Summer Olympics are over — back to ho-hum sports and TV

By Doug Halberstadt
Sports Columnist

The 2012 Summer Olympic Games are now over. Millions of people around the world watched at least some part of the 10-day event. For most of those onlookers, the Olympics are a source of national pride and an opportunity to see some of the greatest athletes on the planet giving it their all for the chance at having a medal placed around their neck.

For one reason or another, millions of other people around the globe chose not to watch a single second of the games. I can’t imagine what it would be like to be in that group. I overheard some of those people complaining about how the Olympics coverage interrupted their regular television viewing habits. To them, I say … oh well, tough luck!

I probably watched more of the games than the average person, but that’s part of my personality. I’d rather watch two countries that I have no allegiance to compete in synchronized swimming than sit still for a single episode of any re-hashed situation comedy or one of those cookie-cutter crime-scene shows.

Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Misty May-Trainor, Kerri Walsh, Usain Bolt, Missy Franklin, Gabby Douglas, Oscar Pistorius, Carmelita Jeter, etc., all the way down to even the least-known water polo player from (insert any country here) garner more respect from me than any Hollywood celebrity ever will. I will always opt for watching these talented athletes over the pampered actors and actresses. To me, it boils down to reality versus make-believe — and the drama is far superior.

If you’re reading this and you don’t recognize one or all of the names I referred to in the previous paragraph, I suggest you take a moment and ask a family member or neighbor who they are. Better yet, Google them. Their stories are very real and equally compelling.

For those of you who may have missed a re-run of How I Met Your Mother, The Big Bang Theory or CSI Chemung, you can relax now. Your shows should be back on. For me, I’ll have to revert back to Cubs games, pre-season football and whatever else I can find on ESPN or any of the other sports channels I get in my cable package.

Depending on your point of view and television viewing preferences, the good or bad news is the Winter Olympic Games are only two years away!

From the Aug. 15-21, 2012, issue

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