Faster, Higher, Something Something

August 8, 2012


(WARNING: THE FOLLOWING IS AN OLD-PEOPLE RANT) Are you enjoying the Olympics? Me, neither. There are many things going against the Summer Olympics this year, many things that one hopes are a one-time thing. Most obvious, these are the 2020 Olympics, and this is 2021. The games were postponed because of the outbreak of Covid-19 last year. The Olympic organizers, along with everyone, had hoped things would be back to normal by the summer of 2021, which they aren’t. Just as the hype was cranking up this spring, the host country experienced a serious uptick in Covid-19 infections. In one of those compromises that have become so familiar, it was decided the games would be held, but there would be no spectators. Let’s be real: what are spectator sports without spectators? That is not to criticize the wisdom of organizers. I’m just saying it is one thing that takes away from the quadrennial “spectacle.” And the host country is Japan. This is a more familiar problem. Whenever games are held in places like Asia or Australia, it is problematic for us on the other side of the world, particularly for NBC, which paid handsomely for broadcast rights. Most events we see on television occurred 12 hours ago. How do you hold the public’s suspense for 12 hours in this day and time? Which brings us to the Internet. There is so much competing entertainment and information and cat-related content out there that no one feels forced to watch track and field or swimming, especially when they can hardly avoid knowing what happened already. On top of it all, do we really want to watch professional golfers and basketball players and football (soccer) players compete for the jollies of adding an Olympic medal to their trophy case? This all adds up to, Things just ain’t what they used to be!

33 thoughts on “Faster, Higher, Something Something”

  1. Yep, that’s an old person’s rant. I remember hearing similar some 50 years ago or so. And I said it myself just the other day. It’s reruns for me. Added to the summer reruns is COVID-19 already watched shows I would have never considered all over cable. I’ve been watching reruns of the Barney Miller TV show from the mid 1970s. It is still quite funny, entertaining, extremely well done. And it is amazing how the issues of 45 years ago haven’t changed much at all. It puts ‘change’ in perspective.

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  2. I never thought I’d see “cat-related” and “entertainment” in the same sentence. The neighbor’s cat just scratched my dog yesterday, come to think of it. And for a friendly hello!

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  3. Old person counter-point: I don’t mind knowing the winners ahead of time – I just really enjoy watching the athletes perform: gymnastics, diving, rock climbing, & skateboarding – things I did in my younger days, but would never have believed how far those sports have come!

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  4. Amen.
    Sun Lee has committed to Auburn, a school some Villagers hold dear. My connection is more tenuous. My successor in Biology got her master’s and met her future husband at Auburn. She studied the beach mouse, Peromyscus polionotus, & occasionally interrupted mating in one of the higher primates. She is also principal flute in the Bemidji Symphony Orchestra.
    Peace,

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      • I went to school in a completely different corner of the country (NW rather than SE) and the closest I’ve ever come to Auburn is Atlanta. My daughter attended the same school up there in Ecotopia, and she majored in biology because at the time she wanted to apply to medical school, a plan she didn’t abandon until having completed all the courses in her major. So, right before the biggest pandemic the world has seen in the last century, she decided that a graduate degree in Public Health was an appropriate goal. Alas, the pandemic removed her chance to travel to a poor nation to study their Public Health infrastructure last summer. Now, she has to find an internship in one of the places she can actually travel to.

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  5. In 1996 in Atlanta they were trying out the new camera that hovered over the field using cables. It was hit by a women javelin thrower. Most exciting occurrence of the evening.

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    • Coincidentally, I happen to be in (well, near) Atlanta for work at present and I have a different rant. The local Atlanta TV station seems to think that Georgia has its own Olympic team (well, they do, but not the way they seem to think). During the lead-ins, they keep promising to show how the Georgian athletes are doing in the games, and then maybe some other Americans were ALSO there. Maybe we need to ask the Olympic organizers if we (the US) can have more than one team, they way they sometimes let the British split up and have teams from England and another from Scotland

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    • The broadcasters are still making money off of it, and they’re still paying to produce most of the programming that turns up on the streaming services.

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      • From what I have read, the best programming is on streaming. Television has been playing fourth fiddle for quite a while.

        Movie theaters are next.

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  6. I don’t watch television or follow the news cycle to keep from wasting my time. Waste my time worrying about the crud in the news cycle.
    I forgot the Olympics were on again. It was only a week or so ago I heard they were on and I wondered why they were in Japan.

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    • They built all these wonderfull facilties to hold the games and all the spectators, I hope Japan can eventually find a use for a giant swimming pool with seating for 20,000 people.

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  7. The women’s soccer team killed my interest with an early protest about something. Then the American star gymnast had a couple of bad events and withdrew. Not my idea of what our young people need to look up to, nor more interesting than Raymond reruns.

    But what time is beach volleyball…?

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  8. Beach volleyball is fun to watch, but my new favorite Olympic sport is BMX freestyle. If they’d made that a sport 50 years ago, I coulda been an Olympian.

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  9. I’m with you, Jill. I have been recording much of the Olympics and watching when I have time. And I am interested in watching the event, so I don’t mind if I happen to have read who won it. I don’t watch boxing, and I don’t know enough about fencing to understand what’s going on, but I like just about everything else.

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