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Thursday, August 2, 2012

Meet the face of the new Ugly American: Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise. He jumps-the-shark in London via a mean-spirited attack against Mariel Zagunis, who lost at the 2012 Olympics in a sport you don't even care about. WTF?!; #London2012

Meet the face of the new Ugly American: Washington Post sports columnist Mike Wise. He jumps-the-shark in London via a mean-spirited attack against Mariel Zagunis, who lost at the 2012 Olympics in a sport you don't even care about. WTF?!; #London2012 
In the year 2012, with a few rare exceptions, American sports columnists at any large sporting event are what comes after the word "superfluous."
Think of the Miami Herald's Linda Robertson, whose Olympic columns for years have always seemed to me to read like paint-by-numbers jobs that were pre-written in Miami before she showed-up wherever the Games were being held.
Once there, she simply put the name and the sport into the meme she wanted to get out into the universe. And completely predictable memes at that.

But it's really when most sports columnists are at a gathering as large and diverse as the 2012 Olympics in London, with tens of thousands of people from all over the world who are heavily-invested emotionally and financially in being there, that someone like Wise reminds you why they are like a third nipple.
And not nearly as interesting.

Desperate as they are to hold your attention to justify their presence to their bosses back home at an event where 99.99% of even the Americans there have NEVER heard of him, to these visitors, Mike Wise is the creepy guy in the hotel elevator who wouldn't hold it open for you as you raced towards it, preferring to wave "buh-bye" to you and your wife as it closed.

The guy who ruined your good mood and reminded you once again that there's no Ugly American like an American journalist overseas, with a colossal sense of self-importance and entitlement, even when nobody-but-nobody is interested in what he thinks.

That's Mike Wise.
The third nipple.
After you read his put-down of American fencer Mariel Zagunis, a two-time Gold Medalist, you'll probably agree.
Me, I'll bet his ancestors spread rumors about witches in 17th Century Salem -for sport.

Washington Post
Mariel Zagunis loses her fencing semifinal bout, and the Olympic spirit
By Mike Wise, 
August 1, 2012
LONDON — There goes the emotional sitdown with Costas. The brainless chit-chat in the morning with Matt Lauer and a cereal-box cover are also off the table.
Say buh-bye, America. Mariel Zagunis’s Q-rating just left the building.
Thanks for carrying the Stars and Stripes into the Opening Ceremonies, Miss Flag Bearer. Now pack your swords and go home for four years. We’ll call you before we get to Rio.
Read the rest of the attack at 

TD Ameritrade interviews Mariel Zagunis. http://youtu.be/x_bWZD0FU9o

The sporting romantic in me hopes that Wise somehow provokes a burly but emotionally-volatile Redskin veteran player during the course of the season, and after a tough loss, the player decides that he's had quite enough of Wise's smart-ass baiting of him.

Then, with TV cameras there to capture the moment for posterity on YouTube, with a white towel wrapped around his neck, the player stands up from his folding chair as if to put the towel away and get dressed when suddenly he takes one quick step towards Wise, and nails him flush with a hay-maker, as cameras capture Wise going limp like a rag doll and falling flat on his ass. 

First a Kapow! 
Then a Timber!

But it's probably too much to hope for.

Still, in the future, if you ever see Mike Wise flaying away in some body of water somewhere, especially near Washington Harbour in Georgetown, one of my old haunts, perhaps after he's had a drink too-many at Sequoia and fallen into the Potomac, just remember the importance of karma.

Then think of emotionally-frustrated Mariel Zagunis and his conscious decision to go after her when she is at her lowest, and emotionally distraught. 
You'll know what to do.

Nothing but wave and mouth the words "buh-bye" to Wise as he says, on-the-record, "Blub, blub..."
Yes, his final clever remarks captured for posterity before joining the mounds of debris that lie at the bottom of that dirty, dirty river.


Elsewhere in London, in a much-better column that's not dripping with mean-spirited sarcasm for vitriol's sake...

New York Times
U.S. Star Loses Chance To Win Her Third Gold
By Sam Borden
Published: August 1, 2012

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