After a yearlong delay, the Tokyo Summer Olympics began last month. Ratings in sports have been a mixed bag lately as some numbers are higher than they’ve ever been, while others have been a bit meh. So how are the Summer Games faring after a five-year hiatus? Pretty shitty, actually. According to Fox News, the numbers in primetime are down 48 percent from 2016.
I mean, to be fair, this isn’t 2016. That was a year that saw Hulk Hogan’s sex tape, Harambe the gorilla getting shot, and and the Cubs winning the World Series. Now, five years later, a lot has changed, namely that Cubs GM Jed Hoyer did worse things to the Chicago roster than those monsters did to Harambe. But still, 48 percent is a bit unnerving, no?
Sure, the Olympics are an acquired taste. You have canoeing, rhythmic gymnastics, sailing, and ping pong. I think part of the matter is that entertainment has just gotten better. We used to be a culture that lived to watch 40 drivers drive 500 miles taking four left turns and occasionally stopping for gas. Now don’t get me wrong, if NASCAR drivers did what I did when I stop for gas and have to maneuver the rest of the drive trying to keep Flaming Hot Cheeto dust off the steering wheel, I would be more apt to watch. But to be frank, there’s just better stuff on TV than this, which is the actual icon the Olympics use for rhythmic gymnastics:
That just looks like the kind of fuel every 1980s bully needs to slip right back into character from high school. I just think it takes a special kind of weird to get really into the Summer Olympics. It’s like Disney Adults or people who obsess over royal weddings or anyone who makes dinner choices based on coupons they got in the mail. Those are just some different cats who you may not realize their odd intricacies until you’re face-to-face with a Cinderella foot tattoo.
Many in Japan did not want the Olympics because of their rising Covid-19 positive numbers. I wish I could have also told those individuals that I did not want the Olympics, either. I’ve never really been an anti-Olympics guy but this year I turned on my TV to see a bunch of Russian (but not Russian, wink wink) guys trying not to poop their leotards while deadlifting. I just thought to myself it is either this, Reds vs Brewers, or I don’t know, one of 11,000 things on Netflix.
Maybe this is just a one-year thing. Maybe this is a sign of things to come. Maybe it really is just a small world, after all.