Avoiding Olympic Spoilers: A Guide

from the just-kill-the-internet dept

As the Olympic Games rage on and an entire world full of people watch on to remind themselves that they should have paid better attention in their high school geography classes (stop lying: you couldn't pick out Angola on a map either), the old-world thinking of the various Olypmic committees and new media has delivered a giant trauma to fans: spoilers. See, as Olympic broadcast partners have spent so much time dilligently ensuring that every fan's viewing experience sucks like a whorish Hoover vacuum, they appear to have missed out on the invention of the internet. So by the time weekday prime time broadcasts are airing Asian badminton players possibly throwing their match to get a better tournement seeding, we've already read all about it on the internet, Twitter, or else overheard friends/family/coworkers discussing the results. And since NBC and the IOC don't seem to want to… you know… live in today-land, you may be looking for a way to make your daily life spoiler-free.

Fortunately Justin Peters, editor of the Columbia Journalism Review, has penned an ignorance guide for CNN to help us all out. As you might expect, his satircal list of ten tips is dominated by various flavors of avoid-technology ice cream:

“Your smartphone is your enemy during these next two weeks. If you carry it around, you will be tempted to check the Internet, and you risk receiving spoiler-laden text messages from your gymnastics-loving friends. Switch to an older phone for the duration of the Olympics, preferably one that is decades old, is shaped like a brick and has a wan green display that can handle neither text messages nor the Internet.”

Seems reasonable. But there's more along the same lines:

“You can probably divide your Facebook friends into “people who are likely to follow the Olympics” and “people who are not.” Hide all status updates from the Olympics-following friends. This should leave you with a Facebook feed composed entirely of elderly relatives, local merchants and new mothers posting photographs of their children. Abandon Twitter entirely, or, at the very least, unfollow everyone except Jose Canseco.”

You get the idea. Unfortunately, the internet isn't the only place where you can overhear heated discussions about whether the United States or China has asserted itself as a world power by winning doubles rowing competitions. But Peters can help there, too:

“Practice walking with your fingers in your ears while shouting “I can't hear you! I can't hear you!”


“You know where nobody's talking about the Olympics? In the forest. Take these next two weeks as an opportunity to go back to nature. Pitch a tent in the woods, and commune with the stars and the seedlings. Bring a battery-powered television that gets only three channels, and fire it up every night around 7. You'll be able to watch the key moments of the Games in peace and quiet. And, despite what you've heard, it is quite unlikely that you'll be eaten by a bear.”

Peters offers even more tips for insulating the rest of your life to guard against Olympic spoilers. On the other hand, NBC and the Olympic Committee could also realize that this internet thing might just not be a fad and take their cue from the NCAA's Basketball Tournement and show the damned games so people can watch whenever they want. 

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Comments on “Avoiding Olympic Spoilers: A Guide”

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MrWilson says:

I’ll spoil the Olympics for you right now so you don’t have to watch. A bunch of genetically gifted people who exercised and practiced a lot will perform sometimes impressive, sometimes boring feats of skill and win medals from other people who are impressed by those feats. Some of these people will be praised as heroes even though they just exercised and practiced a lot, not because they actually saved lives or cured cancer. And in the meantime, official sponsors will reap profits while the intellectual property cops shut down anyone who hasn’t shelled out millions of dollars to sponsor the events who dares mention the games in relation to their business. And one day it will finally be over and the news stations will have to go back to talking about things that actually affect the everyday lives of everyday people…or they’ll go back to talking about Mitt Romney.


MBraedley (profile) says:

Living spoiler free

There are only 2 ways to live your life totally spoiler free:

* Watch it live.
* Not care at all.

Unfortunately, 2 seems difficult when it comes to Olympics, and NBC has made 1 all but impossible. Lucky for me, I live in Canada, and CTV (et al) seem to be much more reasonable, as I watched a good chunk of the Can-GB women’s soccer match live, and the last part of the marathon Federer match live.

Anonymous Coward says:

Wow! if people have to go all that way to avoid spoilers, they should avoid the Olympics instead it is way more easy, or just make believe it is the first time they are seeing something, wait a few months and then watch the Olympics again or something.

What kind of person go out of its way to ignore people and talk to them because of the threat of a spoiler?

My guess is a disturbed one that needs professional help.

Anonymous Coward says:

You mean something is going on? What ever in the world would that be? Haven’t seen a single event of this game that shall not be named. Know what? Without paying any attention to the above recommendations, bet I can go the rest of it without having to bother. Wake me up when they mean something besides a money maker. They may get interesting then.

Seamus Waldron (profile) says:

I don't think you can blame the IOC for NBC suckage

I’ve been thinking, the NBC broadcasting suckage cannot possibly be because of the IOC.

Here in the UK, we can watch EVERY event streamed live on the BBC website, watch most of it on demand through iPlayer, listen to it on three Radio stations – on of which has been setup specially for the Olympics – and watch vast quantities on three free to air digital TV channels. If you have SKY and a 3D TV set, you can apparently get a lot of the show in all 3d goodness,

If the IOC was against people getting their fill of the games, we wouldn’t have all this in the UK.

Don’t get me wrong, I know first hand how awful the NBC coverage is, I went through a couple of Olympics with them, but I do always remember the main anchor saying at the 2002 Winter Olympics; “Finally I get to say, ‘Welcome to the Olympics Live”” (or words to that effect 🙂

Cynyr (profile) says:

Re: I don't think you can blame the IOC for NBC suckage

The big issue here is that without cable you can’t watch the online live streams. Then NBC goes and tape delays events on their normal channels to boost primetime viewing.

Really I blame the UK, why couldn’t they just shift all of the events so the good ones would happen during primetime on the east coast?~

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