Whereas everyday sports fans relish their fluency in RBIs and yards-per-carry, taking delight in the Olympics requires almost no homework. Simply flip on the tube—or surf a Chinese-government-approved website—and you’re all caught up, a completely foreign element to professional sports viewing. You don’t need to know about historical team rivalries, league records or national championships to love the Olympics. [nypress]
I'm not sure about the slipping from mainstream (you'd have to check the ratings for that), but I will say that while stuck on an airplane for 10 hours yesterday I was pretty excited when beach volleyball and synchronized diving (a WTF event if ever there was one) finally started showing on the seatback monitors. Thanks, however, to the lag between JetBlue's satellite NYC television and Seattle's tape-delayed local coverage, I managed to miss swimming.
But, hey, you don't really need to be an expert to know that the 400m relay on Monday was really something, right?