Okay, so this is the blog where you tell me to go back to Mother Russia. You’ve been warned.
The United States is winning the most medals at this Olympic Games, and you know what? I’m embarrassed. Our country has behaved so reprehensibly in the last four years that I cringe almost every time I see them hoist the Stars and Stripes aloft.
Obviously there are a few exceptions. I liked our woman who won the bronze in the marathon, and the swimmers seem like very nice people (except for that Hall guy, who must be kind of a cock). And I was sad for the American rifleman who accidentally shot his opponent’s target.
But let’s face facts: our athletes have more equipment, more money and more product endorsement deals than any other country on the planet. Our basketball team – who, to the crowds utter delight, just lost to Lithuania – has $678 million in contracts and is sleeping on the Queen Mary.
With a tin ear for world politics, the Bush campaign released commercials featuring the Iraqi soccer team, to which the members of the Iraqi soccer team said, “fuck off, murderer.” I hope the rumors of Bush going to Athens to see a soccer game come true; he’ll be ridden out of town on a rail.
It really has come to this for me: my country’s government is so morally bankrupt that I can’t cheer for people representing us, even if they’re honest, hardworking platform divers. I’m with Meghan over at Slate – Carly Patterson may have won the gold, but her milky-pudding-white visage is wholly uninspiring. Give me the stork Svetlana ANY day of the week. Her petulant pride in being a Russkie was about the only honest emotion I saw.
SportsCenter complains about how bad our basketball team is, when they’re the ones that turned the sport into me-first cockfight. ESPN bemoaning a bronze medal is like Fox News being surprised when Bush does something awful. The only thing that keeps me from actively hoping our basketball team fails is the coaching staff, all of whom are from Chapel Hill.
And that’s when it hits me. I have no “home team” feeling for America anymore. It may come back, but for now, it’s lost. My tribalism, which kept me so delighted and psyched and deliriously happy to be an American for 33 years, has vanished. I have just as much joy when France, or Namibia, or Eritrea benefit from either a gold medal or a scientific breakthrough. I’m on the home team of the “world,” for lack of a better phrase, and the Americans just keep fucking it up.
I have but one team left for all of my heart: the North Carolina Tar Heels, a university and sports team I love that just happens to be in the United States. You will have to pry my cold dead fingers off my replica of the 2005 NCAA Championship Trophy.
Oh, and Misty May’s ass.