We watch sports like swimming or beach volleyball, or curling in the Olympics and act like we care. If you came upon a swim meet on the television while channel surfing on a rainy Saturday afternoon you would pause just long enough to put down the remote to take a sip of your beer. Then you would move on to a rerun of CSI or yet another showing of Cool Hand Luke. I would and you would.
But be Olympics has a special flavor. It is an us vs. the world show of athleticism. For those of us of a certain age the Olympics calls back a subtle front in be Cold War, when the evil doped up Soviet Bloc nations were competing against the free world. Every time we saw a loss by someone in a CCCP uniform, you could cheer. What happened to the dominance of he East German women swimmers and Bulgarian weight lifters?
The Olympics also gives us a much needed break from the mind-numbing politics of a seemingly endless election year.
Many sports in the Olympics are boring as heck to watch. And I am free to admit that I derive no pleasure watching the best of other nations battle for victory when Americans are not in the running for a medal. Nationalist?, Heck yeah. Go 'Merica! Still, it is compelling in a sense to watch greatness. Has there ever been an athlete more dominant in his sport, in any sport, as Michael Phelps? That, my friends, is true greatness. I am pleased to see that any time.