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Commentary: Olympics has its place, even in an NFL world

Listening to sports talk isn’t exactly an exercise in reason or logic, but I can’t help myself. I have a sports fix, and it needs fixed.

So listening to Dan Patrick’s morning show recently, I had one of those hand-meets-forehead moments. I was shocked, mainly because it’s hard to be surprised by much of anything anymore on sports talk radio. Nearly every controversial remark that could ever be espoused has already been espoused.

But there they were, gabbing away, and one of the show’s staff members said he can’t understand why anyone can be excited for the Olympics when NFL training camp is starting up.

How can anyone be excited for the “return” of the NFL? The NFL never leaves, while the Olympics are here once every four years. Catching Michael Phelps is like catching lightning in a bottle. Meanwhile, every NFL player, play or game of any significance will be broken down and then broken down again on the plethora of highlight shows, analysis shows or SportsCenter reruns. The NFL never returns, because it never leaves.

Call me strange, but give me an hour watching water polo or one of the so-called “fringe sports” before giving me a rundown of what Tim Tebow had for breakfast. It’s different, it’s fresh and the women and men playing it are motivated much more by country than whatever they get in arbitration.

The Olympics offer something different, which is strange, because that is what ESPN — the biggest perpetrator of NFL over-exposure there is — used to be. Growing up, what you discovered on ESPN was something refreshing and new, whether it was the beginnings of extreme sports or Australian Rules Football.

Give me my two weeks of the Olympics and remember different can be good. Because once it’s over, there will be plenty of time for the enjoyment of training camp.

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