Mt Pleasant News
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Neighbors Growing Together | Dec 7, 2016

Finally — something worth watching on television

By Brooks Taylor

By BROOKS TAYLOR

Mt. Pleasant News

It’s coming soon to a television set near you.

It is an Olympic year. That’s a good thing — if for no other reason, it will mean that there is something worth watching on television. That’s saying something as television seemingly has been taken over by reality shows (I will save that topic for another column).

Because I enjoy sports, watching the Olympics is on my “to-do” list every fourth summer and winter. However, I don’t think you have to be a sports lover to enjoy the Olympics. I know of several people who aren’t particularly fond of sports but enjoy watching the Olympics.

Unlike other sports, the Olympics seems to be much more attractive to the general public. Why? I am not sure, but I have several theories.

First of all, it is a time for national pride. Anyone who doesn’t receive goose bumps when an American is on the top rung of the podium while the national anthem is being played, has no feelings whatsoever.

Secondly, its pure athletics at its best. They correctly term the Olympics a performance of the world’s best athletes.

One of the athletes not performing in 2012 will be Iowan Shawn Johnson. She cited a knee injury as the reason for not trying out for the U.S. gymnastics team. But let’s get serious. She never would have made the team. Consequently to save embarrassment, she quietly retired (about the only thing she has done quietly in the past half decade).

Okay, if you haven’t gotten my drift by now, I could never be president of the Shawn Johnson Fan Club. Given the choice of rooting for her or Iowa’s other Olympian Lola Jones, I would take Jones in a heartbeat.

No, it was not because of the stories I heard about her from some of the people at West Des Moines Valley where Johnson attended school before becoming famous (she never would have been voted the most humble student in her class), it was largely what happened after she won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics.

Credit her manager, Johnson milked that one gold medal (yes she did receive a couple of silver and a bronze if I remember correctly) for all it was worth. She turned it into a win on “Dancing with Stars” (another reason I don’t care for regular television programming) and seemingly was constantly in the news.

Perhaps the one thing that made me turn out the lights on her was during an appearance somewhere, she complained about the lack of media attendance, saying something to the effect of “I wished there would have been more newspapers and television stations here.”

Come on, Shawn, not everyone shares your opinion of yourself.

I was rather surprised that she announced last year that she was going to train for the 2012 Olympics. I shouldn’t have been. It was one more avenue to get media attention.

She may have a knee injury, but seeing her recently in the news and then seeing a commercial with shots from her Olympic year, Johnson seems far out of shape.

Nice try, Shawn, you completed your mission. One more soundbyte and another story, but it is time to move on.

Mt. Pleasant Mayor Steve Brimhall hasn’t been seen on his scooter lately. That’s due to knee replacement surgery, but he said he will be back riding before long.

Due to the proximity of his office from mine, I used to see him riding the scooter frequently during nice weather.

It was reminiscent of the mayor in my former community. He, too, had a scooter and loved riding it in nice weather. The wind, however, blows much harder in northwest than southeast Iowa. One windy late spring day the mayor was riding along the street when a wind gust set him and his scooter on its side. It took a lot of wind to do that since the mayor weighed well over 300 pounds.

He suffered a broken collarbone and arm in the mishap. Shortly thereafter, I noticed his scooter in the want ads. The last I knew, his preferred mode of transportation during nice weather was a golf cart. Makes sense — four wheels are twice as safe as two.