This week's Filler is dedicated to those Americans who devote their bodies to physically dominating non-Americans through organized sports, providing further proof that "America kicks butt!" We don't understand you, but we salute you!
TIPS FOR OLYMPIC COMPETITORS!
Problems getting in that victory zone? All you really need is...
A POP TO THE DOME
"The gold medal favorites were a little tight at first... but after center Lisa Leslie received a painful blow to the head - she called it 'a wakeup call' - they pulled away." [Reuters, 7/22/96]
SOME WEAK EXCUSES
China's women's gymnastics coach, Lu Shanzhen: "We are 13 people to one room... it probably will affect our team's performance." [New York Times, 7/19/96]
Michelle Granger, pitcher for the U.S. Olympic softball team, explaining her game against Puerto Rico: "I chalk it up to not being a morning person. Anything before 10 is too early for me." [Washington Post, 7/22/96]
A MARKETABLE AFFLICTION
"[Tom] Dolan is a medical train wreck. He has asthma. And allergies. And an unusually narrow windpipe... that makes life, never mind swimming, tough for Mr. Dolan - but it makes the man and his story, particularly if he wins one or more gold medals, all the more compelling for would-be sponsors." [Wall Street Journal, 7/19/96]
A STRONG VALUE SYSTEM
Shaquille O'Neal, after signing a reported $121 million contract: "I'm tired of hearing about money, money, money, money, money. I just want to play the game, drink Pepsi, and wear Reebok." [New York Times, 7/19/96]