Sunday, July 29, 2012

Olympics are Back! A report after Day One (2012)

So yesterday I got up and cycling was on. I rolled over to watching US Women's soccer against the villainous Colombian team, watched that whole match, then watched US Women's Volleyball against South Korea, and at some point was watching Norway play France in Women's Team Handball (it's like mini-Lacrosse with no stick. Just hands.). Then Primetime arrived and I wound up watching beach volleyball, swimming, men's gymnastics and concluded the viewing day after midnight watching women under 110 pounds lifting tremendous amounts of weight over their heads.

A few observations:

  • Andrea Kremer, NBC Olympics correspondent, clearly wants to get with all the male swimmers. You're not really supposed to make goo-goo eyes at the young men, Ms. Kremer, no matter how tall and musclely they may be
  • Swimming anything more than 4 laps is essentially just long enough to be "too long to maintain my interest". I appreciate the competition and athleticism, but I have to admit that watching people swim back and forth may get a wee bit on the repetitive side.  Even the "medley".
  • Much to Jamie's chagrin, Team May-Treanor & Walsh-Jennings has come back for another Olympics to dominate Women's Beach Volleyball. She knows all the ice dancers and gymnasts (somehow), and I know May/ Walsh.
  • I cannot stop watching this clip from 1985's Gymkata starring former Olympic hero, Kurt Thomas.

  • NBC has decided they need to include the inexplicably powerful TV Gnome Ryan Seacrest as part of their broadcast team.  His utter lack of interviewing ability, sports knowledge or general competence seems to have been recognized as a handicap and left him with little to do.  So, he blew something like 15 minutes of last night's Primetime coverage talking about what Twitter was saying about the Opening Ceremonies.  As Pal JuanD said:  He's the television equivalent of double-spacing your book report
  • Seacrest was asking for our feedback via Twitter.  So I sent it to him.
  • NBC still insists that what people want to watch are swimming and gymnastics.  As with every Olympics, I find this an odd assertion.  Swimming and gymnastics are on TV all year long, and usually relegated to 2:00 PM on a Saturday on ESPN 4.  Because, seriously, nobody cares.  "It's what people want to see!" insists Jamie, but how do they know that?  The first Olympics I recall watching featured Mary Lou Retton winning in Primetime.  When, exactly, did NBC try out, say, Dressage in Primetime?  I theorize it would do just as well, if not better.  And would do wonders for the sport of Dressage.
  • Mary Lou has since had her hips replaced.  
  • I want to form a band specifically to help me put together my Bauhaus rendition of "Bela Karolyi's Dead".
  • The London Opening Ceremonies have been more or less well reviewed, but I think we can all agree that the Brit's obsession with "relevancy via caring about whatever teens are doing and into" was a weird turn of the narrative from Shakespeare and the Industrial Revolution.
  • I am thrilled to hear you don't care about the Olympics!  You keep on doing that.
  • While the color commentary is entirely useless, watching the games on mute is just creepy.  I have no solution to offer.
  • We're not the medal-earning powerhouse of the Cold War via Olympics Domination Era.  And that's probably okay.  I wish our sports correspondents could be half as happy about a Bronze Medal as, say, the athletes from every other country in the world who recognizes that medalling is a major deal.
It's an exciting time, these Olympics.  I'm watching Russia v Japan in Women's Archery.  I appreciate a sport where the scoring is obvious and objective.  

I actually took Archery as a class while in college, and I was absolutely awful.  Seriously, terrible.  Repetition two days a week did nothing to improve anything after the first month of class.  I was awful.  Not as bad as when I took fencing, but pretty bad.

1 comment:

Paul Toohey said...

As with just about every televised sporting event, I wish they'd use the SAP channel (which I've never been able to get working) to broadcast the audio feed of the microphones capturing the event/crowd without the worthless commentators.