The ‘Blogging Olympics’ Coming in 2008?

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I’ve always thought blogs were a lot like cell phones. Everyone seems to have one, but no one seems to have anything meaningful to say. That could change if Olympians get the chance to tell it like it really is.

In between debating weighty issues like whether solo synchronized swimming is actually a sport or whether gymnastics really is fixed, the International Olympic Committee is looking at allowing athletes to blog.

It’s a delicate issue. The IOC doesn’t want to step on the toes of the traditional media, and there’s a fear the athlete’s village could turn into a battle zone of dueling blogsters.

Imagine Chad Hedrick and Shani Davis going after each other online before they meet on ice.

“We want to avoid a free-for-all situation,” IOC spokeswoman Giselle Davies said.

If only blogs had been allowed at previous Olympics. Think of some of the things we could have gotten straight from the athletes themselves at the Turin Games.

Bode Miller would not have had to leave his motor home to deal with pesky reporters who wanted to know why he was partying until 4 in morning when he was supposed to be winning gold medals a few hours later.

He could have just blogged about it:

“The great thing about living in my motor home is that I can walk home from the bar,” Miller might have written. “Believe me, that came in handy last night when the Swedish women’s curling team showed up to throw down a few. I meant to leave at midnight, but we got to talking and pretty soon the sun is coming up and I’m inviting them to see the RV. Talk about partying on an Olympic level. And I can still win that gold medal, maybe a couple of them. Anyone got any idea where I put that aspirin? Oh well, party on.”

Johnny Weir could have explained how he was so busy sewing sequins on his swan costume that he forgot to check the bus schedule, arrived late, and sank from second to seventh place in the men’s figure skating final.

“Can you believe they expected me to ride on the bus in the first place? I mean, I don’t expect a limo, but a Town Car would have been nice. And did you hear about the rooms we had to stay in? Not only was there no room service, but no valet, either. I had to take my costume to the dry cleaner myself. And then they lost it. I know it’s Italy and everything, but how can you lose a swan costume?”

Actually, since we’re in a new media world where everyone has a MySpace page or Web site of their own, why not let all athletes just bypass journalists entirely and blog directly to their fans.

This might have been in Tank Johnson’s blog from the Super Bowl:

“Well, today was media day and they told me I had to go. I don’t know why I have to tell the media anything, besides they can always read it from the arrest report. So the plan was to go in with talking points and keep repeating them for an hour before all those fat slobs went off to eat their free lunches. Anyway, I told them I hated violence, loved God and family, and am trying every day to be a better person. Guess what? They believed it. Now if only the judge is just as easy.”

Peyton Manning could have blogged about finally winning the big one.

“It’s just a great sense of accomplishment for our team. Our team won the game. Our coach won the game. I’m proud to be quarterback of this team and this team won the championship. It was nice to be able to host the trophy this year. We want to be a better team next year. My goal is to try to be a better quarterback.

“Did I mention my teammates and coach won this game?”

Wait, never mind. That’s what Manning did say. Good thing someone else writes his commercials for him.

Then there’s Alex Rodriguez. He was asked if there’s a chance he’d use an option in his contract to become a free agent after this season so he could make more than the $24 million a year he’s due in the last three years of his Yankees deal.

He didn’t have much to say about it. But if A-Rod had a blog, he could tell us directly how the economics of baseball have gone so haywire that a player hitting .098 with no RBI in his last 12 playoff games with the Yanks could even consider pulling a J.D. Drew and going elsewhere for even more millions.

Come to think about it, maybe blogs aren’t such a good idea after all.

Some things just can’t be explained.


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