Well, 30 years ago NBC apparently didn't, because they broadcast their own international sporting event - US AGAINST THE WORLD II (The first edition ran the previous season).
Taking a cue from ABC's very sucessfull BATTLE OF THE NETWORK STARS and CBS's CELEBRITY BATTLE OF THE SEXES, the peacock network mounted what they hoped be an annual "event". Imagine an celebrity athletic show hosted by Gabe (WELCOME BAK KOTTER) Kaplan! Among the stars participating - Ed (TONIGHT SHOW) McMahon, Dick (AMERICAN BANDSTAND) Clark, Dan (GRIZZLY ADAMS) Haggerty, Scott (JOANIE LOVES CHACHI) Baio, Jimmie (J.J. on GOOD TIMES) Walker, Gavin (LOVE BOAT) MacLeod, Melissa (LITTLE HOUSE) Gilbert, Ted (MARY TYLER MOORE) Knight, Cloris (PHYLLIS) Leachman, Kristy (FAMILY) McNichol, Connie (ABC MOVIE OF THE WEEK) Stevens, William (STAR TREK) Shatner, Rich (talk show guest) Little, Bo (WALKING TALL) Svenson, LeVar (ROOTS) Burton, Britt (trophy wife) Ekland, Barbara (VALLEY OF THE DOLLS!!!) Perkins, Victoria (DALLAS) Principal, Fionnula (HOW THE WEST WAS WON) Flannigan and Dick (EIGHT IS ENOUGH) Van Patton! Whew!
Wow! All those big stars! All that sweat! I wonder what celebrities the "international" teams featured? I also wonder who looked the better in a Speedo - Dan Haggerty or Dick Van Patten? Well - we know Dick was in good shape because he had just modeled for this great EIGHT IS ENOUGH tie-in product:
I mean, you really have to be in peak athletic condition to A) Fly a kite B) Keep youngest son Adam Rich away from the drug pushers (pictured in the rear) and C) outrun the family of kite-loving bears that you are taunting with your yellow kite. Priceless.
I guess US AGAINST THE WORLD II didn't take off in the ratings because we didn't see a third edition, which is sad because imagine if the show was still on today. Who would be representing the USA in an all-star competition? Cast members of THE HILLS? Hulk Hogan's family? The Kardashians? Maybe we're better off.