HBO’s (and formerly NBC’s) Bryant Gumbel laying down the law on “Real Sports” :

Count me among those who don™t care about them (the Winter Olympics) and won™t watch them. In fact, I figure that when Thomas Paine said that œthese are the times that try men™s souls, he must™ve been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they™re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. So try not to laugh when someone says these are the world™s greatest athletes, despite a paucity of blacks that makes the winter games look like a GOP convention. Trynot to point out that something™s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what™s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won.

The Mighty MJD, subbing for the vacationing Human Whoopie Cushion over at Deadspin replied,

Tough call. Should I side with the angry conservative liberal media watchdogs or the cuddly black sportscaster who is just admitting that he hates the Olympics and (possibly) the GOP?

Surely Gumbel could’ve made the same point whether or not he was black. But as long as we’re being accurate, this has to be the first time in eons that he’s been described as “cuddly” (not since Keith Olbermann was called “humble”, anyway) nor am I sure that what Gumbel does these days can be called sportscasting.

NY Press’ Steve Weinstein, whom to my knowledge is neither black nor cuddly (and his boss certainly doesn’t hate the GOP), echoes some of Gumbel’s sentiments…and goes just a bit further in his condemnation of Torino 2006.

The Winter Olympics are a festival of whiteness — on the ground and on the winners’ platform.

But it™s when the Olympics try for relevance that they turn the corner into imbecility. Seeing the addition of xtreme sports in a frantic attempt to hold onto that elusive young male viewer is like your uncle Jakie in Ft. Lauderdale wearing a backward baseball cap and showing ass crack through his Sean Johns.

On the subject of what Weinstein refers to as “spoiled suburbanits twirling in more sequins than a Liza Minelli drag queen contest”, here’s the quote of the day from Johnny Weir;

“I didn’t feel my aura. Inside I was black.”

But not, presumably, cuddly.