Wrestling has been dumped from the 2020 Olympics by the IOC (the International Olympic Committee). This seems a strange move inasmuch as wrestling was among the most important sports in the original Olympic Games in Greece, has been included since the modern Olympics were revived in 1896, and is a national favorite of literally scores of countries around the world.
So why did the IOC dump wrestling in 2020? When you get right down it, who cares? It’s time to move on. Time to figure out how to restructure the sport in ways that make it more appealing to TV viewers and advertisers who (we have to be honest here) call the shots on which activities get included in all sorts of popular entertainments, which is what the Olympics has become
Here, then, are a few ideas to make wrestling more appealing to TV viewers and advertisers:
Replace grunting and sweating and heavily muscled young men on mats, with grunting and sweating svelte young women physically intertwined in mud or large vats of Jell-O. Yes, this is a repulsive desecration of a great sport with a magnificent history, and is clearly monstrously sexist to boot. But think of the ratings! Think of the viewership increases! Think of the advertising opportunities, no longer dependent on Ram truck tough or Cialis two-tub bonding spots, but also a draw for Victoria’s Secret 30-second ones.
And what is wrestling anyway? I mean really. It’s basically grasping someone else in a kind of hug that brings about a desired reaction. So…
So why not go 21st century sensitive and turn Olympic wrestling into a straight forward hugging competition? Virtually every reality show and talent competition and sit-com season finale these days is rife with hugs. TV viewers have become totally addicted to hugging. Advertisers pay big bucks for the right to come on right after an especially touching or prolonged hug fest. So why not make it an Olympic sporting event that replaces the older brutish kind (unless Jell-O or mud wrestling has already done so).
These are just a few suggestions to save wrestling as an Olympic sport by modifying it to meet current taste and market demands. Mud instead of mats. Hugs instead of grunts. A truly market-based Olympic competition.
(Michael Silverstein’s new book, The Bellman’s Revenge, which explores the realms of toilet seat-borne venereal disease and excessive parking ticketing, is now available from Amazon).