Olympics Wrap Up, and a Modest Proposal

Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt was the star of the track and field events in Beijing, smoking all comers in the 100M, 200M and 4x100M relay events, setting world records in each. He put on a show, dazzling the crowd both with his athleticism and his penchant for celebrations.

Seems like he'd fit right in on an NFL roster, doesn't it?

Apparently, other higher-ups around the league have had similar thoughts. There's a number of problems with this idea, however. First, he doesn't exactly know American football, and it's not the kind of sport that you can just pick up and master. It may seem like big grunts pushing each other around, but there's more technique involved in pro football than a casual fan realizes. So, sure, speed kills - Bolt's got something like a 4.2 40 under his belt - but something tells me after taking his first big hit from Ed Reed or Bob Sanders, he'll slow up just a bit.

But man, 6'5" with that speed? Just crazy.
 

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This has been something we've discussed at MF all during the games - what's up with NBC covering what appeared to be the same sports, night in and night out? I mean, rhythmic gymnastics? Really? Hula-hooping is an Olympic sport we need to televise, but weight lifting, or judo, or wrestling, you had to set your DVR to find. Sure, it worked, but if you were clicking over to catch something inspirational before the gym, you likely had to keep looking elsewhere to get your fix.
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Round of applause, please, for US sprinter Jeremy Wariner, who was profiled in our August issue. It's easy to see that he "only" won the silver in the 400M, an event he lived and breathed for four years, but he was also a part of the dominant 4x400 relay team which smoked the competition and set an Olympic record.  Nice work, Jeremy.
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And now, a modest proposal, of sorts. SI's Josh Gross had it first, but just to echo his point - MMA can, should, and will be an Olympic sport in the future. If judo and boxing are Olympic events, both huge components of MMA, why not the entire MMA discipline? Who wouldn't want to see Fedor Emelianenko (finally) go one-on-one with Randy Couture? Or the Brazilian knockout machine, Anderson Silva, against anyone with his country's great tradition on his side? How about French-Canadian Georges St-Pierre carrying the pride of his country into arena?

We're sold.

These guys are athlete's athletes, in better shape than a table tennis player or a synchronized swimmer, I'm sure. And if boxing (which was marred with "shh, don't tell" judging scandals in Beijing) can keep it's Olympic status, why can't MMA get a second look?

Not only could we see it, we think it could be one of the higher-ranked events in either the summer or winter.

And we'd certainly watch.

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