Could the Olympics
be any more boring?
thought that since Sydney was 15 hours ahead of the East Coast that
NBC would be able to strip out the fluff and show lots of hard core
sporting events. Semis and finals, track and field, bursts of speed
and shows of endurance. They'd can all those 10 minute pieces that
tell the sad, sad tale of how poor Yuri was raised by wolves in
the steppes of Russia and has only recently learned to speak in
complete sentences but Lordy how he can run...
What do I see
as I stare at the screen? Ballroom dancing preliminaries. How the
hell did ballroom dancing get into the Olympics anyway? Did Fred
Astaire appear to the head of the IOC in a dream and demand that
the rumba be included? Do they deduct points for too many folds
in the taffeta? Is T-Ball a trial sport for 2004?
This is supposed
to be the "27th Olympiad Of The Modern Era" but it sure doesn't
look modern. These are, by and large, the same sports done the same
way as they've been done for a hundred years. Even ballroom dancing
has been around since the court of Louis XIV. The Olympics should
be modern. It shloud be on the cutting edge. That means that the
Olympics should take advantage whatever the host country has to
There's LOTS of spare room in Australia. So instead of holding the
400-meter, 1500-meter, etc. in a stadium on a track that goes round
and round why not have the race just go off in s trait line? Same
thing with the marathon, a long strait line leading to the outback.
Better yet. Let's make things even more interesting by releasing
a few nasty looking and very hungry animals just behind the runners?
I'm sure a few records would be set every time that happened.
coverage? Since everyone uses auto-focus cameras and lenses, super-fast
motors and high-speed color negative film you just know that every
damn frame is going to be close to perfect. It's getting to look
pretty much the same, day in, day out. So let's put a little of
the competition back into the coverage of the Olympics.
you do. Everyone covering an event gets one Kodak disposable camera.
27 frames. Best photographer wins. You'd have guys crawling on to
the track, hurling themselves in front of pole vaulters and gaffers-taping
themselves to the under bellies of equestrian-event horses to get
a better picture. The photographers would actually become a part
of the event.. As an added plus the editing would be a LOT easier
since most of the shots would be out of focus or badly framed.
First of all, you'd have to forget the whole Giant-American-Network-Gets-An-Exclusive
thing. Let's make it more like local markets all over the world.
Every network, every local station, every freelancer with a Canon
XL1 could show up and compete for footage. Picture the scene during
the women's hurdle. Fourteen two-man crews running backward trying
to get the shot. Sound men screaming "Look out! Another hurdle!"
every 10 seconds or so. Pole vaulters impaling themselves on a boom
mike after clearing 19 feet. The ratings would go through the roof.
And it wouldn't
be boring. Silly perhaps, but not boring.
The opinions expressed are barely my own much less my employer's
so don't blame Time Magazine, Time Inc. or Time-Warner for anything
written here. They're having enough problems convincing the FCC,
the FTC and the EU to go along with the AOL merger.