The Thought for the Day – Grantland Rice

Amid world beating hearts, the tumult and the shouting starts. – Grantland Rice, The Start

Grantland Rice was an American sportswriter, one of the most eloquent and best known America has produced. Among other things, he is known for coining the phrase “The Four Horsemen” to describe the 1924 Notre Dame football team’s backfield, as well the phrase:

He writes – not whether you won or lost –
But how you played the game

Rice was a versatile man. He played football and baseball at Vanderbilt and was their baseball coach in 1908. In 1944 and 1946 he was nominated for Oscars in the Best Short Subject – One Reel category, winning in 1944 for a short called Amphibious Fighters. (The category is now known as the Best Live Action Short Film.)

The tumult and the shouting will begin soon in Rio De Janeiro, site of the Summer Olympics. While Rio was universally hailed for its unquestioned – and perhaps unparalleled – ability to produce scantily clad, buxom young women and to generally throw a party, almost immediately doubts were cast about Rio’s ability to stage an event of this magnitude.

Those concerns have come to pass, though in fairness to Rio organizers, not all are their fault. For example, they’re not responsible for the doping scandal that came this close to keeping the entire Russian Olympic team out of the Games, or the fact that some athletes – who had past samples recently test positive – might be waiting outside the gate at Olympic Stadium to see whether or not they’ll be allowed to participate in the Opening Ceremonies.

The fact that this planet has completely lost its mind and some whack job might well cause havoc at the Games is not their fault, either, though they will be responsible for preventing and dealing with it.

Some problems are their fault, though. The bay where the open water swimming and sailing events are to be held is, literally, a sewer. A half-million visitors could spread the Zika virus to the rest of the world. Some infrastructure projects either won’t be completed or, if completed, will be untested.

…the tumult and the shouting starts…

And perhaps the chaos, too. Even the biggest Olympic booster has to acknowledge an awful lot of elements for disaster are there. The Olympics biggest cynics have achieved, and are maintaining, a state of arousal usually only seen on porn movie sets waiting for catastrophe to strike.

We’re somewhere in the middle. The Olympics could use a swift kick in the pants. From bribery scandals to doping fiascos to athletes competing among body parts and feces, Rio might give it to them, and perhaps we’ll have the opportunity to usher in a new Olympic era. We could use it.


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