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The Olympics Are Boring and Disappointing This Viewer

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Sorry, GE/NBC, but I’m part of the reason your ratings are down this time.

Frankly, I miss Tonya Harding. Well, not her personally, but a controversy/news event of that caliber. This Winter Olympics has been, in Dawn’s words, “lame.”

There was the fracas about the speed skaters. I tried to get interested in it. I side with those thinking Shane Davis is the one who came off as professional, honest, and fair about the situation. Chad was rude and he came up with excuses for his bad boy behavior but none really justify his unsportsmanlike attitude. He can go off with Bode Miller and sit on the blowhard dumbass box for all I care.

But frankly, to me that debate was about as exciting as whether it should be called Turin or Turino.

And neither compare in interest, to me anyway, to the skating judge scandals of past years.

Maybe personal issues played a factor in my not catching the Olympic fever.
Maybe it’s because my back went out the first week of the Olympics and I got laryngitis while student teaching during the second week of the games. That’s why I did not have much TV time. But when I was at home by the television I’d turn on the Olympics and try to watch it.

I wanted to like it – really I did. But inevitably I’d tune in and see Bob Costas looking the same – as well as the same set – as four years ago. And he’d have that “I am so much smarter and funnier than anyone here so why can’t I get a real job” grin which irks.

Last night I tried again. I tuned in and caught the skiing. As NBC is wont to do, as soon as you get interested in one sports event they switch over to another, in this case figure skating. Then it was back to skiing.

And I wanted to get excited, really I did. But God, was the interviewing inane. It pained me. Sample interview with,I think, Julie Mancuso, who got the gold medal.

Reporter: Hey, skier who has worked for years to get here, what’s up with the delay on the starting time?

Skier: I dont know.

Reporter: Do you know the reason for the delay in the start?

Interpretation: I don’t know- do you know?

Skier: No. Maybe its the fog.

Reporter: So what do you do when there is a delay?

Skier: I, um, wait.

Okay, maybe that was just a bad interview. I could come up with ninety-nine better questions in my sleep, but maybe it was just a fluke.


Reporter: Hey skier, you had a great first run. So what are you going to do between the first and second round?

Skier: Wait and rest.

Reporter: There you have it.

No, I don’t have it. What I have is frustration city and I turn off the TV and download some more Blogcritics pieces to my laptop and decide to go read them on my laptop, in bed. It is more relaxing and more informative – not to mention more entertaining – than watching the real thing.

I noticed trends here at Blogcritics, which I’m calling the Alt-Olympics:

1) Instead of the biathlon we had satires about Cheney.

2) Instead of ski jumping we have writers jumping up and down on the Shane vs Chad debate.

3) I watched writers shoot down any criticism made by Natalie by calling her anti-American, as Dawn did here. I watch anyone critical of Shane make the difficult step of explaining that it is just a coincidence that the person they are criticizing is black and it doesn’t mean anything racial.

4) Watched Matthew try in vain to get anyone else interested in curling.

5) We enjoyed making fun of people’s hair.

6) But best of all, we have bloggers like Sal here telling us that it IS exciting after all.

As the Olympics comes to a close, my money is on Sal making at least one more hair joke, Natalie getting criticized again for her political views despite them being separate from her sports views, and Bode Miller will get maried to his ego.

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • Nigel Pond

    Here’s a suggestion – head over to Google Video and search for videos of the BBC’s Top Gear auto show, in particular the Car Winter Olympics show. Much more fun than the real Olympics…

  • Scott Butki

    Oh I had not heard Letterman’s quote – I love it.

  • Steve Sklar

    I admit I watched a fair amount of the Olympics, as I always do. Regardless of my actual level of athletic participation at any given time, I am a perennial reliable coach potato (potatoe). But boy am I glad it’s over. Reason: I am more non-corporate than I am corporate. Definition of corporate for this post: having a large ownership stake in, being a highly place executive at, or being an owner or executive wannabe regarding, a large corporation (such as GE/NBC).

    Corporate reaction to Bode Miller’s failure to win medals: outrage. What did we pay you all that sponsorship money for, why did we hype you at great cost? How dare you.

    Non-corporate reaction: Who cares? One athlete fails to win; others win. We get to watch the competition either way. (Did love the Letterman quote, however: this just in: Bode Miller has tested negative for gold medals.)

    Corporate reaction to U.S. winning less medals than were theoretically possible: what a tragedy.

    Non-corporate reaction: who cares? (See previous comment.)

    Corporate reaction to NBC’s ratings being down: (see last Sunday Times’s Sports section; it’s right in there) this is right up there as a major story along with Miller and the U.S. medal count. How awful. (9-11 and now this.)

    Non-corporate reaction: We could give a shit.

    Thank you.

  • Scott Butki

    Oh yeah he can be a has been on that reality show of has beens

  • Bode Miller

    I smell a reality show or at least “Celebrity Quarters”.

  • Scott Butki

    Matthew: I didn’t see much feedback to your posts. If I’m wrong my apologies.
    I was just joshing – no offense was intended. I think Britney could appear to curl her hair during a curling game and it would still appear boring to many.

  • “Watched Matthew try in vain to get anyone else interested in curling.”

    Please tell us all, citing evidence, that this is accurate, Scott.