Tinsel on the Sports CurbThe last day of the Olympic Games, especially the closing ceremony, is exactly like taking down the Christmas tree and hauling it out to be picked up by the recycling contractors.
Right now, the water polo final is on. Unless you're from Italy or Croatia, and EXTREMELY patriotic, this is like taking each ornament and placing it neatly in its box. Modern pentathlon for women is like taking the lights off. This thing's over.
It's depressing. It makes one excruciatingly aware of the passage of time. Worst of all, it leaves one with late August sports, which is to sports what January is to life, a period to be endured then forgotten as quickly as possible.
And yet, at the same time, there's relief. Christmas and the Olympics really take it out of you if you throw yourself into them. (Trust me, for everybody who's part of the Games in any capacity, especially sportswriters, relief is the only emotion). If Christmas never stopped, it wouldn't be any fun. We mock people who are slow to take down their outdoor decorations, and rightly so. Suffering the dark, cold and ice of January gives the nice months meaning. In the same process, without late August, there couldn't be the start of football, and baseball pennant races, and playing golf while leaves turn, and all the other things that make September and October the reset buttons on the sports experience.
I will miss the Games of London. By Labor Day, I'll be hard pressed to tell you what I miss about them.