These last few weeks on TV, the televised sporting events seem to be making this a very special set of weeks with…
I have an interest in all three sporting events and I’m lucky enough to have the NBC Sports Network (ch 81) which is covering a lot of the events.
The Olympics are the most popular of events as far as television is concerned. Many millions of dollars are spent on the events by advertisers because we will be tuning in. The fact that they don’t take place every weekend helps and the coverage we see is of sports that don’t normally get huge or ant TV coverage.
Swimming, gymnastics, track & field are all glorified because the big names of the sport step up and we tune in to see if they can take the gold. The much coveted gold is the ultimate in any world games and more so in the Olympics.
Unlike Football’s Super Bowl, the self-titled winner in football is erroneously called world champions. But the Olympics, where contestants from around the world face off, makes this truly a world event.
This year, the big thing that never happened was a runoff between two runners who tied for third at the finish line in a qualifying round. But one bowed out of the runoff, for whatever reason. But this put the spotlight on the Olympic committee who was not prepared with a plan in-place to deal with ties.
Meanwhile, the youth who compete, have to learn brutal lessons as they fall short of their goals. One young gymnast failed in a spectacular fashion and she was being watched as a contender for London. After she executed a face-plant, she still had to address the media and let them know that her Olympic career ended with that face-splat.
My heart went out to her. It’s bad enough to fail while under the spotlight, but athletes are required to be available to the media. It’s the rules. I can’t imagine having such a feeling of failure and not reaching out and throttling the reporter who asks me how it feels to fail… “LIKE THIS” As I would ruin my career and choke the poor reporter doing their job.
The Tour de France is a sport in motion, as men propel their bicycles at incredible rates of speed through the most beautiful countryside of France. The entire event will cover a total distance of 3,497 kilometers.
The media coverage is absolutely nuts. Cars and motorcycles on the course, helicopters overhead. It’s bigger overseas than we can imagine. While watching the coverage, I learned that competitors are eliminated that are too far behind the leaders.
That these guys do the things at 35, 40 MPH that we do standing still… change shoes, shirts, working on their gear etc., all while moving. I was watching one guy getting first aid from his support car while he was still hauling butt.
I also learned that if someone crashes out in the last few kilometers of a leg, that they’ll still be given the time that the other competitors of their group achieves. There’s a feeling of having made it that far, they should get credit. (I’ve never seen that one… ask any NASCAR competitor who sat in a wrecked car just before the finish line!)
These guys are hauling butt, moving at 40+ mph and then when they get into the packs called the peloton, it’s nuts when one of the riders goes down and the rest of the pack plows into them and many more go down with them.
The other thing that I find amazing are the spectators… who stand on the side of the race path or run across it just in front of the competitors. I’d question why it is they’re allowed to stand so close that bikers have to duck their heads to get past outstretched hands. But the route is so long that I imagine it’s impossible to police much of it. Riders are even tweeting to not stand in the path taking pictures because the fans get hurt and the riders get hurt.
And these riders that are incredibly tough. One rider was hit by a car, went through a barbed wire fence (why aren’t those fences covered up?) and got 120 stitches. And still finished the day out!
A few guys finished the third leg of the day with wrapped, broken wrists.
BTW: This is the list of U.S. riders, if you’re curious.
And then there’s Wimbledon. The top of the game in tennis, it’s a classic amongst classics.
So watching this series is again, like watching the World Series of baseball, except in baseball, it’s not the world but just one country who competes with itself!
But unfortunately, the Olympics and the bike race are on… or I’d be watching all of the tennis coverage.
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I like all three sports, I can’t imagine what the people (organizers/marketers) behind the sports are thinking… because when they’re on the air, uncontested, I’m sure that each sport enjoys a fair boost of viewership. But to be up against one of both of the other sports could be diluting the ratings.
I know I would have watched any of these if they were on, but when biking is on, tennis loses. When the Olympics are on, the others lose… unless it’s a repeat.
Any way, it’s been quite the special week for sports, and it’s the Fourth of July to add to the atmosphere of the week.
Have a safe holiday folks…