Chicagoans awoke Monday to the crummiest weather we've seen in months. Not coincidentally, it's also the first time in weeks we've woken up with no Olympic glory to savor.
Say what you will about NBC’s coverage (generally nonsensical), the wackiness of the opening ceremonies (enormous Voldemort and strange coal miners, what?)and the end of the Phelpsian era (please, you think his mother will let him quit?), but I’m really going to miss the London Games.
These two weeks brought us special moments, like South Africa'sOscar Pistorius and his bionic legs taking to the track, and teen swimmers Katie Ledecky and Missy Franklin tearing up on the medal stand. And gymnast McKayla Maroney, who has a great sense of humor about the somewhat mean-spirited but admittedly hilarious meme her "not amused" face inspired.
So with no thrashing water polo players or laser-focused archers in the immediate future, what’s a poor, misguided American to do? Here are a few ways to focus your national pride in a sporting fashion—unless you’d rather pay attention to that little election coming up in November.
>> Re-evaluate your idol of choice. Take, for example, Ryan Lochte. Dude seemed really charming at the beginning of the Games, but then he opened his mouth. He's probably a decent dude, but when you start wearing a ton of shirts with your own name on them and your MOM is talking about your one-night stands, it's time to lock it down.
>> Take up your favorite Olympic sport. This might actually make you miss the Games even more, since you'll be writhing in pain on the floor from overexerting yourself, but at least you'll really appreciate how much work goes into international greatness. If your favorite Olympic sport involves re-learning the words to every Spice Girls song, you've got your priorities in order.
>> Think of ways to improve the 2014 Games in Sochi, Russia. They've probably got the giant fur hat thing covered, so it's time to get creative. There's just 541 days left—maybe if we start petitioning the International Olympic Committee, Morgan Freeman can be an actual commentator instead of just doing Visa commercial voiceovers.
If all else fails, just start counting down to another awesome sporting event. March Madness kicks off in 211 days—who's excited?
Dana Moran is a RedEye assistant editor. She still really enjoys that GIF of Lochte hiking up his bathing suit.