16 February 2006

The Rest of Gumbel's Comment

Everyone seems to be copying the same edited post of Gumbel's comment so it was hard to find a full transcript for that segment of the show. It's a shame because it's hard to even follow what he was saying reading the edited comment that's circulating around in most places. Here is the original transcript in full minus the GOP shot that I've taken out since it's already covered over on the political side of the site.

"Finally, tonight, the Winter Games. Count me among those who don’t care about them and won’t watch them. In fact, I figure that when Thomas Paine said that “these are the times that try men’s souls,” he must’ve been talking about the start of another Winter Olympics. Because they’re so trying, maybe over the next three weeks we should all try too. Like, try not to be incredulous when someone attempts to link these games to those of the ancient Greeks who never heard of skating or skiing. ... Try not to point out that something’s not really a sport if a pseudo-athlete waits in what’s called a kiss-and-cry area, while some panel of subjective judges decides who won. And try to blot out all logic when announcers and sportswriters pretend to care about the luge, the skeleton, the biathlon and all those other events they don’t understand and totally ignore for all but three weeks every four years. Face it — these Olympics are little more than a marketing plan to fill space and sell time during the dreary days of February. So if only to hasten the arrival of the day they’re done, when we can move on to March Madness — for God’s sake, let the games begin."

For what it's worth, if you replace "March Madness" with "the NFL Draft" and leave out the comment I've already excised, I do agree with Gumbel here but I think he's missing a some important concepts. First, is there a sport around today that gets consistent media coverage that is anything more than "a marketing plan to fill space and sell time?" It seems to me that all professional sports are the same in that aspect. At least the Winter Olympics is smart enough to do that in an otherwise dead part of the sports spectrum.

Second, Gumbel doesn't watch the Winter Olympics. Thomas Paine sure didn't watch them. I don't watch them. But a very large group of people do watch the Winter Olympics: women. That's right. Women seem to love the Winter Olympics. I'm sure you can all trot out some anecdotal examples of females who hate figure skating but by and large they eat it up. Once every four years for a short period of time, sports are marketed towards women. Don't believe me? Watch the commercials and you should see all the evidence you need. Can't we men stand down from bashing the Winter Olympics for long enough to give women their sports fix for the next four years? Is that really too much to ask? I for one am happy that they can get it out of their systems some time that doesn't interfere with football.

5 Comments:

At 3:38 PM, Blogger ruby booth said...

anecdotal evidence mark one:
I hate the Olympics. Four years of training for four minutes of sport, now that's stupid.

 
At 3:59 PM, Blogger Dante said...

Ruby fell into my trap because now I can point out that Winter Olympic coverage is the only thing we can get women to post about on the sports page :)

 
At 4:11 PM, Blogger S.A.W.B. said...

Well, only because we won't let Kevin post about how stupid sports are...

/ba-dum-bum
//yeah, i'm full of cheap shots today...

 
At 6:07 PM, Blogger ruby booth said...

oh my god, i did! damn it!

 
At 2:08 PM, Blogger Laddi said...

I have no comment except that ye olde Winter Olympics are much better live. :-P

 

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