Thursday, February 17, 2005

Another Reason Not To Watch The Olympics

Everyone looks forward to the Olympics. The fanfare, the chest-thumping, the accidents and the women's beach volleyball... oh the beach volleyball... Right. Anyway. Sure, the Olympics are great but the last few have been absolute crap and a half and we can put the blame square on the shoulders of NBC. Those bastards. They're ruining everyone's favorite sporting event with more commercials and more 'warm and fuzzy' athlete bios than actual SPORTS COVERAGE. It's rediculous. There are pre-event analysis shows, post-event analysis shows, intermission analysis shows, specials on Olaf Tonkle the Belarussian dead-lifter, who came back to competition fro a tragic shaving accident last week, too many talking heads, and hours and hours of The Man trying to sell you Coke and McDonalds.

Because of all this very important analysis and hawking, any event that isn't a high scool sport gets pushed to the 3am spot for 10 minutes of highlights (like cycling). Because of this, cyclists haven't really been captivated by the Olympics quite as much as runners and beach volleyball players.

It's only getting worse.

Because we need room for all those commercials and analysis, the IOC seems to think that in order to add a sport (like BMX), they need to chop a huge part of the track cycling. Hope you enjoyed the points race, because word is, it's going down the tubes. It's been an ugly rumour since Athens, and now it's being reported in more and more news organizations. The announcement is supposed to be made after Worlds, and after that all the endurance trackies will have is pursuit and team pursuit for Olympic glory. Granted this is great for BMX, but this is a huge setback for track cycling, and one that I don't understand in the least. At the recent LA World Cup, the reports from the velodrome said the crowd was going nuts through the entire points race because Colby looked like he could win it. Every sprint, the crowd would be loosing it, pounding on stuff, yelling like banshees, and yet the IOC says that the points race is "too confusing." If it's too confusing, why not put the scratch race in it's place? First accross the line wins, how hard is that?

Seems to me that track racing is at an important crossroads. It's gaining in popularity, some stars are making themselves known, and if the ruling bodies do something about it then the sport grows. If they ignore it, track racing continues on its downward slide, and we loose one of the most exciting (and spectator-friendly) disciplines in the sport. Just seems to me that certain parties could make a fair chunk of change on track racing at the elite level, but no one's biting. Oh well. Guess I won't be a points racer then... Scratch that ambition... DT


Anonymous said...

"Guess I won't be a points racer then... Scratch that ambition...."

Which reminds me, you haven't told me what your cycling ambition is yet. Maybe you fill in your Orange Mum one of these day so we can plan -Eh? =0)

Anonymous said...

I think The Man is behind this!!