What a great year this is! And what a great country! Not only are we hosting the Summer Olympics (they just began today and we can hardly contain ourselves), but we also have a presidential election that will kick off in earnest no sooner than the crowds and television cameras are freed up from their duties in Atlanta. Sports and politics have always had a good deal in common in the United States, especially since the Great Affluenza Epidemic swept the country several decades back and left pretty much the entire populace unable to grasp anything more ethically complex than a half-time station break.
Sports are an important part of life, almost as important as advertising. And it is so moving to see them both finally taking their rightful place on the World Wide Web. In fact, online coverage of The Games -- not to mention Olympics-related merchandising -- is so intense this year that there has been serious speculation as to whether the resultant Bandwidth Suck might bring the Internet to its virtual knees.
Nearly 11,000 athletes will vie with each other in Atlanta and the results will be monitored and reported by a massive network of computers: a Swatch time-keeping system, 7000 PCs, 80 LANS, a clutch of mainframes, a supercomputer linked to four separate NAPs, each via T3, and a partridge in a pear tree. But not to worry about the Internet buckling under the weight of all this rapt attention. After all, this is America, and whenever opportunity knocks the door will be opened. But even if the net did melt down, so what? Wouldn't it be worth it?
The Olympic Creed states "The most important thing... is not to win but to take part, just as the most important thing in life is not the triumph but the struggle. The essential thing is not to have conquered but to have fought well." We didn't even know there was a