I've already established the fact that I don't watch a lot of TV.
But apparently, when I wrote that, I was not remembering that the Olympics would be on in a few weeks.
And, I'm here to tell you folks, I love the Olympics.
Where I usually only spend one to three hours per week in front of the screen, I've now been spending one to three hours per day.
There is something so special about the Olympics...I don't know if it's just the fact that instead of just watching a team or an individual, you're watching a country, but it makes me feel so patriotic, and I will watch any sport.
This is unlike me for two reasons: 1) I don't watch a lot of TV (yes, yes, how many times can I mention that?) and 2) I really am not a sports fan (in fact, I have never, and I mean never, watched an entire game of anything on TV (football, soccer, baseball, basketball, etc.).
So what makes me suddenly interested in water polo or rowing, diving or volleyball? We are definitely not high-tech enough to be able to DVR anything, so
when I watch, it's as it's being broadcast...no skipping commercials or
fast forwarding through boring events. The strange thing is, I really don't mind.
If you are one of the few stone-age souls like me, watching it in real time, you know there is frequent enough switching between events to keep it all interesting and exciting. (Three hours of alternating between four different sports, I can handle. Three hours of one football game, I cannot.)
Then there's the human interest element: the stories about the various athletes, about their struggles and endurance and perseverance, are inspiring. Suddenly, I know who I'm cheering, and why they're worth cheering for, and that makes all the difference.
And then, like I already mentioned, the Olympics has a way of getting the patriotism flowing. Sure, I might not care about swimming on any other day, but if it's adding medals to the United States, then, yah!, you bet I care. (And actually, swimming is one of my favorite sports to watch, so that was a poor example.)
I fully plan on watching all three weeks of the Olympics, but, even though I'm sure there are many great moments to come, I can't imagine enjoying anything more than last night's events . Between Michael Phelps breaking the total Olympic medals record and the U.S. women's gymnastics team winning the gold, I could not pry myself away from the TV.
In some ways, not knowing the outcome was agony...I'm sure I would have enjoyed each individual performance a lot more if I'd know there weren't going to be any major falls or mishaps. But at the same time, watching it all unfold, and feeling that gripping tension and anticipation, made the experience memorable. I even got a little emotional as the five gymnasts waited for Aly Raisman's score so that their win would be official.
So, if you come by my house and it's a complete disaster or I don't put up a single book review in the next three weeks, you'll know it's because I've turned into a (temporary) TV addict. Go Team USA!