If you are like me, you get really excited about the Summer and Winter Olympics but after 20 minutes of watching you get really bored. How is it that we have the best athletes in the world competing and I would rather watch old Seinfeld re-runs? The Olympic coverage is flawed and I am going to tell you how we need to fix it.
1. We Need a Reference Point
This mostly pertains to racing sports but could be used in other events as well. The problem with watching races online is that we are only comparing the best in the world. When you are watching the best in the world compete and the winner is winning by tenths of a second, it is difficult to appreciate the speed at which these athletes are racing. What we need is an extra lane in all swimming and running events that will serve as a reference point. An athletic, non runner or swimmer will be chosen to run/swim alongside the athletes so that we can see how much faster than the average person these olympians are. That way we can put ourselves in the shoes of that person and appreciate how gifted these athletes truly are. It is difficult to appreciate it otherwise.
This could also be used in other sports as well. How much fun would it be to watch a spectator get the opportunity to attempt a double backflip twist off the high dive? Or even just a cartwheel on a balance beam? Our television coverage needs to focus more on showing how these athletes are superior to the average person.
2. Every Country Needs to Fill Every Spot
I’m not ok with all these olympic qualifying rounds that determines who gets to compete and who does not. I say for every event you have a set number of atheletes from each country. Each individual country gets to hold their own qualifying rounds to see who fills those spots. Also, every country is required to fill ALL spots for ALL events. I don’t care if no one from Ghana knows how to dive, if you wanna compete in my Olympics you will find someone. Who wouldn’t want to see someone from American Somoa attempt the uneven bars? This would give the Olympics more of an American Idol tryouts feel. We would get to see some incredible athletic performances as well as hilarious fails. Tell me you wouldn’t tune in to watch this. This would also provide a “Cool Runnings” opportunity where a huge underdog shocks the world. Disney could then immortalize this moment in a movie.
I don’t think this one needs any explanation.
4. Freedom of Speech on Our Own broadcast
Did you watch the French come from behind and win the 4 man swim relay? It was devastating. Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte on the same relay team and we still lose? It was not a proud moment for our country and some jabs at the French would have helped ease the pain. Bob Costas and Dan Patrick are great hosts, but we need to add in a few comedians to come up with some zingers about other countries’ athletes during the broadcast. NBC reportedly paid 1.1 billion for the rights to broadcast the Olympics in the US. If you are paying 1.1 billion you should be able to say anything you want about whoever you want. A little comedic relief would help the watchability of the games.
5. Charles Barkley should be involved in analysis of all Olympic sports.
I don’t think I need to explain this either.