Hi, how are you. Let’s get right down to it: I am American by birth and citizenship, I have never left North America, I have played baseball while eating a hot dog, I stopped playing (our)soccer to play (our) football in 8th grade mostly so I could do something normal for a change, I have eaten rattlesnake in Wyoming and met Fred Biletnikoff, there is no getting around it.

So I think I am as qualified as any to speak for our entire nation when I say that we’d like to apologize for our appalling assholery during these Olympics. Paul Hamm is an ungracious twit whose scores have been artificially boosted by an intimidating judging system. Gary Hall Jr. is on some kind of drug that no human should be on, he’s a pumped-up dude-man who would try to start a fight at Taco Bell about someone getting cuts in line ahead of him. Our vaunted basketball team has shown itself to be a large collection of selfish million- and/or billionaires, and has been righteously stuffed for it by Lithuania and Puerto Rico, guttier teams who’ve been playing together for yonks (oops that’s a Britishy sounding thing scratch that) since Mary met Joseph, teams with a pinpoint vision and lockstep profundity.

I will not apologize, as did our TV commentators, for Justin Gatlin and Shaun Crawford staring into each other’s eyes as they crossed the finish line in the 100m trials together, I thought that was awesome. And nothing has been more gangsta than Crawford winning a heat wearing a baseball cap backwards on his head since, I dunno, maybe Comaneci or something. I will kind of apologize for our inventing softball and shoehorning it into an Olympic sport and then winning nine straight games only giving up one run, that ain’t right. But we’re all thinking eight more years and someone will jump up and beat us down like protesters.

And we’re sorry for the fevered Los Angeles crowds in 1984 acting all Orwellian with the “U.S.A.” crapola, celebrating even though the CCCP wasn’t there was mighty uncool. And we apologize for all the “Do you beLIEVE in MIRacles” when we won the hockey gold in Lake Placid, we won the game but we shouldn’t have acted like it was the second cousin of Buddhahood like that.

But no sorry for Jesse Owens sticking it to Die Mann back in the day and no sorry for Bob Beamon. They were cool. Gatlin, who used to see himself as an artist and designed prom dresses for girls in his high school before realizing he could run ONE HUNDRED METERS in LESS THAN TEN SECONDS, is cool. Our 17-year-old fencer, Mariel Zagunis, from my once-hometown of Beaverton, Oregon, is cool.

Michael Phelps is kind of a nothingburger personality-wise, and I pretty much disliked his posturing after the relay, but the Aussies did do that whole air-guitar thing in our face four years ago so chalk it up to Mme. Payback, who is indeed a luscious bitch, plus the kid is a really good swimmer. He’s not as bad as whiny old Brandon Larsen or all our other badsport types, we dish it out, we might as well learn to take it, but we can’t take it, we’re fairweather johnsons, we need to run with the alpha dawg, whatever. A nation of yapping hounds, your reaction to it all just depends which side you’re on. Argh.

Actually I might be in the minority on this, so consider it the minority report. I like us being fair winners, I don’t like us being pouty weenies, that’s about it. Any country that wants me, and can interest me in their beach volleyball teams (hint hint Brasil call me) can have me.


Matty Jo.