Yes, the Olympics have returned for another go around. A strange time in TV viewing where we all sit and watch hours of events that we typically wouldn't watch, even under the threat of death. Seriously, if you were to ask your friend what they were doing this weekend and they answered, "there's 16 hours of equestrian on the NBC Sports Network." You'd either have them institutionalized or mercy kill them.
That said, guess what I'm doing this weekend? What's terrible is that I'm not even that big of a fan of the summer games. I'll watch some soccer, some swimming (we'll see if Phelps can break a record or two) and perhaps the 100 meter dash with some interest, but beyond that I could care less and yet, "Oh. Look. It's the 60 meter archery prelims on at 2 in the morning....Ok, let's do that."
I don't know if they drug us or what? Maybe it really is that Olympic spirit that overcomes our usual instincts and we become these optimistic, hopeful creatures waiting for a good story? The thing is, it does mean something when someone wins a gold. To see them up on the platform, tears in their eyes as their national anthem plays... it's not just winning a game. It means something bigger. I may even be watching more this year just to insulate myself from all the crap stories I might have to deal with if I change the channel. Mitt Romney's pre-Olympic appearance aside (yeah Mitt, you're not repairing any relationships... you're the perfect sitcom President... too bad you're running for the real thing), the Olympics are going to be about stories of achievement, overcoming odds and triumph against adversity.
The opening ceremonies are tonight. It will be hard to beat China, but the man in charge directed such films as Trainspotting and Slumdog Millionaire. I hear Danny Boyle has included cows, grass and rain... so there's that. Does it sound exciting? Not really. Will I be watching. You bet. Damn you Olympics.