When I was a kid, I remember Walter Cronkite doing the 1960 Winter Olympics from Squaw Valley, California. Oh, I was excited because I would take a vegetable brush my mom got from the Fuller Brush guy and announce the skiing competition like Cronkite did. And every four years after that we’d watch constantly as the United States competed in the Summer and Winter Olympic Games.
I guess I grew up.
I haven’t watched an Olympics, summer or winter for probably 20 years. I don’t have the stomach for the crappy TV coverage, and judging by the latest ratings that NBC is putting up, I’m guessing you aren’t watching either? These Olympics from South Korea are the least watched Olympics of all time…some 30% lower in viewers than the Sochi Games in Russia four years ago. And when you consider that NBC is throwing all of their sports channels, their Spanish speaking channels, streaming on the internet and of course NBC into the mix, that is a staggering decline.
It isn’t because the US isn’t doing well. It’s because America has moved past the Olympics. They were a source of nationalistic pride for decades. Today, not so much. We are more concerned with things going on here at home…things like protecting our borders, getting rid of Obamacare so that people on individual coverage can actually obtain health insurance without screwing around and taking a second or third mortgage on the house out.
We’re more concerned with school shootings, and tax cuts, and a booming economy. The left is concerned with “Russian collusion”, and figuring out the latest way to impeach Trump.
We’ve moved on from the Olympics. It’s sad in a way because those athletes devote their lives to winning medals. They strive for years just to be good enough to compete. And it’s looking like America, which always accounts for most of the viewership, just doesn’t care anymore. I feel sorry for those kids, but in reality, I’m not watching the Olympics. It’s not out of protest…I think the coverage just got too schmaltzy. It got too emotional. It got too fake. And that tarnished what was important, at least to me…that was the actual athletic competition.
When NBC took over the Olympics from ABC, the whole timbre of the games changed. It was no longer about the sport. It was about the personalities. It was about all of the announcers. It was about moving The Today Show to Sochi. It was about Matt Lauer’s pink eye. Those things became as big of a headline as the reason they were there. In short, NBC has ruined the Olympics with coverage that is terrible. And from what I hear, it’s still terrible. I wouldn’t know because frankly, we’re watching Celebrity Big Brother during this two week period. And frankly, that is no picnic either. How much Omarosa can one person take? My guess is about 3 minutes in a lifetime.
No, the Olympics were special. But they need to go the way of the original Greek games. Maybe in 100 years or so they can be revived. Until then, let’s get back to real life, shall we?
Carry on world…you’re dismissed!