The Olympics

The Olympics, and the coverage that goes with it, all the hype, all the hoopla and all the build up may be the most manipulative and over-produced sporting event in all of television.

And you know what? Given all that, it still works.

NBC’s coverage of the journey of the torch on its way to Sydney told of a man who died of a heart just after he had passed the torch on to the next runner. He had taken it from his son, and while it’s a tragedy, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “If I had to go, that’s as good a way as I can imagine at the moment.”

The marketing and hype and nationalism that is such an intrinsic, and irritating, part of the Olympic games still cannot erase the feeling I get when I consider the ideals upon which the games are based. It’s almost as if they keep trying to ruin it, but somehow, some thread continues to survive, almost against expectations.

On an even lesser note, since the person who will be lighting the Olympic flame in Sydney is currently one of the most closely guarded secrets on the continent, I’d like to throw in my (admittedly useless) opinion and say PLEASE, please, please don’t let it be Olivia Newton John

Yep. I still love to watch it all, and I’m aware of the media tricks to manipulate our emotions, and all the marketing ploys, all the manufactured and real hoopla, and I still love it.

I remember Howard Kosell and his interviews with the American athletes in Mexico, I remember Dorothy Hamill, Nadia Comaneche, Olga Korbut, The Dream Team, the wrestling team from Israel taken political hostages, and that is just off the top of my head.

That would be soooo perfect, they can play “Physical” while she lights it, :slight_smile:

No way. It’s going to be Paul “Crocodile Dundee” Hogan :smiley:

But I’m sure it’s going to be Sir Donald Bradman. You heard it here first…

<panic>Rick Springfield isn’t trying to make a comeback any time soon, is he?</panic>

It’s going to be Bruce, folks. Just you watch. :stuck_out_tongue:

I hope it’s Steve Irwin. “Wow this torch is big! Think I can jump over it?”

I’ll skip the hype and 1/2 the hoopla.
Just the highlights for me.
And real sports only please, not the horseshoes and mumbledypeg. It’s getting there’s more categories than the Emmies.

I’m not quite sure what you’d categorize as a “real” sport, but what I consider the absolutely most entertaining sport of all time to watch, Table Tennis, is an olympic sport, and is never seen… instead, we get to watch boring racing sport (sprinting) after boring racing sport (rowing) after boring racing sport (swimming). I have nothing against any of these fine sports, or the people who participate in them, but unelss you’re deeply knowledgeable about the sport, or invested in the personalities involved, any one sprint (everyone’s running… that guy there was the fastest) looks exactly like any other (everyone’s swimming… that woman there was the fastest).

Whereas sports like Ping Pong (or badminton) are truly exciting and fun to watch even without knowing a thing about what’s really going on or who’s who…

Yoda should light the torch. No arguments there.

Personally, I have nothing against The Olympics. I even enjoyed their parody of El Paso' called El Pizza’ – as cornball as it was. But I can do without ever hearing Western Movies again.

When it comes to overblown hype, minute-for-minute the Olympics doesn’t come close to the Super Bowl, any World Series, or, shudder, Tiger Woods. There is no problem (drugs, biased officials, overcommercialization, bad coverage) that doesn’t exist in countless other sports.

And I think variety is a good thing. This is supposed to be the world’s showcase. You might not give a damn about table tennis or swimming, but rest assured that there are a great many spectators who do. Remember too that there are many different kinds of athletes, and different facilities available for them (think every country can afford a full set of gymnastics equipment?).

Most importantly, though, this is a rare (once in a lifetime for many) chance for these athletes to win something big, which means you’ll never see anyone tanking, slacking off, or otherwise giving less than 100%. No matter where you look, you know this is the real thing. Drug abuse concerns notwithstanding.

Anyway, I’ll be watching. Should beat the heck out of whatever’s happening in baseball at any rate.


The only Olympic events I care to see are the portion of the tri-athalon that goes through shark infested waters, and the marathon race through wild dingo territory.

I heard the funniest thing on the radio which assures me the great aussie spirit is not dead!

Scene: 42km blue line painted on the streets of Sydney for the marathon.

Situation: A couple of “larrikans” decided to redirect this blue line into a local pub, past the bar and cigarette machine, up the stairs to do a few twists and turns on the dance floor, and then back out to meet the original line to Olympic Stadium.

The maraton runners have been assured a free pint on their way through. :wink:

PatrickM - Yo, a wretched excess of home runs, the same damn teams making the playoffs year after year, and a pace that makes football look like drag racing…who’s the real blasphemer here?

Give me what should be a pretty exciting triathlon any day.

“Crikey! This is a beauty of a flame! Suey, come here, girl. Stay away from that. Now why would anyone want to hunt the docile freshies? Hang on, I’m just going to jump on the other side of this…”

BTW, have you seen the Fed Ex commercial? ROFL

Have any of you heard that Australia is enlisting a kangaroo in their high jump squad? Boy, that’s gonna be so cool to watch. A marsupial in the Olympics! Can’t wait.