The 2004 Summer Olympics represent a rare opportunity for Americans to prove that, not only are we ready, willing and able to bomb any county on Earth to Kingdom Come, but we're also fully capable of kicking their asses in most of the sports we invented.
NBC will be covering this year's Olympic games from Athens, Greece, with exhaustive 24-hour coverage. It all starts with the Opening Ceremonies (a.k.a. “Countries on Parade,” a.k.a. “So That's What Gambia's Flag Looks Like”) on Aug. 13 and continues right on through to the closing ceremonies on Aug. 29.
Over the course of those 17 days, the world will tune in to watch the power and majesty of amateur athletics at its very best. Americans, meanwhile, will tune in to watch prime-time coverage of all the events Team USA is guaranteed to get medals in. Relegating such “trouble sports” as fencing, judo, table tennis and soccer to late night cable, NBC's prime-time coverage is heavily weighted toward such events as swimming, diving and beach volleyball. Let's just see those Norwegians try to beat us at beach volleyball!
Although Americans are likely to come out of this with more medals than ever (97 of 'em at the 2004 games!), this year's XXVIII Summer Olympics are really about recapturing our national pride.
We here at the Idiot Box were deeply troubled to learn that a record which should clearly rest in American hands is currently held by a group of foreigners. The current world record for continuous television watching was set May 15-17 of this year in Germany. Ramona Rosenfeld, Harmut Wedow, Alexander Hall (all of Germany), Josef König (of Austria) and Andreas Federspieler (of Italy) spent 50 hours, 5 minutes parked in front of the tube. Kevin Keaveney was the last American to hold this proud record, when he spent 46 hours, 30 minutes and 50 seconds watching “NYPD Blue” episodes in 2001 in New York City.
Thankfully, NBC Olympics and the Guinness World Records are teaming up to prove, once and for all, that Americans, are the laziest asses on Earth. Beginning with NBC's Opening Ceremony coverage, 22 people will be glued to the Idiot Box at Universal Orlando Resort in Florida. During the course of the contest, viewers will attempt to break the world record by watching NBC's 24-hour Olympic coverage on seven platforms: NBC, USA, MSNBC, CNBC, Bravo, Telemundo and NBC's HDTV affiliates. Participants have to keep their eyes open and on the television screens at all times (not so easy during the thrilling badminton finals). There will be a five-minute break each hour and a 15-minute break every 8 hours. Bathroom visits are allowed only during the 15-minute breaks.
Despite all the hardships, I'm confident that at least one of our noble American participants will be able to break the world record. Though I may not be interested enough to watch NBC's coverage of the water polo semifinals, I know there's at least one Olympic competition I'll be rooting for this year. USA! USA! USA!