The 2012 Summer Olympics in London have officially wrapped up. Well, at least we think they have, there may still be games that NBC is waiting to air on tape delay, and promote their newest terrible sitcom, next week for all we know. If we believe the prevailing theory that the closing ceremonies mark the actual end of the Olympiad, then we can move forward with life, accept that the Olympics are over, thank our lucky stars, and look forward.
Yes, the summer games are much more conducive to Americans winning medals than are the winter games. Americans like to watch Americans win things. Thus the reason NBC could air the games six weeks after they happened and still get record ratings. Americans just don't care when Americans win, so long as Americans win.
To clarify: Americans like watching Americans win in warm weather. The sheer image of snow makes American patriotism shrivel up faster than George Costanza in a pool.
Sochi, Russia will host the winter games in 2014. If we took a poll of Americans, my bet is that 99.999% of Americans don't have a clue where Sochi is, and if they are not given the country, would likely place it in South East Asia. "Somewhere in Vietnam?" would be the answer on Jay Leno's Jay Walking segment. See how that works, NBC? That's how you properly work in product placement.
However, the summer games really are over, so let's take a look at what we are looking forward to in Sochi:
- No running events - Seriously. If I wanted to watch people run, I would go to any lake in the Twin Cities. Watching people run is about as exciting as watching paint dry on growing grass. Does anyone have any chocolates?
- No swimming events - Water based events are truly exciting under one of two conditions - either Michael Phelps is the known winner, or the water is frozen solid and people are screaming down it in a helmet and tights, or skating on it and scoring goals. No exception.
- No dressage - This has got to be one of the biggest travesties of the summer Olympics. How is any event in which a trained, soulless animal does all the work and gets none of the credit an Olympic sport, while baseball isn't even involved. Wait... that's a bad example...
- More complaining about tape delayed events - Sochi is 9 hours ahead of the central time zone. An event in prime time in Sochi would be on the air live in Minneapolis at around 10AM. In other words, during the work day. We will get to watch a pre-packaged, no drama, lame attempt to drum up patriotic fervor. And NBC will likely get record numbers once again. Likely not for their sitcom, though.
- More complaining about the coverage as a whole on NBC - The only thing Americans like more than watching Americans win is complaining about the broadcast while Americans win. "Could these announcers be any worse?"
- Real sports will be involved - by real sports, I mean hockey. When Americans think of games we play in the summer, what comes to mind? Baseball. Is baseball in the Olympics? Nope, but dressage is. At least the winter games include the games people actually play during that season.
- More complaining about women's hockey - Don't like women's hockey? I have a tip for you. Don't watch it. The call from many journalists two years ago was for hockey to be removed from the Olympics, because the US and Canada are the only teams that ever win. First of all, if that's what we are basing this on, we need to ban the summer games. The US has won over 2400 medals in the summer. Next closest? Russia with about 1100. Maybe if we allowed the women to ride horses and dance pretty, people could accept it as an Olympic event.
- More IOC idiocy - The International Olympic Committee is the most backwards thinking, ridiculous professional organization of the planet. Unless, of course, you count the Edmonton Oilers as a professional organization, in which case the IOC falls to second. Waiting for the IOC to screw something up is far more dramatic than waiting for the games themselves.
- Two words - Lindsey Vonn
What are you looking forward to in Sochi?
Oh, and for those wondering, Sochi is on the Black Sea, north of the Middle East, near the border with the Republic of Georgia. No, not the state. Now you're prepped for the Tonight Show, with Jay Leno. (See NBC, it's not that difficult.)