He's All Gone

I used to love the Olympics in the old days, when it was a competition for amateurs and seemed to be about sportsmanship, grace under pressure, teamwork, patriotism and the drama of human achievement. You know, when Jim McKay hosted them, they were a "treat" we looked forward to every four years, and only the Soviet Bloc countries sent wealthy professional athletes doped up on steroids. Now Jim McKay has passed, and with him, the dregs of my interest in the Olympics. He had a way of transmitting the drama of a moment without ever raising his voice or seeming hysterical, and I think of him occasionally when Mr. W. has the morning news on in the background and I hear --every morning--
He scooooooooooooooooores!
He's the one people are imitating when they try to tell human interest stories about athletes competing in the Olympics. The difference is that he did so to promote individual sports --if you care about the athlete, maybe you'll be interested in skating or javelin throwing or whatever. And he was judicious with schmaltz --I remember him telling stories worth telling about particularly interesting people, instead of promoting every American athlete and inventing crises and obstacles for them to overcome. Maybe that's just memory talking, but it's how I see it. He's a native Marylander, and leaves us just shy of his 60th wedding anniversary. The President and Mrs. Bush made a statement of condolence. I like the image of him hunting and pecking at a typewriter in the video eulogy here.