Olympics? OVERRATED to say the very least

The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro was held last night. It was on the big screen at Buffalo Wild Wings in Kansas City, but I did my best to focus on the other big screen, where the Blue Jays-Royals game was playing, and my trivia screen.

I cannot stand the Summer Olympics. Let me put it this way: I would get more severe heartburn watching the Summer Olympics than I would eating a dozen of the hottest wings at B-Dubs.

I watched the Olympics in 1984. I was young and didn’t know any better. Everyone was watching in the summer of 1984, at least in the United States. The games were being held in Los Angeles, and the networks rallied around the Stars and Stripes and urged Americans to do their patriotic duty and cheer on the Americans. It became a much more patriotic endeavor after the Soviet Union and most Eastern Bloc and Communist nations boycotted. Notice I said “most”, because Romania and China defied the boycott. In fact, the Romanians were more popular than any non-American athletes.

I was sick with the chicken pox during the 1984 Winter Olympics in Sarajevo. The winter always fascinated me much more than the summer.

I watched the 1988 Winter Olympics from Calgary religiously. I did a sixth grade project on bobsledding.

I watched the first half of the 1988 summer games from Seoul.

On the evening of September 23, 1988, my views on the Olympics changed drastically.

That Friday evening, Canadian Ben Johnson ran the 100-meter dash final in 9.79 seconds, setting a new world record. He beat out 1984 gold medalist Carl Lewis of the USA to do so, and the NBC announcers were worshiping Johnson as if he were the new Adonis.

Over the weekend, it came apart.

As CBS and NBC televised week 4 of the NFL that Sunday, breaking news from Seoul reported Johnson failed a drug test. Steroids.

Goodbye Olympics.

Since that fraudulent race, I have barely watched the Olympics.

I’ll never forget in 1996. My father and I went to a Yankees-Rangers game in Arlington on our way to Kansas, and the Rangers showed the men’s 200-meter dash final on the big screen television. Most everyone cheered as Michael Johnson won the gold. I could have cared less.

I got nauseated in 2008 when Michael Phelps was given the Jesus treatment. NBC and the other networks shamed those who didn’t like or didn’t care about Phelps as anti-American. I guess I’m anti-American. I don’t like Michael Phelps. I don’t care about Michael Phelps.

I don’t care about swimming, period. I don’t care about gymnastics, period. And frankly, if I didn’t spend nine years going to endless track and field meets, I wouldn’t care about that sport, either.

Those three sports are all the networks care about at the Olympics. Men’s basketball was an afterthought until the NBA first allowed its players to participate in 1992.

I tweeted last night the only way I would watch the Olympics is if I were forced to watch TV, and the only choices were that and Seinfeld. As much as I don’t like the Olympics, I despise Seinfeld.

About David

I am a sportswriter for a group of weekly newspapers in small towns across northern Kansas. I grew up in New Orleans, went to college at LSU and wandered in the wilderness until Hurricane Katrina finally put me on the path to my current job.

Posted on August 6, 2016, in Personal, Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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