OLYMPIC DENOUMENT

The Olympics are over.  One conclusion I have come to is that I gave NBC too much control over my life.  I let my hatred of their incredibly lame coverage affect my feelings toward the Olympics.  I let them suck all the joy of the Olympics out of me.  Yet NBC is crowing about this being the most watched Olympics.  Does the term “captive audience” mean anything to NBC?  That number has everything to do with the draw of the Olympics and nothing to do with NBC.  It really didn’t matter what channel the Olympics were on, the number watching would have broken records.  That would even include CNN, whose viewership is at a 20 year low.

Final thoughts on the 2012 Olympics, in no particular order of importance.

Beating the dead horse a little bit more just to make sure:  Why did NBC decide to show a 6th grade history lesson on World War II?  The History Channel does it, and a lot better.  NBC seemed to think that the reason we watched the Olympics was because of their cute little special reports, and not to watch the competition.  What about the closing ceremony?  I know a lot of people love the Spice Girls, but showing them and cutting out The Who? Rock and Roll Hall of Famers The Who?  I am seeing some Gen Xer at NBC looking at the schedule and thinking, “The Who?  If the organizers don’t know the name of the band, we can probably show our special at this time.”

Why do announcers insist on telling us what the athlete is thinking:  I remember watching on of the Fab Five sprinting down the runway to perform her last vault.  The announcer is screaming at the top of his lungs “here she comes!  She is thinking that she has to stick this so America wins the Gold!”  Mr. Announcer, how do you know that?  How do you know she isn’t thinking “I hope I don’t miss and break my freaking neck!”  Or even “I hope that boy in row three thinks I’m cute.”  The cost of the Olympic announcers could be cut in half by getting rid of all the lame-o color announcers that are hired.

My favorite “this announcer is a dummy” moment”  Watching the gold medal women’s archery match between South Korea and China.  A South Korean archer was taking aim and the announcer is breathlessly shouting (why is it always shouting?) “She’s taking too long!  She’s taking too long!  SHE’S TAKING TOO LONG!”  Zing! Swoosh! Thunk!  The arrow smacks right dead center in the bullseye.  Announcer’s lame cover-up: “well, usually when you wait that long, it means you don’t get a very good shot off.”  If you had any integrity, Mr. Announcer, you would fire yourself.

The biggest travesty of justice in these games:  In women’s fencing, South Korea and Germany were tied in a match to see who would battle for the gold.  When the fencers are tied, 1 second is put on the clock and they fence again.  In their third overtime, the clock malfunctioned.  As video later showed, 1.17 seconds went by, yet the official match clock never moved.  The South Koreans protested and the SK fencer, Shin A Lam, had to stay in the piste, bawling her eyes out while the protest went on.  If she had left, it would mean she accepted the defeat.  The protest took almost an hour.  When it was finally over, the South Korean lost.  She had to be escorted from the piste and immediately fence for the bronze medal.  She lost that match.  Later, the powers that be finally figured out that, yes indeed, the clock did malfunction and Shin A Lam should have won the match.  They proposed giving her a sportsmanship medal as a “oops, we are sorry we screwed you” consolation prize, but the South Korean declined.  I am hoping she said something like this: “감사합니다,하지만 메달을받지 않습니다 …태양이 빛나지 않는 메달을 넣어”  (translation by Google Translate.  My words, not Shin A Lam’s)

The TMI moment of Olympic coverage:  I am referring to a special report by local news dude Mark Curtis and others about the mating habits of the Olympic athletes.  I don’t care if some additional Olympic events were being held on the grass between buildings.  Nor do I need the report that half way through the Olympics, the athletes had already gone through the 150,000 condoms that London provided for them.  In the first place, make them buy their own and chalk it up to training expenses.  In the second place, let’s give the Olympics the same treatment we give Las Vegas.  What happens at the Olympics stays at the Olympics.

Nanny state moment after the Olympics:  Gabby Douglass was on the Tonight Show along with 1st Lady Michelle Obama.  Gabby admitted that to celebrate the Olympic gold by eating an Egg McMuffin.  The First Lady commented “your setting me back, Gabby.”  It depends on your political point of view on how to interpret this exchange.  The Right is saying that FLOTUS was chastising one of the darlings of the Olympics.  The Left describes it as friendly teasing by the First Lady.  Like I admonish announcers to do, I am not going to read Michelle Obama’s mind or assign a motive to what she said.  Only she knows if she was kidding or not.  I just would have liked Gabby to have said “I already have a mom, and she does a great job.  I don’t need another one, thank you.”  I also wonder what FLOTUS thinks about Gabby and her endorsement of Corn Flakes.

You have the right to your opinion but let’s keep it civil #1  Continuing with Gabby Douglass, I am sure everyone is aware that she gives all the glory to her Lord Jesus the Savior.  Someone on the left wrote in tweet how this was disturbing.  I did see any responses like that when two of the women sprints medalists said the same thing.  I do not know why this profession of faith bothers some people.

You have the right to your opinion but let’s keep it civil #2:  Cory Cogdell is an Olympic skeet shooter and an avid hunter.  She only finished 11th.  Because of her enjoyment of hunting, she received some very disturbing tweets.  Just one example:  “CoreyCogdell I hope that someone someday shoot your whole family just practicing.”

Most useless made-up press controversy:  The Brazilian women’s volleyball team apparently danced around like it was Mardi Gras in celebration of their gold medal victory over the USA team.  The press thought this was excessive celebration and started asking the American players what they thought.  Most felt it was just Brazil celebrating the way their culture always celebrates.  Note to the press: America leads the world in excessive celebration in its sports.  We even had a girl take off her uniform top after the ladies won the World Cup, and that made the cover of Sports Illustrated.

Most useless speculation at the Games, but everyone knows the answer:  I think the Dream Team should have been no more after the original Dream Team.  We made our point.  Let’s go back to the college kids.  Having said that, one of the current Teamers suggested that the 2012 team could beat the ’92 team.  Although that answer will never be known, everyone knows the 1992 team would beat the 2012’ers.  Even the people who say the 2012 team would win are just whistling through the graveyard.  The only chance the 2012 team would have is if the ’92 team let Christian Laettner play at all.  Experience always trumps youth.  The only people who disagree with that saying are part of the youth.  Here is one example of this truism.  In the mid-eighties I was working at Glendale High School.  The basketball team was second in the state that year.  In the spring there was a charity basketball game between the faculty and this basketball team.  The word on the street was that the basketball team was going to rough up the faculty and win by 30.  Early in the game, one of the faculty came down with a rebound. The best player on the varsity basketball team came over and tried to body him.  The faculty player gave him a nice elbow into the chest.  Game over.  Faculty won.

So yeah, the new guys have LeBron, but he is the only one I think could play with the ’92 team.  And just think if they had taken Shaq instead of Laettner.  But the cool thing about these arguments is that the answer will never be known.

Most useless speculation at the Games, part 2.  Who is the best athlete?  Apples and oranges.  Swimmers have the opportunity to enter eight events.  Track athletes have the chance to only enter four events.  So I don’t believe medal counts  are a good indication.  Throw Usain in a pool.  See if Phelps can run a lap.  Apples and oranges.  Does being the fastest man in the world make a person the best athlete?  I am of the opinion that the decathletes and the heptathletes are the best athletes in the world.  Yet I would still like to throw them into a swimming pool.

Most useless statistic at the Olympics:  The medal count.  This is a holdover from the Cold War.  Not necessary in this day and age.

2nd favorite Olympic moment:  Watching Georganne Moline run in the Olympics.  I have posted about her earlier.  I don’t know her personally, but my high school track team competed against her track team for four years.  I may have even congratulated her on her victory once or twice.  It’s just nice to see some one you know compete.  One of my retired teaching buddies was getting his tires changed in Flagstaff.  The kid doing his tires had run at Thunderbird High School and was the boys’ captain when Georganne was the girls’ captain.  This young man texted Georganne “good luck from the Apollo High School track coaches.”  Nice of the kid to do that.

1st and best favorite Olympic moment:  The performance of the athletes.  Not only the winners and record breakers, but every single athlete that participated in the games.  They are the best of the best that their countries have to offer.  It sounds corny as all heck-i-darn, but everyone who participates is a winner.

I will probably remember something else after I am done and have posted, but this is all I have for now.  The next Olympics is in two years.  I fully intend to be blogging about my brides and my weddings and posting pretty pictures by then.  So cue the music and extinguish the torch.  I am done.

The best photograph of the 2012 Olympics by Reuter’s photographer Luke MacGregor

In honor of the performance I did not get to see or hear Sunday night, today’s inspiration were songs performed by The Who.

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