Friday, February 24, 2006

Caple: Silver lining

I hate the Olympics. If people like these sports so much, why don't they watch them the rest of the time? If you can go four years in between watching a curling match(?), then you're not a curling fan. And if you're not a curling fan, then why do you want to watch it during the Olympics? Anyway, one of the things that is increasingly irritating me this year, is how people almost seem to expect these athletes to apologize if they don't win a gold medal. I'm all for having high expectations, and striving to be the best, but people need to realize that winning any medal is an accomplishment, especially in some of these individual sports where the difference is a 10th of a second, or someone's judgment or a barely perceptible slip somewhere. I haven't watched a second of the Olympics this year, but somehow I still can't seem to get away from them, and most of what I hear is about some athlete who should have done better. Give these guys a break.*

Now, I just wish these things would end so I can watch My Name is Earl, and The Office again. Oh, and The West Wing.

* Not the 2004 Men's Basketball team, they deserve every bit of criticism they get. That was a miserale performance, and every member of that team should be ashamed of themselves. I wonder how long they had to roll around in their piles of money before the shame wore off from that.

Posted by


Robert Bayn said...

Curling is dumb, i try watching that the other night, i felt so depressed, i almost watched CBS.

I will be glad when the Olympics are over, that way we can get back to real sports. Jumping off cliffs, dancing on ice, and brooming ice, are not sports, it's just white men finding things to do no black person in his right mind would do.

Mike Meitín said...

Just an FYI, The Office, which is considered a huge success brings a 5.1 rating share while Women's Olympic figure skating brings an 11.1 rating. Basically, twice as many people watch the Women's figure skating than The Office. And, for my own two cents, while I love The Office as much as the next viewer, the Women's figure skating long program is one of the most exciting sporting events there is. I would like to hear some argue against that (someone who has watched it). As another FYI, most well rated NBA finals top out at a 12 rating, not much higher than the Women's long program.

I don't have much of a point except that I am tired of people who don't watch hating on the Olympics.

puzzled said...

I love to curl. There is a lot of strategy and skill involved, but I can understand that someone unfamiliar with it may find it dull, the same way that I find golf and stock car racing painfully boring. I don't know if I would enjoy watching tennis so much if I didn't play myself. So, Robert Bayn, I'll quote Bob Dylan, "don't criticize what you don't understand."

Robert Bayn said...

I understand to the majority of people, it's stupid, but if you enjoy it, more power to ya.

puzzled said...

An absolute majority, Robert? You have the figures?

John Howard said...

That's a good point, Mike. I don't care if anyone else wants to watch the Olympics. However, more people may watch Olympic figure skating than watch the office, but if it were on every week, I doubt the numbers would be anywhere near that. I wonder what regular figure skating competitions draw. Anyway, good points, although, I couldn't stand to sit through any skating long enough to even argue with you about how interesting it is.

Robert Bayn said...

Do i have figures?

Hold on let me make up some...

Of course i don't, but those who i have spoken too about it, and really the media here, sports media, says same thing i said, but if you enjoy it, who cares what someone else says.

Downhild skiiing was somewhat entertaining, i even watched some of the speed skating. Majority of the games sucked, proof of that is the ratings, where were just horrible for the Olymipics.

Mike Meitín said...

It is a misconception that the ratings were horrible for the Olympics. Yes, the NBC single network ratings were lower than the St. Lake City Olympics. Naturally, since the Olympics were tape delayed (not to mention ESPN/ABC's aggresive campaign to spoil the results) vs. St. Lake's live events, we expect that. However, with Olympic events being shown on MSNBC, CNBC and USA total viewership for this Olympics was higher than ever before. Plenty of people watched, and NBC made plenty of money.

John, you are correct that regular figure skating events do not draw quite the huge rating share as the Olympics. But, I am not advocating watching figure skating on a regular basis. I enjoy Olympic skating, and thats about it.

The point is, when The Office returns, they will still pull a steady 5 rating share, having the Olympics for two weeks won't hurt that. For NBC, this is like a bizarre sweeps week in the middle of February.

Anyway, I also meant to address the other point of your post; the over-criticism of U.S. athletes. The U.S. was second in medal count, and I'm not sure more could have been expected. While I understand that people like Bode Miller (who was on the cover of Time) not winning a medal is a big story, I also feel the media has been unreasonably harsh.

John Howard said...

I never thought The Office would suffer, I just want to watch it again.

And I agree that the athletes have been criticized too harshly. People expect these guys to go win gold, no matter what. But it's not easy.