“It’s OK. Just go read a book or one of the many magazines that are piling up. You’re not missing anything anyway.”
This is what I told myself when our satellite feed suddenly went silent almost a month-and-a-half ago. Poor communication and terrible customer service extended our television outage close to a month and both my roommate and I began to get the no-television-cold-sweats.
First, we missed the start of the boring, almost frustrating NFL preseason and all the Brett Favre hype. Then it was the start of the Olympic Games, which really made us anxious. Things were getting very tough in our small Ames cabin, but then we had a light at the end of the no-TV tunnel. The repair guy was coming sometime between 8 a.m. and noon and my roommate took the morning off from his ever-busy river business to meet and greet our savior.
“Sweet,” I thought that morning. “I can’t wait to take off early from the office and go home for non-stop Olympic coverage. I don’t care if it’s ballroom dancing, I am going to watch every ounce of Olympic action ’til 2 a.m.”
When I rushed in the door later that day, there sat my roommate at the dining room table. Quiet. Blank faced.
“The repair man didn’t show up and I had to go to work,” he said. “They will be here next week.” So began another week of painful silence, constantly wondering just what great sport we were missing that evening. Badminton? Trampoline? What a depressing time in my life. We couldn’t even waste our time surfing the web, searching for highlights. No hookup.
Had it really come to this? My life revolving around a television set in the evenings? Is this really the sad state of affairs, where I fall into a deep depression when I know viewers across the country are listening to Bob Costas’s stale voice for hours on end and I can’t? Michael Phelps was on his way to eight straight gold metals in swimming and I was not a part of this spectacle. I knew that somewhere on a Monday night, some blowhard third-string quarterback was throwing an interception in the only game the poor boy will ever play in the NFL, and I was missing it, damn it. So, so depressing.
Well, it’s been almost a week now since the repair guy actually came and fixed the satellite and let me tell you, life is good once again.
Phelps winning his eighth gold. Women’s beach volleyball. Pommel horse. Misty May and Kerri Walsh. Gymnastics. May and Walsh. The USA men’s “redeem team” basketball triumphs. More beach volleyball. Discus. Marathon. May and Walsh. What an Olympics it has been.
In all honesty, I don’t remember being so entertained by previous Olympics. Every evening this year has been a wonderful sporting spectacle. The men’s 100-meter dash. Who is this Usain Bolt? I admit I wasn’t impressed when he easily won the 100-meter race with ease and a harsh flash of showboating as he coasted the last quarter of the race. But then when he won the 200 in world record time (and without the showboating), he really showed me that he is a racing phenomenon. Those races are so exciting because of the macho-ness all these racers display. You can tell they really want to beat the guy next to them for the bragging rights, if not for the medal.
And how about Misty May and Kerri Walsh. Did I already mention them? On Wednesday evening the duo won their second straight Olympic gold medal by defeating the tough China team of Wang Jie and Tian Jia. Walsh and May have won 14 straight Olympic matches. Can you say best volleyball team ever? I certainly can. Those two are simply a joy to watch, and I cant’ quite figure out why.
I don’t need to say anything more about Phelps than what has already been said. His record may be one of those that will simply never be beaten. Except for, maybe, Phelps in the 2012 London games.
Yes, these games have been fun to watch. There is nothing like watching a two-and-a-half-hour women’s marathon to kill an evening. The Olympics for me is like a holiday. A two-week long reason to zone out, drink a few dozen beers and watch contests you just don’t get to see everyday. It will be sad to see them go so soon, especially since I missed half of them.
What is reassuring is that the 2008 college football season is less then one week away. That’s right. Next Thursday is the opening evening with games to follow on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and even Monday. Thank goodness that is just around the bend.