Just call United States uniforms our Olympic duds
BY RICK TELANDER firstname.lastname@example.org July 14, 2012 1:22AM
U.S. Olympic swimmer Ryan Lochte models the official Team USA opening ceremony parade uniform, which was made in China. | AP
Updated: August 17, 2012 6:45AM
I don’t know if there’s anything that hasn’t been said about our 2012 U.S. Olympic team uniforms having been made in China, but I would feel remiss if I didn’t at least make some comment about this historically relevant issue.
Just freaking pitiful.
Shame on everybody, from super-cool designer Ralph Lauren to U.S. Olympic Committee CEO Scott Blackmun to the drones who make up the committee to anybody involved with the U.S. Olympics in any way.
The first thing anybody asks — anybody — about Olympic uniforms, suits, warmups, shoes, etc. is, Where are they made?
We are living through the largest displacement of wealth and disintegration of American hope since the Great Depression over three-quarters of a century ago.
Social analysts and economists have made it manifestly clear that this country is not what it used to be, that greed and political lobbying at the highest levels of finance have effectively destroyed the middle class and made the United States something not that much different from the stratified third-world countries we once exploited with ease.
It’s actually a good thing this made-in-China deal occurred and came to light. Good in the sense of educational. This is how our big shots think of us. Our patriotic leaders.
This is how our government has allowed corporations to follow the cheapest route to profit, our country be damned.
But it will all be fixed by the 2014 Winter Olympics, bazillionaire Lauren himself assures us. As does Blackmun, who wants, as he said Friday, “to ensure that the concerns voiced are addressed.’’ Dear God, is that mealy-mouthed enough?
In English, what he’s saying is, some company in the United States will sew the threads. Not because that’s what our own government wants. But because the embarrassment of being exposed is a little too much for the powers that be. And we wonder why the unemployment rate in our country is sickeningly high.
But back to sports.
In these 2012 Olympic Games in London, should we root for China? They’re us, aren’t they?
◆ Why do we put such faith in football coaches?
Joe Paterno, the deceased, once-saintly football coach at Penn State, could have been charged — were he alive today — with child endangerment, perjury and conspiracy in regard to the Jerry Sandusky pedophilia crimes.
Yes, we love winning. Yes, it is hard-wired in our caveman brains that victory equals survival, and survival equals success.
But coaching football is as close to being saintly as running a Ponzi scheme is to being honest. Paterno was never a saint.
Even though he won and won on the football field, that had nothing to do with being anything more than an informed whistle-tooter.
All those former Penn State players who say Paterno made them into the great men they have become — whoo-pee! Guys, please be sure to put it in your résumés that your hero harbored a pedophile on his staff. And why did he do that? Because soon-to-be-in-prison-for-life coach Sandusky was a hell of a defensive coordinator.
Listen to me here. These men, these surrogate fathers who write books about success and make millions on the backs of unpaid labor, these men are no different from the folks who would have our nation’s most patriotic uniforms made in another country.
Why do you worship these coaches?
Are you in on their scam?
◆ And finally, this from Jack M c Callum’s new book about the 1992 men’s Olympic basketball team, Dream Team: How Michael, Magic, Larry, Charles and the Greatest Team of All Time Conquered the World and Changed the Game of Basketball Forever: “It wasn’t Magic and Larry’s league anymore. It was Michael’s, and no one knew that more than the coach. [Chuck] Daly’s respect for Jordan knew no bounds. ... ‘This guy is so good,’ Daly said once, ‘he’s an embarrassment to the league.’ ’’
Don’t worship Michael Jordan. Just remember how good he was.