Over the weekend, the U.S. Olympic Basketball team has received a lot of buzz, thanks to their 120-65 victory over Canada last Friday. The extreme domination displayed in that game bodes well for America's chances at the Beijing Olympics. But how will it affect the way Americans watch the Olympics?
The L.A. Times hailed the conquering heroes, calling the Olympic Basketball team "a source of national pride," and quoting an Air Force officer calling the players "our superheroes."
Will the Men's Basketball team dominate Olympic coverage in the United States?
Reasons why it might --
1. For once the U.S. Dream Team is the underground. Having finished third in the 2004 Olympics, they are out to prove something, as are their fans.
2. The U.S. Men's Basketball team is certain to win. Everyone likes to cheer for the winning team, and we can pretty well guarantee that America will get the gold in basketball.
3. Americans understand basketball. Steeple-chasing, not so much.
Reasons why it might not --
1. The Olmpic Basketball team's dominance this year will make their games uninteresting.
2. Niche sports have become popular, with BMX becoming an Olympic sport for the first time this year.
3. NBC is offering a crazy of coverage this year -- including all events, most of which will be accessible on-line. There are plenty of viewing opportunities to catch Olympics fans' eyes, other than basketball.
So, in summary, we will have to wait and see. For the first time this year, the Olympics will be truly accessible to all American viewers. We are going to find out what people really want to watch.