Bob Costas Explains Olympic Coverage
August 23, 2008
BEIJING – Every night during the Olympic Games I’m frequently overcome by sensual gratification and the release of absolute power: this invariably occurs as I tell billions of inconsequential viewers that, in essence, their time matters not, and fragments of headline sports they’ve waited months to watch will be shown in two or three hours, and they must meanwhile squirm as I preside over the solemn presentation of tiddlywinks, coin chewing, ass slapping, and other compelling events which may be athletically obscure but serve to chain you to the sofa so tidal waves of advertising dollars can be harnessed to pay my glorious salary.
Don’t dare call me Napoleonic – I’m a whisker taller than wee gymnast Shawn Johnson – but do be thankful I am more genial than the great conqueror and instead of eviscerating you I merely induce exhaustion by showing events eons after they become available. When, for example, some weekday swimming races began at ten p.m. Eastern Time we at the National Bellowing Company decreed Michael Phelps could not be viewed at seven on the West Coast. That would’ve been logical and humane and therefore unthinkable. Instead, across the nation we insisted on irrational delays in order to emblazon you with raccoon eyes. Why should viewers in a backwater like Los Angeles get to watch Phelps gobble gold medals in prime time when those in New Jersey had to wait till late? Let everyone eat cake. Stay up until your brain wavers. Stay till you hate sports. The Olympics aren’t about sports. If they were, we’d broadcast events at predetermined times. Your comfort is irrelevant but your wallet is paramount.