When I was a kid, it seems like everyone was into the Olympics. Now, I know this is the Winter Olympics (not summer) . . . but, still it seems as if people used to be a lot more excited about these games. In talking with people . . . I think there a lot of people who feel the same way. And, I have been trying put my finger on why. I think there are a few key reasons:
(1) No cold war. I think this really helped the Olympics. When the tiny U.S. hockey team took on the hockey giants of the U.S.S.R. in 1980, the world watched. Everyone was in into the game. Everyone felt nationalistic pride after we received a gold medal. But, if the U.S. hockey team were to make it into the title game today . . . would people feel that way all over again? I don’t think so.
(2) Technology and information flow. Right now, you can get on the Internet and find out how every one of the athletes are fairing at the moment. So, why would you sit around and watch TV for 3 hours tonight when you can be watching “Dancing with the starts” or some other trash television – when you can find out the outcome in front of your computer right now, instead of reading this blog. I have felt this same feeling when I TIVO’d football games. I am a Vol fan. And, I had a game this year where I had to TIVO the game because I was out doing errands while the game was on. I shunned away from every television I saw until I got back home. But, I must admit that the game lost its pizazz (if that is how you spell it) – knowing that it was over before I even started watching it.
(3) These sports are not what we are accustomed to. People like things they are comfortable with. As Americans, you may like football. You understand football. The kids down the street play football. Football is – for the lack – of a better word – “American”. But, who does curling? Do the kids on your block “curl”? Doubtful. It is hard to relate.
I have been philosophying lately about why the Olympics just don’t mean what they used to. These are just a few of my thoughts. But, I would love to hear yours.