Saw an article today commenting that the injury to Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn “means [NBC] could suddenly be without its most bankable star.” But I question the need to create stars before they participate in the games.
NBC badly needs stars to emerge out of these games. It has already said it will lose money on the Olympics for the first time ever, the result of a too-generous bid to televise the Vancouver Games and false expectations that advertising prices would continue to rise. NBC also needs prime-time success to divert attention from its sagging prime-time lineup and late-night executive bungling.
Sure there are favorites going into the games but what if they fail to perform as expected. NBC wastes hours of video and “personal stories” covering a few “faces” as if we need an excuse to root for the team. I know they have hours to fill but it would be better to see more action rather than canned video of some “star” bagging groceries at home.
I get enjoyment out of “stars” who emerge from their performance in an unexpected way. The Turin 2006 men’s curling team comes to mind or Rulon Gardner the Greco-Roman wrestling gold medalist who came out of no where to win at the 2000 Summer games.
The best example is the 1980 men’s hockey team that beat the USSR. The slow burn of excitement is now a classic.
Sometimes I think focusing on a few “stars” causes more pressure than need be at the Olympics and just seems forced.