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February 23, 2010


I too preferred the Olympics when they were held every 4 years. I'd forget about them for roughly 3 of the 4 intervening years and then the excitement would build for the final year. And I've noticed the white teeth too. Wow. And every one of the major athletes must have a team of psychologists to coach them in answering the questions about their performance, how it feels to win, to get silver, etc. The answers are the same: "It's all about the (fill in the name of the sport), not the competition. As long as I've done my best." And so on. And I've read that some countries won't let an athlete go if they don't think he or she has a chance at a medal! I don't remember Eddy Edwards. You probably have to tune in at 3:00 a.m. to catch the Eddy Edwards of today.

Dear L: I was obsessed with the Knicks as a kid, used to follow boxing in the golden age of Ali-Frazier-Foreman-Leonard-Duran-Hagler, and, as a Bronxite, I stay half-tuned in to the fate of the Yankees, but, deep down, I increasingly feel that sports is just more corporatist bullshit, individual achievement notwithstanding (since many of my poet friends are baseball fanatics, however, I put baseball in a special category; plus, I like the fact that any given baseball game, a la Zeno's Paradox, has the potential of lasting an eternity). And the Olympics have always seemed to me the epitome of must-not-see t.v. I don't always agree with him, but I'm on board with Christopher Hitchens, who said this (and lots more) in his excellent critique of the Olympics in the Feb. 15 Newsweek: "Meanwhile, with millions of other don't-care people, I won't be able to escape the pulverizing tedium of the events themselves." (And don't even get me started on how much I don't care about Tiger Woods or golf or anything having to do with either.) Sorry. yrs, T

I can't argue with you, T. It's so slick now - very disheartening. Minor league baseball is better, if you go to the games - the players are very nice and appreciative to the fans, especially kids, and the games are fun to watch, too. Echoes of the old days, when you could sit in the bleachers and have a hot dog and not have to take out a home-equity loan.

As for Tiger Woods, I'm with you 100%. And golf as a spectator sport...well, it isn't. As Rosie O'Donnell says, it's just men in funny pants walking.

Will you kindly expound on why 100,000 condoms were distributed to the OLYMPIC VILLAGE? That makes about 19 per athlete.


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I left it
on when I
left the house
for the pleasure
of coming back
ten hours later
to the greatness
of Teddy Wilson
"After You've Gone"
on the piano
in the corner
of the bedroom
as I enter
in the dark

from New and Selected Poems by David Lehman


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