“I can’t get no respect.” Rodney Dangerfield.
In the true Olympic spirit, here’s little Canada, doing the best it can to put on a fair event, rules emplaced, let’s leave the rest to the players and hope for a dose of high drama type of contest plus actually pulling it off, while having to listen to the 52-man British media team whine about the lack of snow and a tepid opening ceremony.
Of course, Britain only recently had a three-week long winter reality check, so it’s not really a stretch for them to realize that even simple-minded colonists have a great deal of fun when Jack Frost lays down some freezing temperatures. The rest of the world sympathized with the Brits and Europeans while they struggled through cold and snow. When the mukluk is on the other foot, expecting the supposedly professional journalists from the formerly Sceptered Isle to show some dignity and pride in their coverage is apparently too much to ask.
One would therefore expect our own ink-stained wretches in the media to pay attention and up their own standards of broadcast professionalism but no such luck. When interviewing medal winners, the first utterly predictable idiot question starts off with “How did you feel when…”? Isn’t the first law of journalism to present news informatively so as to keep the listener/viewer/reader interested enough to stay tuned?
Possibly, it’s time to drug test the news people although it seems obvious they haven’t been taking any performance enhancing drugs. I think the dumbing down occurred when the Olympic torch came out looking suspiciously like a marijuana cigarette and attracted a stampede of Canadians eager to take a hit off it.
As a nation we unanimously snicker at the Americans when they wear their flag on their sleeves. How do we then explain this “Own the Podium” odiousness? As Dizzy Dean once said, “It ain’t bragging if you can do it,” but we didn’t. Watching red and white jingoistic fervor doesn’t seem Canadian. This is a sporting event, not a pissing contest.
I blame Copenhagen. You remember the Conference worried about global warming that took place during the coldest winter in hundreds of years? Yes, the one that saw leaders order thousands of limos, eat exotic foods from the far side of the planet and lecture us commoners to turn down the thermostats. The Confab that tried to give us a black eye for the oil sands and high energy consumption because they are unaware we live in a cold place.
Since hypocrisy and poor manners are rampant, and since we in the Southern Interior of B.C. have now had two Winter Olympics within a couple of hundred miles each side of us the last 22 years, yes, let’s be smug. The fans, who endure mindless security hassles, high prices and cattle boat crowd control, have been uniformly appreciative of all good performances. They applaud any athlete of any country. Our contestants seem genuinely moved by fan support and are gracious, whether winning or usually not.
There’s a saying that in the States, NHL teams play in front of 16,000 fans, but in Canada our guys play in front of 16,000 coaches. Hats off to the people of our country and especially our province for another well done Winter Games.