Olympic Fever

I don’t have it.

For the first time I can remember, I am just completely uninterested in the Olympics this year. I can’t figure out why, either, but I normally love the Olympics.

Although I am now to the point I simply can not listen to Bob Costas for more than five seconds, so that may be one reason. I know I refuse to watch the World Series because of that idiot Joe Buck.

*** Update ***

On the other hand, Michael Phelps is just plain silly.






82 replies
  1. 1
    RoonieRoo says:

    You’re not the only one. We usually love to watch the Olympics. My guess is that it is NBC that has ruined it for us.

    It’s impossible to actually watch the competition and it is so American-centric to make it unenjoyable all together.

  2. 2
    nightjar says:

    Never been able to get into the Summer Olympics. But am glued to the TV for the Winter Olympics, and I hate winter. Go figure.

  3. 3
    Wayne says:

    Not interested either. Definitely Bob Costas, can’t stand him. Also it just seems so professional now

  4. 4
    Martin says:

    I’m enjoying them as always. Yeah, NBC isn’t helping, but they’ve done a pretty good job on the web stuff. The quality of the live streams suck but the replays are good and the commentary isn’t there to distract. It’s a nice way to watch them.

  5. 5
    Maxwel says:

    Use fast forward/skip.

  6. 6

    Every 4 years I find myself thankful I live so close to Canada and get Canadian TV. The coverage is generally much better than NBC.

    That said, go Togo!

  7. 7
    Snail says:

    Well, you may not be that into the Olympics, but may I point out that there is a boxer from Ghana named Prince Octopus Dzanie!

    Prince Octopus. There is nothing I can add that will make that any better.

  8. 8
    Barbara says:

    The tv coverage can be frustrating, although I have noticed a reduction in the number of syrupy profiles of athletes. However, the NBC website has a lot to recommend. As an erstwhile (noncompetitive) fencer, for the first time I was able to watch the fencing medal bouts on-line and it was very cool. You can watch just about any sport you like, in full, on-line. It makes the gaps in the tv coverage less annoying.

  9. 9
    ploeg says:

    Swap Costas for Brian Williams, and you won’t do anything to the Olympics coverage, but you’ll make the NBC Nightly News a whole hell of a lot better.

    It’s not Costas per se, it’s just that the Olympics are produced to be a sports program for people who don’t like sports. Costas knows his stuff, but he’s best when he’s balanced out with some really good color, and NBC isn’t giving him a whole lot of help.

  10. 10
    Sam says:

    I’m loving it. I have no idea what you guys are talking about. I like Costas, though I don’t think he’s well-suited to his current role as summary dude.

    Michael Phelps up.

  11. 11
    Jim says:

    I’ve watched more of this year’s Olympics than the last two combined. Phelps and the swimming is a compelling story, and even the men’s gymnastics was exciting, and I generally hate that stuff. More than anything, however, I’m enjoying the off hours stuff. The fencing was great, and even the badmitten is enjoyable. The lower profile sports can be just as exciting without all the hype.

  12. 12
    Walker says:

    My (Polish) wife loves the Olympics, but hates American TV coverage of the Olympics. Too many “special interest stories” and few televised match-ups of non-American teams.

    However, she has been quite impressed by NBC’s website. Supposedly the material on the website is very good, and allows her to get her “un-American” fix.

  13. 13
    CT says:

    I’ve been all over it this year. I’ve no complaints about the coverage at all. For myself, I WANT the NBC focus to be on the Americans, as long as they give due respect to the other athletes. I thought they did a fine job last night with the men’s gymnastics in following the story of the short-handed Americans, while also showing us full coverage of the spectacular Chinese gold medal team.

    I’ve watched plenty of Canadian coverage in past Olympics-they’re just as focused on their athletes as NBC is about Americans-I was in Vancouver in ’96, when CBC became the Donovan Bailey network for a week or so.

  14. 14
    Jon H says:

    It’s too bad American coverage totally ignores the whole “melting pot” thing that America has long been romanticized as being. Hey! Guess what! Americans are from all over the goddamn world, they might like hearing about the countries they or their ancestors came from, even if for the most part they’re rooting for the US!

  15. 15
    Jon H says:

    “On the other hand, Michael Phelps is just plain silly.”

    Say that to his face and he’ll crush you between his toes.

  16. 16
    Lauren says:

    I generally am not a huge fan of the Summer Olympics (I love the Winter Games though) but I’ve been pretty interested in these games. NBC seems to have limited the syrupy profiles which has helped tremendously along with getting to watch the swimming and gymnastics live. The men’s swimming relay was truly a fantastic moment and the Phelps medal race has been keeping me tuned in. But then again, I’m not a sports person so the Olympics are the only time I ever pay attention to the sports pages.

  17. 17
    Montysano says:

    I love the summer Olympics, and so far this year, I have few complaints. I see a reduction in both USA-centrism and (thankfully) in the syrupy “up-close” profiles.

    The CBC coverage may indeed be more balanced, but c’mon: if the Canadian medal count was up in 12+ range, I feel sure their coverage might look a little different. Just sayin’.

  18. 18
    Martin says:

    Supposedly the material on the website is very good

    By and large, everything is on the website. The organization is a little confusing but once you stumble upon the right video page, you can search by sport or athlete and it’ll show you just that stuff.

    My son (10) barely remember Athens and doesn’t know a lot of these events, so we spent a few hours watching weight lifting, judo, archery, water polo, etc. It’s all there. Pretty good quality and if 10+ hours of archery doesn’t get your fix, there’s really no blaming NBC for that. They seem to usually splice together sensible things. You can watch the mens 4x100m freestyle again (which is from the broadcast, so Costas is there) with a little recap and then the medal ceremony. I think it’s 10 minutes total for the clip. Pretty decent actually.

  19. 19
    David Hunt says:

    I am just completely uninterested in the Olympics this year

    As a remedy, I have three words: Women’s. Beach. Volleyball.

  20. 20
    Incertus says:

    As a remedy, I have three words: Women’s. Beach. Volleyball.

    Nah. Even that isn’t doing it for me. It’s the commercialism, I think–the older I get, the less tolerance I have for it. I know it’s always been there, but this year, probably because it’s in China and we owe our asses plus a significant part of our colon to them, I’m just rebelling.

  21. 21
    Martin says:

    I thought they did a fine job last night with the men’s gymnastics in following the story of the short-handed Americans, while also showing us full coverage of the spectacular Chinese gold medal team.

    Except that the French were leading for a while, yet you never saw a single French athlete competing. The Japanese were the favorites for the silver, yet you barely saw them at all. The Germans were chasing us, and you hardly saw them as well. If you had the sound off, you would have thought there were only two teams and a few national cast-offs competing. The 2 hours spent taping guys standing around waiting for scores could have been better used, though that might simply be the price of having the event live.

    Which teams were actually competing in mens gymnastics? I challenge anyone to tell me, and I’m watching it right now for the 2nd time since my wife missed much of it. I have no clue.

  22. 22
    Bostondreams says:

    It’s impossible to actually watch the competition and it is so American-centric to make it unenjoyable all together.

    Perhaps. But consider that in China, its Chinese-centric, and France is Franco-centric, and so on. It IS a competition, after all. Can’t demonstrate arete by singing ‘Come Together’ at these things, after all.

  23. 23
    BombIranForChrist says:

    Costas and NBC are exactly why I don’t watch the Olympics anymore. For every 1 minute of actual sports, you have to watch 10 hours of Costas mouth puking the most histrionic and laughable crap for every packet of stimulus that enters his sensory nervous system.

    You know what, Costas? Not every mother fucker in the Olympics is courageous or noble or whatever other awkward ass word you pull straight out of your butthole. Most are simply great athletes, that is all, and people want to see them compete, not listen to you narrate a Barbara Wawa expose on the courage of a 3rd tier Tongan sharpshooter whose deaf mute mother couldn’t buy her shoes because she was nailed to a fence post during the Foreign Excursion of XYZ.

    Shut up already! Shut up! Somebody PLEASE take the Olympics away from NBC now.

    Just sayin’

  24. 24
    Martin says:

    It IS a competition, after all.

    Except that a competition requires competitors. If you don’t see them and what they are doing, it actually ruins the experience for many people.

  25. 25
    calling all toasters says:

    I would watch, but it’ s on opposite other shows.

  26. 26
    Brachiator says:

    For the first time I can remember, I am just completely uninterested in the Olympics this year. I can’t figure out why, either, but I normally love the Olympics.

    I tried, but NBC insists on bringing teh stupid in giving us “America Goes to the Olympics with Some Other Dudes.” I watched a swimming relay which was won by a Japanese swimmer. The best American swimmer, Hansen, finished fourth, and NBC insisted on showing us in slo mo detail the efforts of this swimmer who didn’t even medal, with a brief nod to the Japanese gold medal winner, and the barest of mentions of the silver and bronze medal winners.

    Later, they profiled a woman gymnast who took her sick son from her home country to Germany, for whom she now competes. They then showed her vault routine, but failed to adequately place her performance in context. Is she strongly favored to go on? Who the hell knows? But we know her now healthy son is doing well.

    Track and field used to be big in the US, but now is marginalized. The same is even more true of other summer sports. Instead of re-introducing us to these sports, and showing how the best athletes got to China, NBC insists that jingoism and woman-friendly prime time soap operas are vital to making the games watchable.

    But instead of taking advantage of the time differential to customize the broadcast so that it might better emphasize the athletes who actually end up winning, instead of helping us to see what makes up a superior performance, instead of letting us honestly get into the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat, they try to manipulate audience response with artificial mini-dramas. Even when something real comes along, like the deflated French challenge to the American swim relay team, NBC muffs it. I mean, do you know who any of the French challengers were or why they were favored?

    Oddly, I think that “reality TV,” which is sometimes more unpredictable than the way these games have been presented, has stolen some of the Olympic thunder.

    And in the days of laptops, iPhones, video iPods and the ever loving Internets, NBC’s insistence that we sit in front of our TVs during primetime for the good stuff is insane.

    I might even have purchased highlights via iTunes, and downloaded them to watch during my morning commute, but NBC decided that they would show Apple who was boss and severed their relationship. I wonder how many people might have paid for and downloaded an edited highlights clip of the Opening Ceremonies had it been available?

    Too bad, ’cause I ain’t going along with NBC’s crap. And I say this as someone who was able to attend some of the 1984 LA Olympics events, and then went home to watch what I had already seen.

  27. 27
    The Dangerman says:

    Two thumbs up on watching the games online; I watched the first few minutes of the USA and China in Men’s Basketball and then watched a fair amount of the men’s trap (hey, it was the Dick Cheney in me; no one got shot in the face though). There are sports that never get any TV time and you can watch all of it online (I watched a few minutes of Team Handball before I decided I just couldn’t get into it).

  28. 28
    Ninerdave says:

    Except that a competition requires competitors. If you don’t see them and what they are doing, it actually ruins the experience for many people.

    I don’t care about the athlete’s personal lives, I want to see them compete and yes Bob Costas makes me want to throw a chair through the TV. I tried to watch a bit, paused the Tivo for 30 minutes and spent more time fast forwarding to the sports than watching the sports themselves. CNBC seems better (more sports coverage, less talking) but they haven’t had any sports on that I want to watch.

  29. 29
    The Dangerman says:

    Also, as an aside, Bush’s drunken fratboy bullshit (apologies to all you Greeks) spoiled a lot of it for me. Also, the outdoor competitions where you can see the smog. If this is what it is when it is “cleanup up”, pity the bastards when the factories crank back up.

  30. 30
    Martin says:

    NBC’s insistence that we sit in front of our TVs during primetime for the good stuff is insane.

    Actually, NBC set it up with the planners that most or all of Phelps gold medal swims would land in prime time for us. The good stuff is live in primetime, in case you hadn’t noticed – and that was arranged, apparently. The gymnastics finals are live in primetime as well by no coincidence.

  31. 31
    nightjar says:

    I tried watching and tuned in to some kind of game with women running around whacking what looked like an oversize whiffle ball with a half size plastic hockey stick. Sometimes they’d run carrying the ball and maybe do a dribble, finally trying to knock or throw it in a half size looking soccer goal.

    I thought wtf and changed channels.

  32. 32
    null pointer exception says:

    Every 4 years, when Olympics come around, it is self flagellation season in India, seeing as how a country of 1 billion people hasn’t yet produced an Olympic gold in an individual sport.
    Thankfully, this time around Abhinav Bindra won the gold in shooting so I am hoping we won’t have to talk about it anymore.

  33. 33
    Gemina13 says:

    I’ve heard people complain that ABC’s coverage of the Olympics was lousy, but I don’t recall that it was half as USA-centric as NBC. Hell, even CBS did a better job than NBC of broadcasting the Summer Games, and CBS’s coverage was shit too.

    I’m gravitating more and more towards the Winter Games, but even then I find I watch most of it with the sound off.

  34. 34
    Original Lee says:

    I’m with you, John. I started out by leaving the TV on and doing stuff in the other room for a while, then coming back and using the DVR to zip backwards to where I left off before, then zipping to the parts I wanted to watch and leaving the mute button on. This worked for Saturday, but I was so tired of the hassle by then that I started watching it online.

    I agree with Martin that at least part of the pleasure of the Olympics for me has been knowledgeable commentary and showing of the top athletes, regardless of country, that puts the competition into context. Am I being a geezer if I talk about being able to watch the top 5-10 in the popular sports with people who knew what they were talking about as commentators? I’m dreading Vancouver now that Dick Buttons is dead.

  35. 35
    Jon H says:

    “Also, the outdoor competitions where you can see the smog. If this is what it is when it is “cleanup up”, pity the bastards when the factories crank back up.”

    The BBC news website has been running a daily monitor of air quality, with a meter reading of some sort and a photo of the skyline in the distance.

    The WHO (world health org.) says this meter reading should top out at about 50 whatsits for safety. The BBC’s monitoring has had some days as high as 290.

  36. 36
    w vincentz says:

    @ Dangerman,
    Yup, the “Cheer-leader-in-Chief” kinda took a lot of fun out of it.
    That said, there’s a whole lot of beauty to be seen. Years of training effort to be respected, and anguish (saddness) to be found when this is not realized.
    I wish they’d show the dressage (horses), just cause I’m involved with equines. Shucks.
    This Olympics gives a lot of reasons to be totally pissed.
    At least the tight butts that Chimpy grabbed (beach volleyball girls) and those of the women’s gymnastic team make some of the coverage worth watching.
    Carry on….

  37. 37
    Martin says:

    Every 4 years, when Olympics come around, it is self flagellation season in India, seeing as how a country of 1 billion people hasn’t yet produced an Olympic gold in an individual sport.

    I’ll give credit to Costas for learning one thing. I didn’t realize that China was absent from the games between 1952 and 1984 when we convinced them to come to offset the Soviets. They won their first gold in 1984. 24 years later they’re hosting the games and challenging us for the medal lead. That’s fucking unbelievable in one generation. I expect India will do something similar one day here.

  38. 38
    CT says:

    Martin-purely a matter of taste, but as a once-every 4 years gymnastics observer, NBC showed me pretty much what I wanted to see. The French faded after the first two rounds, and the Germans weren’t really on the radar until the US did so poorly at the end. It would have been better paced if the judges hadn’t been so slow, but it was still riveting TV.

    That is nice that so much is available online-it always frosts me when they only show a few laps of the 5,000 meter races (I do understand that its not very exciting to the casual fan, but I love the slow build up of tension), so it’ll be cool to be able to see the whole race.

  39. 39
    RandyH says:

    Speaking of Olympic Fever, The Onion put out this video report just today on the epidemic sweeping China.

    Hilarious, in a sick and twisted sort of way.

  40. 40
    w vincentz says:

    @ Martin,
    This shit all started with fucking Nixon. Yup, Tricky Dick.
    He invited their fucking PING PONG team to the US as part of a “cultural exchange”. Then, the only president to resign in disgrace from the office he held, made a visit to China. I’ll have to search for pics of Pat and him on the Great Wall.
    We all know that this lead to the other “great wall” named WAL-fucking-MART.
    Burn in HELL forever…Tricky D, Henry K, and all the other GOPers that sold this once great country so cheaply.
    Ping your pathetic pong. Squirt, squirt, dribble.
    Well fucked.

  41. 41
    Wildthumb says:

    Wow, someone finally said it. Phelps is silly. Frankly, I’d like him to win all his medals so we can get on to the second week without the endless worship of both Phelps and his mother. The media beats the shit out of everything. In the morning the Today Show is sickening about Phelps and the American teams. The last few Olympics have been fairly ruined for me. I don’t like the constant drumbeat of our superiority.
    If it wasn’t for the brief references to world solidarity during the Olympics and “everybody winning” and the Opening and Closing ceremonies, I wouldn’t watch this monstrosity any more. There, I fucking said it.

  42. 42
    JoshA says:

    That’s funny, because I was bored in 2004 but am following this one pretty closely.

    The one thing that’s driving me crazy is the absurd love-in for Bush on NBC’s coverage. The volleyball commentators were just going on about how Bush gave the Dalhausser/Rogers team new nicknames, and acting as if it was the coolest thing ever.

  43. 43
    Chris says:

    I’m just tired of China.

  44. 44
    NonWonderDog says:

    The coverage on UniversalHD (if you’re lucky enough to get it) isn’t bad, and not quite as US-centric as on “big” NBC either. It’s also 24 hours a day, though they just duplicate the MSNBC or CNBC feeds in high def for a lot of that. I actually think NBC is doing a pretty good job of it overall, especially their website, but their prime time network coverage *is* awfully aggravating.

    As an aside, the boxing scoring system must go. Even the old 20 point system used in the ’88 games would be an improvement over the nonsense they have now. There haven’t been many robberies, I guess, but matches that any reasonable person would score 12-10 or so get scored 5-0. The only high-scoring bouts are those with Chinese boxers–in which the Chinese get a point for every touch. The fact that knockdowns don’t count is really starting to get absurd, too. There was actually one fight where a boxer knocked down his opponent but the opponent got the point for a landed blow! The right guy won, but only because the ref stopped the contest after the third knockdown–the winner was down 5-2 or something before the RSC despite dominating the match. (And Teddy Atlas is bitching about the scoring in the middle of every bout, of course, but this time he’s right.)

  45. 45
    The Other Steve says:

    I’ll give credit to Costas for learning one thing. I didn’t realize that China was absent from the games between 1952 and 1984 when we convinced them to come to offset the Soviets. They won their first gold in 1984. 24 years later they’re hosting the games and challenging us for the medal lead. That’s fucking unbelievable in one generation. I expect India will do something similar one day here.

    My God! I hope not!

    If India hosts the Olympics, Cricket will make it’s come back as an Olympic sport. Mark my words! Cricket of all things! Do you want this to happen? Cricket is even more boring to watch then synchronized Ribbon twirling.

    NOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!

    Actually we’re enjoying Phelps and the gymnastics and such. Haven’t watched this much Olympics in decades.

  46. 46
    The Other Steve says:

    Spoke too soon… Apparently India won the gold in the men’s 10m Air Rifle event.

    Next up is the men’s 3m Rubber band shooting contest, where the countries of Togo and Tuva are the heavy favorites.

  47. 47

    Track and field used to be big in the US, but now is marginalized.

    Track and field has been marginalized so far because it hasn’t started yet. Swimming and gymnastics the first week, track and field the second. You’ll get plenty.

    I expect India will do something similar one day here.

    I doubt it. India may get exercised about it every four years, but then they go back to playing cricket. They really don’t care about most of the Olympic sports that much, so they won’t ever become big time.

    Actually, that’s one of the things I really like about India, particularly in comparison to China. All of this Chinese enthusiasm may be real, but it’s also completely manufactured. The government decides what sports it’s going to pluck athletes to play, and to hell with letting anyone decide. The Indians, on the other hand, collectively decided that they wanted to do something else.

    And, unlike the Other Steve, I love watching cricket, but I can’t find it very often. The 2005 Ashes was unbelievable. It made that 4×100 freestyle relay look like a boring blowout.

  48. 48
    Brachiator says:

    Martin Says:

    NBC’s insistence that we sit in front of our TVs during primetime for the good stuff is insane.

    Actually, NBC set it up with the planners that most or all of Phelps gold medal swims would land in prime time for us. The good stuff is live in primetime, in case you hadn’t noticed – and that was arranged, apparently. The gymnastics finals are live in primetime as well by no coincidence.

    With the Intertubes, the idea of prime time is obsolete. It’s doubly absurd when NBC prohibits other media outlets from showing anything other than still pictures or very brief snippets of events.

    The issue with the coverage goes far beyond showing “the good stuff” in prime time. I just caught the women’s 200 meter freestyle final in which Katie Hoff finished fourth, out of the medals. NBC couldn’t be bothered to show the bronze medal finisher, Pang Jiaying of China. Meanwhile, British swimmer Rebecca Adlington appears to be having a great Olympics (and will be competing in other races against Hoff), but apparently does not merit much NBC coverage.

    Original Lee Says:

    I’m dreading Vancouver now that Dick Buttons is dead.

    I’m pretty sure that Dick Button is still alive. I saw him recently on a ceremony devoted to the (American?) Olympic Hall of Fame.

  49. 49
    Martin says:

    If India hosts the Olympics, Cricket will make it’s come back as an Olympic sport. Mark my words! Cricket of all things! Do you want this to happen? Cricket is even more boring to watch then synchronized Ribbon twirling.

    Can’t do cricket. Olympics are only 17 days long, and you can’t complete a ladder if there’s not even enough time to finish one match.

    I’m thinking passenger train overcrowding as a new sport.

  50. 50
    Brachiator says:

    J. Michael Neal Says:

    Track and field used to be big in the US, but now is marginalized.

    Track and field has been marginalized so far because it hasn’t started yet. Swimming and gymnastics the first week, track and field the second. You’ll get plenty.

    I meant that track and field used to be a bigger sport in the U.S., and was covered more in the newspapers, etc. In Southern California, for example, track and field competitions between UCLA and USC were big time events, and the Mt San Antonio Community college invitational event was widely anticipated. Now, except for the marathon, track and field is not much covered outside of the Olympics. Since the sport doesn’t loom as large in the sport fan’s conciousness, the narrow focus on how Americans are doing both distorts and dilutes Olympics coverage.

    All of this just adds to the problem of NBC focusing on personalities instead of sports context. Imagine if the Super Bowl was shown without having shown little of the regular football season and none of the playoff games. Yeah, you might still be able to make the Super Bowl into an “event” with big personalities, but much of its significance would be lost due to the lack of context.

  51. 51
    Martin says:

    It’s doubly absurd when NBC prohibits other media outlets from showing anything other than still pictures or very brief snippets of events.

    Blame the free market. NBC paid $900M for the rights to broadcast. Toss in a few hundred million for execution and that’s a hell of a pile of money they need to bring in to cover their costs. Much of the push to put the events in US primetime slots was so that they could get top advertising dollar and to head off the bittorrent audience.

    I’m sure NBC would be happy to let the other networks show longer clips if they toss out the cash. If you don’t like it, start your own network and line up 120 million of your closest friends to put $10 in outbid them in 2012. That’s the American way. Land of opportunity and all that.

  52. 52
    American in Exile says:

    The BBC multi-stream coverage is terrific. My options now, using the red button on my remote control, are live judo, live tennis, live badminton, live football, live women’s beach volleyball (just completed as I type, actually, with Georgia beating Russia) and weightlifting. All of these can be watched on-line as well (by UK viewers only), which is a good thing, as rain and wind are playing havoc with our satellite dish! And later in the day they’ll replay the events that happened in the middle of the night here.

    Oh, and did I mention there are no commercials?

  53. 53
    nota bene says:

    Not being much of an Olympics enthusiast, I’m kind of surprised people are surprised that Phelps is getting so much attention….He’s after the gold medal record and he’s on TV a shit-ton, go figure….

    And, FWIW, somehow I don’t mind American rah-rah at humongous international sports competitions, which seems like exactly the time and place for it, rather than at the fucking UN Security Council, y’know?

    Just my $.02….

  54. 54
    Redhand says:

    For the first time I can remember, I am just completely uninterested in the Olympics this year. I can’t figure out why, either, but I normally love the Olympics.

    Bush’s drunken fratboy bullshit (apologies to all you Greeks) spoiled a lot of it for me. Also, the outdoor competitions where you can see the smog. If this is what it is when it is “cleanup up”, pity the bastards when the factories crank back up.

    In past years I used to watch at least some of it. This time around, though, the absurdity of watching “the games” in a smog infested totalitarian state–I heard on the BBC that China’s economy is suffering because they’ve shut down 25% of their industry so that the air is “clean” while the games go on–makes the whole thing seem like a joke.

    Plus, the fact that our feckless Asshole-in-Chief was there cheering the USA on (with a backwards American flag no less) well, let’s just say I found that a disincentive.

    Finally, who wants to watch the fiddling while Rome burns? Georgia, Iraq, and [im]moral equivalence are weighing me down. Throw in Chinese depredations in Tibet to underscore how the three largest powers are misbehaving and the international comity of the games seems like an irrelevant sideshow.

  55. 55
    Greg D says:

    Sorry, maybe I should have read everyone’s comments, but smarten-the-fuck-up…when I look at the Korean Times online I see Americans whining because they can’t hear enough about their country, and here in Japan, same shit…wherever you are is what you will get. Living near the Canadian border doesn’t get you shit, it just gets you some variety. And here is a thought, the Olympics are being held in the most oppressive, shithole in the world, and most western countries allow them to get away with it because Walmart relies on them to keep prices low for Bush supporters…fuck, it’s just a sporting event, get a fucking job and do something else…sorry, the acid just kicked in….

  56. 56
    Natascha says:

    John, you fucking party pooper. I’m not a huge fan of the Olympics, but it’s pretty good this time around.

  57. 57
    Digital Amish says:

    Put me down as another who perfers the Winter Games (Lillihammer being the epitome). I’m a skier, so there is that. Plus I’ve never seen a female figure skater without a fine ass.

    Should all these swimming records have an asterick? These guys aren’t breacking records, they’re destroying them. It seems to me it’s got to be more than just the usual incremental advancement of training and technique. It’s got to be the suits and pool.

    The summer games don’t start for me until track and field.

    Commercialism, professionalism and money have definately detracted from the games. Does anyone remember the days when the skiers had to black out the brand names on their equipment? Now days they can’t get those skis into the camera shot fast enough after crossing the finish line.

  58. 58
    Jason says:

    I refuse to watch the World Series because of that idiot Joe Buck

    Bud Collins is the reason I stopped watching tennis. Easily the most annoying color commentary ever. Boycs and Aggers are about to do the same for Test Match Special, if they keep it up.

  59. 59
    gypsy howell says:

    I wish they’d show the dressage (horses), just cause I’m involved with equines. Shucks.

    That’s where NBC Olympics online really helps out. I watched a bunch of dressage video the other night. And the beauty is, because it’s not part of the mainstream sports coverage, there was very little commentary and whooshing color graphics and stirring music and idiotic blahblahblah. Just some beautiful dressage.

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    whocoodanode says:

    I love the Olympics, but usually not the coverage. I enjoy the Equestrian events, though I wish Americans had more appreciation for them. But the whole thing is great.

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    cleek says:

    i’m pretty surprised to see all the beach volleyball coverage on prime-time. i guess they need to show something besides swimming/diving and gymnastics until track gets started, but beach volleyball seems like kind of a random choice.

    or have they always covered it, but i just never paid attention ?

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    JL says:

    Beach volleyball is a fairly new sport. Since the Americans are favored, NBC will cover all the games. During the Atlanta Olympics I went to badmitton, team handball and several other events. Since I was of limited funds, I skipped most Track and Field and Swimming events, except for some qualifying rounds. The team handball was great fun, and you were able to sit in a crown of different nationalities cheering their team on.

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    Original Lee says:

    Sorry, I meant Jim McKay instead of Dick Button. I’m still dreading Vancouver without him.

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    Elroy's Lunch says:

    Can’t do cricket. Olympics are only 17 days long, and you can’t complete a ladder if there’s not even enough time to finish one match.

    I’m thinking passenger train overcrowding as a new sport.

    Hey, cricket has its place. Years ago I was doing a 3-week walkabout in the Australian Bush and I started to watch cricket on the tv. Get back to the hotel room in the evening and I could watch the same damn game. Every day. Comforting in a way.

    I think the final score was eleventy-billion to 3…

  65. 65

    I am in Canada and get both CBC and NBC. The CBC has had something of a Michael Phelps mancrush as well. I watched a 15 minute segment where they approached Chinese people on the street and asked whether they liked Michael Phelps or not. I switched over to Radio-Canada, the French network, to see if it was less Phelps-centric. Nope! They were at it too. Good grief.

    Still given that we are in Day 5 without a single metal, the coverage has been pretty good overall. They seem to let the events speak for themselves rather than having constant gab.

  66. 66
    Punchy says:

    It’s impossible to actually watch the competition and it is so American-centric to make it unenjoyable all together.

    The 5 minute commercial break–30 sec blurb–another 5 minute commercial break is absolutely killing this.

    I love these Olympics, but an hour of “coverage” is about 25 minutes action, 35 minutes commercials. Or worse. It’s unreal.

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    Seth 4:10 says:

    NBC by itself is just processed bleh for the casual Olympics fan, watch CNBC or MSNBC to see some real action. I watched Judo for an hour, had no idea what was going on and loved every minute of it! Or better yet go to their Olympics site and watch the international feed live online. I saw the ‘Redeem’ team play live yesterday morning and just saw the US Baseball team SPOILERS blow it in the 9th.

    This is LIVE video from the other side of the planet! I grew up with technology and this still impresses the heck out of me.

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    David Hunt says:

    I wish they’d show the dressage (horses), just cause I’m involved with equines.

    One the bright side, a good friend of mine loves the equestrian events and according to her, they’ve got the most dressage coverage she’s ever seen. It’s mostly being shown on Oxygen. If you don’t have that, I’d suggest going to NBC’s website and seeing if you can find anything.

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    Kayakr says:

    I especially appreciate seeing a cute segment on Pandas instead of the multitude of other events we don’t see because we have to watch every second of beach vollyball.

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    LarryB says:

    I have to say that the opening ceremonies seriously creeped me out. 1984, in HDTV. Also, every time they do an outside shot, my lungs start to seize up. Man, it looks like L.A., pre Clean Air Act.

  71. 71
    Grumpy Code Monkey says:

    I’m burned out on the Olympics. I’m tired of the jingoism, the over-the-top pageantry, the non-stop accusations of cheating or doping or favoritism among the judges. I’m tired of the ADD-inspired television coverage. I’m tired of the corruption in the IOC.

    It’s like watching the Super Bowl for a solid week, and I burned out on that some years ago.

  72. 72
    Cassidy says:

    Complaints about who’s competitive and why: Learn to work the google on the internet box

    Complaints about nation-centric coverage: Duh! Are you really stupid enough to assume that a nation won’t cover it’s own teams progress?

    Complaints about NBC: The coverage is also on MSNBC and USA, all of which have combined for a fairly good coverage of sports that are not traditionally given a lot of airtime.

    Some of you just aren’t happy unless you’re whining or complaining about something.

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    Sarcastro says:

    Go to NBC’s website and watch their feeds. I watched 4 hours of fencing, archery and judo last night with NO COMMENTARY and NO COMMERCIALS (except a 15 second one when you launch the player). It was… wonderful.

    Now if I can just figure out how the hell judo is scored…

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    Seth 4:10 says:

    No kidding, in one macch, after just a few seconds, the score was 101 to 0. Then there was a single throw, and the guy with no points was delcared the winner….still cool though, thanks BOB!

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    just me says:

    Should all these swimming records have an asterick? These guys aren’t breacking records, they’re destroying them. It seems to me it’s got to be more than just the usual incremental advancement of training and technique. It’s got to be the suits and pool.

    I saw on a TV report that the pool was specifically built to encourage fast times. Has something to do with how deep it is or something like that-I admit I wasn’t listening super closely.

    But the fast times were definitely meant to happen-technology in suits and training certainly help for the individual swimmers, but technology with regards to pool construction seem to be working to encourage faster times.

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    Hedley Lamarr says:

    Last night I tried watching the men’s beach volleyball between US and Argentina, I think. After a long session of stupid ads they had about two points worth of volleyball and then went back to ads. I left the room.

  77. 77
    Doctor Jay says:

    A clean throw wins a judo match. Regardless of score. It’s called Ippon, IIRC.

    I haven’t been watching the broadcasts, but I used to just love Bob Costas when he did baseball play-by-play. He and Joe Morgan are my baseball announcing dream team.

  78. 78
    HyperIon says:

    i heard two things on NPR recently.

    One was a story about India trying to get competitive yoga into the games (yes, there is such a beast!) because then they would be a lock for the gold.

    The second story was about how some of the opening ceremony broadcast was cgi, NOT fireworks.

    I prefer Jon Miller with Joe Morgan. Bob Costas is another guy who thinks himself serious and important. I do not share his opinion.

  79. 79
    Brachiator says:

    Martin Says:

    It’s doubly absurd when NBC prohibits other media outlets from showing anything other than still pictures or very brief snippets of events.

    Blame the free market. NBC paid $900M for the rights to broadcast. Toss in a few hundred million for execution and that’s a hell of a pile of money they need to bring in to cover their costs. Much of the push to put the events in US primetime slots was so that they could get top advertising dollar and to head off the bittorrent audience.

    The free market also punishes stupidity. My eyes are ones that NBC loves to bring to advertisers (based on demographics, income, etc). They ain’t getting my eyes. Stupid company. Stupid. And pointless. But NBC and other media companies have been in this position before, and they rarely learn from positive criticism, but have to lose money before they get wise. It’s too bad that they are wasting opportunities, but a smarter company may do better in the future.

    Sarcastro Says:

    Now if I can just figure out how the hell judo is scored…

    My favorite thing in judo (maybe unique in sports) is the Ippon, a move so decisive that it ends the match:

    Ippon

    Equal to one full point, and a win, an ippon is a full throw in which a contestant throws the opponent to the mat with considerable force and speed so that the opponent lands on his or her back. Ippon is also awarded when a contestant immobilizes his or her opponent with a hold for 25 seconds, or when an opponent gives up or passes out. If an opponent does pass out, only a doctor or trainer is allowed to administer “katsu,” or resuscitation. An ippon immediately ends a match. When signaling an ippon, the referee’s hand is straight up.

    I will give NBC credit here. There web site includes a page link called “Inside the Sport,” which provides background and rules for the various sports. The page for judo can be found here, Judo – Inside the Sport.

    For the 1984 games, the LA Times, one of the game sponsors, printed out a handy guide to the games, similar to NBC’s page link. If NBC were a little smarter, they would accumulate all the game background into a downloadable pdf file (complete with ads if necessary). No printing costs and people would have an easily available. Oh, well.

  80. 80
    LanceThruster says:

    If there’s anytyhing good there, it’s too much work to find. If it’s of some novelty, or “importance,” I’ll get caught up with incessant highlight views. I feel guilty (and usually uninterested) when watching because that the constant real time “drama” of athletic competitions is treated as almost compulsory to partake in. Co-workers are shocked that I haven’t joined in the group experience of seeing it as it happened. I’d rather play than watch and the “play” is usually self-directed activities (bike-riding is fun; racing or not). If I had the time or inclination, group or competitive activities are fun, but need not be the center of my universe.

    However, maybe as a canary in a coalmine, you’ll know just how badly up the nitwits will have ruined the planet and society when people as a group realize that the time, effort and energy spent on organized, big-business spectator sports, is just not worth it and that there’s other more pressing priorities. Chomsky wrote in “Manufacturing Consent” that sports function as the bread and circuses part of the equation. People would know more about the stats of their favorite team/player than they would about critical issues that truly “dramatically” affect their lives.

    Too much adulation of athletes/competitors only perpetuates the attitude. Yes, many of them have established milestones of human physiology, but there are other milestones we could set that would also be worthy of the record books.

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    greggy says:

    “I refuse to watch the World Series because of that idiot Joe Buck.”

    w3rd

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    gogiggs says:

    You know you could just turn the sound down on Costas and Buck and listen to music while you watch the event. It’s a pretty safe bet that, at least with baseball, you don’t need somebody to tell you what you’re watching.

    I had to avail myself of that option during the women’s gymnastics team competition when (smoking hot) Alisha Sacramone fell during the floor exercise and the announcer called it “a disaster of epic proportions”. No, douchenozzle, the tsunami in the Indian Ocean a couple years back was a disaster of epic proportions. The earthquake that hit southern China earlier this year was a disaster of epic proportions. This was a really hot chick falling on her butt and then getting back up and continuing to perform amazing athletic feats. It’s called perspective. Look into it.

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