C'mon, Olympics! Really?! 16 days and nights of sublime athletic accomplishment and jingoistic fervor... and then you just trot out the Spice Girls, some models from Rio and -- boom! -- it's all over? Two weeks of buzzing on nonstop high stakes competition and you just go and pull the rug out from under us like that? No gradual letdown, no detox? Man, we're getting the shakes over here!
Well if there's one thing primetime TV has taught me, it's that pudgy, aging dudes will always marry hot, sassy women. But if there are two things primetime TV has taught me, it's that people do better working through their problems in groups.
So here are a few simple suggestions that can help all of us combat our Olympics hangover. Because it's going to be a long time before we see fencing again on national TV.
1. Dominate an obscure sport: The best way to never have to say farewell to the Olympics is to commit your life to getting there yourself. But put down that bathing suit. And that basketball! Try all you want, you will never be taking passes from Lebron James and launching three-pointers over seven-foot Lithuanians. But maybe, with four years' practice, you can become a pretty awesome handball player.
2. Stand outside a gym, stare at the people inside: Miss that feeling of complete inadequacy you can only achieve by sitting on your couch while watching world class athletes? Try this instead. It should do the trick.
3. Challenge a kid to a sprint: Want to feel like Usain Bolt? Race a five year old.
4. Play a bunch of online games: OK, so maybe all that physical activity involved in Option 1 isn't your thing. And right now, as you sit at your computer, you long for a fix for your Olympics jones which doesn't require a.) mobility or b.) mobility. Well the web's full of Olympic video games which go ignored for 23 months at a time, until we all rediscover our interest in things such as diving, triple jump, javelin, ping pong (sorry ... "table tennis"), trap shooting and hurdles.
And yes, all those links go to actual games. You're welcome. We're all in this together, friend.
5. Download Google Earth: Pretty sure it was an IOC mandate that NBC could not return from commercial break without a swooping aerial shot of Olympic ring-adorned London Bridge or some charming Yorkshire hamlet. Still pining for those grand visions of England? Load up Google Earth and create your own. Extra points if you do it while listening to the supremely grand Olympics anthem:
6. Listen to that song. Over and over. And over and over again. Love it. Until you grow completely sick of it.
7. Go play with your kid: The easiest way to replicate that Olympic feeling of triumph is to follow the instructions laid out in suggestion No. 3 above. But if you were among the millions of parents who shared a few Olympic moments the last few weeks with your son or daughter, don't let their interest extinguish with those flames. Grab a soccer ball, tennis racket, really long ribbon (rhythmic gymnastics, still a sport!) and head outside after work. Even hold your own mini-Olympics in the backyard.
Loser has to listen to Ryan Seacrest interview Debbie Phelps.
8. Frame some photos of Bob Costas: Hang them around your house, preferably close to the TV. NBC enjoyed record Olympics ratings which means tens of millions of us got used to spending some serious quality time with Costas in our living room, in our kitchen, and yes, in our bedrooms. "Good night to you too, Bob." Hang another Costas pic above the bed. It's like he never left.
9. Look forward to the next big event: We all love Thanksgiving, but don't miss it too much because Christmas and Hanukkah are right after it. Ditto the July 4th Hot Dog Eating Contest and fireworks. Or the Teen Choice Awards and a new episode of "Hell's Kitchen" (No?) So keep in mind we have the NFL season about to start, political conventions and it's still prime tomato season! Huzzah!
Also: Sochi, 2014!
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