. The U.S. Women were falling off parallel bars and balance beams for 2 out of 3 days. The Chinese were (to anyone's surprise?) using child labor. And the Russians were out of sight drunk as hell ... as always. In the end the little girls stayed on their feet longer and the American sorority chicks got a silver. Boo-hoo.
I do feel bad for Alicia, she seemed pretty crestfallen. And she probably won't want to look at that silver medal for a while. She just needs to learn a thing or two from Mitch "The Wild Thing" Williams, who unceremoniously ended the Phillies' bid for a World Series Title in 1993 with a middle of the plate fastball.
Alicia, move out of town (or in your case the country) for a while and then come back 20 years later and launch your own Salsa Line, or you could always get a job at ESPN as a field correspondent. If that doesn't work, think of the Alternative. Are you really jealous of Li Shanshan, the star of the Chinese team? She will have her day in the sun in China, and then, when she gets all big and womanly like you, the government will revoke her fake passport and sell her into wage slavery, where she will be forced to make giant Sponge Bob dolls for American Carnivals forever. So really Alicia, even as a big fat loser, you are a winner .... And so are you America.