The Olympic Buffet: Tuesday, August 12

Wow, good for you, Natalie Coughlin. Athletes who would like the gold medal-winning luck of having been called out by TV Bacon will be considered upon the receipt of a small fee. And as someone who has a soft spot for both the amazing gymnastics the Chinese men bring to the table and Raj Bhavsar, last night was some quality Olympic TV. Can anything top it tonight?

Tuesday’s Blue Plate Special: Once upon a time, college players, who were amusingly considered “amateurs,” made up the US Olympic basketball teams. That all changed in response to a “humiliating” bronze medal at the 1988 Seoul Games. In 1992, the US fielded their “Dream Team,” made up of highly-paid NBA uberstars (and Michael Jordan broke John Stockton’s leg, and I’ve never forgiven Jordan for it). Their first Olympic game was against powerhouse Angola; one player found himself with Charles Barkley’s elbow embedded in his chest all the way to his spine. As a mark of respect, no doubt. But today…it’s Herlanda Coimbra’s revenge, as Angola seeks to shake off that Dream Team loss. Yeah…that’s not gonna happen, but it’s fun to see the NBA all-stars acting like a real team (live midmorning, USA Network).

Tuesday’s Chef’s Special: GUT WRENCH! No, seriously, one of the actual scoring moves in Greco-Roman wrestling is called a gut wrench. If you bother to tune in to the wrestling coverage (early morning, MSNBC), you are very likely to be rewarded by announcers hollering, “Gut wrench!” Trust me, you’re going to end up incorporating it into your daily speech. Wrestlers are underrated athletes, though; they’re not only remarkably strong, but their flexibility and quick feet make them poetry in motion. Even in singlets. Doing gut wrenches. Well worth checking out.


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