NBC is beginning its promotions for the Summer Olympics already. Actually, they began during the Super Bowl—but they’re running non-stop now, especially during the Today Show (which my wife has on every morning).
The Peacock network paid billions for the exclusive rights to broadcast the games, so I can certainly understand why they want to blitz us with ads every 10 minutes during commercial breaks. (Too bad they couldn’t muster the same amount of enthusiasm to promote some of their TV shows like the now-cancelled and brilliant, Friday Night Lights, and Community, which is being to moved to Fridays in the fall.)
Also, the Summer Olympics are a tough sell. Most people are out more during the summer than they are in the winter, so we do see more ads for the Summer Games than we do in the Winter.
However, I could care less about the Olympics, and I imagine most Americans do too. I love watching sports on TV—football, hockey, and baseball mainly. Heck, even golf. But for as long as I could remember, I was never a big fan of the Olympics. Winter or Summer. I do appreciate the individual talents of the athletes themselves, and how much work they put into their respective sports. (Hey, I saw Cool Runnings, so I get it.) But I just find the competitions themselves extremely boring.
And I really don’t give a rat’s ass about taking national pride that your country is competing. I don’t care that countries are competing against other countries to find who’s the fastest runner, swimmer, or best basketball team. Seriously, what’s so great about that?
Obviously, the selling points behind the games are the stories behind the athletes—how they got there, how hard they worked, and all of the tragedies they’ve had to overcome. I do have to admit, however, that I do occasionally watch some of the events—only if nothing else is on and I’m not out on the town. I also check the medal counts online every couple days.
But still—yawn. Most of the competitions are unwatchable.
I get the sense that NBC is a bit worried about the ratings this year, hence the reason they lured back former Today Show co-host, Meredith Vieira and paid big bucks to get host-of-everything, Ryan Seacrest. I imagine they’ll also have Brian Williams bringing us the news from London, like he did in Vancouver during the Winter Olympics.
Not even these personalities will bring me to watch the Games on a regular basis, night after night. But I did come up with four new sports to make the Olympics a bit more bearable to watch.
Dr. Spaceman first made me aware of this AWESOME sport. How cool would it be to have the U.S. Tazerball team playing in the finals against Kenya. (You know Kenya will be there at the end since you need to be fast as hell to play Tazerball.) From what I understand, the tazers in the sport use the minimal amount of voltage—just enough to give you a light jolt. Want to make the Olympic Games more interesting? I would crank these suckers to the MAXIMUM amount of voltage a human being can tolerate.
Thanks to the Internet, I have no idea if this is a real, serious sport, but there’s video evidence. Like Tazerball, people are already playing this sport (mainly in Japan, apparently, because that’s where all the awesome, violent sports originate), so no need to create rules. Although, I’m not sure if there are any rules.
Boutaoshi is like rugby and the kid’s game, King of the Hill, all rolled into one. One team begins with one of their players perched on top of a pole. Your opponents attack you and try to knock that player off the pole—but at the same time, you have try to climb the pole yourself. Just watch the video and then call NBC and tell them you want to see this during the Olympics.
I made this sport up, sort of. I didn’t see the movie, Chronicle, but heard it was a fantastic movie—sort of like the X-Men for the next generation (whatever that means… yes, several critics have described it that way). Anyway, I heard about a great scene where the three characters who develop these telekinetic powers learn that they could also fly. (By the way, that would be as awesome as shit… to discover that you have the power to move things with your mind, and then to also discover that you can also fly. If you could be invisible, that would be the trifecta.) So in the movie, they play football in the sky which sounds like a cool scene.
Of course, you can’t replicate that feat, but I would use an Arena Football size-field, and place six trampolines spaced about 5 yards apart—just enough to jump from trampoline to trampoline. Players will have to remain on the trampoline at all times. If you fall, it’s out of bounds. No pads, but I would enforce helmets.
It’s a plausible concept. The Olympics have had Trampoline Gymnastics since 2000 (I only learned of this yesterday while watching coverage about the Olympics on the Today Show.) Just add a few more trampolines onto a field—have countries field teams of 6, and bingo, Trampoline Football. These guys sort of have the right idea—but I’m talking about larger-sized trampolines, like the ones they already use in the Olympics.
Honey Badger Hunting
We’ve all seen the Honey Badger video and meme ad nauseam the past 12 months or so. As you know, not only are these fuckers dangerous predators, but they’re incredibly difficult to bring down. In fact, their skin is tough that it can resist machete blows (thanks to Wikipedia for that fun fact!) The only way to kill them FOR SURE is a blow to their skull.
Let’s make it a sport! Hey…they did it in the early Roman empire with the lions and humans squaring off at the Roman Coliseum, so spare me your animal cruelty propaganda. But to appease you—I would just give the players a billy club and a shot gun with one bullet. We’ll do a round robin tournament, best 3-out-of-5 match. The fastest country to kill the honey badger wins each game.
So there you have it. Of course, even if they add these sports, the Olympics overall is a total bore. Wake me up when the NFL training camps begin.