This morning I was driving to work and contemplating all the talking about the Olympics and I must say that I heard a few things that made me think. I have been mostly sarcastic and critical of the commentators so far but this time I must give my props. In an interview with Mike and Mike on ESPN radio with Colin Cowherd filling in for Mike Greenberg I heard Al Michaels say this in paraphrase…
“I don’t take much stock in the negative commentary of the coverage. It’s the same every two or four years. Leading up to the games it’s all the concern about security, traffic and long lines for tickets. When the games start it’s all about the coverage, the time delay and the dramatization of the human interest stories. They just regurgitate the same negative commentary over and over again in every Olympics. I’ve been here for 40 years since Sapporo in 1972 and the only difference is that there are more venues for people to be heard nowadays. With Twitter, blogs and an unlimited amount of radio and TV outlets everybody gets a chance to get their opinions heard.”
Perfect Al! That is exactly what I was thinking. Too many chances for people with no expertise (including me) to say whatever they want. It just doesn’t matter!
Then Colin Cowherd said something that was even more revealing for me. I don’t even like him in general but I love what he said here. He said this, “The Olympics aren’t sport, they are a movie. I watch the Shawshank Redemption every time I see it come on TV and I already know how it ends. It doesn’t matter to me. It’s the same with the Olympics. I may hear what has already happened on time delay but I’m going to watch it anyways. It’s the theater about the family that decided not to move their 14 year old daughter to Colorado and instead stayed close to home with the inferior coach. That matters to me more than the result. We don’t bet on the Olympics. We don’t have Olympic fantasy teams like we do for football, hockey or basketball. We are watching a well choreographed movie and story and that’s what makes the Olympics great!”
Touche Colin. I couldn’t have said it better myself. It’s not about the news or the score. The thing that makes the Olympics great is the intangibles. Why must me discount those. Instead we should celebrate them!