Five-Ring Circus

Best Jobs at the Olympics: Guy With Red Flag at Trap-Shooting Competition

Guy with red flag raises red flag during women’s trap shooting competition at the Olympic Shooting Centre on Sunday in Rio.

NBCOlympics.com

Nominee: Bearded, seated, red-flag-holding man.

Where to find him: Women’s trap shooting final.

Job requirements: Wave a red flag whenever a trap shooter fails to hit the clay target. Sit without fidgeting for long periods of time. Look good in a hat.

Why this might be the best job at the Olympics: You have a very important role. You are the official arbiter of success or failure in trap shooting. There would be no trap-shooting events without you, the guy with the red flag. When a shooter misses the clay target, it’s up to you to raise your red flag in a confident yet nonjudgmental manner. Your flag may not be bright red, but it’s red enough.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

As the guy with the red flag, you will get a lot of screen time. Your friends and family will have ample opportunity to see you on NBC’s online trap-shooting live stream. “Look,” they will exclaim, “there he is, my good friend and/or relative, the guy with the red flag who’s indicating that the woman with the gun just missed!”

Advertisement
Advertisement

Unlike other Olympic functionaries, the red flag guy is occasionally allowed to show some flair. Here, for example, he gives a slight nod of his head as he lowers his red flag. That’s so red flag guy.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

If you are lucky enough to be the red flag guy, you get to sit very close to the action, in your own chair, and don’t have to worry about whether or not the person sitting next to you smells bad, because there is no one sitting next to you. Look at you, red flag guy, sitting there in the back-right of this clip, your red flag between your legs. You are the boss of trap shooting, in your own chill way.

Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement

Also, you get to wear a hat.

Why this might not be the best job at the Olympics: The job is sort of a downer, given that red flag guy springs into action to call out an athlete’s failures. It’s also fairly repetitive—flag up, flag down; flag up, flag down. Also, you have a lot of responsibility. You can’t ever lose focus, or get up to get a Coke, lest you fail to raise your red flag at the appropriate moment. You also have to remember to bring the red flag every morning, and it seems like it would be easy to leave it at home if you are in a rush.

Advertisement
Advertisement

How this could be a better job at the Olympics: The red flag guy should have two flags: the standard red flag to indicate a missed shot, and one that says “good job” that he can wave to indicate a hit. Also, instead of a folding chair, the red flag guy should sit in a recliner.

Verdict: I’ll give the job of “red flag guy” 3 out of 3 points for exposure, because it’s hard to be more visible than the red flag guy at a trap-shooting competition. 2 out of 3 for enjoyment, because every day is a good day when your job entails sitting in a chair, wearing a cool hat, and waving a colorful flag. 1.5 out of 3 for enviability, because while he’s cock of the walk today, at some point in the future the red flag guy will probably be replaced by a red flag robot. And 1 out of 1 in the category of “having a really good view.” 7.5 out of 10 for red flag guy. This is currently the best job at the Olympics.

Read more of Slate’s Olympics coverage.

Advertisement