But let’s be real. For 3 weeks NBC is going to pretend like these are sports the average American cares about. Seriously? Sailing is must-see TV? Are you going to watch a preliminary field hockey match between Slovenia & Finland at 3:20 AM?
Not unless they can make it interesting.
Here’s 10 ways to tweak Olympic sports to make them interesting TV:
- Move the equestrian events around to other random events. Nothing would spice up round 3 of fencing event like some horses in the background. And think about how much fun water polo would be with a couple horses in the water?
- Put archery and shooting in the rough of the golf course. You want to see some golfers sweat? If a dude slices into the rough he should have to time his shot to avoid getting shot with an arrow. “It’s going to be a tough up and down, especially after he lost his sand wedge over on the shooting range.“
- Have all the discus, javelin, and hammer throw people go at the same time. (Not each discipline, mind you, each of those separately) If you survive a round and your object goes the furthest… we will crown you champion. Think of the international incident possibilities? “Well, Jack. The real interesting thing here is that the Russian threw his hammer the furthest, but the Turk accidentally hit him in the head with his, so it looks like the Russian will fail to advance.”
- Badminton and table tennis should be played on the roof of Canary Warf. At 771 feet above street level and with some of London’s notorious drizzle, this should make both of these event worth watching.
- Several modifications to soccer would make it more fun to watch. I appreciate the toughness, but let’s bank the sidelines so that the ball flows into the middle better. And a motte at the half line would be appropriate for London. Also, when a team scores a goal they should lose a player until they can score another goal so the other team is advantaged to score. Go up by 3 goals and you lose your goalie for 10 minutes.
- Track would be better with more chaos and less stretching. Time the 100 meter to go at the same time and in the opposite direction as the 400 meter and you’ll have some TV worth watching. Combine the 100 meter final and pole vaulting? Dang, I’d get a Tivo for that.
- Distance running should include some chase scenes. Who wants to watch some poor dude run 26 miles? Not this guy. But add a dog or some bulls every once in a while and I’m IN!
- Field hockey needs some checking. No doubt it’s a fun game to play. But we need some hits! Also, change the time on the quarters to say… 5 minutes. We need to pick up the pace.
- Combine weightlifting and the canoe/kayaking events. I’d love to see those big bulky dudes wedge themselves into a tiny little kayak, then beach it to try to pull-n-jerk 450 pounds on a little raft in the middle of the Thames. Are you kidding? With the clock running? This is amazing TV.
- Gymnastics, swimming, and diving need some defense. How about some gladiators during the floor competition? Or what if swimming included some goons in the middle of the pool? “Did you see Michael Phelps, he swam right underneath the Italian defense. Unbelievable!”
Do some of that stuff and I’m all in. That would even make the closing ceremonies worth watching as it’d be a parade of survivors and unlimited montages of great hits and unforgettable moments.