I knew there was trouble way back in 1985. That was the year that The Italian Stallion, who actually hailed from Philly, opened up a can of whup-insky on the Soviet Union's unstoppable machine, Ivan Drago. The chinks in the facade of the athletic prowess of those behind the Iron Curtain were never more evident than when, after being berated by the sports commissar, Drago snarls back, "I win for me! FOR ME!" In spite of his assurance that he would "break" Rocky, it was the American who won, and the crowd in Moscow begins to chant Rocky's name. You really want me to believe it was Ronald Reagan who ended the Cold War?
Well, it seems that some habits die hard, and not the Bruce Willis way. After their worst-ever performance in the Vancouver Winter Olympics, President Dmitry Medvedev called for the resignation of the entire Russian Olympic committee. "Those responsible should take the brave decision and sign a letter" of resignation, Medvedev said in televised comments. "If they can't we will help them." As Shel Silverstein once pointed out, "Some kind of helping is what helping's all about, but some kind of help is the kind we can all do without."
Of course, Russia no longer has the rest of the former Soviet Union to draw on when assembling their teams, but it does make one wonder how they fell so far so fast. I suspect that things will change before the next Winter Games in Sochi. That should give our Russian friends time enough to genetically engineer the ultimate skating, skiing, curling, half-pipe athlete. Like the champ said way back in 1985 to that crowd in Moscow: "I guess what I'm trying to say is, if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change." Change, or there will be trouble.