by Bill Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Olympics always seem to bring out our patriotic spirit.
We root root root for the old Red White and Blue, usually in sports that we know nothing about and normally wouldn't notice. Manly men, their hands filled with Pabst and pickled eggs, cheer wildly as the American pixies nail their floor exercise to bring home the gold.
We love the US Olympic team, with one exception.
We don't all stand behind the US Olympic Mens Basketball team.
I'm really trying not to paint with a broad brush. Really. I know that many of you are very excited about Kobe, LeBron, and the boys. I believe that once they get into the medal round, the Regime Team may get some very stiff challenges. This gold medal is not a gimme.
Could you imagine ever hearing any of these statements?:
I'm tired of Michael Phelps. I hope he loses.
Misty May and Kerri Walsh are professionals. We should be sending college kids.
Gymnastics shouldn't even be an Olympic sport.
Statements like these would be blasphemous, and might even be fightin' words if said in the wrong environment.
Except with Men's Basketball.
I've actually heard variations of every one of those statements in the past few days about the U.S. Men's Basketball team. Friends, relatives. co-workers.... Some of you just don't want the U.S. Men's Basketball team to win, and I'm not sure I get it.
The close game versus Lithuania points one thing out: Without their very best players, the U.S. won't win in Men's Basketball, and probably won't even medal. We'll find out soon enough. In 2016, the NBA is planning to only allow players under 23 to participate in the Olympics. A team of American players under 23 will not win an Olympic medal. It's that simple.
The fact is this team is not guaranteed gold. Spain, Argentina, Russia, Brazil....on the right night they're all good enough to beat the U.S.. If that happens, the fans that "don't care" will suddenly care enough to savage Lebron, Kobe and the gang. If the U.S. does win gold, critics will brush it off as if it were predetermined.
Why is this dominant team filled with amazing American athletes shunned the way that it is?
I guess you need to be comfortable with your own reasons.
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