Majority Of American Public Not Aware Olympics Are About Sports
Amidst political strife, world instability, security concerns over terrorist attacks, and corporate sponsorship, Americans had to be reminded on Friday that the Olympic games involve competition between professional athletes, an activity otherwise known as "sports".
President Bush, in an address to the nation, reminded Americans that, "The Olympics are a celebration of the best-trained and disciplined athletes from the nations of the world, competing not for money but for their own pride and that of their countries. It is not, in fact, target practice for al-Qaeda and other terrorist organizations."
After months of inundation of television roadside advertisements from major companies such as McDonald's, Mastercard, and Microsoft, polls revealed that a majority of Americans say they have forgotten -- or been altogether unaware -- that the 2004 Games in Athens were anything besides a whorish and arrogant commercial for America's bloated corporations.
"I totally forgot that the games in Athens were going to be a competition between athletes," said mother of three Margaret Swanson, 36. "I actually thought it was a struggle between credit card and fast food companies for victory, or something like that."
Sipping on her large Diet-Coke from McDonald's, which was contained in a limited-time-only Olympic special double-sized souvenir glass for the cost of $1.99, she added stoically, "Now that I know the real purpose of the Olympics, I'll watch proudly as America wins the gold, silver and bronze crowns due to our home field advantage."
Looking perplexed at our reporter's confusion for a moment, she asked, "This is Athens, Georgia, right? I mean, why would they be playing games in Athens, Greece, unless there were -- I don't know --a whole bunch of other nations involved?"
Concerns over possible terrorist activity at the games have dominated the world news and have clouded the source and soul of what most agree is the greatest and largest sporting event on earth. Many Americans and citizens of the world in general have been mislead into thinking that the hundred-meter dash, the long-jump and hurdles are all security procedures to follow should a legitimate bomb threat be discovered.
"Yeah, I'd dash a hundred meters in nine-flat if someone told me that Osama bin Laden was waiting behind the nearest rock with a bomb strapped to his chest," said funeral director Francis Donneley. "Why I'd want to be in that position in the first place is beyond me. This must be a hell of a movie-festival to get that many people there."
The American military has agreed to send 400 troops to protect the 150,000 athletes and approximately two million spectators during the two-week long event, causing many anti-war and peace protests to spring up around the nation's capital and other government institutions.
"First Bush invades Afghanistan, then Iraq -- now Greece. What have they done to deserve this?" passionately demanded college student and activist Jeena Jarowski as she lead a peaceful protest down Pennsylvania Avenue towards the White House. "The military machine will never stop until Bush has dominated the world! We demand the unconditional surrender and withdrawal of all American troops from the nation of Greece!"
The momentum of the march changed as the protesters marched past a billboard with the Mastercard logo above the traditional Olympic rings and reading at the bottom: "The 2004 Olympics -- a proud sponsor of Mastercard." Putting a bullhorn to her mouth, Jarowski sheepishly announced, "We might have this all wrong -- it seems the troops are in Athens to monitor the Olympic games... so we are now demanding that America end its policy of globalization and overreaching influence! Either that, or protest the war in Iraq again!"
Americans have expressed similar confusion over the state of other sporting activities, even within the United States. NBA basketball seems to be the source of the most uncertainty and puzzlement over the rules, regulations and involvement of players not named Shaquille O'Neal or Kobe Bryant.
"Thank goodness I went to ESPN's homepage the other day, or I'd never have been aware that there are teams in the NBA besides the LA Lakers or Miami Heat," said data analyst Gene Krebkie. "I thought that all that talk about Kobe's trial and Shaq's trade to Miami was just a soap opera commercial and something about NAFTA."