Attention Broadcasters Of The Olympics Worldwide: SHUT UP!

By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor.

2016_Summer_Olympics_logo.svgOne of the reasons I seldom watch television is that I’ve grown tired of having my intelligence insulted by ever increasing numbers of childish, and inane commercials which offer nothing of substance to convince me why I must buy their product or service. The mindset and goal of advertisers to race to the lowest common denominator who they perceive lacks the capacity to think for themselves.

Yet one possible relief from the deluge of televisions scorns such as the endless sitcoms, television shopping networks, religious charlatans, and political advertisements, could be found in the modern epic and magnificent Olympic Games, with its spectacular and well choreographed performances, light, movement, and cultural flavor of the host nations. The tradition of bring the flame and the showing of the athleticism and conglomeration of the peoples of the world surely brings a true sense of awe and wonder to those ancients if somehow they blessed the clairvoyance to envision what would become of theirs millennia later.

Eighty years ago, the Games of the XI Olympiad was the first to feature a television broadcast bringing forth to an eventual world wide audience the ability to witness the Olympics without the burden and cost of live attendance. Unfortunately, it has given rise to the sports broadcaster style of news, the dark side of which is the seemingly endless need to describe the minutia in every detail, flapping jaws incessantly, and often destroying the poignancy of the moment. We the audience are capable of understanding what we witness. So to all the Olympics broadcasters of the world, do us a favor–Shut UP!


The problem of garrulous newscasters is more prominent with the Winter Olympics, especially in the choreographed events such as figure skating. Endless chatter, such as “now the lutz…excellent execution.” or “ohh, she fell down. That’s going to cost her.” The entire world saw the same thing the broadcaster does and yet they continually state the obvious.

The lip service presents a losing choice for the viewer. Turn the volume off to silence the talking heads and consequently lose the tie-in with the musical score essentially integrated into the performance and artistry of the skater or having to be painfully distracted by the host.

Attendees of the event sitting in the arena’s audience have the blessing of a minimalist interdiction against the athlete by the announcer. As the athlete enters the arena, the announcer states her name and country represented, the athlete performs to conclusion, he perhaps mentions her name again and waits patiently to enumerate the scores of the judges. A very simple format and it is most respectful to the athlete and the audience.

Events such as the downhill. Being a former skier myself enjoy the comfort and thrills of the event. I enjoy hearing the scrapes and cuts made into the snow as well as the fun of listening to the cheers of the crowd upon their favorite son earning a record time. I don’t need to hear a talking head goading a skier to tears by continually resurrecting the pain of him losing his brother as an example.

But for this year’s opening ceremonies, I resigned myself to experiencing the music and sounds of the event itself just to avoid the distraction of the talking heads. I just muted the sound and watched as the deaf would. Sometimes theirs in an enviable plight.

At the very least, with 700 channels of “nothing on” could at least one be dedicated to an announcer-free broadcast of the Olympics?

ostrakonI have to wonder what would become of a contemporary television Olympics announcer if he was transported back to Ancient Greece and pestered the crowds with incessant drivel. I suspect the closing ceremony would consist of a great smashing of amphorae and pottery, followed by the running of Scribes to etch the name of this pariah announcer onto Ostraka.

If only we had the power to ostracize the announcers into exile. Five Olympic games with the talking heads in exile will be most welcome. Society needs an electronic form of casting someone into exile–perhaps an e-Ostracon.

By Darren Smith

Image Credit: Marsyas

The views expressed in this posting are the author’s alone and not those of the blog, the host, or other weekend bloggers. As an open forum, weekend bloggers post independently without pre-approval or review. Content and any displays or art are solely their decision and responsibility.

40 thoughts on “Attention Broadcasters Of The Olympics Worldwide: SHUT UP!”

  1. This is NOT from The Onion. The entire Russian para-Olympic team was banned for doping.

    1. Nick – I am not so that being banned from the Rio Olympics is a bad thing. 🙂

  2. @Brooklyn Bridge

    Fellini? Satyricon? Wow, this is twice in two days I have been knocked out of my socks! First, it was Ralph Adamo knowing about Gerson Legman, and today, you!

    Oh, happy dance! There is a bomb in Gilead! (Poe) For want of a lass, poor Yoric was lost! (Shakespeare) OMG! Culture is alive after all!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  3. Little David Susskind-
    Shut up
    Please don’t talk; please don’t talk
    Little David Susskind-
    Me first
    Then you’ll talk

  4. Just when Russian doping scandal hits new heights…. Once again, questions are swirling about Kenyan runners and doping, this time at the biggest event of all: the Olympics.

    Kenya said Sunday it would send its track and field manager home from the Rio de Janeiro Games on the first available flight and show “no mercy” following newspaper allegations that he told undercover reporters posing as coaches that he could protect doping athletes from drug tests in exchange for a pay-off.

  5. A dirty rotten secret in Brazil. Brazil is destroying the Amazon. Meet an indigenous tribe of Brazil, The Kayapo, and “Defenders of the Amazon”. They didn’t get any air time at Olympics either.

  6. It’s all the talking heads crap that is driving support to Donald Trump, voters who want change not just in Washington but in the media, too.

  7. Commercials:
    I agree: shh! They’re too frequent, and mindless. Social media is now ablaze in disgust at this. But, what other opportunity would viewers have to pee?

    For those who suggested using the ‘Mute’ button:
    What if viewers still want to hear the athletes’ grunts, music, and crowds’ responses? Any soft/hard-ware that can filter out just the unwanted voice frequencies to eliminate the ‘color commentary’?

    ‘Air’ rifle shooting:
    Seems much safer than real guns (I guess lasers would be Ok, too …). I dare anyone to demonstrate same level of skill (in interest of full-disclosure, I am NOT involved in the gun culture).

    And, what Brooklyn Bridge and Squeeky said.

  8. To each their own. I can’t stand the Olympics, and all the stupid little games. Even in wrestling, you don’t see any Super Suplex Atomic Butt Busters, or The Claw, or even the ubiquitous Folding Chair Head Whomp. The Olympics are sooo phony!

    And what kind of stupid sport is horse riding??? Goodness, wild Indians do it! Cowboys do it! Even little kids at pony rides do it! And people jumping into the water. Well, DUH!, what else would they jump into??? Splash. Oh yes, I want to watch a lot of people jumping in the water! And then you have Stupid Walking where a bunch of idiots walk stupidly, fast. Huh? People fly to Rio to watch people walk??? Advertisers pay to promote Stupid Walking???

    It’s just not for me. Maybe one day they will put the Roller Derby stuff and REAL wrestlers into the Olympics to spice it up. Meanwhile, I may watch Plan 9 From Outer Space on youtube! Now THAT’S entertainment!

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

  9. There use to be a time when rising, hard working amateur competitors would get the spot light. But now there are mega star professionals hogging it all. Like tennis star Serena Williams. A $150 million in the bank isn’t exactly chump change.

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