Tuesday, August 9, 2016

Back to Olympus, Please

I have the most fond memories of the Olympics.  Was it that I was young and idealistic or has it been compromised so much that it now is just annoying?  NBC has been the home of the games since 1988.  My most vivid memories are the ABC years.  Who can ever forget Howard Cosell's voice and the exquisitely painful coverage of the Munich games?  Not that NBC was the first not to broadcast events live, but they have taken it to ridiculous and annoying levels.  The manipulation is so apparent.  They show only what they deem worthy, edited and cut to the enth degree.  Tim Daggett, the male gymnastics analyst, almost single-handedly ruins the beauty and greatness of the athletes. I'm not even sure if his voiceover is in the actual moment or done in the studio after.  Swimming has been both great and has been deservedly criticized by much of its sexist comments by the NBC talking heads.  

What has really gotten my goat?  The USA men's and women's basketball teams.  Their ridiculous privileged accommodations is why people hate America.  Seriously?  You are all too great to stay in the Olympic village?  If you haven't read or heard, they commissioned the Silver Seas cruise ship for their stay.  Plush rooms, beds, food, air conditioning, spa, etc. If that doesn't give them an unfair edge, I don't know what does.  It's equal to me as taking steroids for athletes.  To be honest, I was pleasantly surprised that they included the women's team on the ship.  This illustrates exactly why it should only allow amateurs in the Olympics.  If these professional athletes can't be equal to all the other players, they shouldn't be allowed to compete.  I think it is a disgrace.  Seriously, why in the world should they have fist class accommodations while other NBA stars from around the world are living in too short of beds for their countries?  I heard someone on ESPN say that they'd be swarmed in the Village.  Well, then don't compete.  Only amateurs.  I never liked the influx of pros.  Feels very unfair and egotistical or jingoistic.  Think about this a bit, and hey, what a global humiliation if the teams don't bring home the Gold.  You set yourselves up.

The USA Women's Gymnastics team is stellar.  Some say the best ever.  The talent and precision of each of these "women's" routines are at such a height of perfection.  What I can't believe or get over is that only the top 24 women get to compete in the much coveted all-around, but no more than two from each team.  That is the dumbest thing I've ever heard.  It didn't used to be like that and I'm not sure when it changed, but it now really isn't the top 24. I understand that the IOC didn't want all the top spots by a couple of teams, but you can't call it top 24 anymore.  That Gabby Douglas didn't make it because she finished 3rd in our team's scoring is ridiculous.  So, time to re-think or re-name this supposed and not top 24.  The women's finals are tonight.  It should be spectacular.  Don't miss it and remember, it's not technically the top 24 competing. 

There have been a lot of decries of sexism by the announcers.  Particularly by the swimming announcers.  Al Trautwig had to apologize for making comments that Simone Biles parents aren't her "real" parents because she was adopted.  Wow, it's 2016.  Tim Daggett and the NBC producers should not speak during the gymnastics routine and allow us, the viewer, to have the experience.  Way too much talking.  NBC needs to put tiny little flags in the swimming lanes so we can keep track of who is in which lane during the races.  They do it in rowing, so it's possible.  

I can clearly state that I don't like beach volleyball as an Olympic sport.  It should have stayed a fantastically fun recreational activity.  I think the big draw for many is watching women in bikinis jumping up and down. It began as fun at the beach and has continued to be the same at the Olympics.  I am not saying that the athleticism isn't great, that's not what I'm saying at all, but they don't give the same air time to indoor volleyball.  The men's beach volleyball team are not half naked, either, shorts and tank top.  I have a lot of problems with the dress code for many of the women's sports.  Just keep it in mind while you're watching.  We continue to live in a very sexist world. It may not be obvious, but it's there.  Just keep it in mind. The men are fully dressed and the women at every opportunity are not. I know, sex sells, it just shouldn't be at the expense of the incredible athletes.  I think it demeans and diminishes their greatness.  Be aware and come to your own conclusions.

Sidebars:  I can't handle all the politics so the Olympics with all it's flaws and annoyances are a great diversion.  I will still torture myself with politics, I can't help it, but this is a much needed break. It is revelatory to see how many stations NBC owns.  It becomes clear during these two weeks when they take over MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, USA, and I can't find a re-run of Law and Order.... -- It's that time of year again when the college kids are beginning to pack up and go to school.  My baby boy leaves this week and my baby girl in two.  Another adjustment period. To those of you first timers sending your kids to college, keep breathing.  It feels overwhelming but you'll get used to it.  When they transition, you can find satisfaction that you let them go.  Breathe.... -- Ah, those hot, muggy summer days.  We are definitely in August.  Stay cool, drink water, and don't over do it.  Enjoy!

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