Water polo. For this "sport," you need a swimming pool, a ball and a net; in wrestling, you just need a mat. For that matter, you can grapple on any flat surface - Tom Hanks probably wrestled with Wilson on that island in "Cast Away."
(Speaking of which, good wrestling movies for a rainy weekend: 1985's "Vision Quest" and 2011's "Win Win.")
Best I can tell, the IOC's baffling decision to drop wrestling is tied to television; apparently, wrestling's not a prime draw with the younger TV audience.
Alas, the world revolves around the 18-to-34 demographic; I half-expect the Vatican to name One Direction as the next pope.
(Here's what you need to know about today's Olympics: It has less to do with "Citius, Altius, Fortius" and more to do with "Cashius, Wealthius, Greedius.")
Anyway, since it's all about ratings - and now that the Olympic movement has foregone that whole "amateur" pretense - why not replace freestyle and Greco-Roman wrestling with Vince McMahon-style professional wrestling?
Another idea: In ancient Greece, wrestlers trained and competed in the nude. That's right, naked wrestlers - you think that might move the meter? Also, back then, many matches ended in death. Sure, you'd create the problem of having to replace your athletic pool every year, but - and I hate to give the IOC and NBC any ideas - wrestling-to-the-death would produce GINORMOUS RATINGS, no?
Ask The Slouch
Q. Give me your TNT "Inside the NBA" announcer rankings. It's my favorite studio show ever. (Gary Armstead; Indianapolis)
A. Charles Barkley is plain fantastic, Kenny Smith is plain good and Shaquille O'Neal is hiding in plain sight; Shaq adds nothing. Let's not forget Ernie Johnson, the modest maestro conducting the whole shebang.
Q. You praised LeBron's 30-60, van Gogh's paintings, De Niro's movies and Ben & Jerry's ice cream, but what about the all-time record set by God? He created light, water, land, animals and man, then took a day off, and, according to Paul Harvey, on the eighth day created the farmer. That's a pretty impressive stat. (Jim Parcelli; Leesburg, Va.)
Q. If my 2012 Pittsburgh Pirates highlights DVD quits playing halfway through, should I ask for my money back or assume it was meant to work that way? (Mark Collins; Pittsburgh)
A. Pay the man, Shirley.
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