Tuesday, August 19, 2008

A Few More Olympic Things

First off, did you see that dude, Chen Yibing, on the still rings last night? The commentator describes him as weightless when he performs and damned if that wasn't spot on. It was, without question, the best performance of the group and a thing of beauty to behold.

I watch the coverage with my cable company issue DVR. This means that I can put the Olympic channel on, watch something I've recorded for 45 minutes then go back to the live TV and I can rewind as far as an hour. And that's what I do. I then fast forward through commercials, announcer blather, sappy athlete profiles and anything else that I don't feel like watching. When I catch up to the current time I repeat the process. It's totally working for me. Best Olympic coverage ever.

Overall, though, I'm not as interested as I was last week. I'm still interested but my god, I didn't see the coverage of ever single heat of the swimming. It feels like nothing but heats with the track and field these days. I get all excited and then people are jogging to the finish because it's not for a medal and they know they've qualified. Hell, the amazing Jamaican guy, Ussein Bolt, jogged his ass into a gold medal in the 100 meter dash. I'm a little sick of his jogging, run it out Bolty, don't be disrespectful of the event even if you are faster than an actual speeding bullet.

The shotgun-wide approach to the track and field is happening, I think, because there isn't a Phelps or a Torres or a Traener & May to focus the broadcast choices. It's great for America and all but it does mean they're going to show a wider range of heats because they don't want to miss having broadcast the quarterfinal heat of whoever ends up winning. Lots of injuries in the running and therefore lots of upsets so there's still plenty of drama but it's not as focused as the drama from swim week.

My other thoughts on the broadcast choices have to do with the "too much coverage of the US" complaint. I get that and I think that, to some extent, it's true. Then last night as I walked the dog I had a for instance run through my head. Let's say I knew a lesser known Olympic athlete but I didn't know them well enough to travel to Beijing to see the games in person. Then let's say that in order to show coverage of more countries they decide to show a Ukranian gymnast instead of my friend's less splashy heat or even medal contention. How pissed would I be that I live in my friend's country of origin and that country couldn't be bothered to cover her events in favor of showing someone from a different country? I'm thinking pretty damn pissed. I bet the grandparents of the amazing US fencing team who swept the medals are a little ticked that someone's having to FedEx them tape of their granddaughters' Olympic accomplishments since the 3.4 second clips of the winning touches were dissatisfying, to say the least. I'm not defending the NBC machine, don't get me wrong, I'm just saying that they may be wrong in an entirely different way than we think.

Tell me something good about what you're watching these days Olympic or not, please.


  1. I'd like to see some of the lesser known sports. Badmitton, judo, whatever. Caught some trampolining last night and that was cool. I don't necessarily think it should be an Olympic sport, but it was fun to watch something totally different. And they ARE in China....how 'bout some freaking ping pong!

  2. OK, I've heard your complaints from a lot of people and I'm going to have to burst out with what's in my head: WHAT CHANNEL ARE YOU GUYS WATCHING?!?!? I've seen badminton (men's & mixed doubles and the men's match didn't have any Americans in it), ping pong, team handball, mens and womens basketball, beach volleyball, both mens and womens indoor volleyball, mens and womens soccer, trap shooting, trampoline, kayaking on white water, rowing, foot races, marathon, pole vault, dressage and more, I'm sure there's more. I know I watch on cable (A&E I think and USA definitely) on weekends and mornings but I also know that I haven't watched all the obscure shit on the cable so I'm wondering if there's different prime time coverage elsewhere or if, more likely, I'm watching way too much Olympic coverage.

  3. I think I'm just not watching enough "off-peak" time. I'll try USA and A&E. Thanks for the tip!

  4. i caught the trampoline, and some ping pong doubles. MANIACS!!! the rings last night...woof. that's is some kind of ridiculousness. what else...i'm only watching the nbc. not any other channels. just watching ALL THE FREAKING TIME. last night before Bob Costas signed off they did this little bit about how everyone in America is sleep deprived. I call it an Olympic Hangover. but I LOVE that we have all joined together to watch and support. I'm totally addicted. Not as much this week, and I call that due to lack of MPhelps my boyfriend, and lack of sleep. Just. Tired.

    BUT I love it. and am totally ordering that video on MP that they are advertising. TOTALLY ordering it.

    ate. up.

  5. Anonymous7:09 AM

    I really enjoyed watching the women's indoor volleybal yesterday. The US beat Italy, but the talent on display on both sides was amazing.

    Can I toss in that I don't get why NBC spent more time on Lolo Jones, who lost the 100m hurdles than on the winner? Good looks?

  6. I've not been watching very much. Too much stuff to do right now. As for anything else, we've been anxiously watching Fay as she tries to make up her mind whether or not to become a hurricane. Of course, she won't impact me, but my friends on the gulf coast worry.