Oh eight oh eight oh eight -- 08/08/08

Yes, once again I am easily amused when the numbers for a date fall into an interesting pattern.

Hey, it's not just me... I have heard that China picked this date for the opening of the Olympics because eight is a lucky number.

We'll probably watch the opening ceremonies on television tonight -- or, at least watch part of them. I realize that all happened hours ago, but I assume that whichever network is broadcasting the games will replay the opening in prime time tonight.

I wonder if they will try to pretend that it is a live broadcast rather than something that happened twelve hours earlier? In past years they have done that (as I noted in an entry eight years ago). I didn't write about the Olympics twelve years ago because I didn't start this journal until the end of September in '96. Actually, I did have a Web site back then, but it was not a personal one, it was just for the soccer team that Jeremy was playing on at the time... and which Nancy and I were coaching... well, I had insisted that she be the main coach, since she had actually played soccer on a soccer team (a coed team in an IBM employee league) whereas my only soccer experience was as a soccer dad (although one of the guys I shared a house with during my sophomore year of college was Hungarian and he did try a couple of times to show us how to play futball) so I served as assistant coach.

Eight years ago I didn't have that much opportunity to watch the Olympics because a few days after they began I had to go to Norway on a business trip. My 2000 entry had been called "Watching the Olympics" and four years later my 2004 entry was called "Not watching the Olympics." In that one I explained how I enjoyed watching the parade of athletes at the opening ceremonies, especially the athletes from the micro-nations. However, during prior Olympics I had become increasingly frustrated by the idiocy of the television coverage. I should say the coverage in the U.S. -- my only experience with non-U.S. coverage was during that trip to Oslo where I did watch a little bit of the Olympics. I do not speak Norwegian, so I have no idea what the announcers were saying, but I did notice in my limited amount of viewing that they concentrated on showing the actual events rather than cutting away to endless recorded interviews, talking head pontification, and sob-sister style soap opera biographies about individual athletes. Thus, four years ago I watched almost nothing after the opening ceremonies.

This time I have a vague hope that since they might be showing many more hours using cable channels, they might run out of stupid tear-jerker stories and actually show something of the events. Well, I mostly mean the track and field events. Or... maybe they will stream some of those events on the Internet. Please note that I said "a vague hope" -- I don't really expect them to show much of anything worth watching.

While I am carrying on about the annoying Olympic coverage, let me also add how vile I find the fascination that the television babblers have with adding up how many medals were won by athletes from various countries, especially with their constant harping on how many medals were won by athletes from the U.S. It does not mean a thing. I can understand someone in the audience rooting for an athlete or a team from their nation -- If I were to watch the U.S. women's soccer team play I would be cheering them on. (Of course I must also confess that I would love to see that gang of NBA multimillionaires be humiliated on the basketball court.) But why do the U.S. television sports babblers display such embarrassingly chauvinistic bias?

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