As much as I always look forward to watching the Olympics, now that the Games are getting started later this week, Iím thinking of all kinds of reasons not to watch. Thereís the repression of the Chinese government, of course, and their sponsorship of other repressive regimes. And the pollution! Hereís the best reason to boycott, because all these governments will fall in time, but the air will never be completely clear again. Maybe it wasnít such a critical issue when the IOC awarded the Games to Beijing.
And thatís not even to mention (although I will now) the problems with the Games themselves. There have been so many doping scandals leading up to the start of the Olympics that it casts a dark cloud, almost as thick as the one thatís already in the sky there, over the whole proceedings. Itís not that much fun to watch an event and then find out afterward that the winner cheated, but itís bound to happen. Law of averages and all.
In its wisdom NBC has decided to provide live coverage every night, everywhere in the United States. Everywhere except on the West Coast. We who live in the Pacific time zone are expected to enjoy the Games three hours after the rest of the country has already seen them. We are also, I suppose, expected to stay away from the news and the interwebs and our mobile phones, so that any dramatic finishes or surprise results wonít be spoiled for us. Itís already a little spoiled for me, knowing everyone else has already seen it.
Besides, itís not as if I donít have other options. The Little League World Series and the English Premier League season will both be starting up before the Olympics are over. Baseball is getting pretty exciting now (unless youíre a Giants fan). NASCAR is heating up, the NFL is getting ready to go. What do I need the Olympics for anyway?