The Eclectic

Time moves in one direction, memory in another. – William Gibson

Why I’m not watching the Olympics

Posted by David Leslie on February 13, 2006

I was a major Olympics geek. Note the term was. I was the guy who liked the up close and personals, got chills when Al Trautwig would do the narration over the thematic music matched to the moment. But with the removal of softball from the 2012 London Games, I can’t turn away anymore from the joke the Olympics have become.

The first sign things were heading south was the ‘Dream Team’ in 1992. Sent to Barcelona by a pissed off National Basketball Association who after the loss of the last college team in 1988 had, with the IOC’s blessing, taken over control of USA Basketball so that professionals could now play in the Olympics.

 Next was Atlanta. Or I should say the ticket prices for Atlanta. Come watch the ‘children of the world’ compete if you are a guest of a cooperate sponsor. All others will pay about a 1/3 of a year’s salary for a packet of 6 qualifying events from the nose bleeds in sports you never heard of before.

 By 2002 Salt Lake, the corporations might as well start picking teams with the networks consulting. ‘Prize Money’ was the buzz word in the major events where it wasn’t a poor college kid working his tail off for a dream but rather a 16 year old with $2 million in the bank from that year already with a pushy stage parent who could afford to have their kid coached by the national team coach. Sure you could find a broke college student but they were either in a team sport or in something you never heard about but had a training fund and a job provided by ‘sponsors name goes here’

Then you have the Euros who run the IOC. The IOC is just one major kleptocracy dressed up as a ‘movement’. They get cities to all but write each IOC member a personal check every year when selections come up for the rights to spend themselves broke trying to ‘host’ the games all while begging corperations to come help them while the IOC then pimps the TV and ad rights for billions.

But the dropping of baseball and softball pushed me over. Baseball was dead sport walking. MLB not willing to stop its season for 2 weeks told the IOC to kiss it and the IOC fat from the whole ‘Dream team’ experance expects leagues to bow to ‘the movement’. Softball is not a Euro sport. Plus the fact the USA has won the last 3 Olympics just reminded the Euros that they suck at it. Its a pacific rim sport with the best players coming from nations near or on the Pacific. But remember, the IOC is a Euro organization. So if the Euro don’t like it, then its out. What about Africa you ask? They vote they Euro line or else risk not getting invited to make the trip to get those checks the cities hand out.

I’ll watch the 2008 Games but as for 2006 and after that, well, lets say I’m not setting up the recorder to catch events like I used to.


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