Without any invasion of Taiwan or reboot of the Cultural Revolution, the Beijing Olympics came to a close with a relative whimper. These Games featured their share of exhilarating victories, devastating defeats, and questionable antics, just like the Olympiads of yore. So, barring any unforeseen Russian ransacking of Georgian locker rooms, let’s see what we’ve learned:
— The producers of Entourage had it backward: Michael Phelps, not Adrian Grenier, should have auditioned for the role of Aquaman. And just imagine how many more medals he would have won if he’d grown a Mark Spitz ’stache.
— After sweeping the medal stand, the U.S. women’s saber team should be sent to sort out the mess in Afghanistan.
— The U.S. softball team needs to start preparing ASAP if they want to reclaim that gold that Japan stole. Aw, dang, scratch that. Looks like they’re idea to switch over to handball was based on more than Lisa Fernandez’s whims.
— Speaking of handball, that sport needs to catch on in America as badly as John McCain needs to come clean on his Viagra use. Actually, on second thought, that analogy is gross. My bad. Anyway, handball is awesome.
— Pixar should partner with whoever put on the 55-second clip of the Opening Ceremony fireworks barrage (as long as the Chinese government lets them out of their imprisonment, that is).
— Usain Bolt, who showed that a steady diet of Chicken McNuggets doesn’t always leave you looking like an orca, should challenge Soulja Boy to a dance-off.
— The underwater camera angles during the women’s water polo matches make me feel dirty. And not in a good way.
— Ronaldinho is as unattractive as ever, but my oh my can he play fútbol.
— Shawn Johnson could be my bodyguard. But even then I would probably be too scared to tell her to do anything.
— Kobe finally won something without Kazaam!
— I miss the Hamm brothers’ Rugrats impressions. Oh, what? Those are their real voices? Wow. Guess that’s what happens with one-too-many failed parallel bar dismounts.
— The Chinese character for “13-year-old gymnast” is actually the same as “If you Google ‘Darfur’ one more time, you should keep your door locked. Aw, what are we saying, it really won't matter whether you lock it or not. We gon' getcha!”
— Its really hard to not make a joke about Tyson Gay dropping his partner’s stick in the 4x100 relay.
— Anyone who can make a ping pong ball spin both ways on one shot, well, they should really get out more.
— Speed-walking is as much a sport as speed-crawling, speed-crab-walking, or speed-three-legged-racing. C’mon, Jacques Rogge, this is in the Olympics, but dodgeball isn’t?!
— If I hear one more rip-off of the Olympic slogan, I’ll go Citius, Altius, Fortius Chuck Norrius on your ass.
— While in Australia, you really shouldn’t make fun of the fact that they call their soccer team the “Olyroos,” or they’ll sic Russell Crowe on you.
— Whoever designed the Bird’s Nest must have been going for the “what-if-a-building-was-attacked-by-Spiderman” aesthetic.
— Those competing in the archery contests should challenge Legolas to a fight. I’d have money on the elf, but I’m guessing it would be interesting (especially if Shawn Johnson was pitted against Gimli, too).
— The irony that China’s 1.3 billion couldn’t even fill most of the Olympic venues nearly made my head explode.
— Funmi Jimoh proved that not all Rice students go on to become bookish engineers, struggling English majors, or, um, Lance Berkman.
— True story: The highlight of the equestrian competition is making a horse switch its lead foot. Pardon me while I go watch paint dry.
— Big Papi and Brian Urlacher should strongly consider badminton in the 2012 London Games. If those Vitamin Water commercials are any indication, they’ll do better than our, ahem, zero male representatives during these Games.
— The rifle-shooting competitors would be really good Halo hustlers.
— Armenian women have taken up the mantle that the East German female weightlifters abandoned 20 years ago. Seriously, BALCO must also stand for “Ballsy Armenian Ladies Coming Over!”
— And last but not least, if any of you aspire to sing the Chinese National Anthem as a buck-toothed seven-year-old girl, well, it’s time to look for a different vocation.