Sports Lessons for Plebeians: The Olympics Edition

Written by  //  August 6, 2012  //  Croquet and Other Lesser Sports, The Field  //  No comments

Every so often we leave our American grounds for a land where culture does not involve “reality” television or deep fried butter.

With the summer Olympics taking place in London, our sporting staff has deigned to travel to the UK so that we might show our former oppressors how to do erudition correctly.

You hear that? Correctly, not “right” or “properly.”

I personally will try to be updating you on some of the more esoteric sports taking place, and educate you on the nuances of the more misunderstood events. Since I just opened a bottle of 60 year old scotch – which I purloined from the Dutch heiress after giving her a night of unrepentant passion that required she take a 95 minute shower during which she wept quietly – I am feeling quite historical. As such, I wish to take a moment to look back at some of the events that have formerly graced the summer games before being stricken from the roster in favor of watching tattooed mongrels bounce a ball.

Basque Pelota

I was always fascinated by the sport of Basque Pelota. I would spend endless hours watching the urchin children of the slums play it through my rifle scope on the balcony of my family’s Argentinean villa where we would visit my great grandfather after he was exiled from Germany for inflated charges that alleged crimes against humanity. The game consisted mostly of hitting a ball against a wall – much like the proletariat sport of racquetball – and then running, screaming, and crying as one of their number was cut down by a mysterious bullet wound.

 The Olympics saw only one game of Basque Pelota at the 1900 Summer Games in which France and Spain played a match. The final score is unknown, due mostly to the fact that none of the dimwitted judges of questionable breeding knew precisely how to score the game. Spain was awarded the gold medal because the French thought the loss would aid them in writing meandering existential poetry on the pointlessness of life; at least, the pointlessness of life in France.

Croquet and Roque

I am hesitant to include the vulgarity of Roque with the gentlemanly sport of Croquet, but their similarities make them nearly synonymous in the minds of the underinformed. The difference is that Roque was invented by Americans (who actually refer to themselves as Americans, which is itself inexcusable) and is played on a hard surface by those that cannot afford a proper Croquet field.

Roquet was permitted in the 1900 Olympics while Croquet was played in 1904. The Roquet games saw only 4 competitors – all American – who played a round robin game and then most likely retired to the locker room to engage in a fraternity style fellatio marathon. The Croquet matches were between Belgian and French competitors, where France soundly trounced the Belgians. France refused to accept their medals in favor of forcing their Belgian counterparts to confess that Crepes are superior to Waffles in a signed statement that will not expire until 2041.

Jeu de Paulme

Jeu de Paulme has the oldest continuing world championship in all the world of sport, being more than 250 years old. It is the true game of tennis, before leggy Russian girls and simian women that possess horrifying genitalia were permitted to slap balls to and fro while grunting like tavern wenches. As is the case with many civilized sports, such as chess and poisoning elder statesmen, it is played indoors since the invention of walls and roofs allow us to avoid being forced to play under the sun as if we were animals.

 Jeu de Paulme (or Jeu de Paume to the illiterate among you) was only allowed in 1908 where a single United States team defeated both of the competing teams from Great Britain in a dazzling show that surprised no one.

Tug of War

They actually allowed tug of war to be an event in the games for twenty goddamn years. It is only noteworthy because every single man that competed as a tug-of-warrior would tell women he was a male nurse or secretary just to avoid the shame. They all died in a mass suicide where they signed a single note that simply said “We are sorry.” Their offspring have been summarily drowned in buckets to prevent tug of war to ever be given any credence whatsoever.

About the Author

M. W. Byrne

M. W. Byrne would describe himself as a gentleman criminal. Born to the infamous nouveau riche Günther family, much of his adult life has been spent in and out of the department of corrections for a wide array of infractions from petty theft, mayhem, arson, and impersonating a member of the clergy.

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