Five Rings and an I Don’t Give a Crap

by Ryan

It’s 4:55 AM and I’m watching baseball. Supposedly, this is live. The Estados Unidos de America is taking on the Netherlands in baseball somewhere in the shrouded nation that is China. I would mention something about lip syncing, CGI, or Buddhism, but I don’t want to wake up tomorrow morning in a box somewhere. The People’s Republic is good like that.

You know what, I’m too tired to finish this. I’ll talk to you in the morning.

—-

Good Morning.

Sorry to leave you, but in a way leaving like that proves my point. The Olympics just don’t do it for me. There, I said it.

Now don’t get me wrong, I’ve been watching them off and on. This is a matter of simple convenience, however. The time frame for the live broadcasts are perfect for my insomnia, and so I can watch a few hours each night just because of the fact that there’s nothing else on that late.

This year works out, but not many other years have. Torino didn’t work, so I didn’t watch. Athens was iffy at best, and Australia was a mess. I don’t remember anything from those Olympics at all. In fact, the only games I remember with any fondness are the 2002 games in Salt Lake City. This is because I had the flu the entire time and watched almost everything that was on. It was soap operas or the Olympics, so I went with the hockey and didn’t look back.

Here’s the thing about the Olympics: while they are at least mildly entertaining, the don’t really do anything special for me. Here’s my benchmark for “anything special”: I change my schedule to watch them. My live circulates around football and hockey, and I can’t say I have the same enthusiasm for the games.

Sure, Phelps is a beast and I’ve seen a few of his races, but I just happened to be near a TV at the time. I didn’t change my evening to revolve around his gold metal chase, and I certainly didn’t stay glued to the television for gymnastics.

That’s another problem with the Olympics: they try to make you care about events that you only watch once every four years. At the end of the games, you aren’t even going to think about them until a torch gets lit in England. No one is going out there to practice their javelin toss, and god forbid you try to play water polo in your above ground swimming pool.

Have you seen a water polo match on TV? People that say hockey is unwatchable on television have never seen Olympic athletes splashing each other competitively. It’s amazing officials can even call fouls. All you can see is a mess of splashes, then they show the replay and the girl from the Ukraine is mauling the one from China like a bear. Crazy.

The only positive impact the Olympics have on you is this: even though you may have never seen an event in your life, the moment you sit down to watch you become an expert in the field. It’s just like when you go to the movies; you instantly know how a movie will be based on the trailer.

You know you do it. Someone slips up on the uneven bars and you know they messed up. You may even scoff at them, knowing it was the easiest part of their routine. You analyze musical selections, disapprove of proper Sabre techniques, and elaborate on the differences between kayak gates.

To me, the only redeeming quality the Olympics give is the illusion that you know something. Every four years, we become experts on the things we have no freaking clue about. It is a whimsical time, full of track and field and handball.

I’m not knocking the Olympics, really. Just doubting their significance. Nationalism aside, the Olympics is a nice change of pace to my Adult Swim viewing habits and nothing more. To others they mean more, and that’s why we watch the game/competition/arbitrary scoring event judged by partial human beings/match. Or… something.