Jim O'Donnell: WaPo's Sally Jenkins working OT to spotlight treachery of the Olympics

  • A flag bearing the Olympic Rings is displayed on the south pitch during field hockey practices on Friday in Tokyo.

    A flag bearing the Olympic Rings is displayed on the south pitch during field hockey practices on Friday in Tokyo. ASSOCIATED PRESS

 
Updated 7/23/2021 2:12 PM

SPORTS COLUMNISTS SELDOM win Pulitzer Prizes.

And a female sports columnist?

 

Ain't never been done.

But the inspired Sally Jenkins of The Washington Post could be in the midst of a career year to break that crass ceiling.

Actually, for close to 18 months, Jenkins has been vaporizing any pretense of dignity, necessity or appropriateness attendant to the pandemic-diminished Tokyo Olympics.

Sure NBCUniversal is predictably soothing advertisers and seducing minced viewers with 17 days of a most abnormal affair.

And Jenkins herself has been laserlike in distinguishing between the nobility of most athletes and the brazen, bullying greed of institutional global Olympics graysuits.

Among items Jenkins has spotlighted during her convincing campaign:

• The initial budget of a bloated 2020 Games in Japan was $7 billion. It will now cost more than $25 billion;

• For all money diverted to hosting an Olympics, a city, region and nation deprioritize upgrades and advancements that could far longer benefit the greater public good;

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• The International Olympic Committee essentially engages in a proven brand of sucker-ism to get a city and a nation to buy the transiting, glitzy shell game it sells;

• The U.S. Olympic Committee has mastered only the siphoning of cash and assets that benefits its administrative elite and costs far too many mainstream athletes time, expense and irredeemable emotion;

• NBCUniversal -- on the hook for $7.75 billion to present Olympics through 2032 -- is little more than a co-conspirator and chief propagandist to sustain the ongoing fraud.

"Knock. It. Down.," Jenkins has repeatedly written, calling for a dismantling overhaul of the USOC by Congress and much more acute due diligence before signing on the IOC line from potential future hosts both foreign and domestic.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Still, the Tokyo Games are in session.

So pandemic be damned. Present and future health risks be damned. Any sense of actual care for athletes and mainstream citizens also to be damned.

And "Jenkins for Pulitzer?"

It would be an award for resolutely attempting to awaken.

In the meantime, America can enjoy its five-ringed, quadrennial catatonia.

STREET-BEATIN':

Hawk Harrelson's pandemic-delayed acceptance of The Ford C. Frick Award at Cooperstown this weekend just goes to show what a power hustler with a limited MLB career and a Nehru suit could once get done in the national pastime. He understood the value of pizzazz and opportunity and parlayed it into a flowing five-decade run. ...

Tony La Russa -- the man once fired by Harrelson as Sox manager -- continues to sit on top of the septuagenarian world. A credible sports projection site has the South Siders at 98.7% to win the AL-Central, 99% to make the playoffs and 12.9% to win the World Series. (Only the Dodgers (16.6%) and the Astros (14.4%) are higher.) ...

With the alleged sexual assault scandal threatening to greatly diminish the luster of the Blackhawks Stanley Cup era, WBEZ-FM (91.5)'s Dave McKinney, Tony Arnold and Cheryl Raye-Stout have been exhaustive in their reporting. (The trio is leaving Chicago's two sports-based radio stations in the dust.) ...

Jon Goulet -- program director at Vegas Stats and Info (vsin.com) -- notes that Chris Paul had ample reason for a pregame chat with referee Scott Foster before Game 6 of the Suns-Bucks NBA Finals. Paul's playoff teams are now 0-13 in games officiated by Foster. ...

News that the Cleveland MLB team is switching names from the Indians to the Guardians is being taken by some as more evidence that "The Curse of Rocky Colavito" lives on. (Although, a Guardian-Angels series will probably make the more spiritual feel pretty good.) ...

Hersey High baseball coaches Bob Huber and Kevin Kelley are beaming: Alum Brett Harris (Class of '16) was a seventh-round choice of the Oakland A's in the recent MLB draft. The third baseman starred at Gonzaga this spring. ...

Also diamondeering, Chicago Dogs manager Butch Hobson has to grin and bear it. When Jake Dahlberg's contract was transferred to the San Francisco Giants organization this week, he became the seventh Dogs pitcher to move on up and out this season. ...

A column mention of Steve Allen prompted Northwest suburban author Gary Koca to remind that one of the great Steverino's most memorable regular guests was the inimitable Gypsy Boots. (He might have been America's first hippie and is an absolute "must search" on YouTube -- his appearance with Groucho Marx was downright pioneering.) ...

And Sir Walter Ruston, watching Friday's Opening Ceremonies from The Land of the Rising Debt: "There was a guy from Romania who was so big we figured he had to be entered in 'The Automobile Toss.'"

• Jim O'Donnell's Sports & Media column appears Thursday and Sunday. Reach him at jimodonnelldh@yahoo.com.

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