A congratulations is in order to Manalapan’s own Robby Andrews on an absolutely stellar performance in Rio. It’s been a long time coming for Robby, and he did not disappoint on the world’s biggest stage. I’ve been hearing about Robby Andrews and the Olympics for 10 years now. He was re-writing records every single day in high school. I can’t think of anyone who racked up more accolades in anything at MHS. He was a legend in every sense of the word, and he lived up to expectations and far exceeded them over the past few weeks. Every four years, we’d see him come close but fall just short at the qualifiers, each time getting closer and closer. Until this year. We would finally see our boy Robby in the Olympics. What a fucking achievement. Seeing him rep the red, white, and blue was as fond an Olympic memory as I’ve ever had. I can only imagine what he and his family were feeling.
Quick anecdote about my relationship with Robby. We won the Rec Baseball World Series when I was in 4th grade and Robby in 5th. The two of us manned the middle infield for the league champion Texas Rangers. Those were my glory days of athleticism. I had speed, skill, a real well-rounded, natural athlete. But Robby was the fastest guy on the team by far. It was imminent that he was destined for bigger and better things. But we were teammates and we won together. No big deal. We’ll always have that title, Robby. Some would say that’s better than an Olympic medal.
Last night we should have been watching Robby run for a medal. And he had a damn good chance. Anyone who says otherwise can kick rocks. If not for Thursday night’s events, we could have seen our boy up on the podium. He was DQ’d on a highly questionable technicality. Robby finished 5th and qualified for the final race, only to have that illustrious opportunity taken away an hour later. If you ask me, Robby got bumped which forced him to go over the inside line. Not only that, but he was already in front of the runner who he was trying to surpass, so he didn’t actually gain an advantage in my expert opinion. I felt personally offended and dejected. More so than my selfish feelings, I did and still do genuinely feel bad for Robby. Kid worked so hard for years only to have it taken away by some fugzai ass bi-law. But it doesn’t really matter much. For as long as I can remember, we’ve been waiting for Andrews to run in the Olympics, and he did the damn thing. It was an unbelievable road for Robby, and I speak for everyone when I say I hope this is not the end. Not that there’s any vengeance to be sought after, but I’d imagine Robby would love a chance at redemption in 2020 in Tokyo.