Culbreath: I binged on the OlympicsWritten by Matt 'Shaggy' Culbreath | | email@example.com
I’ll admit it: I binged on the Olympics.
You know that feeling you get after eating a little too much when you literally feel bad about how much you ate? I believe comedian Louis C.K. put it this way: “the meal isn’t over when I’m full, the meal is over when I hate myself.”
That’s kinda how I’m coming out of this Winter Olympics. Oooooh, I’m full. Early morning curling. Midday cross country in the office. Nightly recaps of ice dancing? Catching up on hockey while packing the kids lunch? Streaming bobsleigh on the PC? I probably watched, at minimum, 4 hours of Sochi sporting action a day. How I managed to keep pace at work, I don’t know. I probably didn’t.
So why do I get the feeling that I was the only one?
This past Wednesday, there were some phenomenal hockey games played. The Americans beat the Czech Republic 5-2 to advance to the semis, Canada put up 57 shots on Latvia, but only won 2-1. Not to mention, the host Russians, the team for whom Vladimir Putin brought the Olympics to Sochi in the first place, got bumped off by Finland 3-1.
Yet the headlines around the sports media revolved around Richie Incognito’s meltdown-turned-apology, Ray Rice doing very, very, very bad things, LeBron James offering words of advice to Tony Romo, and Oklahoma football players self-reporting to the NCAA because they had seconds at a luncheon.
(For the record, the NCAA clarified that there wasn’t any infraction regarding Oklahoma.)
Okay, I’m not stupid: I understand that there’s multiple forces at work here: college basketball is still in full force. The NBA held it’s All-Star Game. Pitchers and catchers are reporting. Anything NFL immediately grabs the top spot on any headline. The probability of a major sports outlet promoting a story for which it has a contract is pretty sky high. On top of all that, people who are locked in to watching the tape-delay broadcast are being just as mindful of spoilers as the Breaking Bad crowd was during the final season.
But I can’t help but feel that despite the Americans once again sitting at the top of the medal board, it doesn’t feel like it’s getting the coverage it should. Moments popped here and there: TJ Oshie beating Russia in the shootout had people buzzing for about a day, but no love for Erin Hamlin, the first ever American medalist in the Luge? How about Elana Meyers, Lauryn Williams, Jamie Greubel, or Aja Evans, who make of 2 of the three US Women’s Bobsleigh teams, winning silver and bronze? (Heard lots about Lolo Jones being on a bobsled team, that one finished 11th. Turns out celebrity doesn’t add weight to the sleigh.) Snowboarding? You’d think that because Shaun White didn’t medal, that it was a disaster, but it turns out we owned it. Even moreso with freestyle skiing.
It’s just interesting to me that while the country considers the Miracle on Ice the Most Important Thing To Happen In American Sports Period End Of Story, that the Winter Olympics ranks so low on people’s radar. The NBA is always there. These games come once every 4 years, and for most of it’s athletes, it represents the end of the road as a competing athlete. How about 4 years from now, show it a little more respect?
Tags: Aja Evans, All-Star Game, bobsleigh, Canada, College basketball, Curling, Czech Republic, Elana Meyers, freestyle skiing, Jamie Greubel, Latvia, Lauryn Williams, LeBron James, Louis C.K., NBA, NCAA, NFL, Oklahoma, Ray Rice, Richie Incognito, Russians, Shaun White, snowboarding, Sochi, TJ Oshie, Tony Romo, Vladimir Putin, Winter Olympics