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Olympic uniforms? U.S. should go for the gold — lame

Instead of Chinese-made uniforms, our Olympic team should wear a distinctly American look, from John Deere cap to L.L. Bean moccasins.

July 19, 2012|Chris Erskine
  • Ruched gold lam swimsuit by Omo Norma Kamali.
Ruched gold lam swimsuit by Omo Norma Kamali. (Iris Schneider / Los Angeles…)

There is much to fret over these days. DirecTV has dumped Nickelodeon. Katie has dumped Tom. Ann Curry is out. Jeff Daniels, with almost no anchor experience, is suddenly in.

Despite all our best efforts, the world remains a shifty place.

There was this sentence in the paper the other day ... our paper, a great paper still, because it contains this level of journalistic detail:

"[Judge] Revel had previously overseen the criminal cases of Wu-Tang Clan rapperOl' Dirty Bastardand Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's Flesh-N-Bone...."

By coincidence, when I read this, I had just finished listening to Bone Thugs-N-Harmony's salute to George Gershwin. Tell me, is that kismet, or part of some greater cosmic plan?

In any case, the world remains a shifty place, full of yesterday's underwear.

Now, stir in last week's revelation that the U.S. Olympic team's opening day duds were made in China. Could've blown over in a heartbeat, but it taps into a lot of our collective fears. And if there's anything we're good at these days, it's collective fears.

Sure, your car was molded in Germany, and your beer was boiled in Holland, but for some people, this Olympic clothing issue is the last straw.

Many critics — themselves threaded in other nations' hard work — blame the U.S. Olympic Committee. Others, snug in their Italian loafers, blame corporations and politicians for sending manufacturing jobs overseas.

Me, I blame everyone for everything (and I'm often right). In this case, I especially blame Nixon and Kissinger. Remember when those two opened up China? Way to go, boys. Turns out, Watergate wasn't the only thing Nixon bollixed up a bit.

So, obviously I'm cerebral, almost to a fault. The only true sports hero I ever had was Goose Tatum. And I subscribe to the theory that the only real difference between amateurs and pros is that the pros are paid by check.

And I've given considerable thought to what our athletes should wear — you know, between fretting over Katie and Tom and not knowing what to watch now that SpongeBob is on the DL.

First, I think powdered wigs would be good.

Powdered wigs go with anything, and they'd serve as homage to America's Founding Fathers (and Dolly Parton, America's unofficial Founding Mother, a shining example of what the right wig can do for a person; without one, she'd be a human banjo).

Then, maybe, I'd dress our athletes in gold lamé from the Solid Gold Dancers' collection.

I'm not even sure what lamé is — is it a sequin, is it a salad dressing? But it's gold, of that I'm almost certain.

Go gold or go home.

I'd finish off the U.S. costumes with a John Deere cap and some L.L. Bean moccasins. An oversized bow tie. A metallic cummerbund. The hood ornament off a Cadillac. Fake freckles. And, of course, a massive machete.

Not only would you have a great look, you'd have Flesh-N-Bone's next band.

Now, aside from the NBA players, our athletes generally have no sartorial sense. If it were up to them, the shotputters would wear overalls. The beach volleyballers — like the ancient Greeks — would wear nothing but a magnificent sunburn. Beach V-ball isn't just a sport, it's an alternative lifestyle. And, yes, I think they should be allowed to marry.

Note that the Olympics are covered by people — technically sportswriters but they're people too, many of them — who have an even worse sense of style than the athletes. Swear to God, wore my T-shirt inside-out to the gym the other morning. Inside-out. As knickers.

Now, Bob Costas, he's a dapper guy. Met him once. Solid handshake. Impressive, chin-to-the-sky smile. But he dresses like Buster Brown.

So, Costas is in way over his head in this opening ceremony, which is mostly just a fashion show. NBC should turn the opening ceremony over to Joan Rivers, with that mouthy daughter of hers ... Snookie or Cookie or Clam.

Joan would be the perfect host for the opening red carpet, saying, "Ahhhhhggg (in that half-coughing snorckle she emits from her throat) ... the U.S. shotputter is wearing a gold lamé vest made in New York and sandals made in Maine. And — oh my gaaaawd! — quite the machete!

"Tell me, who are you wearing, young man?"

"America, Joan," he'd answer. "America."

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