Why I Will Watch the Olympics -- And Love It

Categories: My Take, Sports
The following is a response to my colleague Joe Eskenazi's earlier post: Why I'm Not Watching the Olympics.

I love the Olympics. I have since I was a kid, when I used to keep a dossier on my favorite Olympians in a pink spiral-bound notebook. It's my favorite time of year. I love the ridiculous theatrics of the opening ceremonies. I love the human-interest stories, especially when they show footage of athletes walking around their hometowns looking contemplative as they reflect on their Journey to the Gold.

I love the cheesy commentary by tired TV personalities who have been sitting in the same makeshift broadcasting booth for hours on end. I love the overproduced graphics and commercials. I love all the articles about athletes' diets and sex in the Olympic Village (standing order for 10,000 condoms!).

There's something so endearingly earnest about the whole spectacle. But most of all, I love that as a nation we are gripped by this collective frenzy about things we did not care about two weeks ago and will not care about two weeks from now.
The Olympics unite us; they gives us a shared vocabulary. I'm not a sports person, but I will be able to throw around obscure lingo about volleyball and shot-putting for the next few weeks.

To avoid the Olympics is to avoid an essential part of the social experience. It's downright un-American. So, Joe, you're welcome to enjoy the Giants game tonight. But I will be at Mad Dog in the Fog, soaking up every bit of the opening ceremonies. Come say hi if you've decided to join the crowd.

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