Somehow, it just doesn't seem like the Olympics without curling.
That doesn't mean there aren't many mockable sports people are willing to go to Beijing to play, though.
Like beach volleyball. Does anyone else find it odd that you can get a gold medal for an event that was likely started during someone's family reunion? The only difference now is that beach volleyballers manage to wear less clothes every Olympics. Less, even, than swimmers. Next year, Misty May's going to be sporting pasties, which will go really nicely with that stripper name.
Gymnastics is legit, though. Still disturbing. Maybe China is using underaged girls. What about the U.S. team? I get sad every time I look at them, because most of 'em seem as though they were binded at birth to prevent proper growth. Plus, whenever they speak, I can't hear them, but my dog goes insane. Somewhere in Des Moines, Iowa, is a gymnast sweatshop.
The only sport worthy of the Olympics is tennis. That's true, although I'm slightly biased. I haven't had a chance to write about it (still recovering from an adventuresome weekend at my brother's wedding) but late's better than never. Although late never got anyone a gold medal.
First, how about notable absentees from the Games? Mainly Andy Roddick. I get it. He wants a shot at the U.S. Open. Well, memo to Roddick: They play the U.S. Open every year. Your next chance at the Olympics will be 2012. You'll be 30. Possibly still looking for a coach, probably still seeking Slam No. 2. Was this a solid decision? I think the summer will show it wasn't. He might be the only real contender without jet lag, but I think the top 3 guys in the game right now will eventually be able to shake that off. And he still won't have a gold medal -- or the chance to ask Michael Phelps what it is exactly -- off the record, of course -- that he is on.
Anyway, back to the golden draw. Shockingly, Nicolas Massu won't be defending his gold medal. I know. Crazy. But the names in the final eight aren't too surprising. And the matchups -- although it's no Legg Mason draw -- are tantalizing:
Roger Federer v. James Blake: How easy would it be to go with Blake right now, considering Federer's slump of late? Well, I'm not going that route. First of all, Blake doesn't believe in himself enough to beat Fed. Secondly, he lacks the discipline to give Federer too much of what he doesn't like. You know, high backhands. It's not like Fed's going to give Blake a lot of looks at juicy forehands, either. Blake might get a set on blasting winners, but he can't do that for three sets.
Paul-Henri Mathieu v. Fernando Gonzalez: Gonzo does have a gold medal from last time around, so he might be all right dealing with the weight of his country on his shoulders. Mathieu did take down Nicolay Davydenko and Nicolas Kiefer in the last two rounds, though. However, there is no "Nic" in "Fernando" or "Gonzalez". I think Gonzalez will run away with this. What happens to him after that -- well, we'll see.
Gael Monfils v. Novak Djokovic: These two had quite a blooming rivalry a couple of years ago, but Djokovic has since pulled away. Don't expect anything to change here. Djokovic did lose to Andy Murray in Cincy, but Monfils isn't on that level yet, although his athletic ability will probably make this match entertaining.
Jurgen Melzer v. Rafael Nadal: Is your name Roger or Novak? Then step off. Nadal in 37 minutes.