God bless America. Mandatory Credit: Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
During these Olympics, Poseur will spend each day watching and reviewing one sport. He also promises to stop referring to himself in the third person.
Today's Sport: Beach Volleyball
A bit late on today's Olympic post, as I'm beginning to feel the effects of the full Olympic schedule. Look, it's not easy fanatically following the Olympics. It's a good thing this is only every four years because I don't think I could do this every year. It's great, but exhausting.
One of the daunting things about the Olympics is the sheer glut of sports, and the number of sports just seems to constantly expand. Yeah, the IOC dropped baseball and softball because they hate sports with objective scoring systems, but if there's a sport that makes you ask, "how is THAT an Olympic sport?" chances are good that sport was added in the past 20 or 30 years.
While the IOC has added sports like trampoline and synchronized swimming, it also added beach volleyball in 1992. Sure, it's just volleyball with less people and less clothes, but at least the sport isn't facially ridiculous. And the game is different enough from regular volleyball that it is compelling even before you get into the whole idea of half-naked hot chicks. It's even equally opportunity beefcake, as the Posette has been equally eager to ogle the men's teams. It works out great as we each had the same chances to ogle.
However, the big difference between indoor and beach is that indoor is more of a power game. There's six people on the court and there isn't a lot of space. The teams employ misdirection on where the hit is coming from, but then you pretty much have to power it past the opposition. Beach is much more about placement, mainly because there is so much more court to work with. Two people can't defend all that space, so you see more cut shots and hitters playing angles.
The best thing about beach volleyball is that it is fun. It usually is the venue to be at, as the vibe isn't nearly as tense as it is elsewhere. The Olympics, God bless ‘em, are pretty stodgy most of the time. It's all about pageantry and comparisons to history. Beach volleyball is about sex appeal and actually smiling while you compete. The Olympics need more sports that aren't so ultra-serious all of the time. It's a welcome bit of levity.
The Favorites: Brazil
Brazil came in as the number one seed, but simply came apart against the Americans. After I said how cool it was to see smiles, this was a team that fell apart from visible sniping between the team. I like a little drama, too. Brazil bounced back in the bronze medal game to prevent China from picking up the bronze. I should also point out that the Posette pointed out that Brazil's beach volleyball team is at the epicenter of human attractiveness. Seriously, Brazilians playing beach volleyball. There's almost no chance that won't end well for spectators.
The Gold Medal: USA
The gold medal match got the prime time treatment as the pre-ordained media stars, May and Walsh, won their third consecutive gold medals. NBC producers had to be giving high fives that one of their narratives actually played out precisely the way it was supposed to. Actually, the gold medal match was a bit of a dud, and the bronze medal match was the best one of the day. That happens sometimes, but it was nice to see the Americans dominate a podium. We're running out of time to catch China.
Speaking of which, this was a banner night for the US track team. Three gold medals in four events, and the Americans won two medals in every event in which the team won gold. The US won seven of the twelve possible medals, which is a crazy level of domination. Oh, and the US took a large lead in the decathlon. It's hard to nitpick that.
I feel a bit bad for Carmelita Jeter, who finished third in the 200 meters. She's now won two medals at these Games, but neither of them gold. That's a great accomplishment, but she was mere hundredths of a second from being the breakout American star of these Games. She keeps finishing one place behind Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, who is like a slightly less awesome female version of Usain Bolt. Everyone gets overshadowed by Bolt, obviously, who qualified for the 200m finals as if he was taking a jog.
Tonight, he likely becomes the first man to ever win the 100 and 200 in back to back Olympics. If he does this, I will argue that he is the Greatest Olympian Ever, even over Phelps. I think he will essentially pass Carl Lewis as the greatest track athlete ever. So let's watch greatness tonight.
Next Up: Water Polo