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How Relevant Are The Olympics?

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  • How Relevant Are The Olympics?

    The San Francisco Chronicle has an off-the-wall online columnist ("The Fool") who comes up with some pretty good stuff. His question of the week was the above.

    Here was his response

    <<I'm still bitter about the gold medal basketball game in 1972. That's also about the last time the Olympics meant anything. The boycotts of 1980 and 1984 ruined the entire feeling. Now, the main reason for the telecasts seems to be sugary, faded images of how some scrappy farm lad from Kansas with a scary childhood disease who grew up to be the very best archer this country's ever seen.>>

    For what some of the readers said (I like the guy who says if transexuals can compete as women why not Smarty Jones in the 100-yard dash) go here (at end of all the boring stuff about Bay Area pro teams):

    http://www.sfgate.com/columnists/fool/

  • #2
    Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

    Hey, if you're going to read our columnists, you can't call our teams "boring," dadgummit!

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    • #3
      Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

      ALL stuff about pro sports teams is boring (unless it happens to be about the teams I root for). :-)

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      • #4
        Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

        excerpt:

        "There was a time, when I was a high school swimmer, that the Olympics had some appeal, but that has faded in time. Today the Olympics are an overhyped non-event. I can't name a single performer, who merits my attention."


        I love it when someone with some media attention has some personal issues that he feels he must burden the rest of us with. Those statements are his problem. Millions disagree. I, for one, wasn't into the 'American Idol' thing, but I understand that some other people were.

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        • #5
          Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

          I didn't find the article to be all that interesting. I love the Olympics. Put the Olympics on in any classroom full of young children and most of them will be completely captivated especially if it's an individual event like Track and Field or swimming. There's just something about it that most people understand to be very special. I'm excited.

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          • #6
            Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

            I like events where the best of the best compete.

            Literally everyone is peaking, and for any given day, we know who the best is.

            August 13 is circled on many calenders, and I have it circled too...

            why?? because of the enjoyment of viewing the excellence of compeition!!

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            • #7
              Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

              Track "made" the OG's and vice versa .Despite its many problems I will always consider the t&f part of the OLYMPICS the greatest of sports events. THE HOWARD COSELL of track, brother Satch 5/28/04.

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              • #8
                Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                Satch is right. I still can't understand how some T&F nuts can bash the OG's. Neither one can live very well without the other.
                "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                • #9
                  Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                  'Track "made" the OG's and vice versa'

                  Satch has the first part right, but as for the second part that is false. Before the 1896 games track was very popular in England and the US with huge crowds.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                    <huge crowds>

                    How huge? What was the sporting (and other entertainment) competition? No radio, no TV. Those were the same crowds as what you see in the movie "Great Race" featuring Great Leslie and professor Fate. You can't convince me that without the Olympics, T&F wouldn't have even less crowd and media following than it is now.
                    "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                    by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                    • #11
                      Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                      The Olympics {along with T&F at the highest levels} have become as unredeeming and sullied by avarice as pro sports or collegiate "revenue" sports. It's become nothing more than a big money grab by corporations on the backs of local resident taxpayers and of athletes who, for the most part, still think that there's a nobility in trying to win a gold medal, despite ample evidence that on top of the gross exploitation the whole thing is polluted with rampant cheating. It's a sham if anyone believes that there's anything pure or virtuous left in it.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                        Good grief! Compared to you, I'm a sunny optimist!

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                        • #13
                          Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                          <The Olympics {along with T&F at the highest levels} have become as unredeeming and sullied by avarice as pro sports or collegiate "revenue" sports. It's become nothing more than a big money grab by corporations on the backs of local resident taxpayers and of athletes who, for the most part, still think that there's a nobility in trying to win a gold medal, despite ample evidence that on top of the gross exploitation the whole thing is polluted with rampant cheating. It's a sham if anyone believes that there's anything pure or virtuous left in it.>


                          You are certainly entitled to your opinion. The debated issue, however, is not a "purity" of the OG's, but how do the T&F and OG's interact.
                          "A beautiful theory killed by an ugly fact."
                          by Thomas Henry Huxley

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                          • #14
                            Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                            Back in the late 1800's track cycling was an enormously popular sport in the U.S., with major events and large prize pools, for that day.

                            Kind of like what some of the newer winter sports are like today, except with less competition for the dollars.

                            Regardless of what anybody individually thinks about the Olympics, it is still viewed by a great majority of people as the single greating sporting event in the world. I know my life would be diminished without the Games, as once one games is over, I feel like it is an agonizing wait until they return again.

                            It is the one major world's sporting event where track and field gets to be in the international spotlight for a glorious two weeks, and without that publicity, track would be a far more obscure sport than it is today.

                            The reason the Olympic Games are open to all professionals today, with certain notable exceptions such as boxing, is that because of nations funding so many so-called "amateur" athletes, there was an uneven field of competition that could not be resolved any other way than by opening up the Games to pros.

                            I personally hate what having pros has done to team sports in the Olympics, such as baseball and basketball, but overall I think that it was much to our benefit that the hypocrisy of amateurism was abandoned at the Games.

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                            • #15
                              Re: How Relevant Are The Olympics?

                              'How huge?'

                              According to Peter Lovesey's history of the AAA's, in 1863 an athletics meeting in Liverpool drew 10,000 spectators. Also present day UK football stadiums such as Stamford Bridge, Aston Lower Grounds and others were first built for athletic competitions long before the modern Olympics. So to say the Olympics begat track is false.

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