I Love The Olympics

August 27, 2008

I’m a huge sports fan.  Huge.  It’s my biggest passion.  Because I love sports so much, I come in contact with a lot of other die hard sports fans.  And, for some strange reason, many of these die hards I spoke to (and many that I hang out with) hate the Olympics.  They don’t consider it sports (and most importantly, it keeps their parents up so they can’t watch and do what they want to do).  Well, I disagree.  I love the Olympics.  I love it not only for the sports, but also for the drama.  Why watch Grey’s Anatomy when I could get real life drama narrated by Bob Costas?  So, as an ode to my love for the Olympics, I present to you my most important moments and stories from the Olympics.

1.  Michael Phelps

Clearly this guy was THE story.  Incredible.  He created a swimming and Michael Phelps phenomenon.  Everybody, no matter where they were put down everything they were doing and just watched this 23-year-old shine.  But what really stood out to me, besides the 8 medals with two of them being photo finishes, was that he was so humble.  He was always so appreciative of his teammates.  He also respected history.  He was honored and humbled to be put in the same category as Mark Spitz.  This guy is truly a role model for kids all over, but also professional athletes.  We see too many professional athletes who think they are god’s gift to the entire world and think they can say and do whatever they want.  We’ve all seen these athletes because they typically lead off Sportscenter and create the most controversy.  But look at Michael Phelps.  This kid was a class act, regardless of the fact that he knew that he would be coming home to hundreds of millions of dollars and beautiful women throwing themselves at him.  Another thing that stood out to me was that Kobe Bryant and LeBron James, multimillionaire superstar basketball players, showed up to his events and were going crazy when he won.  This brings me to the second biggest story…

2.  USA Men’s Basketball Redeem Team

These guys were supposed to win.  They had the top talent in the world.  With Dwayne Wade, Chris Paul (who was second in the NBA’s MVP voting this year), and Chris Bosh coming off the bench, to say this team was a superstar team was an understatement.  However, the surprise to me, and to me the most important story, was that these players, despite wealth and superstar status, were ambassadors for the USA.  Stories came out how players like Kobe Bryant interacted with athletes from other countries and how appreciative he was to represent America.  Kobe and LeBron showed up to swimming events and Jason Kidd showed up to support women’s beach volleyball, among many other showings of American spirit.  Also, when the US finally did win the gold they were supposed to win, the players acted like they had just won an NBA title, jumping up and down, hugging and more.  They really wanted it and really acted like a team and the fact that they showed a lot of passion about winning this gold really blew me away.

3.  Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin

These two ladies represented American gymnastics better than any women ever did.  With Shawn and Nastia both winning golds in separate events and medaling in many others, they were quite the story.  What impressed me with these two young ladies is the fact that they were always smiling (especially Shawn Johnson, who continued to smile after getting a bunch of silvers and no golds until the last event).  They were just enjoying the moment.  Shawn in specific made me smile because she was smiling and always had a huge smile, no matter what.  Also, they were both very well spoken and appreciated the spotlight.  It just looked like they were having a great time.

I think the keyword for all of the American athletes this Summer Olympics was appreciative.  They all represented America with such class and dignity that it made me proud to be an American.

Mike and Mom: Mallrats

August 19, 2008

So I was at the mall today with my mother, as she bought me new clothing for the upcoming school year.  I know what you’re thinking: why would a 21-year-old still go shopping with his mother?  And my answer to you is that I don’t have to pay for clothing.

Anyway, we went into Old Navy and I found a pair of cargo shorts that would look dashing on me.  So I went to try them on and before I went into the fitting room, a female employee of Old Navy said to me, “If there is anything I can do for you, just ask.”  I thought this was a nice thing to say and that the employee was doing her job well.  Then, as I was trying to unzip these new shorts (the zipper was tough, you have no idea), I tilted my head slightly upward and looked into the distance (very John Dorian from “Scrubs” style) and thought about this statement for a second.  What can she do for me?  There is nothing.  She can’t help me get my new pair of shorts on because, quite frankly, I would feel very violated (maybe she could have told me the zipper was impossible, though).  The only thing she could have done for me is maybe do the Heimlick Maneuver if I choked on the hanger (which is a wee bit of a stretch).  But I wasn’t hungry, so there was no hanger eating today.

This got me thinking about this thing that everybody does: being nice using empty words.  If you don’t know what I mean, here is an example that I used just two and a half weeks ago multiple times.  I was at a friend’s apartment for dinner and although I knew she didn’t need help with anything, I asked if she needed help.  Therefore, it made me look like a decent guy (of course, it didn’t help my “nice guy” persona that I told my friend why I had asked her if she needed help).  We all do this and we do it a lot.  Whether it is the waitress who asks, “If you need anything else just call me,” after she gives you the check or the Sports Authority employee who says, “Please come and find me if you need anything else,” just moments before his shift ends.  It happens all around us and it happens a lot.

But then I thought some more.  Are these actions necessary to our lives?  I mean, it doesn’t have any negative effects.  It only makes the customer or friend or whatever feel better about themselves and the environment they are in.  However, I would love to see a world where this “fake niceness” was non-existenta place where people acted real, and instead of focusing on this “fake niceness,” focused on “real niceness.”

And by the way, I didn’t buy those shorts.  The zipper was almost impossible to unzip.  And besides, how can I buy something from Old Navy that doesn’t have a catchy jingle commercial?

My Second Post… In One Day.

August 18, 2008

So this is my Diamondback article that was published last week.  I know, I know.  It’s not very good.  But I’m working on it.  I see the Diamondback as a great place to get my ideas out on everything.  So enjoy.  Or try to.  Or pretend to so I feel good about myself.

Oh, and I will never write two posts in one day again.  You’ll be lucky if I write 2 posts in a week.

Wait.  One more thing.  The article has my name as “Mike Rogen.”  I would like to dispel the rumors right now and say yes, I am related to the comedic genius that brought you Superbad and Knocked Up… and one guest spot on Dawson’s Creek.

My First Post

August 18, 2008

Hi.  My name is Mike, and this is my blog.  Now, many people (and by many I mean zero) want to know, “Why Mike?  Why create a blog?”  And my answer to them is, “Cuz I want to.  NOW BACK OFF.”  And then I shed a single tear.  Actually, I created this blog just to write whatever is on my mind.  No, this isn’t going to be one of those blogs where I talk about my mood for the day and the song that expresses my mood (I will save that for the depressed 7th grade girl who is depressed because she hasn’t grown breasts yet).  This won’t be a blog where I dispel rumors about myself (I will save that for Paris Hilton).  This also won’t be a blog where I talk about celebrity gossip (I think Perez Hilton, among others, has a leg up on me in that category).  This is a blog for me to just talk about anything.  Anything that I find funny, anything that I find completely ridiculous, or anything I want to rant about (key word is “I” here—this is about me… What can I (there I go again saying I… and again) say, I’m allowed to be a little self-centered here.  I’ll also post funny videos, different kinds of music that I like, or anything that influences me (like here and here).  Most importantly, this is just a place for me to be funny.  So enjoy.  And please comment.  If not, you’re not my friend anymore.