Monday, August 18, 2008

The Olympics are cool again

Is it just me or does it feel like these Beijing Olympic games are the most significant sporting event to have occurred in our lifetime? I realize I'm fairly young, just out of college, but I think what's going down in China is historic.

I thought coming in this would be remembered in the history books simply because of the backdrop of China becoming a truly prominent country, coupled with sometimes atrocious human rights violations for a country of its power. But now, with what has gone down athletically, I really think this is a moment in my sports life that I'll always remember. I just can't get past the my own pure reverance I have of MIchael Phelps — someone of my generation — becoming the greatest Olympian ever. And it means, the games he achieved them in will always stand the test of time.

Well, today comes proof that I'm not the only one basking in the glow of watching greatness go down. According to the ratings, me, my friends, and the rest of the television watching world are ensuring NBC makes tons and tons of money now and in the future:

The network has averaged 30 million viewers in prime time -- on par with the numbers tuning in for "American Idol" -- since the games opened on August 15, and Saturday night's audience peaked at 40 million viewers in the half hour during which the men's 400-meter medley was held.

I must admit, the ratings part of the equation never occurred to me coming in. I figured that sports like swimming and track and field are on television all the time, and therefore people wouldn't be too interested in what went down sports wise. Obviously, I was wrong.

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