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Front Page » January 10, 2002 » Sports » The Sports View
Published 4,583 days ago

The Sports View


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By RICHARD SHAW
Sports editor

Are you sick of the Winter Olympics yet. I know I am and a lot of people I know are.

And it's still a month to go before the games actually start.

I know that is negative, but how long and with how much hype do we need to be bombarded before these games begin.

I like the Winter Olympic sports a great deal. My particular favorites are the speed skating and freestyle skiing.

My least favorites are, well there is only one, curling. I just don't get that sport I guess. All the other activities fall somewhere in between those two activities.

It's not that I don't like the games, I do. I just like them better when they are in Austria, France or Japan. Denver would have even been a good place, but there were too many people there that felt like me a few years ago when they let the community vote on it. They decided to pass it up.

I remember when Salt Lake first started talking about bidding for the games. I was just a kid; the first bid was in 1964. Then I was excited and it seemed like a wonderful dream if we had them in Utah.

Lots of differences between then and now, however. I'm sure part of it is me and older and more cynical viewpoint. The fact that KSL is bombarding us with two specials a day, one of which makes me stay up a half hour later at night to watch the Tonight Show, ticks me off.

That kind of "special" is such an irritant to me that during the NBA playoffs, which I love, I often hope the Jazz exit early because KSL always airs a special show every night.

Put the doggone thing on after the Tonight Show in place of Mad About You reruns instead of at 10:30 when reasonably people want to see Leno.

But part of my unhappiness is about the games too; they are not the same as they used to be. I was all for the pros being included in the games when they weren't allowed, but now I wished it hadn't changed. The commercialism has grown out of control since that happened in both the summer and winter games. They are hard to recognize anymore.

Maybe I was naive years ago, but all they seem to be about today is money, not competition, sport and fun.

As for locals going to the games, I don't see the difference between watching them on television from Salt Lake or from Calgary. That's where I will be seeing them from. I think SLOC fooled everyone. They have tried to convince us that these games are "our" games. Others are so cynical as to call them the "Mo" games. When the 1960 Summer Olympics were held in Rome didn't they call them the "Catholic" Olympics? Who cares about that.

What they should be called is the McDonalds Federal Express Coca Cola Budweiser Dot Com games.

For me, and I believe at least another million Utahns this whole thing has lost it's luster. And it wasn't because of the scandal.

It has to do with the fact that regular Utahns had relatively little chance of going in person. Oh sure they offered us tickets, mostly to the unpopular events or single seats at the more popular ones. For the cost of two seats for most of those events I could have nearly bought my dream car.

I watched last night as a couple complained on TV about their Olympic tickets not being delivered to their door by Fed Ex properly. They spent $2000 on the two tickets and the passes were left laying on their front porch for anyone to take.

The way I see it SLOC had already stole their money anyway. The difference is that they just have some pieces of paper to prove it.

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