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He Said, She Said: Team USA Football

The Olympics are starting tonight! I hope you readers out there take a break from the Interwebz to watch and appreciate non-football sports. It's important that we be well-rounded sports fans for the same reason as it's important that we be well-rounded people. That reason escapes me at the moment, but I assure you it's a good one. In honor of one-time Olympic hopeful and Redskins baby QB extraordinaire Bob Griffin, Ken and I decided to devote this discussion to comparing American football to the Olympics. I've also attached a poll and expect vigorously respectful debates in the comments. So, without further torch-passing...

What Olympic sports are you most excited to watch and why?

Ken: Someone should tell the Olympic planners that they scheduled these Olympics for the worst possible time. Don’t they know that these are RG3’s waves? I am 87% sure that if RG3 approached a set of microphones during the finals of just about any Olympic sport, program directors and network heads everywhere would pee their pants trying to decide if they should break into Olympic coverage to carry it.

Of course I’ll be watching USA men’s basketball. Of course I’ll be watching Alex Morgan… I mean USA women’s soccer. But, if I have to choose between a televised portion of 7-on-7 drills and pole vaulting, give me training camp practice all day.

Ken: I can only pretend to be interested in gymnastics so much. At some point, my wife figures out that I am mostly just trying to make sure that the girls I am ogling are legal. I am also convinced that bikinis are very close to becoming a reality in women’s gymnastics—but please don’t stop sending your letters to the Olympic committee until that happens. Don’t act like it’s just me.

And please—PLEASE—don’t even talk to me about anything "synchronized." No, I don’t think two people diving off a platform into water is a sport. If they wanted to make it a sport, someone should be throwing a tennis ball or football into the air and whichever diver catches it before they hit the water wins. That’s a game everyone has played before and could appreciate. If they did it from the 50-foot high-diving platform, that would be SICK. Can you imagine two divers from different countries attacking the ball in the air on the way down to the water? And I already have an idea to innovate that sport: TWO balls thrown in the air.

I would like to see RG3 get a chance to run for the USA in an Olympic track and field event. If he won a medal, he wouldn’t even get booed in Philly on Sundays. (Editorial note: FALSE)

Keely: Dude, how are you not more pumped for the Olympics? Global stage! American dominance! British accents other than UK's!

And yes, I'm quite sure any outlet would scramble to get an RG3 presser during the Olympics because only NBC is allowed to air the Olympics. Everyone else needs some way to compete.

I'm excited for USA men's basketball, but the competition probably won't be tough until the final games. Ladies soccer is fine, but it's soccer and they're ladies, so not as much fun to watch.

But USA women's gymnastics? That ish is the ill na na! Have you heard of the Amanar vault? It's only like THE coolest thing you can do on a springboard. Basically, it's a vault with lots of twists that has a higher potential-points value than other vaults, but it's also way dangerous. To date, only 26 people have ever pulled off an Amanar in competition. Just so happens that all five of our starters—Gabby Douglass, Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, McKayla Maroney, and Kyla Ross—have done it. None of the gymnasts on the other nations' teams have landed one in competition. Basically the gold medal hinges on that vault. The trump card? Our girl McKayla Maroney is the best to have ever done the Amanar. Check out this video and ignore the music. Boom.

Also, Ryan Lochte. Dream boat.

When it comes to men's basketball, women's gymnastics, and men's and women's swimming, the gold medals are ours to lose.

If you're an athlete, would you rather win an Olympic gold medal or the Lombardi Trophy? And you have to give good reasons.

Ken: I once landed an Amanar jumping out of a second story window at a party the cops showed up to. Where’s my gold medal?

My wife is a former Vermont state champion gymnast, so we watch. Some of those girls are simply not ready for high-def, but I digress… Oh wait, we’re talking about gymnastics, so we were already digressing. Don’t worry; I can already see myself about seven beers deep, explaining to everyone within listening distance that the USA women rock the Amanar. I’ll be like Dennis Hopper from Hoosiers when he is listening to the game on the radio in the asylum.

Something about that question implies that I am not already an athlete. Hello??? I’m a blogger. You think you can just roll out of bed and drop a Ten Yard Fight on people? Please.

As for which I would prefer, give me the Lombardi Trophy. First, it is up for grabs every year, as opposed to once every other year. Instead of people wanting it more because it is only attainable once every two years, people only care about it once every two years. The Lombardi Trophy is up there. I think the World Cup is still bigger, and maybe the Euro. Soccer still spins this planet. To win a Lombardi Trophy or an Olympic gold, a lot has to go your way, and a lot has to be personally invested. Give me the chance to lead my team to victory in the 4th quarter of the Super Bowl instead of a gold medal any day. There are TV stations that will play that footage on an endless loop for the rest of eternity. The Olympic gold, while admirable and worthy of everything that goes with it, is forgotten quickly it seems.

Keely: Well you're a lucky guy to be married to such a talented and accomplished lady! And be nice, girls have enough body-image screwed-upness as it is.

I never meant to imply you were not an athlete. Tailgating is a sport.

About the gold medal/Lombardi Trophy thing, you make a good point I hadn't previously considered. "Instead of people wanting it more because it is only attainable once every two years, people only care it about once every two years," you said. Not sure that's true, but I'd definitely pick the Super Bowl win if it were.

So, I'm gonna have to disagree with you and say I'd rather win a gold medal, and not just because taking the opposite position is better for debate purposes. Why? A bunch of reasons:

1) The Olympics are global, and the sports have global participation. The whole planet knows you won. You're competing against the best athletes at your sport in the world, not just in the country. This appeals to the megalomaniac in me.

2) America! Heck yeah! You get to represent your country, not some franchise that bought you. It's an honor onthe same level that serving in the military or being an ambassador is an honor. The victory is a national one. Raise those stars and stripes because this is the home of the brave, baby! Plus, I think I'd look cute wearing an American flag.

3) Lots of Olympic sports are individual ones, so you don't have to share the glory with the likes of Devin Thomas. Also appeals to the megalomaniac in me.

4) It only happens every four years per sport, so the gold medal is a culmination of four years of work instead of a few months. That also means a lot of Olympians only get one shot. If you can only win once, that trophy means more.

The downsides of choosing a gold medal over the Lombardi Trophy are that you wouldn't be competing in your favorite sport (football); you wouldn't be paid zillions; and you wouldn't have a massive, iced-out ring with your name, number, portrait, astrological sign, spirit animal, and favorite Nick Cage quote engraved on it.

If football was an Olympic sport, who would be on your team? This era only, please.

Ken: If football was an Olympic Sport, I am going with Aaron Rodgers, Calvin Johnson, Wes Welker, Larry Fitzgerald and Ray Rice to anchor the offensive skill positions. I just don’t think I could leave Rob Gronkowski at home, even though I have no love for the Patriots.

On defense, my impact players would be Darrelle Revis, Ed Reed, Mario Williams, Clay Matthews, Ndamukong Suh, Patrick Willis and Nnamdi Asomugha. London Fletcher gets the invite as well. I also can’t see leaving Ray Lewis off this team. He would give me a speech about why he deserves to go and I would be convinced… and in tears.

I want so bad to take on the world in football, but there is not a single other country on the planet that could field a team that could even come close to beating our first Dream Team. So sad…

Keely: Ken, I’m starting to think we were separated at birth. Except that you were born much hairier and longer ago than I was. Your Olympics football roster is nearly identical to mine.

On offense, I have to go with Chris Johnson because he’s reportedly bulked up over the offseason. I’m also very tempted by Tom Brady because he’s so consistent. When you only have one game, I’ll take consistently good over occasionally brilliant any day.

On defense, I’m taking a healthy Terrell Suggs over Clay Matthews in a heartbeat. And of course London and Ray are coming to the Olympics. They can be the Magic and Bird of our football Dream Team.