Did you see that shocking story in the news about this year’s games in Korea? Even more incredible is that more than 90% of them are to be provided for members of the U.S. women’s ski team. Gee, those athletic ladies can be so skilled on the Asian slopes. You’d get the downhill drift of this lamely inappropriate joke only if you served in the Korean and/or Vietnam War.
There’s recent news about the former Bruce Jenner’s completing his final transformation into a female. The article used a word very familiar to those of us who served in the military.
When I was in the Navy, reassignment meant being transferred from one ship to another, or to duty at a shore station. When in college, the word often explained a change in classrooms.
Later, during my long career with a stuffy old insurance company, the term indicated a parallel desk move. The manager of one screwed-up department cleaned out his/her desk and was reassigned to boss another screwed-up department.
In pro sports, reassignment can have a similar meaning. When a potential major league baseball star fails to live up to the huge sign-up paycheck, the announcement reports that he has been reassigned to a minor league team. If management is in a kindly mood, the move is intended to give him experience before returning to the overpaid glory.
The word reassignment also can have even more negative connotations. In our company on several occasions, married executives who had been caught in extramarital shenanagans, were often reassigned. They were transferred from the posh corporate headquarters high-rise to a lowrise branch in one-horse Hicktown.
Of course, considering the never-ending headlines the Jenner/Kardarshian clan create, we’re all familiar with what the Bruce/Caitlin reassignment actually indicates. It means to all Jenner fans (and supporters) that the ex-Olympic athletic hero will have no more need for his jock strap.
Hey, guys, we just won some medals for doing the backstroke, butterfly and crawl! Let’s go out on the town of Rio and do some serious breaststroke! And, if too much of that Brazilian booze gets to us, we’ll just pay off the local cops and judges.
We’re making gazillions of bucks to pose for Wheaties boxes, Nike sneakers and other commercials. And like Hillary and the Donald, there will be more gazillions to grab when we get back home. They’ll pile it on us just to read teleprompter speeches at political gatherings, conventions and graduations.
Question: Will these guys lose their medals for this shame they’ve caused to the Olympics spirit, and worse, to the United States? Of course not. Like politics, today’s Olympic Games are all about money, and more money when produced in cities such as totally corrupt Rio.
It wasn’t always so. Way back in the 1912 Olympics, Native American athlete Jim Thorpe won two golds. Then he was found guilty of earning money as a pro athlete, and the medals were taken away. Actually, his offense was playing semi-pro baseball one summer for a couple hundred bucks.
Many of today’s Olympians are career pros in basketball, tennis and golf. To them, participating in the games, now perfectly legal, is just a short break from earning gazillions in their regular sports seasons and for endorsements.
The official Olympics motto is Citius, Altius, Fortius. That’s Latin for Faster, Higher, Stronger. Maybe it should be changed to Faster Pub Crawling, Higher Boozing, Stronger Political Pay-Offs.