How cool are the Olympic Games? I'll go ahead and answer that, but in terms my kids would use.
They're wicked hella filthy sick.
Which means really cool.
For ninety-nine percent of the participants, it's the one opportunity every one-thousand-four-hundred-and-sixty days to step from the shadows of obscurity and bask in the fuzzy warmth of a life's goal realized.
Most of these competitions aren't even televised during non-Olympic years, other than maybe sandwiched between Corn Confidential and How to Paint Your Fence the Same Color as That Thing Was Before on Wichita Public Access Television.
Yet before we're allowed to sink our incisors into some piping hot amateur boxing or beach volleyball, we're obligated to endure a five-hour Super Bowl halftime show to kick-off the fortnight.
I try, I really do. I want to like the opening ceremonies, and it is fun to watch nations like Cape Verde and Comoros and Lesotho prance down the track on equal footing with the superpowers.
But by and large, the Olympic opening ceremonies bore me to distraction. Remember that show with the purple dinosaur—Barney? Yeah, unfortunately, the lip-syncing and dancing and Manson family-esque facial expressions remind me of turning on Barney and ten thousand of his closest pals. It's a small world, after all.
Once the sports get going, though, nothing beats settling into the old barcalounger after a nice evening repast, firing up the black and white Zenith and tuning into events which transpired ten hours previously.
Seriously, I'm not bothered by the delay as much as some people. It's not like I'm going to get up at four in the morning or miss work during the day to catch the live feed. The networks have experienced this issue since Al Gore screwed the final tubes into his internet machine.
I am, however, here to offer some unsolicited advice to the National Broadcasting Corporation. These folks have taken a lot of heat over inadvertent spoilers, sappy cameos, and provincial slant to their coverage. If they could simply initiate a few informal chats with the International Olympic Committee to tweak a few of the events, I think the Olympics could gain unprecedented popularity and a television ratings windfall. Tape delay be damned.
Here are my suggestions, NBC:
1) Add a new event called team javelin—one thrower, one catcher.
2) Eliminate the shot put from the decathlon. In its place between the high jump and pole vault, each contestant must eat four sausage calzones.
3) Team diving will be modified slightly. The divers must exchange swimsuits before resurfacing.
4) Sorry, but China just isn't evil enough. The Games will hold one "Retro Day," where the Soviet Union and East Germany will return to compete. Performance enhancing drugs will be not only be allowed, they'll be encouraged. Due to the newfound hormonal equality, men's and women's swimming will be merged into "swimming."
5) Each men's 4 x 100 meter relay team must include one fifty-year-old male who's at least thirty pounds overweight. These men will run the anchor leg.
NBC will also alter a bit of its production. Bob Costas can never again refer to John McEnroe as "Johnny Mac," because no one has ever called him that and it's freaking stupid. Also, when a reporter asks a still-dripping swimmer who just finished fourth, "What were you trying to accomplish out there?" the reporter is entitled to an exclusive and immediate swim in the Olympic pool.
Oh, yeah, one more thing.