Sports Biz with Darren Rovell

Olympic Flame "Torched" In San Francisco?

2008 Olympics Beijing

I am here in San Francisco, the only U.S. Olympic torch stop, wondering, is this one of the last times we will see the flame until Beijing?

Will the International Olympic Committee buckle to one of the most disruptive protests in the history of the Olympic Games by canceling the worldwide torch relay?

Human rights activists salivated when they heard that the IOC would meet in the coming days to decide the fate of the future of the relay. They cheered upon seeing the pictures coming out of London and Paris and I'm sure are hoping for more in San Francisco today.

So what will happen?

The Olympics might have been founded on the amateur ideal and the love of the international game, but the Olympics today is also about cold hard cash.

And the bottom line is that China has outspent any government, business or entity--it's not even close--and China wants this to continue. So Halting the relay is beyond consideration.

And that's why I truly believe that the relay will continue.

So mark my words and yes, if IOC President Jacques Rogge says otherwise next week I will eat them, the relay will go on (minus some small tinkering).

So will the protests of course, which will continue this extremely awkward reality show of sorts. Updates on where the torch is now at and what happened at what site and what some demonstrator did, blah, blah, blah, you'll hear it all.

Now I'm still grappling with whether I should feel bad or not for the sponsors of the relay. Coca-Cola , Lenovo and Samsung, who, aside from making a couple of statements have obviously minimized their exposure, which they reportedly bought for some $15 million. Should their marketers have realized this was going to happen or is that rear view mirror thinking?

I mean, whoever thought before this week, we'd hear someone talking about the flame being extinguished in a relay?

Olympic Torch Drama

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