U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!
It’s music to my ears. I love a good patriotic U-S-A chant. I love America. We have our problems like anywhere else, but I really do love it here. I loved it through Bush and Clinton and Bush and Obama and Trump, and now I love it through Biden. It doesn’t matter who sits at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue. What matters are the people more immediately around you. And athletic dominance.
The Tokyo Olympics begin July 23, and here’s what you can do to get prepared.
Buy Some Star-Spangled Stuff
You remember like 20 years ago when everyone always wore Old Navy clothing for some reason? And the graphics on the shirts were always just American flags or star-spangled top hats or whatever? That’s the kind of stuff you need. If there’s an Old Navy near you, go get one. If not, order something on Amazon. Whatever it is, make sure it’s patriotic. Wear it before July 23 a few times just to make sure the neighbors know you’ve always been patriotic.
Ditch Imported Alcohol for the Games
You should absolutely enjoy an adult beverage as you watch the Olympics, but for those couple weeks, try to stay domestic. Beer from Milwaukee, bourbon from Kentucky, tequila from Texas, and wine from California. Sure, craft beer and domestic vodka are fine, too, but those didn’t fit the meter of the sentence I was writing so I left them out. But either way, leave the Dox XX and Stella Artois and Stoli and Bordeaux wine in the liquor cabinet for a couple weeks. It’s the least you can do.
Study Up on an Obscure Event
Every Olympiad there seems to be one random event that takes the country by storm. Remember when people in 2014 were curling experts during the Sochi Winter Olympics? Look through the list of Tokyo Olympics events here, pick one event, and learn juuuuusssstttt enough about it to impress someone you’re watching with. (As an aside, this Olympiad will include 3-on-3 basketball, which seems really bizarre to me). Personally, I’m trying to decide between water polo, trampoline gymnastics, and the canoe slalom. I’ll do a bit more research and have it figured out in plenty of time to be pedantic at a watch party.
Remember the Michael Phelps Bong Picture
It’s just funny. The guy is basically a merman and is capable of levels of physicality most people can’t possibly comprehend and the world briefly threw a fit because he hit a bong like a 19-year-old freshman. Who gives a shit? Seriously. With as far as we have come in the fields of medicine, agriculture, and criminology, you’d think a professional athlete taking a rip from a bong wouldn’t have been international news, but I guess when the people who make the laws think Reefer Madness! was a documentary, that’s the kind of illogical nonsense you end up with.
Start a U-S-A Chant
A brief story: In 2012 I went to a pub trivia event at Deep Ellum Brewery here in Dallas. It was during the summer games that year, and our team name was U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A! We finished second I think, but the point is we did start at least one chant just by showing up. The lesson? Everyone loves a good U-S-A chant during the Games, so find a place where there are people and just get it done. I promise you will fill with red-white-and-blue pride that will be unmatched until the next Olympics. If you’re really feeling good, start a SHRIM-FRIED-RICE chant, too.
Cook Something American
A big slab of meat cooked low and slow in a smoker. Chicken wings. Hamburgers. Hot dogs. Apple pie. Just something American. Something that would be appropriate at a Fourth of July picnic. I’m thinking I might do a big ol’ Texas brisket the first week and maybe beer can chicken the second week because it’s slightly less unhealthy. But whatever I cook, I can guaran-damn-tee you I’ll be in jean shorts, a star-spangled tank top, and cowboy hat, most likely drinking a half dozen Coors Lights and listening to Creedence Clearwater Revival on full volume.
Don’t Talk Politics
Finally, don’t talk politics for about a week before the Games through the closing ceremonies. Politics is almost 100% opinion, and anything that is almost 100% opinion will be divisive. We don’t need more division, especially right before the Olympics. You know in Ancient Greece they would even pause wars to hold the Olympics. Think about that. A cease-fire so the best athletes could quit slinging stones at one another and go wrestle naked in the sunshine. That’s the spirit we need during the Olympics. No politics. If you can help it, try to extend that policy for a much longer time, but I know that’ll be difficult for most people, including me. But either way, if you can can the political talk for three weeks, I promise you’ll feel better.