By Jose M. Romero / @RomeroJose M
For FOX Deportes
I turned on the TV around 11 a.m. Monday morning and the channel was still on NBC. The Olympics channel.
What a sad feeling it was to not see runners at the track and field stadium. To not see swimmers at the pool, the world’s best at Wimbledon playing for tennis medals or hearing that little trumpet at the beach volleyball venue, the Horse Guards Parade. Was that the greatest venue of all or what? People were partying at that stadium with the deejay and the cheerleaders and the sand. I even downloaded the trumpet sound as my iPhone ringtone.
The Olympics just ended, and I miss them.
I really got into these London Olympics. Part of it was that I had been to London only a year ago, so it was great to see so many places my wife and I had visited when we were there. The London Eye, Westminster Abbey, the Horse Guards Parade, Wimbledon, Piccadilly Circus, Trafalgar Square, Buckingham Palace, etc., etc., etc.
Part of it was just the drama of the whole competition. I’ve watched parts of every Summer Olympics since 1984, but never got into it as much as I did this year. From soccer on the first day to the opening ceremony to the pool to the track to basketball and finally, the closing ceremony, these Olympics were fantastic.
The highlight for me was waking up early and watching Mexico shock the world and beat Brazil for the men’s soccer gold medal. The lowlight, if any, was the boxing. I love the sport, but there seems to be something that is not right about the judging and scoring. It was also discouraging to see how far our USA boxing program has fallen, to the point where our country got no medals for the men.
So Andre Ward was the USA’s last boxing gold medalist in 2004? Nothing for the men’s team since? Thank goodness for our women’s program.
On the flip side, the USA basketball teams keep rolling to gold. It was refreshing to see both teams really buy into what their respective coaches preached about playing together for one name on the front of the jersey and put aside any issues with playing time or reputations. Here were all of these millionaire men up on the medal stand, beaming like kids and taking in the moment of winning gold. No trash talk, no drama and best of all, a team of stars AND role players, not just the 12 best players in the NBA.
I found myself watching judo, taekwondo, fencing, wrestling, BMX racing, the modern pentathlon and archery. Pairs diving, weightlifting, kayaking, field hockey, team handball, water polo, even gymnastics! Only because my wife was into that, of course.
Is Usain Bolt arrogant? Yeah, but do we care? We’ll all be watching for him in Rio in 2016.
The NBC tape-delay primetime decision sucked, well for me anyway. Probably not for those who work all day. But thank goodness we had the NBC Sports Network, Telemundo, MSNBC and CNBC for more live events. Breakfast and live Olympics, oh yeah!
And finally, the closing ceremony. I love London, and I’ll always be grateful to the Brits for new wave. I think the whole show should have been new wave bands, and Def Leppard. “If You Leave” by OMD and “Photograph” would’ve brought the house down stronger than Annie Lennox and David Bowie, who wasn’t even there in person.
How nice it was to change the channel on Monday to the NBC Sports Network and find highlights of NBC’s Olympic coverage. It was a chance to relive it all again. But in time, that will go away, too, and there won’t be Olympics for two more years.
I know I’ll be watching those Winter Games, too. I hope you enjoyed the London Olympics as much as I did.