By In Stuff

Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce! (Jenner)


He is now some sort of vague celebrity, famous because he’s famous.

But in my time, Bruce Jenner was the greatest athlete in the world.

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15 Responses to Bruuuuuuuuuuuuce! (Jenner)

  1. Kendell says:

    The memory that is the strongest I have of Bruce Jenner is of an old video game that came out around 1980 or so. The goal was to beat Bruce Jenner in the decathalon. I think the version we played was on a commodore 64 computer. The graphics were horrible, the sprint events were just a “>” symbol that would move as you hit the keys as quickly as you could. I remember a friend and I staying up all night playing that game until we finally beat Bruce Jenner. Anyone else ever play that game?

  2. Andy says:

    This is absolutely one of your best ever articles, Joe. I love the first part of the article, talking about Joe DiMaggio, Orson Welles, and Elvis Presley, leading into the IMDB trivia. The section about his focus is classic Joe, and one of your best descriptions.

    But what got to me the most was your closing paragraphs. You always tend to do that wrap-around thing where the end of the story brings you back to the beginning, and you do it really well. I think this is the best of all of those. Ignoring the transgender thing, which can be a lot more complicated, his recent history with the Kardashians makes one thing clear: Jenner has sold his soul for show-business. He’s even said this much. People respect him for that, or they think him a joke, but what your closing paragraphs tell me is this: what he is now and what he was then come from the same source.

    Jenner, like many, seems to be haunted, not by anything in particular, but by constantly striving for something. To be the best, to get a better life, to be who he wants to be, to be famous. We see the drug addict on the street and the athlete on TV, the homeless man who walks all night, and the businessman in a fancy car and think of them as opposites, but what Bruce Jenner tells us is that they are really the same, and only good fortune sometimes separates one from the other.

  3. Pretty soon there will be a woman who can truthfully claim that she won an Olympic gold medal in the Men’s Decathlon.

  4. Bruce was a speaker who did corporate events for like 20+ years. His speech was always the same. The story of winning the decathlon. The hook was along the lines of work hard, dedicate yourself to what you are doing and you can accomplish great things. Kind of a quasi motivational speech, and of course, since it was always the same speech (I personally saw it twice) he had it nailed. Of course, he let it out during the recent interview that his motivation was more along the lines of proving he was manly, and pushing down his desire to wear dresses…. And that the speech was essentially a lie. Of course, the true story wasn’t going to work if he wanted to eat.

    I also remember that he had this huge introduction worked up, including that he had been named father of the year. By that time, I think he was on wife #3, so we joked that nobody said he was husband of the year. I think the Father of the year thing is quite ironic given what we’ve seen of him on The Kardashians. I’m convinced it’s one of those awards that was either a favor or just outright purchased for cash.

    Oh, and my kids can’t comprehend that Bruce was ever an athlete. It just doesn’t compute.

  5. 1976—O.J. Simpson was the most beloved black sports star in America, fans were upset that Chevy Chase, the funniest man alive, was leaving NBC’s Saturday Night, to be replaced by the talentless hack Bill Murray, and Bruce Jenner was the World’s Greatest Athlete.

    I guess you had to be there.

    • Yeah, it’s bizarre. Chevy Chase proved to be a humorless douche, who did happen to do a couple of funny movies. And Bill Murray got so much hate his first year on SNL that they did a sketch about “the new guy” where (I forget which SNL cast member) treated Murray like a dog & gave him treats if he did something simple correctly. Murray played it up in full “I’m a good pet” mode who just wants to please. I think that sketch broke the ice a little bit & of course, Murray went on from there. Then there’s OJ….running through airports and defenses like nothing, with millions of adoring fans. Yeah, the 70s are a real blur and impossible to explain. I always tell anyone that I see that I knew from back then that I apologize & disavow anything I did at the time. The good news is that nobody ever remembers anything from the 70s, so apologies are totally unnecessary.

      • Ned Garvin says:

        The dog treat routine was done with host Steve Martin. It doesn’t come off as a “poor little new guy” sketch, because after Murray’s final trick (such as answering questions or jumping through a flaming hoop) Martin refuses to give him the reward snack. Murray threatens to tell the rest of the cast that Martin’s promises are unreliable and that they just might not get their dog treats, either. Martin knuckles under to Bill Murray’s pressure, and begrudgingly gives Murray the treat. Murray stares Martin down as he slowly and emphatically chews it, then offers a sardonic “Thanks for the cracker, Steve.”

  6. Andrew says:

    The decathlon was only the icing. “Can’t Stop the Music” was the cake.

  7. MCD says:

    Trivia time: What was the only event that Jenner won in the 1976 Olympic decathalon? (answer below)

    He came in second in pole vault, shot put, high jump, 400m and 500m. That alone is being pretty adept at disparate array of skills. His lone first place finish came in the discus.

  8. Brett Alan says:

    Great article….but the use of the pronoun he really grates. I suppose it’s OK for the parts that are clearly in the past. But “…identifies himself as a transgender woman”? Really? That’s disrespectful.

  9. I’m very much pro-LGB folks, but I don’t particularly understand “T” types. In the case of Jenner, I get the distinct impression that Jenner is one of those persons who simply isn’t built to be content.

    I may well be wrong, but I somehow doubt that becoming a “she” will make Jenner a happy person.

    (I tried to be as sensitive as possible in the above statements, so I do apologize if I offended anyone).

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