A “slatepitch” has become a word for a counterintuitive and probably stupid idea that sounds sexy enough to attract readers, but which upon further analysis is actually just counterintuitive and stupid.
Every so often one makes you think, but usually not.
And every so often one is so stupid that you just want to tell the author to stop hurting himself and America.
This one is in the latter category. It is stupid. It remains stupid among second reading. And you know the author knew it was stupid. I would have suspected a cunning satire of American professional sports loyalties, but any such was buried.
So you know: the author proposes that the Olympics be turned into just another big athletics tournament. Why? Who the hell knows? Every problem the author cites either isn’t a problem (e.g., Dominica granting citizenship to foreigners so they can compete) or is a question for national voters (e.g., Japan’s ban on dual citizenship).
The possible moment of satire: “We don’t require our major-league ballplayers to hail from the cities they play for, so why should we demand anything different of our Olympic athletes? My Philadelphia Flyers count only four native-born Americans on the team roster. (The Canadian Giroux is the team captain.) We still sing the ‘Star-Spangled Banner’ before the opening faceoff.”
After that, though, the author drops the reference to pro sports. A take on Jerry Seinfeld’s “You’re rooting for laundry!” routine this is not.
Question: why do people write this kind of thing? The author is a law professor; it isn’t part of the job description. Is it a satire that missed its mark?