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Tuesday, February 28, 2006


The Story Of The Guy Who Didn't Watch The Olympics

I have got to be weird, a geek, someone who just doesn’t get anything cool.
You see I’m totally disconnected from anything that has any relation to the Olympic games.
I don’t know what categories there are, who won and who flopped, heck I have no idea in which part of the world it’s taking place.
I know one thing though, it ain’t happening in my city and from what I’ve heard this is a good thing.
Wherever the Olympic games come, they bring along increased traffic, less parking availability and greater numbers of reported incident of all types.

Although it’s on every channel and in every paper I manage to remain ignorant, I am able to shift any conversation away from this topic, sure it backfires here and there but well, what would you do if someone conversed to you about a more tiresome subject than chemistry in high school?

I’m not anti-Olympic per se; I just don’t care at all.

I keep asking myself why so many (literally millions!) people do care? How come an otherwise perfectly normal man would cry because his favorite champion didn’t get the gold medal? Why on earth would that bother him? The potential champion wouldn’t even cry for his fan if he were hit by a car, yet there he goes and feels sad this stranger didn’t win?
Why is it that so many are fascinated by what’s going on so far away?

I wish the reason I was so uninterested was because I thought of it all as a terrible waste of precious time.
I can’t use that since I’m pretty good at killing time with lots of unproductive actions and non-actions (other Family Guy fans?).

A very effective punishment as a child was putting me in front of a Tennis game on TV.
I couldn’t imagine anything more boring, and I was a quiet child, not one that needed running around and frolicking to feel good.
I could sit on a couch for hours just accompanied by my thoughts, yet watching a ball swing one side an then the other , held the potential to make me promise never, ever to lie again.

Sports have never fascinated me, I enjoy practicing some sports, but viewing others, be it highly trained pros, always appears dull. I was even dragged to a live game once, pragmatic as ever I brought a good book along (true story)!

Being male this antipathy has proven to be a major problem throughout the years.
Thank G-D for reality shows. Although I dislike them a lot, at least I can stand through a few episodes before getting an urge to throw the TV set out of the window.
Before Big Brother and company literally every discussion in school and in college centered around sports and athletes.
I was always left out of the conversations, laughed at inappropriate comments , nodded when I was supposed to heavily disagree and said “oh too bad “when something apparently was fantastic news.

Fortunately I’ve improved my communication skills on subjects I have little knowledge about since then.

I found the other two guys I my school who didn’t care (as much as the others at least) about “big” (very important ) games and unfortunate losses (one bet $10 and was crushed for weeks!), and talked about other things.

In the last years I’ve been able to build a few friendships where the main topic of conversation is making fun of people who care more about sports than about their children!

Where does this fascination for teams, characters and sports come from? How come people from 5 to 75 are entangled by it? And what exactly is the satisfaction of having your (favorite) team win?

Prag I'm with you - until they put something cool in the Olympics like Ballroom dancing I'm not going to watch! ..wait have I spoke too soon.
I too skipped the Olypmics. It's boring and the ratings show it as well. There was an article a few days ago somewhere that I read that said that advertisers were very upset with the sliding ratings for the Olypmics over the past several years.

I think the world is passed caring.
prag, I totally agree. Of course as a woman I am more typical then a male not like sports. However I like to put my two sense in. I have no idea why its so much fun to watch people kill eachother and argue for a ball! My goodness and the years of training and wasted time to be the best! I think the only good thing about all these sports are the way they look in uniforms :).
Im not going to tackle the sports issue, i think you either get it or you don't...
with regards to the olympics its a matter of national pride.
Figure Skating is the most beautiful sport, to be able to watch that- forget the medals etc, is worth the whole Olympic shbang.
while i don't really care too much about sports, being australian you can't avoid it! sport (especially aussie rules footy and cricket and swimming and tennis and soccer...oh, everything i guess!) is constantly featured in the news and takes over when the olympics or other big tournament is on. Sports stars are huge celebrities. They are role models because they are the best at what they do. This status means that the media will be interested, especially when there's nothing much else happening around the place!
(Sport is easy to follow (doesn't take a genius) and athletes also look pretty good and the atmosphere at, say a footy match, is great... to watch the fans is fun!)
We have the Commonwealth Games coming up very soon and it is actually being held here in Melbourne. I plan to avoid it as much as possible but you can't and like red pen said, it is a matter of national pride. And Aussies take their sport seriously. Very seriously!
I think it gives the people something to believe in and support, it can become something of a 'religion' to them.
I would rather see the news full of sports (something positive). Let the various countries compete that way, in a peaceful competition, rather than through terrorism or war (negative). Resolving differences through a footy match? Well, we can only hope! ;)
Here's a link to an article about this...

I hate sports, but LOVE the Olympics, esp. the figure skating. The snowboarding is fun to watch, too.

It feels good to have spirit for your country. It's sort of a unifier.

And Apolo Anton Ohno is sooooo cute. Could not take my eyes off him.

Yakki- That’s what I love about blogging, I always find people agreeing with me!
Funny you should mention ball room dancing; it’s all the rage on TV at the moment!

Must gum addict- I guess more and more people come to realize how stupid it really is!
Did you skip this year specifically or are you not such a sport fanatic anyway?
Thanks for the link.

Chaverah –Women are less into these things but you’d be surprised at how many enjoy sport shows, especially ‘big’ events.
Thanks for commenting!

The red pen- National pride? I don’t know where you live but from what I’ve heard there isn’t much pride to be had.
Many constants aren’t natives of the countries they represent! It’s like Celine Dion wining the Eurovision for Switzerland!

Shop- I think it’s nice too but I couldn’t watch that for more than 10 minutes either, it’s just repetitive after a certain point.

Sarah- as usually excellent comment! I don’t know much about Australia except about the kangaroos and John Farnham.
But here sports are unbelievably popular as well and I do my best to avoid anything related to them.
The religion thing is actually a good explanation; I bet people go so far as to pray for their team’s success.

Stacey –I guess that’s probably it, people; feel they belong when they watch and discuss the Olympics.
Enjoy Anton while he’s on!
As the saying goes, "To each his own".

I'm not a big sports fan but I do like baseball. It brings back some wonderful memories of my childhood when my little brother played ball. My dad was the manager of the team and my mom was the score keeper. I helped my mom with the score keeping and my two sisters would wait for foul balls. If you retrieved a foul ball, you got a free snowcone. It was a family afair. Tons of memories.
Sports is sports.

Some people get a kick out of playing it, others watching it.

I think the reason why so many people are hyped about the Olympics, is because there is so much raw talent.
Well...I love Hockey..so I was into that..
Most other winter sports...dont hold my interest much...
Actually, you are not alone.

My husband, the one who refused to watch anything on the Holocaust, does not like sports at all. No World Series, no Olympics, nothing like that.
I don't care about the Olympic games either.

Portugal won Saudi Arabia today, and believe me it was a fascinating moment for me.
Prag: It's not a question of who's from where, it's the spirit of the country comng together to support one person or team. not each city competing, its the country as a whole uniting to support their athletes it's the only time that fox and cnn arent arguing, they are both supporting their countries champions. That is the spirit of the oltmpics
I neither love nor hate sports; but I LIKE the Olympics. I find speed skating not so exciting, and that game where you sweep the ice. But there are "cool" things like snowbording and ski jumps and skating. Oh, count me out for watching cross country skiing. Now THAT is boring.

I do however think that EVERYONE should watch the opening and closing ceremonies. I know it's a lot of pomp and circumstance, but I like it. I love the end when all nations, symbolically, come together.

Prag...good to read you btw, haven't in a bit.
Lucy –I’m all for playing sports with family and friends, it’s watching I don’t enjoy. Understandably though if watching brings back warm memories, than watching is a pleasant leisure.
The real me- it’s the kicks one gets form watching I could never get.
I always thought seeing so much raw talent to be frustrating, if they loose you never hear from them again.

David –what about summer sports?

Barbara – I gotta have a msn chat with him once, apparently we have a lot of opinions in common.

Emanuel ben –In which division did they win? I love it when people share my sentiments on issues, thanks for commenting.

The red pen –In this light I guess you’re right; it is nice seeing people from one country sharing a common cause.
But you will agree that this applies to the Olympic only, but at regular soccer game say in the UK, nothing of that is true, it’s hooliganism and violence then.

Tamara –You’re always welcome to read some more :)
I haven’t seen the opening nor closing ceremonies, but even if it is a nice sight, who’s naïve enough to believe it’s not a facade?
dont worry you arent the only one-I saw a few minutes here and ther but there were some beautiful pictures-check it out on the Internet
Here in the UK, football, or as you call it 'soccer' is not a game, but a religion.
I can't stand it.
Whever my kids ask me which team I support, I always say, "The winning one".
(Oh why can't my husband be more like you!)
I couldn´t care less about the olympic games. I am just not into it. I don´t care if its on or off. Coming from a very sports oriented (soccer and tennis) family, we always had to fight over the remote control. It doesn´t end with the olympics there are games on almost every day. Being a teenager and wanting to watch Beverly Hills 90210 the same time the game of the week was on was always a hard one. I am glad my hubby is not a sports fanatic, even though he like to watch some sports on tv, but it´s little compared to my father and brother....

Soon the world cup starts - yay - here we go again :)
Datingmaster- It feels so good to know I’m not the only one, thanks for letting me know.

Kasamba –I know about the U.K., football heroes are more gossiped about than Film stars, and the word hooliganism was practically invented there!
Good answer to the kids, but wouldn’t it be better to tell them that there’s no use in supporting any team?

Mia- I forgot that, all the good shows are postponed and even if they’re on a battle for the remote is wasted effort, they’ll do anything not to miss a match.
In retrospect it’s a good thing your family was so sports oriented, in comparison your husband is just interested not fanatic.

Count me as one who would join your club. Growing up a chussid I was shielded from the world of sports altogether, and thus I didn’t grow fond of my team versus your team.

For the life of me, I can’t comprehend how people get sucked into being so emotional about their particular team. How is it your team I wonder? An acquaintance of mine once told me, that he went out for dinner with his wife, and sat there with a jets head gear because they either won or did something that he made him do that.
I can't explain what it is about sports, but there is something there - an energy that is exciting and draws you in. I grew up in a sports household, played myself and watching my brothers play for years. I don't follow regularly anymore, but when a game is on in front of me, I can get caught up, to an extent.

However, I don't understand the people who get really emotionally involved - to me it was always just fun.

I also haven't followed the Olympics at all, despite always enjoying it in the past. This year, they seemed to have done a horrible marketing job or something, because I have hardly been aware that it is taking place at all.
I did not watch a single olympic this year. ( i have a feeling that that was not very grammatically correct)
They won in soccer

i can't even find the remote.
Also a chussid –They’ll go as far as looking ridiculous and possibly humiliate their partners.
You’re very welcome to the club, apparently there are many more members than I thought. Why do I only meet them online?

Shoshana – I think your attitude is the healthy one. There’s nothing inherently wrong with watching sports, so long as it is an interest and not a near religion.
I wrote this post after I saw a tiny piece on the Olympics in a paper, I thought I had done a great job avoiding all the buzz, but maybe the marketing was so lousy it was easy to not read about it.

Rebecca- aren’t you a teacher?:) You skipped because you didn’t have time of because of lack of interest?

Bec – You beat me in the ignorance department, bravo!
Hi Prag - thank you for stopping by my blog weekly and regularly leaving encouraging comments! Just a little confused what you meant this week "people are going to hear about this" - what was that in reference to?

Keep up the great work over here!
When the Olympics were held in Athens, i took my kids to lots of events and even enjoyed watching them myself. I loved how everyone stood up and clapped for the countries that won, how their national anthems were played to all to honor them. It seems that at these games, all people let go of their prejudices and unite together, if only for a moment. It's a great feeling!
As for watching sports, YUCK!! As for your question about why people are so fanatic about it, i ask you this-why are people fanatics about smoking, politics, religion, sex, etc? Who cares if our preferred political party wins? What changes for us? NOTHING.We are just a FLAWED species, us humans.
Olympics? I never knew they were on until s/o mentioned it at work. I thought I may watch some of it, but havent got round to it yet. Never been a great sports fan, especially supporting a bunch of animals running around after a pig skin, and when they reach it, they kick it away. Makes no sense to be a fan of such shtuss. Sports which actually require skill & elegance can be pleasurable to watch, but I have never been hooked. As for supporting ones country men/women, it all seems a bit wrong being Jewish - but then again, should one support Israeli sports people instead? Its not like (m)any are frum, so what is the difference. Tzorich Iyun.
I am a teacher!!!
a little of both...
actuallY I hate all tv sports!
anyway thanks for contributing to my 489 comments on one post!
soome people just like to watch the different winter sports... the crazy jump these skiers do, etc. I happen to love the ice dancing and of course the figure skating. As far as anything else was concerned I didn't care. As for sports in general... its a guy thing, prag. Shouldn't you enlighten us females as to the allure of wanting your game to win? Beats me!
Parsha- I meant I was going to use it as Dvar Torah.

Evangelia –You’re right, not everything has to be nor can be explained , and I agree that the few moments of calm and respect during the Olympics are quite nice.

G green- You pose a good question? Should we support the athletes of the countries we live in, or the Israeli ones?
I say it doesn’t matter a regardless who you support it remains, in my eyes, one big shtuss as you said.

Frumgirl –I agree it’s mostly men who enjoy sports, and being a rare unfortunate exception to this rule, I suffered the consequences for many years.
It sounds like figure skating is a the big winner among women.
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