by Geoff Roberts
First and foremost, this article is going to be negative. For any of you who falsely believe that all negativity is “hating” or “bad vibes”, move on. Negativity is often necessary in order to properly evaluate certain events and hopefully change them for the better. Even things which are dear to one’s heart. With that out of the way, this 2018 Mr. Olympia presentation must be addressed. This years Olympia webcast was horrifying bad. I cannot even muster the proper words to describe the garbage I was subjected to whilst attempting to watch my favorite sporting event of the year. From every single angle imaginable, this presentation of the pinnacle of our beloved sport was atrocious.
The webcast itself might as well have not existed at all. Throughout the entire show the webcast would work, sort of, for a few minutes, than cut out for a couple minutes. This patterned continued relentlessly all the way up to the first call out of open bodybuilding, at which time the stream died altogether. This must be remedied. I would much rather pay sixty dollars for a reliable viewing experience than to be subjected to one of these hot steaming piles of diarrhea we call free live streams. This is not the first time this has happened either. All the way back to 2009 I can remember calling the various hosts of the webcast to ask them why it is not working. There have been a few years where it has worked well, but they are few and far in between. How in the actual fuck is it so difficult to watch the greatest bodybuilding show on earth in 2018? Elon Musk shot a Tesla into space and is severely concerned with computing power taking over the human race, yet we can’t get a reliable live video of our Superbowl to save our lives. Makes sense.
On a related note, the commentary for the show, in the short precious spurts that it was available, was equally as appalling as the quality of the stream. How is it possible that we had infinitely better commentary for the Mr. Olympia ten years ago than we do today? We do not need to hear about what shows the guys won, what is going on in their personal life or who they are dating in the audience. Dan does a good job, but he is only the mediator. Shawn Ray was there to really commentate on the physiques, which he essentially did not do. However, he did say every single guy was too big(go figure). Shawn said about one positive thing throughout the entire stream. He instead opted to delve on any negative aspect of each guy’s physique he could find, and often times he was just plain incorrect. There were zero real analyzations or predictions of placings of any kind. He added absolutely nothing to the experience. Only Kai “Wow he looks great” Greene tops him for the title of worst bodybuilding commentator in human history.
We once had an Arnold Classic which was commentated by Dave Palumbo, Chad Nichols, and Ben Pakulski. It was utterly outstanding and there is not a single bodybuilding fan on earth who would disagree. How in Gods name do we go from that to this? A full decade ago when this job was in the hands of Bob Chick and Larry Pepe, it was great! We downgraded by one thousand percent over the last decade. Nice. It’s as if the people in charge of setting such things up literally do not know what bodybuilding is. In fact, even if you never saw a bodybuilding show in your life you could have picked a better commentator than sour Shawn.
I have followed this sport as closely as anyone for well over a dozen years and worked in the industry for half a dozen, and tonight I missed our Superbowl. It was not possible for me to watch this sports greatest contest from home. That is just not right. I love bodybuilding and I love the IFBB, but this nonsense has to stop. This webcast production was nothing short of offensive. The crown jewel of our sport deserves so much more than this. What’s more, the thousands of fans tuning in to watch said crown jewel deserve more than this.