SPORTS

Saying bye to the Olympics

Posted 8/11/21

I know that I am probably going to receive a ton of flack for this column, but I can't hold back any further. I am so glad that the Olympics are over. Do I hate the Olympics? No, as a sports nut, there is always something that intrigues me enough to pay

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SPORTS

Saying bye to the Olympics

Posted

I know that I am probably going to receive a ton of flack for this column, but I can’t hold back any further. I am so glad that the Olympics are over.

Do I hate the Olympics? No, as a sports nut, there is always something that intrigues me enough to pay attention to. However, overall, I have never been much of a fan of the games and there are years like this past one that simply do not grab me.

The classic debate is summer versus winter. Which is better?

If I had to choose, I’d go winter. I absolutely adore the men’s and women’s hockey tournaments. I find it so fascinating watching an internationally played sport take place at the highest level. I know that all of the sports played are international, duh, but hockey is massive.

I also love the history of hockey at the Olympics, including and especially the 1980 US team that shocked the world. There have also been some fantastic games against Canada.

Not to make this all about hockey, but all things considered, I would pick winter.

So not only was this my less preferred season, but there really was not a single storyline that interested me.

Simone Biles’ injury issues were unfortunate, but not really a story that I was reading into a whole lot. The US men’s basketball team, to no one’s surprise, won gold. Once again, I was really not that invested in the team since it seemed to be a foregone conclusion that it would win again. Even when it started slow and dropped a few games, did we really believe that the team would not turn it around when it had to?

Some years the Olympics have some real juice, at least enough to keep me engaged, and others do not. The past two weeks really wore on me. I was so sick of opening ESPN or Yahoo or whatever and seeing the Olympics shoved down my throat, especially when beyond Biles and basketball, it seemed that there was nothing noteworthy.

Again, it’s the Olympics, every single item is noteworthy, but I am just not that into it for the most part.

There were also a few things that I feel could have really been intriguing but were pretty much ignored.

First off, this summer marked the debut of skateboarding at the Olympics. I am not a skateboard fanatic or anything, but I can’t believe that a debut sport, especially one like skateboarding, was not heavily covered.

I know tons of skateboarding fans but heard next to nothing about the past two weeks. Wow, that could have been something special, but there was such little coverage. What a blown opportunity.

Boxing as well, I heard so little about the tournaments prior to the final matches. Nothing about the buildup, the competitors from any country. Boxing is one of the oldest and most celebrated sports in the world and has been a staple in the Olympics for generations. In my opinion, the coverage was virtually non-existent which was a let down.

If I had to put into words why I am not a big Olympics fan, I would have to say that it is because it is usually just too much to digest and too difficult to follow, especially when they take place across the globe.

There are so many sports, so many events, so many of which are not mainstream in our country. The times of the events are all over the map, the coverage is choppy. It’s just a lot to handle and the fact that there are times when they’re played literally on the other side of the world makes it tough. I felt like every story I read was old news by the time it came across my screen.

Let me reiterate, this is not me saying I hate the Olympics or feel that the games have major flaws. It’s just me saying that I am not a big fan and there are some years like this where I simply cannot get into it. I am thrilled that they are behind us and hopefully the next winter games will deliver.

With August comes football, and with football comes fantasy football, which over the past two decades has become one of the most popular sporting activities in the country.

This past weekend, a group of eight local high schoolers held an in-person draft, where they all sat in a room with their computers, cooked up some grub, dressed in suits and selected their teams. You can find the full story in our Johnston Sun Rise publication.

There are stories like this that make fantasy football an amazing experience … or should I say craze? I don’t know, but I have always loved participating and have always wanted to be part of a league like this one.

There are many, many other hard core leagues like this one throughout the country and their stories and traditions are fabulous. Whether it be the defending champion getting to establish unique rules, or the last place team getting a punishment. Fantasy football has become a staple in football fandom that is only continuing to grow thanks to leagues like this one.

Not to be overly sentimental over a game and a sport, but that is why football is my favorite sport. There is no sport in the US that brings people together like football, and in my eyes, it has overtaken baseball as America’s Pastime.

When speaking to one of the league organizers, he mentioned that this league will help these kids remain close friends as they all just graduated from high school. That is what it is all about, not just having fun in the moment, but creating new memories and celebrating old ones.

I am excited to play fantasy football this season and to watch football at all levels. There is no sport like it.

Also, I would absolutely recommend fantasy football to anyone. I know some of the older generations have shied away because of the technology aspect, but it really has become extremely user friendly over the past few years whether you use ESPN, NFL, or what have you. It is always a blast.

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