I have been trying not to write about the Olympics, because I haven’t got anything to say that someone else hasn’t already said better, and because I am too busy watching to think about writing anything anyway. But having spent the last two evenings at live events (table tennis on Tuesday, football on Wednesday), I have realised that – whisper it – the Olympics are kind of better on TV. Of course, being there is super-exciting, and you get to be a part of the crowd and talk to people you’d never have talked to otherwise, and if you’re lucky get within sniffing distance of a superhuman. But you also get to spend a lot of time standing around, or queueing, or spending a lot of money on not-very-nice food, and I realised as I stood penned-in by police horses outside Wembley Stadium last night that I could have been spending all that time watching the fricking Olympics. It’s bad enough that I have to go to stupid work and be in stupid meetings while people are winning medals, but it’s worse when I’ve paid £80 to stand in a queue and miss out on it all.
So I have come to the conclusion that the best way to enjoy the games is by mostly watching them on TV, and just sticking your nose briefly into the action itself. After all, a single ticket to most of the sessions costs just about what the license fee does for a whole year, and with literally every event available via the BBC you will get more sport for your sterling by sitting at home, where the food is cheaper and the toilet queues much shorter, than by buying expensive seats which allow you to sit quite a long way away from everything that’s actually happening.
This is all good news. The Olympics are designed to be watched in person by tens of thousands of people, and on TV by actual billions. In this case, you lose nothing by being one of the ninety nine per cent. So use your Mastercard to buy a Pepsi, settle down in front of your Sony TV and enjoy the freedom and the luxury of watching from the best seat in the house.
(All of which said, please note that I will happily accept gifts of free tickets to anything you like.)