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From left field

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Here comes the Olympic torture

By Jimmie Earls

By Jimmie Earls

Sun Sports Writer

Have any of you been glued to the television watching the U.S. Olympic trail coverage? Me neither.

Well, it's that dreaded time again, when the NBC airwaves are over-saturated with Olympic trial coverage.

We get to watch as thousands of American athletes, with hopes of representing our country on the world stage, get whittled down to a select few who have unnatural proficiencies in ancient sports that even the Greek's don't care about anymore.

Olympic sports are just like algebra, they're hard to comprehend and you'll never use them in everyday life.

I mean, when was the last time you signed up for a summer shot put league at the YMCA, got the guys together to watch the rhythmic gymnastics championship in high definition or packed a couple of javelins in the car to take to the family picnic?

The Olympic Games would hold more interest to me if they were more for the common man instead of being archaic contests from yesteryear. At least more recognizable sports have been added to the Olympics in recent years.

Table tennis was added in 1988, baseball made its Olympic debut in 1992, and softball has been an Olympic sport since 1996.

How about combining some of these events to save us some time? Let's try pole vaulting over the person on the uneven bars, or throwing the discus at the gymnast on the balance beam. Kentucky native Tyson Gay may be a fast sprinter, but can he outrun a 70 mile-per-hour javelin?

The only sport I can see any sense in right now is the marathon. Running 26.2 miles in a little over two hours is a bit extreme, but if that's one way to battle high gas prices, then let's take advantage of their enthusiasm.

How about hitching each runner up to a cart and putting the spurs to 'em! For added acceleration, we can hang a gold medal off a pole in front of them.

The Olympic games need a re-tooling, a drastic overhaul if they are to hold my attention for any length of time. Let's make them so even a child could understand what's going on in the arena.

Even I would be interested in trying out for the U.S. Olympic team if they incorporated games from our childhoods. Wouldn't it be great to win the gold in Red Rover, Simon Says or Duck Duck Goose?

I think so.