Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Olympics and NBC

Whenever I have an opportunity to watch the Olympic games, I do, especially the winter games.  Perhaps it comes from being raised in a wintery climate, or making childhood sled runs similar to a bobsled track that helped drive home my enthusiasm for this event.

So, living less than 200 miles from the event, I figured this year would be great as to avoid network TV delays.  I was grossly mistaken.  I think this other blog does a great job of describing my issues. 

The one thing that is always compelling about these events is the hard work and determination seen on the faces of these athletes.  Take for example the finish in the Nordic combined.  If I had only read about those results on Facebook or Twitter, I probably won’t have not have watched the race.  I was glad I did not know the results as the finish was very close and exciting to watch.  The need for our society to only be focused on results rather than the journey is disappointing to me. 

Sports is one genre where watching it live is what makes stories have meaning.  Imagine reading about Carlton Fisks’ game winning home run in 1975.  Or, only reading about “the catch” from Joe Montana to Dwight Clark.  I would have been pissed to have read some lame “tweet” or someone’s Facebook status without  seeing the action.  Realizing I did not know what baseball was in 1975, my point is not well made, but the replay to this day still sends chills down my spine.  Also, that was a lead-off hitter in the bottom of the 12th and the first night World Series game in Fenway.  Hearing the emotion and seeing the results are what make these moments memorable.  So much for ABC’s old tag line of “The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.”  It seems that today, the most competitive race is who can spoil the results the fastest.

I understand that I could watch the games live online.  Perhaps, later in life, I will redesign my TV layout to incorporate this solution (or just buy an internet ready TV).  But the Olympics are a family event, or at least always were in my household.  With having the event 200 miles from my doorstep, you would think watching the games live would not be a problem.  NBC runs under the assumption that we want our sports on our schedule.  To that, I proudly extend my middle finger to NBC. 

How would you have liked to have seen the “Miracle on Ice” on 5 hour tape delay?  Or heard that some idiot tweeted how we upset the Soviets before anyone else was able to watch it? 

Not cool NBC.

1 comment:

Bill said...

I hear ya. We are watching a day or two behind to skip commercials, which compounds the non-live problem. But, it's great without commercials!