Thursday, February 18, 2010

#44 Do Inmates watch the Winter Olympics

Do inmates watch the Olympics?

You know, this is an interesting question, considering that we are now in the middle of the 2010 Winter Olympics in Canada.

Before I get on that, let me remind many of you about my upcoming short story, “Defending Job” which will only be shared on the blogspot prison blog that I have. I currently blog on 3 different blogs, but I will make the blogspot one my anchor, since it at least allows me to try to generate revenue. I will also post more there than the other two, so if you read my blogs and see missing numbers, like 35, 36, 39, then you know that the others were posted on that blog.

Now, some might wonder if inmates are watching the Winter Olympics. I certainly cannot answer that for every inmate or every prison, but I can kinda gauge what the answer could be.

As a former inmate, I don’t recall seeing any winter Olympics while I was in prison, this is for several reasons. First, what network carried the Olympics? If it was a cable station, then many prisons did not show it, since many prisons do not have cable television… some do, but not all.

In this case, the 2010 Olympics, we know that since it is based on the western part of Canada, they are primarily on west coast time zone, or Pacific to be precise. That’s 3 hours time difference from where I am here in NC. At this very moment, there is some Olympic news coverage on a channel called Universal Sports, which is owned by NBC. That channel here is 218, and a cable station. That means that most inmates would not be watching that, since most prisons don’t have cable.

But to more directly attack this question, consider folks that typically speaking, the Winter Olympics does not draw nearly as much attention from men as the Summer Olympics, or NBA Basketball, College Basketball, or even WWE wrestling. Most guys in prison just are not interested in watching the Winter Olympics.

That is not to say that nobody is interested, that isn’t fair to say. If I was in prison at this moment, and with the capability to watch it, I MIGHT watch a little of it. But then we get into a whole different discussion of how television is watched in prison. In some prisons, you are allowed to purchase a television (not sure how it’s done since the government screwed up by trying to go all digital). In my state of NC, you can’t buy a tv, they have day rooms where inmates can watch a single television. Some prisons have 2 day rooms per dorm, one designated for sports, another for movies and other programs.

If the former applies, then there are prisons that designate one day room for sports. But if so, then you have to ask yourself, do inmates want to watch the Winter Olympics, or a basketball game, or wrestling…..

And yes, I know wrestling isn’t considered a sport, but in many prisons it is grouped with sports…..

This is actually a very tricky question to answer, because there are a lot more variables than you think. Right now, at 10:30 in the morning, there is no sports on, so this isn’t an issue. But by 12 noon or even sooner by Pacific time, there could well be sports on, since the Winter Olympics would still be going on. If that was broadcasted on NBC, who carries the Olympics, would inmates watch?

It’s a hard call, because I am not sure if anybody would, but for the sake of watching something different, some guys would. If the prison dorm only had one television, I don’t think they would be watching the Olympics, there is just too much else on. But if the dorm has two day rooms, and one is designated for sports, it is possible that some inmates could be curious enough to watch some of the Olympics. But I think it would mainly be out of curiosity.

I mean, what inmate would be caught watching figure skating….

And you think I’m joking but take that with a little more seriousness. That’s not to say that no inmate would dare watch it, I mean we are all curious about many things, but after the curiosity is worn out, then it becomes an obsession or a desire, and most inmates don’t want others to think they desire or is obsessed with something like that. That’s not a knock on those who perform those sports, because you asked me if inmates watched the Winter Olympics and I am answering that.

So do they watch it? I am not sure many do, and if it goes against any other sport, I’d bet a dollar that the Olympics lose every time. Which would you rather watch if you were in prison, the Lakers vs. the Cavs, Kentucky vs. Tennessee, Duke vs. Maryland or the Winter Olympics….

You see my point.

But again, this does not mean that no inmate is watching it, there are always exceptions to the rule. I think I might have liked to watch at least some of it, just to say that I did, but because I am such a heavy sports fan, I would likely watch other sports. Most inmates would likely do the same.

Anyway, I better go, if you have any questions, feel free to email me, your questions could be the next blog I write. Until then…

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