Let’s face it. The Olympics aren’t what they used to be. When the Soviet Union collapsed everything got better – except the Olympics. It’s kind of like Billy Curry and Mike Shula’s tenure at Bama. The Iron Bowl was too easy. What was the point?
If you are middle age or older, you remember a time when the Olympic Games meant everything. It was a two week Iron Bowl-like competition. East vs. West. Good vs. Bad. United States vs. CSSR.
The competition was so fierce and important that to this day, I still regard a hockey game played in Lake Placid in 1980 as the most significant sporting event of my life, not an Auburn football game.
It’s probably hard for younger readers to wrap their minds around that last statement.
As I sat with my family Friday watching the opening ceremonies of the London Olympics we got into a heated discussion about allegiances.
Watching former Auburn All-American swimmer and gold medalist Kirsty Coventry carry the flag for her native Zimbabwe, I made the simple comment that I’d pull for her over the American swimmers.
My wife shot me a look like I’d just desecrated the American flag. When my Auburn loving daughter took my side, all hell broke loose in our living room.
How could I pull against the United States my wife asked?
How in the hell could you pull against Auburn I responded?
Auburn is sending 28 representatives from 13 different countries to these Olympics. Call me what you will, but I’m pulling for every one of them. I don’t care whether they are from the United States or Poland, I’m ALL IN!
Now granted, had this been 30 years ago and one of our Tigers were representing East Germany, I’d probably have a different take. Nor do I think I could support an Iranian or North Korean today.
Don’t get me wrong, nobody loves America more than this boy.
But in a time where the United States rules the world and is rivaled by few, what harm is there in giving up a few medals so that our Auburn representatives from other countries can take home a little bling and shout War Eagle a little louder?
Does pulling for foreign-born Auburn athletes over other Americans make me unpatriotic? I hope it doesn’t, but I just can’t see myself pulling for former Florida Gator Ryan Lochte over an Auburn swimmer who happens to be from Great Britain.
I hate Florida.
I’m sorry, Auburn orange and blue just looks better than Lochte’s. I can’t help myself.
Where do you stand?