On Friday night, like many of you, I was enjoying the Opening Ceremony of the 21st Winter Olympic Games. No matter my love affair with Augusta National or the special feeling I get when March Madness tips off; there is something about all the countries coming together for sport that gets my juices flowing.
The problem is, NBC, who has the rights for the Games, doesn't like where I live. I didn't get to see the ceremony live because I live on the West Coast, which makes a ton of sense, seeing as how the games are being played on the West Coast. Seeing stuff on tape delay just isn't the same, especially in the technological world we live in. I found out about Wayne Gretzky and the torch well before it came on my screen. I heard about the torch malfunction on Twitter well before the countries had completed their walk through the stadium.
NBC, listen ... you guys haven't been on a hot streak as of late. Between the Conan and Jay stuff and the word that the Olympics would lose you millions of dollars, it has been a tough few months. Do us all a favor and realize that it is 2010. People have DVR and TiVo and society has evolved. People don't sit in front of their televisions at 8 p.m. on Fridays to see what is going on anymore. We know what will be aired. We realize in advance what time stuff is going to be on, and we expect to see these events when they happen.
In 2008, I remember sitting on my couch in Denver watching Michael Phelps' 100-meter butterfly in Beijing. A friend of mine was over, who didn't care much about the Games and hadn't heard about what had happened a couple of hours before, since it was tape delayed for me. My mom had sent me an email about the comeback, and the finger touch and the celebration and how the goosebumps were just starting to go down from his heroic accomplishment. We watched the race when it was aired for us, and my friend stood up as Phelps came back and started to scream at the television. When Phelps touched first, she was as happy as if her own kid had won a gold. She was lucky enough to not know. I wasn't.
I sure hope that stops, and soon. It's been two years since Beijing. Give us the live option on the West Coast, or give up your hands on the Olympics. Sports fans all over this country want to see what is going on when it is going on. Don't rob us of that just because you want it aired in primetime. That isn't fair to us, and it isn't fair to the Olympics.
Times are changing, NBC. Maybe you should realize that.