I can feel it. It's taking hold. I have no real interest in the Olympic Summer Games. I'm a winter games fan. But the fever is beginning to grip me. Not Olympic fever, pin collecting fever.
It started when I was at the Sydney summer games, covering them for MSNBC.com. It's there I got my first taste, where my addiction began. I have several pin-collecting books filled with the pins that I begged for, traded for, bargained for or bought.
Now, every two years, I need another fix. Even though I didn't go to Salt Lake City, I got caught up in the elusive chase for the green jello pin and the companion fry sauce and funeral potatoes ones from the Utah food series. I did manage to score a couple of Mormon missionary bicyclists pins. And the others in my collection are sweet.
Now, it's Beijing. A colleague of mine is covering the games for NBC. I asked her, meekly, if she might get me a pin or two. She was in China before the games and brought me back the NBC logo pin. I thanked her profusely. But, I knew that one wouldn't be enough. That standard pin only whetted my addiction.
The pin I'm hungering for has already sold out from the NBC store. It originally cost $8. It's selling on pin sites now for twice that. It's the 'rickshaw' pin from NBC. I bought another rickshaw-themed pin, but it's not the one I really wanted.
So, while the U.S. media is all agog over Michael Phelps' chase for a record 8 Olympic gold medals, I'm beginning to get caught up in my own quest for the pin collectors' Olympic gold.
Of course, it is always smart to look for and collect something iconic. The Coca Cola puzzle pin set above was made from the steel used in the construction of the National Stadium, the so-called 'bird's nest'. Right now, the starting bid for this set on eBay is $79.99.
Geez, I'd love that have that one.