Ignoring the Olympics

I'd like to join Duncan and Graham in registering my lack of interest in the Olympics. Graham rounds up a compelling list of reasons to ignore this particular Olympic Games, while Duncan provides a very good summary of why the event itself is a irritating:

The Olympics is just the place that shows all the worst aspects of national sport teams. Gibbering, gormless housewives stare at the idiot-box for hours on end watching events such as “discus”, “ping pong”, “yngling” and all manner of other sports that they would otherwise not touch with a bargepole. Yes, it’s great that minority sports get coverage during the Olympics. But they should be getting coverage anyway. At least, if you genuinely did like minority sports you would think that. The fact that it takes the Olympics to get badminton on the television is nothing to be pleased about.

It's an extreme version of the bizarre tennis fever that overtakes Britain once a year as Wimbledon rolls around. Why do people do that? If you like the sport, watch the sport. Why be a tennis fan for two weeks of every year? Likewise, why become an athletics fan once every four years?

But I suppose that's not what really bothers me. You're welcome to be as fickle a sports fan as you want to be. Become a cricket fan only in years that end in six, for all I care. Support only golfers who are taller than 6'4, if you feel like it. It's really none of my business how arbitrary and inconsistent your tastes are.

What irritates me is that the media believes that we all subscribe to this fickle frenzy. So the Olympics breaks out of the sport pages and bulletins where it belongs and takes over the actual news too. I appreciate that the Games coincide neatly with silly season but is it really news that the opening ceremony (a) happened and (b) was spectacular? Both things were exactly what was supposed to happen, which probably makes them the precise of opposite of news.

It would be news had the opening ceremony failed to occur or had been heralded not by a bank-breaking combination of fireworks and interpretive dance but by one bloke with a sparkler and a woman playing a fanfare through the speaker on her mobile phone but that wasn't the case. Though I suspect that both are distinct possibilities for 2012.

Anyway, I can't promise that this will be my last mention of the Olympics. I might treat you to my rant about things that are not proper sports but I don't plan to.

You probably haven't noticed amidst the Olympics hype and the ongoing speculation about the future of Christiano Ronaldo but the football season starts today. In less than 90 minutes time Norwich City will be starting their season in Coventry and some time between kick off and 4.45pm I'll probably see my annual optimism for the forthcoming season replaced with bitter realism.

Not that I expect anyone to care.