Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Representing a Nation or the NBA?

Last week, we had the U.S. Men's Olympic/NBA basketball team on one of NBC's 47 TV stations airing Olympic events when I first heard it.

"Was that the NBC/NBA theme they just played?" I asked my husband who'd been watching the game with our sons as NBC went to a commercial. He confirmed that I'd heard correctly.

For days I thought that maybe both of us had misheard. NBC couldn't possibly have played the theme song they use when they air professional NBA games. That just wouldn't be right. It's America's team, I thought, not the National Basketball Association's team.

Then, while watching the U.S. team demolish the Australian team in the quarterfinals, I heard it again, the theme that connotes not the country for whom they're playing, not the Olympic spirit, not the triumphant anthem of the Olumpic games we've all come to associate with watching American teams compete every four years. Instead, I heard the theme that represents professional basketball players who are paid tens of millions of dollars for their sport while their international competitors earn a fraction of that.

Why the special theme for USA Basketball? It's like CBS playing the NCAA tournament theme song if they were broadcasting Olympic basketball. It's out of place. It sends the wrong message. If the men's basketball team is trying to "redeem" itself from past lackluster performances (they won the bronze in 2004), perhaps the network carrying their games should redeem themselves and treat the hoop broadcasts like every other Olympic sport. Otherwise, they'd be better off creating special theme songs for each event, like the "Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" for women's beach volleyball.

1 comment:

Frank said...

I think the Itsy Bitsy Polka Dot Bikini theme would be great for women's volleyball!