I tried. Really, I did try. It only comes every four years and it deserves a reception. All day long yesterday I would hit the Guide button and scan through the four, five or six Dish channels offering some flavor of Olympic sport. They didn't catch me all day long.
What is "Beach Volleyball" really about? It used to be about a bunch of friends on an outing in the summer, drinking too much beer, oblivious to sun-block, and filling a guilt square regarding totally hedonistic behavior. Playing a little bit of jungle rules volleyball burned up some calories so you could get to your fourth or fifth burger and seventeenth or eighteenth beer.
Now apparently it is about ogling two tall, slender, scantily clad Amazons who probably aren't all that into old pharts like me. The activity does not scream ancient Greek event. It was more voyeur meets The House of Lesbos.
Other events offered included the globally ubiquitous soccer which is a lot of skinny guys running around in pre-determined patterns for a couple of hours. Occasionally they fall down, scream in pain and point out a miscreant who nudged them inappropriately. Couldn't get to soccer. Not at all.
There was some water polo, but its really hard to get a flow of a game when it is viewed in 22 second bites between four-minute commercial interludes.
Swimming, of course, was available along with other water-based activities which have recently been invented, I guess. What's with synchronized diving? And what's the ritual about jumping into a huge diving pool for thirty seconds and then rushing to a communal hot-tub/cess-pool to apparently concentrate hormonal excretions from the thrill of perfect synchronicity.
I caught a Formula 1 race which is uber-techno cars defying physics. Then a bit of Indy car, which is retro-tech attempting to palm themselves off as F-1 because they are open wheel. Then a NASCAR train wreck and eventually a Rangers game. Didn't feel a bit peckish about having missed all of that Olympian strife.
Last event of the night was women's gymnastics and for lack of motivation to move, I watched for about twenty minutes. This was the "big" story:
Reigning Champ Doesn't Fit For Finals
Maybe it is a function of old age, but I really didn't pay that much attention to the balance derring-do. What I hooked into was the body language of the contenders. Ms Jordyn Wieber really was a classic. Of course, maybe that could be anticipated when you read her name. What happened to Jordan Weber? Inadequately choreographed apparently.
The girls are part of a "team" you may notice. Therefore they cheer each other up and console each other when down. I don't think I've ever seen quite that level of superficial "air kiss" before. Then the pathetic squeak of "Go, Kyla" which you know Ms Jordyn didn't really mean but would be sentenced to 200 extra push-ups for failing to at least mouth the words.
Amazing, we're only three days into this Olympiad and although I won't say I'm sated because that would imply an initial hunger, I will put forth that my visits to NBC and subsidiaries might be pretty rare these next weeks.