Olympics Junkie

I’m at the point of near paralysis right now because I’m an Olympics junkie. It’s not as bad as it could be — I’m not a “real” blogger, one of those folks who is so connected that they know the news before it happens, but still: the lengths I go to avoid a “spoiler” before watching NBCs primetime Olympic coverage really are astounding.

I don’t listen to NPR. I tried once the other day, but someone called in to “Talk of the Nation” to complain about Olympic spoilers on the net, and in his response the commentator nearly blabbed the results of the men’s 4 X 200 relay that night.

I don’t read nytimes.com. You know “all the news that’s fit to print” is likely to include a touching article about Paul Hamm’s amazing comeback before it actually “happened” last night on NBC.

I don’t go to espn.com. Obviously. Same goes for Yahoo!, Google News, or a hundred other news sources. Political blogs are usually safe, but you never know — one click and you could ruin a whole evening’s worth of carefully choreographed Olympics coverage.

I certainly don’t watch TV — well, anything other than the five channels of NBC coverage, that is. Who knew table tennis could be so exciting? Or water polo? Or even sailing! I do read the morning paper, because I’ve found their time shifting is even worse than NBC’s. Each day’s events start around 1:30 a.m. in my time zone, by which time the Charlotte Observer is already in trucks on its way to the home of our paper “boy” (I think it’s actually a middle-aged woman). Mostly I read to find out the result of those events too obscure to make even Bravo’s coverage: shooting, archery, rhythmic camel herding.

Once every four years I become an authority on every obscure sport ever competed. I grimace knowingly when a gymnast bends his elbow on the parallel bars. I shake my head when a shot-putter fails to stay low through the throw. I nod in appreciation when a swimmer keeps level during the 100 fly.

I’ll come back to day-to-day life in a week and a half. Until then, my life is going to be in a holding pattern, courtesy of NBC’s six-hour delay.

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