Monday, July 12, 2004


Read about Those Good Old-Time Olympics, from Saturday's Washington Post. From the article:
These days, they got so many sports you can hardly keep track of them: badminton, table tennis, synchronized swimming and who knows what else. In the old days, we stuck to your basic tried-and-true sports: your running, your wrestling, your chariot racing, your pankration.

What? You never heard of pankration? It was the king of combat sports -- a combination of boxing, wrestling, mugging and a good old-fashioned butt-kicking. In pankration, you could do almost anything to your opponent -- strangle him, kick him in the groin, bend his fingers back until they snapped like popsicle sticks. Now, that's entertainment! Of course, you weren't allowed to gouge a guy's eyes out. I mean, we weren't barbarians! If you started gouging somebody's eyes out, the judges would step in and beat you with sticks. Judges didn't pussyfoot around in those days.

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