Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Olympic Burnout


I'm a huge sports fan. I like sports of all sorts and will watch basically any sport on television. Back in the day, on Sundays, Dad and I would watch ABC's Wide World of Sports. That's where I learned to float like a butterfly, a` la Muhammad Ali, and do a running commentary, a` la Howard Cosell, of our boxing match which usually occurred in the living room and ended with me getting knocked in the head by my brother, with me trash-talking, "THIS IS HOWWORD COSELL, LIVE FROM the living room. WHAP! Down goes Palmer, down goes Palmer."

"You kids better stop that," mom would always say with the over-the-glasses look. "Somebody is going to get hurt."

I always liked to watch winter sports on television. My favorite sport was the ski jump and it was always exciting waiting to see if anyone was going to crash on landing. I tried to imitate those jumpers out back on the big hill but landed straight in the creek on more than one occasion.

I have been watching a lot of NBC's coverage of the XXX Olympiad. I have really enjoyed watching Michael Phelps becoming the best swimmer in the world and the young female swimmer, Missy Franklin, only 17, accomplishing things that most teenagers can only dream about. I would never have made it as a swimmer, though, because I never learned how to dive. The only thing I could ever master was a hard-hitting belly flop that left red marks on my torso and more water out of the pool than in.

One Olympic sport that I seem to be smothered with lately is beach volleyball. Don't get me wrong, I like volleyball, more inside volleyball than beach volleyball, but every time I turn on the television women's beach volleyball is on. I have practically memorized the patterns of the funky athletic tape that all of the athletes tend to sport these days.

I'm actually quite sick of it! How about some table tennis? What about boxing? What about fencing? I've yet to see any of these sports on my regular NBC station. Maybe in this age of reality television, the producers at NBC think that we must want to watch scantily clad women jumping around bare-booted in a pit of trucked in sand from God knows where.

Okay, maybe some people do. But, hello, it's Great Britain, it's 55° and rains everyday. I bet the players are really having a ball when conditions are like that.

So, NBC, why not have a contingency plan for when it rains? Why not ditch the beach volleyball for something less revealing, say, I don't know....men's diving?

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