Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Snow! And Ice! And TV Ratings!

I heard a piece on NPR's Talk of the Nation today about the upcoming Winter Olympics in Torino, Italy. (Yes, much of my news from the world of sports comes from NPR. Shut it.) My first thought was "Huh, what? Olympics? Already?" I hardly remember the last ones, but OK. NPR wouldn't lie to me. (Except for that time they told me Al Gore won Florida. Jerks.)

Then my superior math skills kicked in and reminded me that the last round of Winter Olympics was indeed four years ago, and the reason I don't remember them is because I was working my ass off in grad school, and among going to class, writing papers, teaching a class and looking for a job, I didn't have time for laundry or getting my hair cut, let alone some frivolous display of worldwide goodwill and sportsmanship and blah, blah, blah. They were in the United States, right? Somewhere with snow maybe?

My next thought was, "People I do not have time to watch all of the bazillion hours of Olympic programming I'm sure you have in store for me." I love sports. LOVE. All of them. Even the wacky ones like curling and hockey. But unless there's some way to condense all the really important moments into a nice two-hour time slot on Sunday afternoon (and I don't mean the photo-montage-with-cheesy-background-music-just-before-the-closing-ceremony), then I'm going to have to rely on NPR's coverage. Yes, sporting events lose a little something when reported on the radio, but I'll get over it. can fill in the gaps with some pretty pictures.

The real disappointment, though, will be missing out on those pieces where athletes share their How I Triumphed Over Adversity stories with Bob Costas and the rest of the nation (also with cheesy background music). But that's ok. While the rest of you are blubbering about how Hot New Figure Skater's mom drove him to the ice rink every morning until she was diagnosed with a rare circulatory condition that prevents her from being in air-conditioned buildings and now she is relegated to watching him on TV from their home in Houston, where it is never below 98 degrees, I can just tap my memories of Nike's 1995 ad campaign touting the benefits to young women of participating in organized sports. "If you let me play, I am more likely to..." resist drugs, graduate high school, leave an abusive partner, be elected President, etc. I teared up when I saw it the first time. And the eighty millionth. Clearly these were so moving that eleven - e-lev-en - years later I still remember them. (But can't remember the 2002 Winter Olympics. Nice.) Stupid Nike marketing geniuses, I don't even like your shoes, just your commercials.

Anyway, the opening ceremony will be broadcast Friday, February 10 at 8pm. I assume that's EST, but advise you to check your local listings. And go team!


At Wed Feb 08, 11:32:00 PM PST, Anonymous lori said...

Come on, everyone has time for curling! The men--they sweep! And it's a sport! That'll do, IOC, that'll do.

At Thu Feb 09, 02:10:00 PM PST, Anonymous Anonymous said...

They still hold the olympics? Wow. Never would have known.

I can name exactly four Olympic locations: Athens (I mean the first one), LA (because we all ate a lot of free McDonald's since the Soviets boycotted so we won everything) and Lake Placid, because we beat the damn Russians in hockey. Although, sady, Lake Placid made a broadcasting star out of Al Michaels and we've had to suffer this self-important hack ever since. Worst sports broadcaster EVER, except for Brent Musberger. It's just not fair to include Brent in a ranking of bad sports broadcasters since he so far outclassed all others in the field of sucking.

The good news: we won't have to watch NBC's awful shows (except My Name is Earl and The Office - both already classics and TiVo worthy).

At Wed Feb 15, 01:08:00 PM PST, Anonymous The Mayor of Penn Quarter said...

Hockey is now "wacky"? You grew up in can't be wacky when its the only sport the Badgers are any good in....


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