Press-Republican

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August 12, 2012

Subtle tweaks could make Olympics better

The Olympics are without question the greatest sporting event in the world. Nothing else brings together men and women of virtually every nation in the spirit of competition and sportsmanship.

That said, nothing is perfect. Every four years I like to offer the International Olympic Committee a few subtle tweaks that could make things even better. Every four years they ignore me, but it’s worth trying again.

No more tape delay. Or more realistically, not JUST tape delay. I know that there’s some sort of time difference between here and London, and I know that the network wants to show its best stuff during the prime-time hours. That’s great, but there are some of us who have access to a television during the afternoon and want to see the good stuff. Instead, on its 47 affiliated channels, NBC has fed us a steady diet of team handball, field hockey and table tennis.

Everything interesting and everything involving a gold medal is saved for the pre-packaged three-hour prime-time show. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got this thing called the “Internets” that gives me instant information — such as, how Michael Phelps did in the 200-meter butterfly. It’s almost impossible for me to not know how events have turned out before NBC shows them.

Either put a giant electronic dome over London, which doesn’t allow out any information, or show the good stuff as it happens — to those of us who can watch and can’t avoid the news — then show your taped version to everyone else at 8 p.m. Everyone wins!

Eliminate team handball. It looks like a great sport for middle-school gym class. Every phys-ed teacher in the area should take note. The Olympics, however, are already crowded and could stand to have some things weeded out. I also recommend eliminating the yachting and Parcheesi. The ping pong is OK though.

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