Timeout with Tambo: Viewing the XXX Olympics

I am not the world’s biggest fan of the Olympic Games.

However, I am one of the world’s biggest fans of American athletes. So I have been watching the replays at night from Hawaii. My computer got a virus, so I couldn’t cheat and check the Internet for the results and make sucker bets. I guess I haven’t quite caught the Olympic spirit.

While watching the Games of the XXX Olympiad, I have pondered several questions. One guy at a bar in Kona thought that the Olympics were so dirty that they got an XXX rating. I guess that he didn’t have the Olympic spirit or understand Roman Numerals.

Here are some of the questions that crossed my XXX (as in 30) mind.

Is NBC covering the Olympics and letting the games produce the stars or is NBC trying to produce the stars to get higher ratings? They don’t have to do that unless you consider a “Dog the Bounty Hunter” marathon an attempt to compete.

Why is swimming and gymnastics only important every four years? There has to be a meet every week or so. Why all the drama during the Olympics?

How many times do we have to see the same shots of parents? Wouldn’t it be better to show shots of athletes in sports that are not being covered as fully as the major Olympic sports? There are no minor surgeries and there are no minor sports.

How can a sport with subjective scoring be a sport? I truly believe that gymnasts are among the best athletes in the world. They have strength, stamina, skill, flexibility and unlimited courage. But the scoring is totally subjective. I grew up (or at least was young) during the Cold War and I remember Eastern Bloc judges cheating divers, gymnasts, and boxers (Jesse Valdez). I understood why. If they didn’t, they would end up in a gulag or in a resort in Siberia.

So why do we have sports that have subjective scoring? How many people that watch Olympic gymnastics actually understand the scoring system? My guess is less than 1 per cent.

In wrestling there are ways to score points. In boxing, pro and amateur, a scoring system should be implemented, or go back to the old days. The first guy or gal that doesn’t answer the bell is the loser.

The score should be visible at all times like in baseball, basketball, volleyball and other sports.

Soccer should have a visible clock. Too much power and responsibility is given to that guy in the funny shorts and the colored cards. Not just in the Olympics but in every soccer game. We have visible clocks at frosh football and basketball games. Why can’t there be a visible clock at a soccer match?

How come the athletes with the best scores don’t advance to the individual championships in gymnastics? In other Olympic sports the best advance. Why not gymnastics?

How much did Michael Phelps get to wear those fancy headsets before races?

Is Missy Franklin what we wish all athletes would be? Athletes who win medals get compensated. They also can make money from endorsements.

Missy is entering her senior year at Regis Jesuit High School and will not take the compensation so that she can compete with her high school teammates and then go on to college and compete in college. She is actually planning on attending classes in college. If she goes to college in the Big Ten can she sell her medals? She has to claim her medals on her income tax report. That is the law.

How come they took baseball and softball out of the Olympics and kept some of the less than exciting sports that NBC shows after everybody goes to bed? Why didn’t the Brits bring back croquet? The host nation gets to add a sport.

How come everybody is concerned about the concussions in football and nobody complains about men’s and women’s boxing? Has anybody seen Muhammad Ali, who won a gold medal as Cassius Clay, lately?

Were all of the glamour shots of the Fab Five appropriate for teenage girls?

After the Beijing games did we really expect Michael to better his performance in London?

Can the poolside interviewers come up with any new questions after the races? Will they ask the same questions in track? Will they try to interview the winner of the marathon three minutes after he or she crosses the finish line?

“When did you know you had the race won?” “I won?”

“Do the people who have electricity and televisions in your country get our feed?” “I don’t know any of the people who have electricity or televisions.”

“Why did you start running marathons?” “To get to the next village.”

With the Cold War over, why do we still have politics in the Olympics?

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Posted by Karen Brainard on Aug 8 2012. Filed under Columnists, Columns, Sports, Time Out With Tambo, Timeout with Tambo. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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