If you’ve been wondering where the Olympics coverage has been around here, sorry, but I just wasn’t that interested.
I used to care about the Olympics. Well, I used to watch them. But I always got frustrated by the insipid commentary and the endless commercials and the Team USA overload and the never-ending inspirational back-stories of the athletes and how all the interesting stuff got pushed back ’til past my bedtime — despite the fact that the events are usually tape delayed so there’s no good reason to drag this stuff out.
So this year I saved myself the frustration and ignored it for the most part. Oh, I’d have it on if there was nothing else on but I was usually more focused on my laptop than whatever feats of athletic excellence were happening on the TV screen in front of me.
It didn’t help matters that the first week of the event coincided with LawyerCon, where I was in a hotel room with free HBO when I wasn’t out seeing the sights of Charleston, South Carolina. If I have to choose between movies without commercial interruption and sports, I’ll take “Sucker Punch.”
Furthermore, The Wife didn’t seem all that interested in watching them either.
As a result, the most pleasure I got out of the 2012 Olympics was the schadenfreude of watching my Facebook friends whine endlessly about all the stuff I mentioned back in paragraph 2. C’mon, people. It’s the Internet and 24-hour-news age. Olympic results are not going to stand still because you want to watch events in prime time and pretend it’s all happening live before your eyes.
So yeah, I didn’t mind that it was all coming to an end last night. I had as much interest in the closing ceremonies as I did the opening ceremonies — none at all — and instead watched a PBS special about music acts on the old “Ed Sullivan Show.” Whoever was doing the set designs for that show was clearly smoking something Ed would not have approved of.
At 9 p.m. there was nothing else on so I switched over to the end of the closing ceremonies for background noise as I putzed away on the computer. Around 10 p.m. I hear Bob Costas say the words “The Who.” I didn’t hear anything else. Were The Greatest Rock and Roll Band Ever going to perform after this commercial break? It was time for bed, but I would stay up for Pete and Roger.
The next time I look up from the computer there’s some sitcom set in a vet clinic going on. Where’s The Who? I figure it’s just an extended promo, but it doesn’t stop. Are the closing ceremonies over? When did that happen? Did Bob Costas lie to me? What’s going on? I check the schedule and see they are rerunning the closing ceremony at 11:30, so I set the DVR to record it figuring I must have somehow missed The Who and I’ll just fast-forward through the crap and catch it in the morning.
The next morning I get up, pull up the closing ceremony and hit fast forward. Images of bands I’ve never heard of, and all kinds of weird spectacle go flying by — but no Pete and Roger. Did I go to fast? Did Bob Costas lie to me? I check online. Yes, The Who did perform. I go back and start over, this time running the fast forward at a slower pace. Still no Who. As I’m wrapping up the second run-through, a terrible thought occurs to me. No. Surely not. NBC wouldn’t be so stupid as to edit out The Who’s performance. No. NBC would be exactly that stupid.
I turn back to the computer, type the words “The Who” into a search engine and press enter.
Viewers outraged after NBC cuts away from Olympics closing ceremony — CNN
Unbelievable. And keep in mind, this was all on tape delay. It’s not like the show ran long and they had to pull the plug. NBC intentionally aired the Pet Shop Boys, the Spice Girls, Russell-Freaking-Brand — and several musicians I’ve never heard of — over The Who. Russell-Freaking-Brand.
Look, it was funny when you were screwing over the sports fans, NBC, but now you’ve done something serious.
Granted, I’ve probably seen Pete and Roger perform “My Generation” enough times in my life, but keep in mind The Who is already half in the grave. When the next one goes, it’s all over. You never know which Who performance will be the last, so you should treasure them all.
So thanks for ruining the only thing about the Olympics that I was interested in, NBC. I was going to boycott the quality programming on your network as revenge, but then I remembered: There is no quality programming on NBC. I think the only thing I watch on NBC is “The Office,” and that stopped being funny a couple years ago.