Sometimes I just have to go off-topic to rant about something I find to be particularly annoying. Like the Olympics.
In case you’ve been living off-planet for awhile, you know that the London Olympics start tomorrow. We know this because NBC has been reminding us for approximately two years with countdown graphics: “426 days until the London Olympics.” “279 Days Until the London Olympics.”
In fact, NBC’s relentless promotion is one of the reasons I find the Olympics annoying. By the time the games actually begin, I’ll already be sick of hearing about them. For the last month, nary a news show or a sporting event on the Peacock Network has gone by without a reminder. And don’t get me started on the near-constant “banner” ads at the bottom of the TV screen. Most of NBC’s programming is bad enough (American Ninja Warrior, really?) without having the picture obliterated by a reminder that the Olympics are coming. Of course, NBC has a lot riding on the Games; it’s their big chance to promote their fall prime time line-up. So you just know we’ll be seeing NBC personalities popping up all over the place. (“Oh, look, there’s Matthew Perry, star of the new NBC series Go On, handing Michael Phelps a towel!”). There will be so much cross-promotion going on, I’ll be surprised if the gymnastics judges aren’t seated on huge spinning chairs.
Then there are all the Olympics commercials. I’m not talking about commercials for the Olympics, I’m talking about ads for everything else that make some lame analogy to an Olympic sport. (“When I run in the Olympics, I want to take the Gold. But when I want to stop running, I take Imodium. Imodium, the official anti-diarrhea medicine of the Summer Olympics.”)
And what about this controversy about the U.S. team’s uniforms? Yes, it was incredibly stupid to have them manufactured in China. But frankly, I find it more offensive that the opening night “dress uniforms” have a huge Ralph Lauren Polo logo on the front. Not to mention that they make the athletes look like they’re cadets at some incredibly preppy military academy. As to their country of manufacture…has anyone ever looked into where many American flags are made?
You know what else is annoying? The U.S. Basketball Team. Yes, I get it. Other countries use professionals so why shouldn’t we? Simple reason: it’s not in the spirit of the games. Of course, with the rampant commercialism involved, the entire games are no longer in the spirit of the games. But there’s something about having billionaires slam dunk in the face of some poor guy from Lithuania that’s just too blatant. Jeez, the total net worth of our team is probably greater than the GNP of some of the countries they’ll be playing against.
And by the way, why is basketball a summer sport?
But my pet Olympic peeve is all the non-sport sports. There are way too many of them in the Winter and Summer Olympics. I think the International Olympic Committee should adopt The 10 Defining Laws of Sports for any future consideration of additional events:
It’s not a sport if…
- There are costumes instead of uniforms. (And especially if the costumes have sequins.)
- There is a choreographer involved.
- Music is an integral part of the event.
- The suffix “-capade” can be appended to the name of the event.
- The participants are routinely given flowers.
- “Turning pro” means dressing as a Disney character.
- There is no way for a regular person to know how well a participant is doing, beyond being fairly certain that a face plant is not a good thing.
- There’s a very fine line between the “sport” (top photo) and “Dancing With the Stars” (bottom–or is it the other way around?).
- The difference between winning and losing can come down to how you “stick the landing.”
- Results are determined solely by judges. If the winner is not determined by who went faster, farther, higher, heavier or longer, or who was left standing, it’s not a sport. Yes, I know, boxing matches are often decided by judges, but only as a second resort.
Sorry all you figure skaters, ice dancers, divers, gymnasts and synchronized swimmers, that’s the way it is. I’m not saying what you do is not athletic, I’m just saying it’s not a sport.
But then, this is not the official blog of the US Olympic Team.
See you soon.