Earlier this week French President Nicolas Sarkozy stated that France may boycott the 2008 Olympic Opening Ceremonies because of China's actions in Tibet.
Now the details of why the French are considering this isn't what bothers me. The thing is, nobody is going to care if they don't show up to the pre-game show of all pre-game shows.
Why can't they just go all in on something for the first time in the history of the country? Now, I can see if they were thinking about not going entirely, having a major UN country not showing up to the Olympics could cause some political controversy.
Oh, wait, the Olympics aren't about politics, that's right. They're strictly just sports, no political statements are to be made at the games. Again, this isn't what annoys me. Okay, go ahead, make a statement, France, but if you're going to, France, then at least make sure it won't piss off Tommie Smith and John Carlos from the '68 games in Mexico. The message it sends better have the magnitude of what they were trying to get across during the Civil Rights Movement of the sixties.
France, don't do this to yourself. Yes, you made it on SportsCenter, PTI, and Around the Horn, but no one is really going to lose sleep over this. Lives aren't going to be saved, Communism will still exist, and worst of all for every Pierre and Jean-Paul in the world; the French jokes will have another punchline.
"Remember when the French ALMOST didn't go to the '08 Olympics?" "Yeah, they couldn't even go through with this, what can they finish?". Now, i have no problem with the French, but there are people out there, and I don't want to give them fuel for the metaphorical fire.
This is just going to be an issue the media can beat down on off days in the sports world. This really should go as a non-issue to most people. Plus, I'm wondering, do the athletes get a say in this? What about the younger athletes who haven't been to the Olympics yet and want to experience what it really is all about.
The glory, the majesty and the tradition just won't look as good from a 20 inch TV set in a hotel room a mile from the stadium.
France, I like the idea you have, there's just not enough logic to put forth the plan. Just go, let the kids play their games and bring home stories to tell their grand kids.
Let the games begin.