I’m about to admit something that few sane people would ever admit. I know it will bring me ridicule but I just have to get it off my chest. I have to tell someone.
I don’t give a *bleep* about the Olympics. Not a bit.
Okay, that might be an exaggeration. I’ll watch the soccer matches, and also the volleyball. I may watch some of the basketball games, but I’m sure it won’t total five full minutes of viewing (dis)pleasure. None of this makes me sound like a meat eating, beer swilling hot-blooded American but that’s my story.
And that right there is the problem ladies and gentlemen. Story. I have no clue as to who most of these people are, what they’ve done, where they’ve been. There’s no back story, no context. All that to say this:
I DON’T CARE!
And I’m sad about that. I really am, but that’s how it is. And it’s the fault of whoever runs the public relations department of the IOC. How hard could it be to find a handful of surefire Olympians and pump a few feel good stories to the international public? Look how quickly information was disseminated about Jeremy Lin, and he isn’t someone who was going to perform on the worlds’ stage. Besides Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay and Ryan Lochte I didn’t know any of the names attached to most of the events on display, and I realize that it’s been that way for me for years. I feel like I’m missing out on something when I hear people talk about the Opening Ceremonies as if they were appointment viewing. There is a loneliness that claws its way into my soul when I see my wife sitting on the edge of her seat, cheering on someone I don’t know for some event I have no interest in. I feel like the boy in the bubble, cursed to watch but never participate.
But that’s just the loneliness of not being included in the “in-crowd.” I’ve been asked to sit at the kids table during Thanksgiving dinner, banished from taking part in the adult conversation. But is all this Olympic love really adult conversation? How many people know more about the participants than I do? Is all this excitement just awful side effects of the Red/White/Blue fever that grips them every four years, forcing them to sit and stare at the screen and pretend they care? Without stories, without context, what do we have? There is no villain to root against…well there is, but the villain is us, and the rest of the world gets off hating on our athletes. And it used to be different. We used to have the Führer, Communism or social wrongs to root against during the Olympic Games. We loved crushing the Russian hockey team, loved watching John Carlos and Tommy Smith hold up their powerful fists. Now what we have to watch are corporate logos and Michael Phelps swimming and some overpaid basketball players actually get called for travelling. Not my idea of fun.