Home > Sports, TV > When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a bad Olympic opening ceremony

When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a bad Olympic opening ceremony

OK, the opening ceremony of the 2006 Olympics in Torino are on right now. And I’m engaging in my biennial ritual of NOT watching it. Summer or Winter games? Doesn’t matter. Because there are few immutable truths in this world, and the first one is “any Olympic opening ceremony will contain bizarre performances that just leave you… well, not speechless, exactly, but just discombobulated.”

Some proof? As much as I’ve tried, I can’t get the image of girls wearing plastic clear bubbles filled with feathers (simulating snow) at Lillehammer in 1994. Yep… walking snow globes. Even Atlanta in 1996 succumbed to the madness, adding all-chrome pickup trucks driving around the infield. Yep… they found a way to be overtly bizarre and incredibly redneck. It was like watching performance art in Soho, but with Jeff Foxworthy in the lead. Or like Andy Warhol meets Hee-Haw. Come to think of it, that would be cool.

Now, I’ve only watched about five minutes of this evening’s ceremonies, but it was… unique. There were a bunch of guys and gals, dancing around, with flames shooting out at various points around this enormous circle. In the middle of the ring, some dude with a sledgehammer is hitting this rock, which emits an enormous flame each time he hits it. Mmmmkay. Got it. Whatever it was supposed to symbolize was lost on me.

My favorite part of the whole thing is when Bob Costas has to explain what the next scene is all about. After the weird flame sequence, Costas explains that things are going to “cool off,” as the scene moves to the Alps. Suddenly, a bunch of guys are playing those huge horns… you know, the ones from the Ricola ads. Some inline skaters came out next, and well, I started watching a DVD of Family Guy.

Another tried-and-true Olympic tradition is the interminable march of the athletes. How many countries are in this crazy world anyway? And why do some of them even field Olympic teams? Right now, I can see the next five teams: Ethiopia (one athlete), Macedonia, Finland, France and Georgia. Awesome! That plummeting sound you hear is the ratings… and Bob Costas trying to come up with an interesting story about the team from Nochancistan.

Am I an Olympic grouch? Far from it. I enjoy me some Olympics. Over the next couple of weeks, I’ll be sharing my impressions of NBC’s last remaining sporting event. Should be a hoot.

Categories: Sports, TV
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