Few things carry with it the pageantry, showmanship and stigma of the Olympic Games. The best athletes in the world coming together in international competition on quite possibly the largest stage some of them will ever see. Media hounding everyone at every turn. Entire cities rebuilt to accommodate the athletes, fans, coaches, supporters and staff.
And coming around once every four years certainly helps the hype. If nothing more it certainly offers a unique excuse to children to stay up later than normal, jump off of things they would not usually be allowed to jump off of and shout at the TV like dad does on Sundays during the football season.
Strangely the one thing about the Olympics, the bringing together of families to enjoy something in the company of each other instead of being off Facebooking, MySpacing, Texting or something else, is the same thing that gives me the biggest issue of contention with the Olympics. My family has been consumed by these games.
Regardless of the sport, from swimming to gymnastics to beach volleyball, my wife can sit and watch the games all night. My kids have been staying up until midnight or later so they can watch the Olympics, which “only come around every four years”, with mom. And I think I have had my fill of it.
I like sport as much as the next guy, and I am all for the spirit of competition that the Olympics bring. But dude, I am on freaking Olympics overload. I am ready for the games to end already. I want my TV, my family and my nights back. Family TV night is great, but not when it starts at 9:00 PM and goes through 1:00AM the next morning and only includes mom and the two older girls.
And I think it would be better if even the non-mainstream sports made it on to TV. I would love to see some wrestling or shooting or table tennis. Not the most popular, certainly not the biggest named athletes in the world in these events, but still, the Olympics are more than just swimming, gymnastics and tack & field.
Still, I am enjoying what little of the games I am letting myself consume. They have been exciting and even breathtaking at times. But I have a feeling when these games are over I will be a little happier for their departure than their arrival.