Tuesday, February 21, 2006


Feeling Immune to Olympic Fever

In years past, I was a total Olympics sheep. I'd watch hours and hours of coverage of sports I don't normally give a rat's ass about. I was young and hypnotized: the perfect demographic for advertisers.

When else would I watch curling? Cross-country skiing? Ice Dancing? Biathlon? Does anyone watch downhill skiing at any other time?

Yet, there I was, glued to the couch/bed and in front of the TV, wide-eyed as I cheered on Canada and watched athletes with 'strange' names from strange places for 2 weeks straight.

During Nagano, I was in school full time and I wasted many nights staying up until 2 or 3AM watching the Winter Olympics. I had to skip many classes in the morning just to catch up on my sleep. Salt Lake City? It was easy to follow the games when the games were in our prime time.
Now? I don't feel nearly the same attraction to these games. I have certainly watched my fair share of the Olympics, but not nearly as much as I have in the past, and not with nearly the same enthusiasm. I actually turned away from curling and ice dancing, leaving my manhood intact. Don't most people find it hard to watch events that aren't live? There's so little tension, which is the biggest reason why people watch sports.

Now, there are more than enough news items about the Olympic ratings and how they are set to be the lowest ever for a Modern televised Olympics (since which year? I don't know, but it's all doom and gloom news).

It makes sense, really.

Torino is 9 hours ahead of us Best Coasters and 6 hours ahead of the Least Coasters. The events are taking place when we are either asleep, heading to work, or at work. I'd love to watch some of these hockey matches, but it's kind of hard when they are played at 11am and working folks don't get home for another 5-6 hours.

Watching replays later in the night doesn't hold nearly the same effect, and I am more likely just to look up the results online and watch something else (not American Idol, like so many lemmings here seem to do. What the hell is the attraction to that crap?).

What surprises me is that so many folks seem to be surprised that the ratings are 'surprisingly' so low? Umm, most people have jobs. Most people are not going to take vacation time to watch the Winter Olympics.

I'm not going to get into other phenomenon such as the Internet (apparently the websites are getting monster hit numbers), other options (Amerikan Idol), and lack of American dominance. The big factor is the time difference and everything else is just condimental (if that's even a word. If not, I take full credit for its invention).

Oh, happy day!

Slovensko beat Svedsko 3-0, giving the Slovaks an undefeated record heading into the playoff round.

Their reward? They get to play CZECHIA in the first knock-out game. *Sigh*. Even when the Slovaks do great, they somehow get screwed :(

Oh, but at least I won a certain bet. ;)

Canada could have been the opposition, but they beat the Czechs 3-2. From all accounts, Canada was severely outplayed (and outshot by nearly a 2:1 margin) and won thanks to the thankfully-he-didn't-suck great goaltending of my "favourite" Martin Brodeur. Is this going to stop the bleating and panicking of the Canadian press? Probably not. A win is what Canada wanted, but they certainly look shaky.

"Best Coasters"? More like "Wet Coasters".
i can't believe you passed up the chance to talk about the swedish coach actually telling the press they were contemplating throwing the game. 'oops--did i say that with my outside voice?'
You're right, Jes. At work we're doing an eight-page Olympic section everyday, but I think the interest in these games is about as low as I've seen it. At least with Nagano you could stay up late and watch the games.

I'm usually working nights, which means I can see the early morning events. Yay for that.
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