August 11, 2008

Games People Play

I'm not a huge sports fan. I ran track in high school and played competitive tennis for a while but, nowadays, give me a book or a pile of CDs and I'm happy. All that changes when the Olympics are on. I'm a sucker for them. If I could swing it, I'd literally stay up 24 hours a day watching as much as I could. Even the lame human interest stories that I pretend to hate but actually find kinda cool. This weekend, I nixed our no television rule and tried my best to turn the kids into fans too.


"USA! USA! USA! Wait...Milk! Milk!

It all started with the opening ceremonies, of course. Usually, they bore the hell out of me but I'm convinced the opening of the 2008 games was one of the most jaw-dropping things I've ever seen on television. We watched volleyball, beach volleyball, swimming, weight lifting, gymnastics, basketball, rowing and soccer. I also spent a great deal of time explaining to Mia exactly what the games were and how they were played. (An aside: There are some sports that are really difficult to explain. And some questions about said games that are really difficult to answer. Why are they kicking the ball into the goal? Because those are the rules. Why do the rules say to kick the ball into the goal? Because that's how you score a point. What's a point? It's the score of the game and to win you have to score more points than the other team. Why? Because the Backyardigans said so and you know the Backyardigans rule the universe.) And then we went into the backyard and played each game. (Note to self: Needed - soccer goals, a second basketball hoop for full-court action, a volleyball net and a dick-load of sand. Oh, and one Olympic-size pool.)

And that was pretty much it for the weekend. Sure there was yard work - mowing, pulling a few errant limbs down, weeding - a couple of visits to the pool, some playground action and a very informal little dinner party with the inlaws. But I didn't cut down any trees or visit work. So that was a plus.

So, are you watching the Olympics this year? What are your favorite Olympic sports?

Posted by Chris at August 11, 2008 6:44 AM
Comments

Yes, I'm watching the Olympics this year for two reasons:

1) I'm using the Olympics as a reading theme in my summer school class of TWO sixth graders. It's hard to find a book that a boy and a girl will like, so I was like, "The Olympics it is!"
2) I love the Olympics.

I also thought the opening ceremony was spectacular (also am usually bored by those things). I love to watch gymnastics, swimming, synchronized swimming, and beach volleyball.

Posted by: ironic1 at August 11, 2008 7:03 AM

Loving the Olympics. I am getting addicted. Last night was the first night I have seen sync'd diving. That was pretty cool. BTW, our 6mnth old is home and has not had a seizure in over 2 weeks.

Posted by: Josh at August 11, 2008 7:18 AM

I want to say it was after the 1992 Olympics, so I would have been... 7... which I think makes it better, but I'm pretty sure it was after the 1996 Olympic and the whole Keri Strug thing, which would have made me 11.. and a loser...

But after one Olympics I made my dad build my a balance beam in the back yard. He stacked some cinder blocks, slapped on a beam (4 inches wide, of course, because THAT'S HOW WIDE A REAL ONE IS, and I wouldn't have it any other way) and I practiced being a gymnast.

I fell a lot.
I'm really klutzy.

Posted by: caleal at August 11, 2008 7:51 AM

I love the olympics. I enjoy the swimming the most, but I am up for watching almost anything. The only sports that bother me are the ones that it looks like they made up to have more medals like syncronized diving. I think that bit they did on SNL regarding syncronized swimming way back in the eighties was the greatest.

Posted by: harrylips at August 11, 2008 7:53 AM

You know what's funny? I'm a huge sports fan and I can't stand the olympics. I haven't seen a minute of it. My sister in law is an olympic nut and we go to the beach with my husband family next week and I'm sure it will be on 24/7.

Posted by: jodifur at August 11, 2008 8:01 AM

I'm watching bits and pieces here and there. Caught some beach volleyball yesterday cuz my husband had it on - of course, he got disappointed and said, "Somehow, I thought this would be *hotter*." Sigh.

Soccer is one of those sports that is easier to explain by DOING than by talking. My husband is a soccer nerd from back in the day (toured europe playing as a teen), and so both my kids have their own soccer balls and know the basics of the sport already.

Posted by: Sarah at August 11, 2008 8:15 AM

Oh yeah...I love the Olympics too. Swimming, gymnastics, vollyball, equestrian,etc. All are fascinating. And I too sectretly love the up close and personal things. Shhhh, don't tell my husband!

Posted by: Maribeth at August 11, 2008 8:23 AM

I haven't watched one lick of Olympics because a) I boycotted them and b) I don't give a damn about the summer Olympics. The only thing I am remotely interested in is gymnastics. I find the whole ordeal insanely boring, despite having an Olympian in my family. IDK, I just can't get into it. I'm slightly more interested in the winter games because FIGURE SKATING IS AWESOME. So is hockey.

Posted by: Sparkle Pants at August 11, 2008 8:56 AM

I have to say OMG is that OWEN!!?? He's so big!! What a gorgeous guy. :)

I love the Olympics. I watch them and I too got my daughter involved all day on Saturday! She thinks volleyball is awesome and we started playing with a balloon so she could hit it like the women on TV. I love that! I think that's what the Olympics are about, exposing kids/people to new sports and cultures.
I was a gymnast for 11 years so I love to watch the gymnastic competitions. It's been a bit heartbreaking this year in the men's and women's events. It makes me nostalgic. :)

Posted by: tulip at August 11, 2008 9:06 AM

We've been watching a lot too; my favorite is probably the gymnastics, because I was a gymnast for many years. I do look forward to the diving and the track stuff as well.

Posted by: Claire at August 11, 2008 9:12 AM

Oh are we EVER watching the Olympics over here. The Olympics was always a huge event in my house growing up, and now I think it's great to continue that excitement with our kids. It's fun because we can all get into it. Did you see that Men's relay last night!?

My favorite sport to watch is the swimming, of course. It's just SO exciting. Dara Torres is my new hero, and Michael Phelps is my new Olympic boyfriend.

Posted by: chatty cricket at August 11, 2008 9:16 AM

I am watching. My top favorite is equestrian, followed by gymnastics, diving, and swimming. :)

Posted by: Kate at August 11, 2008 9:32 AM

Heck yeah, I am! I love it all. We've watched most of what you mentioned plus Fencing (online).

I like women's beach volleyball for the double-attraction of good sports plus hot bods, and I dig the swimming. Gymnastics finals are fun. Geez, anything really. I'm a fan of finals over semi-finals though.

Tivo is perfect for this too, because there are so many commercials in such a long stretch of coverage.

Posted by: Brad at August 11, 2008 9:33 AM

I love me some Olympics, especially the sports you never see otherwise. Short-track cycling (is there a crazier sport out there?), rowing (it looks so fun), badminton (it ain't your grandma's badminton).

And that men's swimming relay was pretty much the best thing ever.

My only wish is that NBC would show us other countries in the competitions. Honestly, I think the only countries competing are the US and China. And occasionally the French and Russians.

Posted by: Alias Mother at August 11, 2008 9:39 AM

I don't watch sports, but I should probably try and record fencing, as I went from kindergarten through high school with a girl who is a substitute on the Canadian team... Is it wrong to hope someone gets stabbed so she gets to replace them?

Posted by: cyniclite at August 11, 2008 9:41 AM

No, not watching. Usually do, but I just don't think that, given the human rights record and forgien policy of the current administration, that China should EVER have been in the running to host it.

nothing against China, or the people, or the culture - all of which I love and find interesting and I have many Honk Kong chinese friends, actually.

And I know that noone, least of all China's goverment care one hoot wether I watch or not, just can't bring myself to. I find all the hullabloo distinctly distastefull and am ignoring it.

Am sneekily listening out for news items about how our little diver (14yr old Tom Daily, lives down the coast from us) is getting on, but thats it.

Posted by: mamacrow at August 11, 2008 9:43 AM

Sure, I'm watching. Swimming and gymnastics are my favorites. And water polo too. (I used to swim and play water polo, loved that) The relay last night was AMAZING. Poor cats, they're still all upset because of me yelling.

Too many commercials, too much politizing. But that's all the negatives I can come up with now.
Except for badmition for Gawds sakes!

Posted by: Amy at August 11, 2008 10:10 AM

I'm not much of a sports fan -- okay, so I'm not a fan AT ALL, but the mister has me watching the Olympics and I have to say, it's kind of exciting. He's really into the whole Michael Phelps saga, so we've been watching a lot of swimming. Plus Dara Torres kicks so much ass it's not even funny. I also have to admit, I'm a sucker for gymnastics. C'mon, for what other sport do women wear MAKEUP? That's crazy.

As much of an embarrassment as the U.S. is sometimes, watching the Olympics is one of those things that actually makes me feel good about my country. And as cheesy as those human interest stories are, sometimes they do get me rooting for other countries' athletes. Like that poor kid from Korea who fell in the pool and got disqualified in '04, only to come back this year and win gold. That was awesome.

Posted by: Fraulein N at August 11, 2008 10:53 AM

I would but that would involve me actually getting the remote away from the rest of the household. It is easier to take a fresh kill away from a ravenous mountain lion!

Posted by: Jeff A at August 11, 2008 11:05 AM

Not much. Watched like two minutes of the opening ceremony. We saw some volleyball and swimming while we were out yesterday having lunch in a restaurant that had tons of televisions.

I usually do watch much, but Lynn's crazy with work and Harley's summer is nearly over. So, I'm trying to get in as much family time as possible. Our TV is mostly off.

Posted by: Diane at August 11, 2008 11:31 AM

You're channeling my husband...really. Last night, it occurred to me that we should have had a LOT more sex before the opening ceremony because it doesn't look like we'll be having any until Phelps gets his 8 gold medals and our track and field score a few too. At least someone, somewhere is scoring!

I can take it or leave it. Love the idea of the Olympics, hate that Beijing is hosting (see mamacrow's post about human rights, etc) and my favorite part is to cheer for underdogs. Anyone remember Eddie the Eagle ski-jumper from the Calgary games? The Jamaican bobsled team? Oops- guess those make me sound a bit more winter games than summer games, which I am.

Posted by: rebecca at August 11, 2008 11:37 AM

My first priority in these Olympic games is Michael Phelps.

Coming in a distant second is gymnastics (women and men), beach volleyball, and diving.

Posted by: Stephanie at August 11, 2008 11:42 AM

We've seen some of it and I did watch most of the opening ceremonies. Amazing!!

Posted by: Ann Adams at August 11, 2008 11:50 AM

Ok... that was quick thinking on the Backyardigans. I'm going to start using that for as long as it works. Nice touch.

As for that opening ceremony... Both... beautiful and scary at the same time.

Posted by: Johnny Smoke at August 11, 2008 11:52 AM

okay...seriously, could your kids look any more alike??!?!? they are twins!

also..i am partial to the women's high jump..since the canadian Nicole Forrester is a friend.

but truthfully, i love it ALL! i'm olympic obsessed!

Posted by: ali at August 11, 2008 11:54 AM

Being Scottish, that would be curling (winter Olympics I know) because that is the only thing we ever have a hope of winning anything in.

Posted by: Loth at August 11, 2008 11:57 AM

As far as I remembered, I have ALWAYS watched the Olympics. It's a family tradition with us. If the broadcast was late in the night, my dad would sign us out of school the next day so we could all watch the opening ceremony. We taped this one and watched it whole the next morning.

I may not be a usual sports fan, but I am all over the Olympics, much like how I get with FIFA World Cup. And I pretty much watch anything that I can when I can. Mostly I read up on the progress the next day. Except for badminton.

My cousin is also on the US Badminton team so I watch closely as well. (She didn't make it through the next round though.) And of course, Thailand is in it to win it in weightlifting (got a gold, go girl!) and boxing.

So yeah, I'm totally watching.

Posted by: oakley at August 11, 2008 12:01 PM

Yes, we watched some of the gymnastics and the syncronized diving last night. The diving was amazing, although the US was cheated out of a bronze. Just a personal observation, though!

Posted by: Dianna at August 11, 2008 12:15 PM

We're olympics-junkies too. Junkies w/o cable and with an old, analog tv in our basement. We hardly ever watch, except during the olypics and baseball playoffs, after both of which, I'm so burnt out on tv that we don't turn it on for months. This is our first olympics w/ kids (2yo and 8mo) and my wife and I have discovered that the 2yo isn't interested. We love swimming and water polo and volleyball... Kate says "done" and unplugs the tv for us.... Now we scheme and as soon as the kids are in bed, we race for the basement to watch....

Posted by: pvz at August 11, 2008 12:26 PM

Dick-load. You said Dick-load.

We're swimming freaks over here (Josh used to swim competitively.) They relay last night? I almost died.

I watched sync diving with the 2 year old. She CRIED. Momma, what happen? Momma, they got OWIE!

On a completely unrelated to swimming note, the gymnastics are kicking BUTT this year.

Posted by: Mr Lady at August 11, 2008 12:55 PM

We've been watching lots of the Olympics - and managed to see the opening ceremonies. Amazing

This morning I saw Nadal win his first tennis match. I hope he gets the gold.

The only event that bothers me is girl's (or is it women's) gymnastics. They are all so young, and their disappointment is so great

Cas
Your son is sooooo cute.

Posted by: cassie-b at August 11, 2008 1:50 PM

I didn't watch the opening ceremonies, but I've heard such great things about them, I'm beginning to wish I had!

Posted by: Heather at August 11, 2008 2:05 PM

Ooh! Ooh! I'm watching the Olympics! I was out with friends on Friday, but we all watched the opening ceremonies at the locations we were visiting. I'm DVRing my favorite segments so I can watch when I'm home. Diving is my all-time favorite, but I also love swimming.

Posted by: Emily at August 11, 2008 3:36 PM

Men's swimming relay was the BEST last night! Take that you French smack talkers!
I love every bit of the Olympics and will be ever so sad when it is over.

Posted by: Peggy at August 11, 2008 4:25 PM

Tivo was the best invention for the Olympics. I watched the opening ceromony that was about 5 hours in about 2. LOL it was spectacular and even made me cry when that little boy walked out that was in the earthquake and went back in to rescue his classmate, yeah I'm a sucker....

So anyhow, I love Tivo for this exact thing, I can fast forward through events I don't want to watch SORRY FENCING and indoor volleyball and watch the events I do, SWIMMING, beach volleyball and gymnastics etc. So far I'm loving the Olympics.

Posted by: Dee at August 11, 2008 5:25 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

(hides) No, I'm not watching the Olympics. My husband thinks I am nuts, but I have never liked the Olympics. Well, except for the opening ceremonies and the parade of nations. I have a slight preference for the winter sports, but watching swimming, biking, volleyball or table tennis makes me want to poke my eye out. Sorry - I'll go hide now. :)

Posted by: Dawn at August 11, 2008 5:45 PM

I'm like you when it comes to the Olympics - I eat it up. I watch all kinds of sports I wouldn't ordinarily watch any other time of the decade. Like water polo and beach volleyball.

Did Mia watch any of the women's gymnastics? My earliest Olympic memory is the '72 Olympics when Olga Korbut became my hero. I wore my hair like that through all of 1st grade.

Posted by: kalisa at August 11, 2008 6:54 PM

I have to say I watched the opening ceremony of the 08' Olymipics and thought to myself..."No wonder everything is made in China".

That was some wicked awesome shit.

Posted by: Kelly M. at August 11, 2008 9:59 PM

Dude, that was an AMAZING opening games event. I completely thought that the men and women in boxes were actually motors, and I couldn't fathom how they did THAT. So how in God's name did they get that many people to move in such precision?

Ok, and the conspiracy gnome who lives under the left arm on my glasses says that it WAS mechanical, and the Chinese just put people in the boxes to freak out the west.

Please tell Mia that if you DO score a point, everyone has to do the Yeti Stomp.

Posted by: alektra at August 11, 2008 11:24 PM

I tried to play it cool - like I wasn't interested. But I'm a fool for the Olympics, I've been watching as much as I can.

The current random sport I love is handball - it seems to be a combination of dodge ball, soccer and hockey. I seriously think that someone is just making up new sports somewhere.

Posted by: Mandy Lou at August 11, 2008 11:33 PM

Oh wow, Owen has grown so much! Amazing how he sits like that! If there were baby Olympics sitting games: he'd definitely win!

I only watched part of the opening ceremony. I can't seem to find the time to sit down & watch the games.

Posted by: Nadine at August 12, 2008 12:58 AM

I love this photo of Owen.

I usually watch the Olympics, but I have only watched swimming this year.

Posted by: Maria at August 12, 2008 4:28 AM

I absolutely love the Olympics! It's the only time my I rule the remote! I've loved watching since I was a kid and my family would watch it together. My husband doesn't go as nuts for them as I do--perhaps because I'm not willing to retire to the bedroom while any of the events I'm interested in (i.e. swimming!)are on. Poor hubbie!

Owen looks adorable! I can't believe how huge he is! My granddaughter is only a day younger than Owen and she is just now starting to try to sit up my herself.

Posted by: Liz at August 12, 2008 2:42 PM

I love the Olympics. And I'm not particularly athletic myself. I'm really enjoying the swimming this year but the gymnastics are my favorite. I figure I can do any of the other sports, at least a little. But I can't even begin to do the gymnastics. It astounds me.

Posted by: Annie at August 12, 2008 10:12 PM

We're suckers too. It's been on all weekend, even though we had people staying here who could have cared less.

My favorites are Gymnastic, Swimming (Michael Phelps...swoon) & beach volleyball.

Posted by: Issa at August 13, 2008 8:24 PM

Have to say...no ...especially disappointing after finding out the little girl was a stand in and lip syncing because the other girl wasn't "cute enough" WTF? AND fake fireworks...Sigh...plus my views on WHERE it was didn't help...

But I LOVE the photo you lured me into with this post! : D

Posted by: Gypsy at August 14, 2008 10:00 PM


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