Op/Ed

NBC Olympics are as dull as they wanna be


Thomas 'Keifer'

Gray

Every four years, the world unites for a celebration of competition and sportsmanship known as the Summer Olympics. But, not all of us were able to make it to Atlanta to see the games in person. Fortunately, we were able to follow the action on television.

Click.

"Hello, I'm Bob Pompous, and I hope you are enjoying our network's presentation of the 1996 Summer Olympic Games.

"Even though some of you might be interested in seeing the exciting soccer match being played between Argentina and Italy, we will not be showing that game, nor several other sports that viewers may find interesting. Instead, we will show the "Dream Team" mercilessly trash some other country's hapless squad. "And even though the Dream Team has taken all the excitement and suspense out of the men's basketball tournament, we're going to show it to you anyway and hype it for all it's worth.

"Afterward, we will be bringing you the medal ceremony for American Derrick Dynamo, who struck gold in today's Olympic Air Hockey tournament.

"We will not mention nor even show the foreign athletes who won the silver or bronze medals. We will, however, run tight shots of the American flag and of the gold medalist's face as he tries to remember the words to our country's national anthem. Although some viewers might be absolutely sick of hearing the Star-Spangled Banner all the time and may be interested in seeing medal ceremonies where some other country's anthem is being played, our jingoistic broadcasting agenda precludes us from doing so.

"Later this evening, after a shortened version of your local news, where your local affiliate will shamelessly do its part to milk as much out of the extra viewership brought by the Olympics as possible, we will

be showing the American Synchronized Aerobics team in action.

"Our announcers for that event will be a couple of people who know absolutely nothing about the sport but will nevertheless feel compelled to make vague, redundant comments.

"Following that, we will be showing highlights of today's three-meter candle jumping contest. Of course, most of you probably already know who won because the event was held early this morning, but we're going to show it as if it were happening live. During that event we will run a heart-warming 'human interest' story about American candle jumper Jack

Nimble. This overworked presentation will feature melodramatic music, inane clichés about how hard this athlete had to train to make it to the games, and tedious interviews with the athlete's family.

"Also, be sure to stay tuned for a light-hearted but otherwise pointless report on Atlanta's restaurants, as our most obnoxious reporter visits a barbecue joint right across the street from the Georgia Dome.

"Right now, however, it's time for us to run the same fifteen commercials you've been seeing over and over since the Olympics started two weeks ago..."

Click.

The 1996 Summer Olympics will be remembered for many things, some good, some bad. Hopefully, they will also serve as an example of why a single network should not be given exclusive rights to broadcast them.

Gray is a senior architecture major.


Last Modified: 8-14-96    © 1996 The Daily Cougar

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