If, like me, you're one of the true-blue patriots who follow the hyperactive, entertainingly contrived sports program "American Gladiators," you may have noticed that NBC has been running ads along the bottom of the screen for another, (somewhat) less contrived sporting event about to take place in China. The season finale of "Gladiators" will air on Aug. 4, just four days before the Olympics start in Beijing. NBC's marketing strategy seems pretty clear: Use fake sports to whet the viewer's appetite for real sports.If you're not going to embrace your true patriotism and watch the Gladiators finale, try instead to take in Eddie Vedder at the United Palace Theater either tonight or tomorrow. Gonna be sick. Bunch of PJ opening set ukulele crap and "Into The Wild" wonders. It's gonna rule. Thank your for your continued support of Deadspin. See you tomorrow. Faster. Higher. Stronger. Better on TV. [WaPo]
The Olympics begin in four days. I'm still a little curious as to how the Olympics will actually be covered on Deadspin even though the rest of Gawker has its own dedicated Olympics page. Because, let's face it: for whatever reason, they're just not all that interesting to sports fans. Sure, the basketball's great, Michael Phelps breaking records and Dara Torres will be good for the People magazine set, but outside of a few select moments of athletic prowess, it always seems like the Olympics (both winter and summer) feel like one big long New Year's Day parade with a bunch of activities thrown in to stave off the boredom of looking up what country corresponds to what flag symbol. Ben Mathis-Lilley knows this feeling all too well; that's why he chose to devote a piece in the Washington Post to something that Americans really care about: American Gladiators.