Thank you, Tokyo Olympics, for bringing us the ‘beast mode’ we all needed

Many wanted the Tokyo Olympics cancelled, but in the end, they were incredible.

The best.

Pushing past the flimsiest steel barrier ever constructed, into a restricted area he clearly shouldn’t have had access to, Boxall ripped off his required mask and proceeded to… dry hump a fence like The Ultimate Warrior circa Wrestlemania 6?

Like I said. Beast Mode.

The best part: In the background, a Japanese Olympic official, doing her level best to provide resistance, raises her hands like a frightened gazelle and then succumbs. Slowly those raised hands are lowered, evolving into confused claps. OK, she seems to say. You’re here now. There’s nothing I can do about this. I’m just going to try and enjoy this front row seat to Beast Mode, starring Dean Boxall.

In this metaphor, Boxall is the Tokyo Olympics. Both as an event and an idea. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic both probably shouldn’t be here. As the world reels from the effects of the delta strain and global vaccine hesitancy, this is the Olympics no one asked for. Dean, what are you doing here? Bugger off, Dean. Now is not the time.

High jumpers Mutaz Essa Barshim and Gianmarco Tamberi gave each other their gold medals. This is too much.

Me? I’m the Japanese official. We’re all the Japanese official. Nervous, unsure how to react, ultimately acquiescing to this moment completely out of our control. Even in Japan, the host country, people were protesting the Olympics. First we collectively raised our hands in passive resistance. Seconds later we were all clapping.

And we were clapping because Dean Boxall is awesome. Reckless, sure. But so awesome. The Olympics were reckless too — but also awesome.

This is what the Olympics delivers: Beast Mode direct to your screen and your heart. It’s in the business of providing iconic moments like Boxall’s. Moments that simultaneously inspire and subvert our sense of what’s possible. Weird shit, displays of pure athleticism.

Two men collapsing into one another’s arms when they realize they can share a gold medal instead of duelling to the death for it. Skateboarding girls cheering each other on, making quick friends in the face of fierce competition. Runners stumbling, falling over in potentially race-ending collisions, miraculously recovering to win races.

Incredible, awe-inspiring moments.

Maybe it’s because we live in a universe where moments like these are worshipped, contorted and shaped into GIFs, tweets and memes in an infinite social media content spiral, but it somehow feels like we’ve had more of these moments compared to previous Olympics. That these Olympic Games have meant more than we ever could have expected when we cynically, reluctantly invited them into our homes.

Personally, as a man living in Sydney, a city wrestling with strict lockdowns that could potentially last for months, the Olympics was been a salve I didn’t realize I needed. It was a welcome distraction as I juggled home-schooling, work and a near-permanent dread at the daily ritual of waiting for Sydney case numbers to drop so we can all go back outside and live relatively normal lives.

There were a million reasons why the Olympic Games shouldn’t have happened in 2021. A million reasons why we shouldn’t have watched and supported what is arguably an irresponsible event run for the wrong reasons. But it’s also equally possible that — this year — the Olympics were more useful than ever.

The Tokyo Olympics probably shouldn’t have happened because of COVID-19. But I’m also happy it happened — because of COVID-19. If that makes sense.

None of it makes sense.

But right now, sport — with its simple rules and digestible outcomes, with its warm blanket of normalcy and straightforward narratives of triumph over adversity — is maybe the only thing that makes sense.

The Olympics, much like Dean Boxall, busted its way into our homes and televisions and refused to leave. An unwelcome guest. But, like the uncertain Olympics official dealing with the uncontainable Boxall as he dry humped a fence, I’m glad the Olympics forced their way into my life. I couldn’t have done lockdown without it.

PGA Championship 2021: TV schedule today, how to watch and more

Golf’s second major starts Thursday at Kiawah Island in South Carolina. You can watch all of the action, no cable required.

Rory McIlroy is the favorite heading into the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island, where he won this tournament in 2012.

Here’s what you need to know to watch the golf this week.

ESPN has the early round coverage on Thursday and Friday before giving way to CBS for weekend coverage for the final two rounds.

Here’s the TV schedule:

Round 1: Thursday, May 20
ESPN: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Round 2: Friday, May 21
ESPN: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Round 3: Saturday, May 22
ESPN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
CBS: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET

Round 4: Sunday, May 23
ESPN: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. ET
CBS: 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. ET

If you don’t have a cable or satellite TV subscription, you can watch the tournament with a live TV streaming service. Four of the five major ones (all but Sling TV) offer CBS, and all five include ESPN. The catch is that not every service carries every local network, so check each one using the links below to make sure it carries CBS in your area.

You can also watch portions of the tournament on Paramount Plus and ESPN Plus. Paramount Plus will have a simulcast of CBS’s TV coverage over the weekend, while ESPN Plus will simulcast ESPN’s TV coverage each day of the tournament as well as additional coverage including featured holes and groups.

If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch the final round on CBS for free on over-the-air broadcast channels just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.

YouTube TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS and ESPN. Plug in your ZIP code on its welcome page to see which local networks are available in your area.

Read our YouTube TV review.

Hulu with Live TV costs $65 a month and includes CBS and ESPN. Click the “View channels in your area” link on its welcome page to see which local channels are offered in your ZIP code.

Read our Hulu with Live TV review.

FuboTV’s Standard plan costs $65 a month and includes CBS and ESPN. Click here to see which local channels you get.

Read our FuboTV review.

AT&T TV’s basic $70-a-month package includes CBS and ESPN. You can use its channel lookup tool to see which local channels are available where you live.

Read our AT&T TV Now review.

Sling TV’s $35-a-month Orange plan includes ESPN. Neither the Orange nor the Blue plan includes CBS.

Read our Sling TV review.

You can watch the last two rounds of the PGA Championship on CBS’s online streaming service. Paramount Plus costs $6 a month with ads or $10 a month without ads.

ESPN’s stand-alone streaming service costs $6 a month or $60 a year and will show ESPN’s coverage for the first two rounds on Thursday and Friday and early coverage at the start of the last two rounds on Saturday and Sunday. It will also show featured holes (15, 16 and 17) and will follow featured groups each day.

All of the live TV streaming services above except ESPN Plus offer free trials, allow you to cancel anytime and require a solid internet connection. Looking for more information? Check out our massive streaming services guide.

If you live in an area with good reception, you can watch the afternoon action on Saturday and Sunday on CBS for free on over-the-air broadcast channels just by attaching an affordable (under $30) indoor antenna to nearly any TV.