RIO DE JANEIRO – As a society, we tend to throw the word “crisis” around a lot, rarely reserving it for life’s true crises. With that, we officially declare there is a Coffee Crisis for journalists covering the 2016 Rio Olympics.
To set the scene: There is one table in the main media center that had two large plastic coffee dispensers for a few thousands writers and reporters. They were always out of coffee. To find one that had any black liquid gold inside of it was akin to finding the hottest toy at Christmas on the shelf the night of Dec. 24. But, still, they did have coffee now and again.
Then, on Wednesday, something truly shocking happened:
Yes, that’s right: NO. FREE. COFFEE. For the media. My god, the horror.
Oh, sure, they also had giant kettles of hot water for tea drinkers. Telling a coffee drinker “well, there’s tea” is like telling a jonesing crackhead “hey, there’s lady fingers.”
Now, you might ask: Surely there are other coffee options. Well, yes. There’s a small espresso shop near the media center. But that costs money. Free coffee for reporters is one of our many perks, like credential lanyards or the constant threat of layoffs.
But hey, you ask, what about the coffee at the event sites?
Let me get a large cup and … um …
These are not large cups.
These are the cups you get at the dentist so you can spit after a cleaning.
So there’s either no coffee or coffee in such small quantities they might as well be samples of pressed juice in a mall food court.
We know there are other problems here in Rio – crime, disease, criminally disease-filled water – but honestly, and I think every other writer would agree, this is truly our greatest crisis at the moment.
Luckily, I haven’t been affected. [Hands begin shaking] Because I can go minutes, maybe even hours without c-c-c-c-coffee. [Breathing increases] Seriously, maybe I’ll just have some tea with a squirt of [SMASHES COMPUTER AGAINST WALL, LET’S OUT A BANSHEE WAIL]
Listen to Yahoo Sports’ Greg Wyshynski podcast from Rio on GRANDSTANDING, featuring beach volleyball’s April Ross: