Dara Torres

The Olympics: Good…The Opening Ceremonies: Lame

Have you ever been busy doing nothing? That’s the world of sports around here, with more inconsequential events this evening than there are veins in Dara Torres’ neck.

The A’s and Giants both play this evening, just another couple games in both teams’ inevitable march towards fourth place in their respective divisions. And the baseball games are the most important events going on tonight.

The Raiders and 49ers play an exhibition game in Oakland that will be shown on tape delay because of the NFL Blackout policy.

And while the local football teams are scrimmaging in Oakland, NBC will televise perhaps the most useless event of all: the Olympic Opening Ceremonies.

If you’re into pomp and circumstance, you probably disagree with my characterization of athletes walking around a track as a waste of time. My apologies, but I can’t stand parades, and the Opening Ceremonies is a glorified parade, with athletes and flags serving as the floats.

Even though I’d never pay money to watch an NFL preseason game, I’d much rather watch Mike Martz’s pet quarterback (J.T.O.) throw to Josh Morgan than hear Bob Costas talk about all the money China spent on fireworks and dancers. Plus, the Opening Ceremonies are another excuse for NBC to air inspirational human-interest stories — the same ones they’re going to force down our throats on primetime every night, when all we want is to simply watch some actual sports.

Like my hatred of parades, maybe I’m alone in wishing the coverage of the Olympics would focus on the events, not the stories and personalities of athletes we’ll forget about by August 24. Tons of market research has shown that the American viewing audience likes these puff pieces (with sad piano music playing as the backdrop when NBC doesn’t feel like using Bette Midler’s “Hero” or Green Day’s “Good Riddance (Time of Your Life)”). Sort of like my opinion that Jack Johnson is the most overrated singer in pop music, I guess I’m in the minority on this one.

I’m thankful for two things as we head into the Summer Olympics:
1. Tivo. This is my first Olympics with a digital recorder, meaning I won’t be forced to watch all the sob stories.
2. My girlfriend cares as little about the human-interest stories as I do, meaning I don’t have to hide the remote.

Favre-less Links

Now Kobe says he’ bolt for Italy for $50 million. The U.S. basketball team might not win the gold in Beijing, but Kobe and LeBron might succeed in changing the NBA’s salary structure. (The Big Lead)

Now that the A’s are the worst team in the Bay Area (losing their last 10 games and 17 of their last 19), Ray Ratto thinks the true owner of the team must step forward and make his presence known. No, not Lew Wolff, but majority owner John Fisher. (SF Gate)

A Cubs fan painted blue doused blonde freelance reporter Molly Dapier with a bucket full of water outside Wrigley Field, then put the whole thing on YouTube. No truth to the rumor that Amy Gutierrez was last seen in Target loading up on ponchos. (Deadspin)

Here’s a transcript of a phone conversation between Tony Romo and Jessica Simpson. Apparently Romo likes “fertile” golf courses more than blonde wannabe country singers. (Kissing Suzy Kolber)

It’s looking more and more like the Seattle Supersonics will be known as the Oklahoma City Thunder next year. The Warriors mascot is officially on notice. (Fear the Beard)

The powerless Giants probably won’t pack much punch next year, either. (McCovey Chronicles)


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