WHICH is the greatest show on earth? The Olympic Games, which started in London yesterday, or football's World Cup?
This is the biggest question in the sports realm.
There is no clear winner between these sports events when it comes to world popularity
But truth be told, Zeus and his fellow immortals on Mount Olympus would frown on most Malaysians for favouring the beautiful game when played out on the world stage.
As far as the folk here are concerned, the World Cup has always been winning the race against the Olympic Games for the honour of being the greatest show on earth.
Though the sporting face of humanity is now in full glow in London, the Olympic fever here is less feverish than what would be the case of the World Cup.
You can see how eagerly Malaysians warm up to the World Cup compared with the Olympics by the way they talk excitedly about the matches in the office or the coffee shop.
Sales of television sets have been reported to shoot up during the World Cup, but we don't hear of people rushing to buy TVs for the Olympics.
Restaurants and warong won't put out extra chairs and tables in anticipation of Olympic fans. No raucous cheers for runners, swimmers, cyclists or gymnasts.
Employers worry less about absenteeism in the workplace during the Olympics than during the World Cup.
And Malaysians don't get into trouble watching the Olympics unlike those who have loan sharks going after them after losing bets on World Cup matches.
The Olympics do not bring in as much business as the World Cup for the notorious syndicates.
For the sport purist, the RM46 billion London Olympics, which sees the participation of 10,490 athletes from 204 countries, is without a doubt, the world's biggest sporting event.
Yet, for Malaysia's football fans, the Olympics can't beat the World Cup in terms of passion and interest.
Having a big hand in whetting Malaysians' appetite for football's greatest show is the English Premier League, which draws top stars from all corners of the world.
Remarkably, English football champions, the Manchester City team, still feel it should come to Kuala Lumpur to entertain Malaysian fans, even though the Olympic Games will be in full swing.
Perhaps the Manchester City team know the preference of Malaysians -- that many fans will still go to Bukit Jalil on Monday to see it play against the national side, instead of being glued to the Olympic channels on TV.
The London Games are off and running.
But do you hear people talking animatedly on the streets about who is faster, higher, or stronger, or citius, altius, fortius, to use the Latin mantra of the Olympics?
Sorry Zeus, the Olympic vibes are just not strong in this land.
Instead, here the bigger kick is in football.