Let’s just say U.S. won’t win gold for its uniforms

07/15/2012 12:01 AM

07/15/2012 12:09 AM

A major development this week heaped deserved national shame on a major institution, and I cannot in good conscience sit idly by without adding my damnation.

What? Oh. You thought I meant the Freeh Report on the Penn State scandal that lambastes the late Joe Paterno among those involved in years of covering up Jerry Sandusky’s pedophile crimes? Well, yeah, that too now that you mention it. Awful. I’d ceremonially knock down Paterno’s campus statue, and I’d do a heck of a lot better job at it than the Iraqis did in 2003 throwing shoes at a bronze Saddam Hussein.

For now though, my outrage is directed at the U.S. Olympic Committee, which has shamed all Americans and especially American athletes as the London Olympics loom less than two weeks away.

The USOC revealed the 2012 official Olympic uniforms this week, and the news could only have been worse if the uniforms had been designed by Lady Gaga and included jackets made of live earthworms, 40-inch heels and no pants.

Instead, the uniforms are under the auspices of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, and my only two complaints will be listed in inverse order of importance:

2. The uniforms were made in China. Seriously. U.S. unemployment is 8 percent but we’re outsourcing to China to make the U.S. Olympic uniforms. Democrats and Republicans agree on something about once a decade, but they agree this is, symbolically, at least, embarrassing.

1. The preppy white slacks and double-breasted dark blue blazers will make every American athlete look like a spoiled rich kid named Thad stepping on to his family’s yacht. Far worse, the uniforms are topped by a French beret! Everybody looks dorky in a beret. If I were joking I’d say the uniform hats were upside-down red plant pots like the New Wave group Devo used to wear, but berets are the next worst thing. The beret finds the spoiled rich kid Thad wearing a paisley ascot, smoking an elaborate pipe and driving a Fiat.

To tie all this together, I say we give Paterno the ultimate embarrassment by putting a beret on his statue’s head.

• Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen is going “closer by committee” after demoting Heath Bell. It isn’t a good sign when your season’s blown saves outnumber Greg Oden’s knee surgeries. There are whispers Bell is overweight and out of shape. I can’t say. Although he did test positive last week for Twinkies.
• Heat star Dwyane Wade (skipping the Olympics) and Marlins slugger Giancarlo Stanton (out another month) underwent minor knee surgery the same day. I heard the teams hooked up on a 2-for-1 deal with a cut-rate “doctor” in Hialeah to save money. OK, probably not.
• With Dolphins training camp only 12 days away, the team reportedly will make minor changes to its logo beginning in 2013. If they keep missing the playoffs every year, I suggest the dolphin add sunglasses and a mustache to avoid being recognized.
• A new NFL rule will allow teams to lift the TV blackout and air games locally if only 85 percent of non-premium seats are sold. Great. Like Dolfans needed one more reason not to attend games?
• The Saints and Drew Brees agreed to a five-year, $100 million contract including an NFL-record $60 million guaranteed. That’s quite a bounty! Wait, let me rephrase that.
•  LeBron James swept three individual awards at the 20th annual ESPYs and helped the Heat win Team of the Year. Juwan Howard and Mike Miller were on hand to accept the team award. That’s like me accepting the Pulitzer Prize on behalf of The Miami Herald.
• Baylor basketball star Brittney Griner

The Heat’s first of five Summer League games in Las Vegas is Sunday against Toronto. This is where fans who just cheered a championship parade feign interest in how Norris Cole and draftee Justin Hamilton are doing against other teams’ B-listers.

• Brooklyn is out. Is Houston in? Or might he end up back in Orlando booed by his own fans? The Dwight Howard saga could only get stranger if suddenly he married the best available Kardashian.
• The Panthers, quiet in free agency, signed a young forward, Peter Mueller, with a history of concussions. At least he won’t be playing a sport with hard hits like hockey or anything!

• The National League’s 8-0 win marked the third-most lopsided All-Star Game ever, and also one of the lowest rated, following a Home Run Derby marked by Kansas City fans’ merciless booing. Bud Selig hadn’t had that much fun since the Mitchell Report.

• ESPN The Mag’s annual “Body” issue came out. Sports writers don’t share the fascination for naked athletes. Guess we’ve seen one too many 340-pound nose tackles waddling from a shower sans towel.
•  Flo Rida performed the postgame concert Friday as the Marlins returned to action from the All-Star break. Since the Florida Marlins are now the Miami Marlins, shouldn’t Flo Rida now be Mi Ami?
• Ex-Hurricane Yasmani Grandal, called up by the Padres, made a statement when his first three hits were home runs. The statement was, “Why didn’t I hold out for a bigger signing bonus?”
• NASCAR suspended driver A.J. Allmendinger for failing a drug test. He previously was best known for having a funny name.
• A South Korean won the U.S. Women’s Open in golf. Or, did that go without saying? A South Korean winning in the LPGA is every bit as stunning as a Kenyan winning a marathon.
• The X Games happened in Los Angeles. This is where ESPN keeps trying to convince us that adults in their 30s skateboarding isn’t the least bit sad.
• The racing yacht Groupama won the Volvo Ocean Race. I don’t wanna say that race seemed to go on forever, but when it began, one of the early leaders was the Mayflower.
•  Parting thought: Bobby Bowden said Penn State should take down the statue of Paterno. Either that or maybe just position it so that it is constantly looking the other way.

Visit Greg Cote’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog daily at MiamiHerald.com, and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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