In the last week, as we all in the USA have been living and breathing USA Swimming and the obscene number of medals our guys and gals have hauled home, we tend to forget that there are so many sports being played, it’s quite probable that all of us at one time or another have played at least one of the games.
Yes, this writer used to swim. My brothers played water polo. We dabbled in softball, volleyball, soccer, rugby, la crosse, and even had a ping pong table. Excuse me, table tennis. Like every other family with a big back yard, we also played badminton. And like everyone else in America who played badminton, there were adventures in finding the shuttlecock.
Back in 2004, live on the air from Athens, NBC’s Mary Carillo gave one of the most classic television soliloquies in broadcast history, let alone the Olympics. The great, serious Olympic moment of all time belongs to the late Jim McKay as he told the world that the Israeli athletes kidnapped in Munich were gone. The absolutely hilarious moment to which every suburban American family can relate was when Mary Carillo explained the difference between Olympic badminton and backyard badminton.
“Including the inflatable raft that hasn’t seen action since the great duck rescue of 1997.”
Don’t know about you, dear reader, but the members of this household were rolling on the floor laughing at the mental images presented by Carillo, even if it might have been written for her or exaggerated. It’s true. Americans do have a hard time getting cars into garages thanks to all the stuff we have in them. We all have sporting equipment coming out of our ears. And neighborhood kids do gravitate to where there is action even if the action itself is just trying to find a shuttlecock in a tree.
Thanks, Mary. Thanks for confirming to us that the talking heads on TV are no different than the rest of us. The laugh was absolutely worth it.