Monday, September 27, 2010

Two hard months of bad sports on TV

As a sign of growing older, I pay more attention to the passing of the seasons. Growing up in Denmark, you could argue that the seasons are so bland that they don't legitimately influence people's daily routines.

When I moved to America at 19, though, I think the weather outside stayed an afterthought. And this was northern Wisconsin, where the variation in temperature is extreme by most standards. I remember winters that were very cold and summers that were hot, but I don't recall thinking, for instance, "my life is going to get a little better when the snow melts".

Sometime around 30, I started paying attention. Maybe because of the kids, but also because by that age, my job was so demanding that the tiny window of spare time to spend outside became so much more important. I stopped cross country skiing, for example, around age 30, because everything about it took too long for the time that I had available (waxing, driving to the trails etc.) So in a training sense, some seasons are now much better than others, although this is more true in Wisconsin than in N├Žstved.

These last few years, I have become aware of how the sports on TV influence my day-to-day happiness. Tonight, in the shower, a thought popped into my mind; a thought I remember forming last year, and possibly the year before: TV in October and November is the worst of the year. And let me tell you why.

Winter has skiing on TV. I watch cross country and biathlon and, if nothing else is on, nordic combined. This lasts from December to March, at which point the Diamond League (formerly Golden League) and cycling take off. This peaks in summer, with the Tour and most years an Olympics or track and field worlds. Once every four years, as was the case this year, there is no major international track championship. But I survive and pretend Zurich Weltklasse is a worls championships.

September sees the Vuelta and early October has the cycling worlds.

And then nothing. Not a single endurance sport on TV. What the hell gives? There are cross country meets out there, but they don't make it onto any TV that I have ever owned. There are still triathlons going on in warmer climes, including the Kona Ironman, but their presence on TV is too slight and sporadic for me to follow.

Part of the problem is that the endurance sports are up against formidable competition in the form of soccer in Europe and football in the US. And, gaad, do I hate to watch those sports on TV. Ok, so I dislike wathcing team sports in general, but the "Big 2" particularly annoy me, because of the money and hype involved. What is gayer (in a non-bigot hipster sense, of course): soccer or football? The prize would have to go to a sport, whose biggest star has a girly first name, a very feminine French (and mispronounced) last name, who cries everytime he retires (which is at every press conference).

15 years in northern Wiscosin taught me to tread lightly when it comes to Brett jokes, but now that he is playing for the Vikings, I'm safe.

Brett Favre. Farrrv. Just saying.

Sports on TV in October and November (excluding cycling worlds): you can kiss my ass.

1 comment:

SteveQ said...

One of the things that I always complained about was that televised track meets have 30 minutes of the 100m which is 10 seconds long and 10 seconds of the 10K, which is 30 minutes long. The original explanation was that average people "get" the sprints, though 2 million times as many adults compete in 10K's as sprints.

I've given up on most of the coverage of endurance sports, because they show the first two or three men, then the first two or three women, and then an hour of amputees, cancer survivors, octogenarians and celebrities.

I hate Favre and he's on my home team. I think he's still the best weapon the Packers have when they play the Vikings.