Friday, August 3, 2012

The Olympics: sports for the rest of us

Thanks, Wikipedia!
The Olympics is like a sports-primer for non-sports fans, giving us just a taste of what all the fuss is about. Normally, we have to duck office conversations every time football (or basketball, or baseball) season comes around, either nodding at what we’re pretty sure are key moments or accepting the confusion of co-workers when we admit that we don’t have a favorite team. Honestly, we don’t know enough about any of them to care. 

But during the Olympics, we all have the same home team. And instead of focusing on details of gameplay that make no sense to the sports ignorant, they have crying athletes achieving once-in-a-lifetime victories (or missing them by heartbreaking inches) and mothers sitting in the audience. They have backstories designed to make you care about them as people almost more than as athletes. You have easy-to-understand records (the guy with the most medals wins) and calls from the president.

With all that coming at you, it’s hard for even the most sports-ignorant not to feel some team spirit cropping up. To cheer at a moment so obviously great that even we can understand why. To feel like you know the athletes personally, even though you’ve never met them before in your life.

And for once, we can keep up with sports conversations at the office.

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