Olympic Viewing

August 21, 2008

I heard that Michael Phelps has something like 40 or 50 million dollars worth of endorsements lined up for him when he returns home. That's an example of marketing dollars badly spent, and I'll tell you why.

First and foremost, 85% of the people in the world will forget all about Phelps as soon as they blow out the Olympic flame at the end of the closing ceremonies Sunday. The last 15% will forget him altogether four days later, as the king of all sports (college football) kicks off once again.

That leaves a statistically insignificant number of swimming nerds who might remember Michael Phelps and care what he endorses, and those people have paid enough attention to see that he comes across as a dick. Not only that, but if you stick around for one of his interviews, you realize that he's possibly as stupid as a career gas station attendant. He speaks in grunts and all marble-mouthed, and if you're lucky enough to fail to understand his words, you're sparing yourself a large amount of inane blather.

If I were spending millions on someone to shill my product, that person better have Magic Johnson charisma. Shawn Johnson had that Magic smile and held herself together well in an interview with Bob Costas in prime time. I think I'd throw my money that way, if I thought I needed an Olympian.

As you might have guessed by my lack of posts, I'm glued to the TV these weeks. I haven't watched this much Olympics if you combined all of the time I spent watching the Atlanta, Sydney, and Athens games. There are several reasons for this. First, this is my first high-def Olympics. That makes a big difference. Second, if NBC is showing some cheesy interest feature, one of the other channels in the NBC family is showing an actual event. This leads to my third enticement -- some really cool events that I've never seen.

A couple posts back, I made fun of trampoline as an event. I was picturing a barefoot 12-year-old in her back yardwho happened to be good at flips and things. I take all that back. What those people were doing was absolutely sick. Take a look online if you didn't catch it on the tube.

The sprints were even more amazing. I know that LSU football had an off day yesterday, and I can only hope that Coach Miles was on the first morning flight to Jamaica, in search of the next 6'4" monster who can run a 40 in under 4 seconds.

By the way, as I'm typing this, I just saw a Cuban win a short hurdle race wearing glasses. I've never seen a sprinter wear glasses before, and despite being the best hurdle sprinter in the world at this very moment, and despite being fast as a racehorse, and despite having zero fat and decent muscles, he still looks like a big old nerd in those glasses.

Anyway, I've been up until at least 11:00 or 12:00 every night, and sometimes even later. Then, I'm up at 5:00 most mornings, as I've been juggling two jobs. That's not interesting to you, but it's kept me busy enough to keep from reading internet spoilers during the day, which makes the events that much more exciting at night. It's an evil circle, destined to lead to a fiery car crash after I fall asleep at the wheel this weekend.

I have more to say on the college football front, but I think I"m going to log off so that I can watch the men's beach volleyball final with my full attention. But here are a couple of links that you might enjoy, particularly if you share some of my rooting interests in the King of Sports.

Jock itch outbreak at USCWould a win over Florida at their field be bittersweet if all of their team was injured?

Not at all. I'd like to see Tebow bump his head and slip into an unexplainable coma this weekend to top it all off.

Friday morning update: I fell asleep after one set of the volleyball. Anyone know who won?