It seems to be fashionable in the US media to bash and make fun of the Winter Olympics and NBC's wall-to-wall coverage. Much of it really isn't deserved, IMHO.
Yes, the NBC people are "homers", touting the American competitors even when it's clear they don't have a bloody chance in hell. I'll forgive them that because most of the time they will give justified props to the real front runners.
And yes, they go overboard on some events -- why do we need to show Sasha Cohen's whole damn short program again on the night they aren't even skating or spend five minutes debating what it means if she skips morning practice -- but they do attract audiences.
And to their credit, they've used the "cable channels of NBC" to spend hours highlighting the more obscure or time consuming. I mean, I really do enjoy curling and CNBC has shown more men's and women's curling than I've ever seen in Olympic coverage.
And sure, some of the sports look weird. But there's a lot of people trying really hard and not to worry, they'll cover something else in 11 minutes.
Everyone seems to be making fun of the medals. The morning news team on WOOD-AM decided that they were spray painted leftover AOL disks. "It's not only a gold medal, it comes with 1000 free hours."
Life Does Go On
The Winter Games run for 17 days. If people take an hour out of that Olympic coverage to watch American Idol or Survivor, it really doesn't mean the Olympics are washed up. The Winter Games never get the draw of the Summer Games, and anyway there's hours more coverage one could watch.
The Gold Standard
I will admit the best TV coverage of the Winter Games we ever saw was when we lived in the U.P. and could get the Canadian networks during the 1988 Calgary Games. They bent over backward to highlight the best wherever they came from, as well as cover enough of an event so you could see more ordinary performances and realize how good the best are.
Cut Some Slack
So I might have gripes, but overall, don't complain to me about the Olympics -- because one of the alternatives is nothing. And that's unacceptable.