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Is there a bigger bunch of pansies in all of sports right now than the International Olympic Committee?
Are these guys the same nerds who regularly got their lunch money stolen at recess? Are they so afraid of the Communist Chinese regime that every sentence begins and ends with an "Excuse me" or a "Pretty please?"
They are not quite over yet, but I feel it is safe to call these games a total disaster on most fronts.
Here's what the IOC has done in giving the ChiCom's these games. They asked for a bunch of concessions from this brutally secretive regime. You know, things like "Please stop rounding up and imprisoning dissidents for a few years. Please..." They were delivered virtually none of those promises. When they dared to tiptoe into the subject once that the games began, they were essentially lied to.
And they just sat there and took it all.
China may not win the overall medal count, but they have won the Bitchslap Olympics with the IOC in a way that is simply stunning.
Not only were major parts of the opening ceremony a lie -- I consider faking fireworks, and replacing "ugly" girls with lovely voices with prettier ones who can lip synch, essentially a lie -- but all the other pre-games promises were lies too.
The Chinese lied about the ages of their gymnasts. The IOC did nothing. The Chinese rounded up a U.S. group and their 300 Bibles. The IOC did nothing. The Chinese failed to deliver on clean air for the games, and the IOC did nothing. In fact, they went along with the most fantastic lie that it wasn't really smog, but "mist."
What happened to the IOC that I used to know? You know, the organization that would ruthlessly shake down host cities, demanding more and more each time? Taking massive under-the-table bribes from various local officials at every level?
The IOC used to be the biggest gangster on the block -- threatening to pull games from a city if the construction schedules weren't on time, suing the living daylights out of any T-shirt vendor who dared to sell a non-licensed souvenir within 50 nautical miles of the National Stadium?
Now, a host country with enough mean-looking Communist thugs on the payroll can roll out 12-year-olds in a sport where you must be 16, and the IOC won't even open a file on that, much less a real investigation.
Nice job, IOC. You have the most sophisticated drug testing scheme ever for these games, but checking a birth certificate is apparently too much trouble.
Ahhh. But we must not "offend" the host country. Really? So does that mean if the USA ever gets the Olympics again, we can roll out Dick Bavetta to referee the men's basketball event and the IOC will just "roll with it?"
The funniest episode of IOC feebleness game last Friday, when the gutless five-ringed wonders sent a letter -- a LETTER! -- to the ChiCom's asking them essentially: "Hey, how's that pre-approved protest program going?"
At first, they got stonewalled.
Then, the IOC found a tiny little bit of their testicles and spoke up in the media about how they were still waiting for a detailed answer. That was when an hour later, the Chinese state run media ran a story that spilled the details.
Of the 77 lunatics (in a country of 1.3 billion, mind you) that actually signed up for a protest permit, 74 of their "disputes" had been "resolved" and their applications were withdrawn "voluntarily."
Two of the permit applications required corrections. (Please change "protest" to "praise" for wonderful People's Republic...).
And one permit was rejected for undisclosed reasons.
OK. Super. The protestors have gone 0-77 so far against the ChiCom machine. I bet Liberia wins gold in water polo before we see an actual protest take place with Chinese permission.
Maybe when the games move to London in four years, the IOC will get its swagger back. Maybe without the glowering menace of dour Chinese politburo members in their faces, they will go back to telling host cities "Here's how it's going to be, and you are going to LIKE IT!"
Oh yeah, one more thing: If you are a country that is planning to invade another country and need some "distracting media fire" to help tamp down international condemnation, you might want to choose the day of the opening ceremonies to get the tanks all gassed up and ready to roll.
Because the IOC won't have a damn thing to say about that, either.
Steve is a native Washingtonian and has worked in sports talk radio for the last 11 years. He worked at WTEM in 1993 anchoring Team Tickers before he took a full time job with national radio network One-on-One Sports.
A graduate of UC Santa Barbara, Steve has worked for WFNZ in Charlotte where his afternoon show was named "Best Radio Show." Steve continues to serve as a sports personality for WLZR in Milwaukee and does fill-in hosting for Fox Sports Radio.