“Here’s a good trick: Get a job as a judge at the Olympics. Then, if some guy sets a world record, pretend that you didn’t see it and go, ‘Okay, is everybody ready to start now?’” – Jack Handy

So with the Pirates’ playoff hopes fading and Steeler camp just getting started, the question arises: Are we going to have to watch the Olympics or what? Here’s the problem: we don’t want to wish anything awful on Bob Costas, but couldn’t he get something like he had at the 2014 Winter games? Nothing dangerous, just sufficiently unsightly to keep him off the air? We’ll have to suffer through Matt Lauer and Hoda Kotb doing the opening ceremonies, but at least you can turn down the sound for that. Maybe a goiter; do people still get those? We could see Costas getting a temporary goiter. In fact, if everybody gets a goiter but Al Trautwig, it might be watchable. Let’s face it, for live TV it’s going to be either the Olympics or tag-team mud wrestling starring your least appealing candidates since Nixon-Agnew did the pile driver on McGovern-Shriver back in ‘72. Or so our elderly grandpappy told us shortly before lapsing into something resembling a coma.

Bike Jump

Besides, we shouldn’t sell the Olympics short this year, at least on the entertainment front. They’ve gotten off to an interesting start what with the threat of the Zika virus along with an assortment of other charming tropical diseases. There have also been complaints of “technical glitches” involving feces and dead bodies floating around in the water. The canoeists, the rowers and the yacht crews have been told to keep their mouths shut. They can talk, they’re just not supposed to let any of the water in. All of this on top of a Rio police strike and ongoing impeachment proceedings against the current Brazilian president. (By the way, doesn’t that sound like a word kids use to mean a large number? “I’ll betcha a kajillion brazilian dollars I can jump over that puddle!”) It makes us wonder if it’s not too late to move the games to a less chaotic setting.

Come to think of it, why not here?

They could do their marathon where we do ours – out Carson Street and across the bridge to Forbes; and their boxing & wrestling events where we hold ours – Munhall Borough Council chambers.

All those fancy track & field events would work at Heinz Field or the Pete. You need a velodrome for the bicycle racers? Hey, nobody’s using the old McKeesport Roundhouse. And of course our rivers are a vast improvement over whatever they’ve got in Rio. People are actually catching fish over in Duck Hollow, and they (the fish) seem to have the right number of eyes and fins and stuff. Our sewage system seems to be functioning and we haven’t had too many floaters since Codfish Bricker got sent up. So it’s all good.

Depending on our bargaining position, we may be able to insist on some Olympic contests with local flavor. We want to propose a Mon Valley Pentathlon, which is a series of, um, a certain number – which we will have to look up – of events celebrating our distinctive local culture ‘n at. For example:

The 800 Meter Amity Street Chipped Ham Sammy Relay – In this event, a runner from each team will sprint from the Waterfront Giant Eagle across the tracks narrowly avoiding an Eastbound freight, hand off a pound of Isaly’s chipped ham to a teammate waiting at the Blue Dust, who will dodge a Westbound freight on the way back to Giant Eagle for Wonder Bread, then back again for mayo, until the sandwich is complete.

The Streets Run Flash Flood Freestyle – Athletes will be required to surf, swim or float Streets Run Creek from Prospect Road to Holy Angels where survivors, if any, will immediately be awarded medals while all others will be eligible for last rites.

The Waterfront Bicycle Triathlon – This event features coronary inducing ramp climbs on the Duquesne to Homestead leg, followed by toddler and Pekinese dodging behind restaurant row and concludes with the thrilling Subaru hurdles at the Costco entrances.

Some brainiac just told us that for a pentathlon you need 5, so, assuming this is true, we are asking our loyal readers to come up with two more events. Any submission will be welcome as long as it doesn’t have anything to do with off-color material. Or goiters.

Comments – DickVerbo@hotmail.com Also, Like “The Idler” on Facebook

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