Yes, I'm watching as much Olympics as I can fit in. I love the Olympics.
But every Games, I get tired of hearing:
- Moaning about the commercialism of the Games. What's your alternative? They're pretty darned expensive to produce and broadcast around the world, you know. And just ask Jim Thorpe or Steve Prefontaine how well those old rules about amateurism worked for any Average Joe trying to make a living.
- Commentators bemoaning how much pressure is on the athletes and how they can't afford to make one mistake. Pressure is an inherent part of the competition and part of being a world-class athlete.
- Over-emphasis on American athletes in the coverage we receive on TV. I like to hear all the stories. (Hooray, Fabian !)
- Complaints about nationalism in the Games. I'd rather see it there than on the battlefield! From what I've seen over the years (and while attending four Olympic Games in person), most of the young people competing and their hosts are incredibly gracious good sports. Yes, there are always a few grating exceptions, usually in rabid fans.
- Stupid comparisons of various sports to American major-league sports, because that's all the commentator understands. Yesterday I heard two different comparisons of women's gymnastics to, of all things, baseball . Ugh. (Taken out of the Olympics because the dominant players wouldn't submit to routine drug-testing.)
- People comparing sports and saying this IS a sport or this ISN'T a sport or this sport is harder than this other sport, or this sport has more cheating than that sport (when usually the sport that suffers in the comparison is one they don't follow and don't understand). They're different, that's all, and if you follow any sport for a while you'll see the same intricacies and challenges are there in each sport, and human nature (for good or not) comes out in both the competitors and officials. A referee is nothing more nor less than a judge who makes qualitative judgment calls. The IOC makes difficult decisions each Games on which sports to include and which to exclude, and usually on average their rationales are pretty sound.
- The strictly indoor sports (i.e., basketball, indoor volleyball, gymnastics) need to be moved to the Winter Games to reduce the size of the Summer Games and even things out. I know the IOC considered this and rejected it, but I disagree and this is my rant. So there.
- There should be some international standards and inspections on the training of young athletes under the age of 12. Like training limited to 3 days per week and/or 14 hours per week, or something like that. I don't know the exact numbers, but making kids devote their entire life to a sport before the age of 12, while living in some remote training facility, is nothing short of child abuse.
- The American flag should never be used as a personal drape or wrapped around anyone's sweaty shoulders - I don't care how many medals you won. If you want to run with it around a stadium, use it properly displayed on a staff. If people from other countries want to do stuff with their own flag, that's their business.
- Stupid journalists saying that someone who earned an Olympic silver or bronze medal "fell short" or failed, etc., simply promote the asinine idea that second place is first loser. *shaking head*
- While I'm on my rant, any drug-testing lab that leaks "A" test results before an independent and conclusive analysis of the "B" sample, or tests any sample in a non-blind manner, should be fined the equivalent of $100,000 with the money going directly to the athlete in question, and the results should be officially declared "negative". Running lab instruments is only a small part of their job - confidentiality is one of their primary responsibilities.
- People's complaints about how they don't want to watch this sport or that sport, or claims that Sport X is pointless or boring. Part of the whole point of the Olympics is getting all the different sports disciplines together so that maybe athletes and spectators can learn about activities that they aren't otherwise exposed to. (I'm not a big fan of violent sports like boxing, but....). If you don't want to watch turn it off. Otherwise shut up and watch and you may learn something.