Confessions of an Olympics Hater

BEACH-VOLLEYBALL/I hate to admit it, but I hate the Olympics.

Yeah (yawn), I’ve heard all startling analysis and news of NBC’s London 2012 Olympics coverage: Viewership up over 10% from Beijing in 2008, daytime cable viewership on all NBC’s platform of channels up a whopping 153% (apparently archery is BIG at 10am), about the Olympics being all the talk around the water cooler throughout America. 

But yeah, I still hate the Olympics.

It wasn’t always this way, of course. 

My first real memory of the Olympics was 1976 in Montreal.  It seemed more real then.  The stakes seemed higher.  Watching American athletes in the midst of the Cold War compete against the hated commies behind the Iron Curtain had a good vs. evil quality that can’t be matched today. The Communist, eastern bloc athletes, looked and acted different: robotic, serious, scary.  Of course, in the case of eastern bloc women from the era we’ve since learned why—they were shot up with animal steroids. 

The bastard commies cheated—and gosh, do I miss them!

Now, with no good vs. evil angle, all we get is homogenized, pre-packaged, tape-delayed bullshit full of female oriented “human interest” stories that were made up 6 months ago to highlight competitors for NBC’s primetime coverage.

Sure, I love a good race, but “Sports” where judges decide the outcome and seem to be more performance art than sport do not interest me at all.

Real competitors trying to win gold in were kicked out—four badmitten teams were sent home after “violating the Olympic spirit of the games” by trying to tank games so they could have an easier trip to the medal rounds.  Two of the teams tried to flop while playing against each other—now THAT is entertainment—I hate I missed it (isn’t the goal at the Olympics to win gold medals, not the preliminaries? Apparently not…)

Don’t even get me started on the Opening Ceremonies. Okay, true, the opening ceremony in Beijing in 2008 DID get my attention, but like everyone else (I think), you kept wondering how many Chinese citizens were tortured and enslaved for years to make their human automatron show come off.  Commies, of course, can pull that kind of stuff off.

Now the opening ceremonies are an over-the-top Vegas style joke.  Made to highlight the host country, the shows are campy and ridiculous.  The sad sack Parade of Nations is the most boring part, especially without the anticipation of seeing the evil Russians and Cubans appear.

Do the millions and millions of women and young girls who the Olympics are apparently now made for, realize that the “sports” mesmerizing them are available EVERY year, not just every 4 years at the Olympics? With such huge “interest” why don’t one of the networks show the US Nationals and World Championships in gymnastics and swimming in primetime every year instead of relegating it to Saturday and Sunday afternoons on cable?

Actually, for any network programmers reading, and yes, I know who you are, please ignore my winning idea, I don’t want my preferred reality show programming interrupted anymore than it has been this summer.

I can’t take anymore Olympic coverage.