I want to like the Winter Olympics I really do. I love America and I love watching human beings doing incredible things. I love watching Chris Johnson sprint down the field making pro bowl safety's look as slow as me. Usain Bolt captivated me for a week, Michael Phelps was talked about as the greatest athlete ever (which he's not), but I have to be honest I couldn't care less about the Winter Olympics.
The events themselves are irrelevant. Curling is a bar game, Snowboarding is a X game and ski jumping is just plain repetitive, and if me, a guy that wants nothing more in life than to watch a perfect game in person thinks ski jumping is repetitive, you know its boring. That doesn't even include the sports that I would obviously not enjoy. I understand that figure skating is not geared for me, I enjoy watching men slam into each other, obviously watching a man in a bedazzled blouse flailing his arms around won't appeal to me.
OK so the content is weak and the best athletes are not in Vancouver this week. They play in the World cup, NBA finals, World Series and Super Bowl.
So why is the Winter Olympics so popular? The process of discovering this answer really made me look outside of myself. I love sports, I love watching meaningless summer baseball, I love watching the NFL draft (the first few rounds anyway), I watch hours and hours of non important sports events, and that is exactly why I don't care about the Olympics.
The reason the Olympics are so popular to so many is the exact same reason why I just don't get it:
You only have to pay attention for two weeks every four years. If you follow any major sport College or Professional its a year round gig. There is a reason why the NFL, MLB and NBA have their own networks. Imagine a world where you just sit in front of the couch for 17 days once every four years to watch sports, think of the things you could accomplish in life.
NBC tells you who to route for. If you're an American you route for America, if you're a Canadian you route for Canada. Furthermore they give you little montages before events to showcase certain great Olympians. You watch the event you route for that individual and you move on with your life. No player trades, no routing for the home team even if they stink. You watch a clip and cheer for your country.
America is good. It just so happens that the team you are supposed to route for is the Yankees. You get to route for the best team all the time. You don't have to worry about stewing over just missing the playoffs. You don't have to pretend that next year will be the year, when you deep down that your team stinks. America wins, you win.
So for the casual sports fan, which is the majority of people, the Olympics are perfectly geared just for you. You don't have to put in the time just to know who your starting left Guard will be. You can just show up, enjoy the athletes and continue living your life. So to all the Olympic die hard's out there enjoy your figure skating, I'll be watching the NFL combine.
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