Can we get a perspective check on the Olympics please? I know NBC paid more than a billion dollars to broadcast these games--but can we be spared the hype and "fakery" that have marked this year's broadcasts?
We can start by losing the "GREATEST OLYMPIAN EVER" campaign on behalf of Michael Phelps. Yes, he is now the all-time medal winner and is setting world records every time he gets in the pool--but are his efforts any greater than those of Carl Lewis--who was part of four Olympic teams and won running and jumping medals in three of them (and would have made it four if not for the idiocy of Jimmy Carter and his boycott)? Or Jesse Owens--who not only set records at the Berlin Games--but also ran with the added burden of having to prove Hitler's theory of Aryan racial superiority was a load of crap? Or Al Oerter who won gold in the discuss in four straight games? And that doesn't even consider the thousands of athletes who competed for other countries--who apparently don't exist in NBC's universe--except as foils or antogonists to the US "heroes".
The next step would be to show something other than gymnastics, swimming and running in primetime. It would have been nice to see how three Americans swept the medals in trap shooting this week. I'll grant you, they aren't cute little girls wearing skimpy outfits or young guys with sixpack abs wearing swimsuits--but they kicked butt nonetheless.
And finally, we can stop faking the "pageantry" of the games as well. NBC admits the spectacular fireworks display for the opening ceremonies was actually digitally enhanced by computer to look more impressive. And the Chinese organizers now admit they put a different little girl on stage to lip synch a song during the ceremony--because the girl who actually sang it "wasn't cute enough". As our reporter Kevin Backstrom said--Milli Vanilli will now be part of the closing ceremonies.
So let's return the Olympics to what they really are: great athletes playing great games. It's not like Brett Favre is out there requring this level of hype.