Saturday, August 11, 2012

Shut Out in the Medal Count

I understand that soon the Olympic distractions will be but memory and we will be faced with the awful reality of the political Olympics commencing with the Republic crowning of someone seeking to be the bane of my existence for the next 4 years. But, next time that the summer games returns and gives us refuge from the political storms, I ask that I be in charge of the remote control. Enough with beach volleyball from beginning to its Misty conclusion. Lay off the preliminary, beginning, commencement, starting, first round triple spins and belly flops in the pool. Myopia does not even come close to describing what we missed.

I get that there are 3 million hours of broadcasting, and that I can watch badminton somewhere on the dial or my phone or computer until I see birdies (or  triple bogies, in the case of this year's calamities in that venue) in my sleep. But life, and my own limitations, direct me to NBC and the prime time viewing as my source for Olympic coverage.

These games are intended to showcase the best in all fields of athletic endeavor. They are meant to acquaint  and enthrall us with demonstrations of brilliance by men and women who have devoted most of their lives to being able to reign supreme in this tiniest sliver of time. Why can't we be educated and engrossed in the art of fencing or archery, sailing or rowing? What makes these undertakings of so little prime time merit? Like so much else in our existence, I feel like I am being led to my conclusions rather than reaching the answers on my own.

I fully comprehend that an evening of handball, boxing and weightlifting might not seem like the most compelling. But that is not because my years have been spent in passionate pursuit of everything volleyball or10 meter diving. Even the wonderful US women's soccer team got short shrift.

These 17 days of coverage should be as breathtaking as the events. They should make us feel the magic and understand the merit of as many of these athletes as the screen will hold. I want to be seated in the kayak as water and boat do battle, and stand 20 feet from the table to retrieve a smash from a table tennis wizard. I want Bob Costas to devote time to the trials and tribulations of weightlifters.

So,yes, Misty is mystical and Gabby is glorious. Michael is unmatched and Usain monumental. But the Olympic coverage is none of these things and is less than it can and should be. NBC, you have 4 years until the Summer Games return. I would suggest that you spend that time, like all of these athletes, in practice and more practice so that when the next time comes around, you can go for the gold.


Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. So i ended up watching lots of reruns on CBS

Anonymous said...

So very correct. The NBC coverage was not exciting. It lacked a sense of what it takes to get there, and more importantly lacked each participant's story of how they got there. It's the journey in life that gives our lives meaning, and is therefore of greater interest.