One Piece

Swimming To Ukraine, by Marc Dion

Swimming To Ukraine, by Marc Dion
Written by publishing team

Ever been to a college swim meet?

Yeah. I knew it.

You go to a “swim meet” in this country, the people in the stands are usually blood relatives of the kids doing the swimming. I oughta know. I was on my high school debate team. You didn’t have to buy a ticket if you wanted to see us compete.

But let one “dude in a dress” or “dude in a one piece” swim competitively, and the Colin Kaepernick crowd chews their way through the walls like an army of mutant, saw-toothed cockroaches.

I asked a guy the other day who the hell was that concerned about college water sports.

“Patriots,” he said.

I’m not making that up, either.

Why does patriotism always end up rooting around in someone’s pants?

Gay marriage. Transgender rights. Abortion. If it happens below the belt, the flag crowd is right there, slipping a hand into your undies, checking for treasonous thoughts.

Of course, there are hard reasons why a guy-declared-girl can’t be allowed to compete against your genuine, athletically inclined, girl-since-the-sonogram girl.

First of all, it screws with the betting line. When you hear someone in America talk about the “integrity” of a sport, what they’re talking about is making sure the bookies don’t take a beating.

Secondly, it’s likely to severely reduce the number of scholarships available to white suburban girls who are proficient in sports like volleyball and lacrosse.

Don’t worry about the first problem. The bookies will figure it out eventually. Bookies don’t lose. Not over the long term.

As for the second problem, I don’t think colleges should give out athletic scholarships. What they should do is give scholarship money to doctors and scientists. Someday, I may need a hip replacement. When I do, I’m gonna need a surgeon, not a goalie.

Of course, the goal of college sports is supposed to be the production of what we call “the student athlete.” That term used to be written as “STUDENT athlete.” Then it was “student athlete” for a while. Now it’s “student ATHLETE,” and the “student” part is about to leave for good.

“But where is the next generation of great lacrosse players going to come from?” asks the Patriot.

The only sport I like is boxing. If you want to become a professional boxer, you find a dirty gym in a dangerous neighborhood, and you get yourself punched in the face by members of despised minority groups until either you learn to dodge some of the punches or you decide it hurts too much . All sports should be run that way. Do you want to play a sport? Play a sport. Do you want to go to college? Go to college.

The governor of Florida, whose name should not be spoken in the presence of people who can read, came down sharply against the transgender swimmer, as expected. In Florida, they believe a man should never have to give up his gun but should be forced to give up those panties he wears under his biker leathers.

Patriotism takes some damn funny bounces.

In Ukraine, some guy who likes to wear a garter belt and stockings for his boyfriend is out there with a shoulder-fired missile, zeroing in on a Russian tank. There’s a straight guy next to him and a lesbian up in the tree line, locking her sights on a helicopter. The “integrity” of all the killing remains undisturbed by the carnival of sexual choices.

“But it will destroy sports,” the Patriot says.

Good. No country ever needed less sports than America does.

In America, we live and die with sports because we are desperate to avoid our own lives, to ease out of the real conflict, to travel to a place where what really matters doesn’t matter and what doesn’t matter really matters.

As for the guy in Ukraine, I hope you get home to that cute boyfriend of yours.

To find out more about Marc Munroe Dion, and read features by Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit Dion’s latest book by him, a collection of his best columns by him, is called “Devil’s Elbow: Dancing in the Ashes of America.” It is available in paperback from, and for Nook, Kindle, and iBooks.

Photo credit: 12019 at Pixabay

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