HE SAID: Winter Olympics

February 18, 2010

I really enjoy the Winter Olympics.  I’ll throw that out there right from the get-go.  I am really getting into them this year (in no small part because I have very little else to do).  I watched the Men’s Cross-Country sprint yesterday…holy shit those guys go balls out.  And especially this event comes during a total crappy time for sports – post superbowl, prebaseball, middle of an already boring basketball and hockey season, and just before March Madness.  It’s almost perfect…almost.  Allow me a few short paragraphs to highlight some of my dislikes.

#1 – Men’s Figure Skating – No, not the figure skating itself.  What they can do on a pair of skates is nothing short of amazing.  I actually have a hard time getting into it because I am not able to fathom what they are doing.  But that’s  not the main issue I have with Men’s Figure Skating.  In many winter olympics sports in addition to figure skating (speed skating, alpine/nordic skiing to name a few), they are forced to wear tight-fitting outfits in order to better compete.  But only in Men’s Figure Skating do they look overtly homosexual.  I’m not gay bashing, I don’t hate the outfits…I simply don’t get it.

#2 – Shaun White’s hair – He won gold last night, and it wasn’t even close.  He is one of those athlets that when he does something people think “that will never be done again” along the lines of Tony Hawk, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Tonya Harding.  But I’ve had enough of his flaming locks.  We’ll probably read his biography in 20 years and learn they were extensions anyway, Agassi style, so just save us and cut them off now.

#3 – NBC coverage.  Fuck you NBC, I hate the way you cover sports with all your tape delayed bullshit, and I hate Bob Costas.

#3a – Facebook Groups shitting on NBC for lack of ski coverage – Guess what assholes? You guys created that group not realizing that alpine events were delayed and delayed because of the weather.  Though I do ultimately appreciate anyone ripping on NBC.

#4 – Canadian coverage – Being in Vermont, I am the lucky recepient of a broadcast station from Canada…so far I have used it as a form of ambien.  Are all Canadians this boring? Or only the people they choose to host their olympic coverage.  I know I’m used to US sensationalism, which annoys me as well, I’m looking for something in between.

#5 – Curling – I refuse to believe this is a sport.  Anything that relates most closely to shuffleboard (a GAME played by either old people or drunken frat boys on a spring break cruise) should not be considered for International Olympic Competition.  Although watching teammates yell at each other is somewhat entertaining; and makes me think all Olympic sports should allow trash talking…imagine some of the possibilities when an American went up against a Frenchman…

SHE SAID: Winter Olympics

February 18, 2010

I love the Winter Olympics as well.  I love the idea, the excitement, the whole environment and attitude of the games.  I love how into it those around me are, how psyched friends are to get together and watch and how, in that sense, even more so than I would think, it brings people together.

That being said, I’m totally soured on it.  And the credit for that is going to go to NBC.  Because, while I’m okay with watching a decent amount of curling* and speed skating and figure skating, I also know there are a lot more sports that are being represented at the Olympics but not by NBC, and I know there are many more athletes than just those who win a medal or have a spectacular crash.

In Olympics past I used to complain that we, as Americans, should be able to see the American competitors.  Many people I know have a relative, a friend, someone they grew up with, some connection, however distant, to someone competing in the games.  I used to feel that seeing the Americans competing in the games should be mandatory.  But now, given the advances in technology in the past decade, I want more.  I want to have the option to see most, if not all, of the events.

I understand that there is only so much NBC can air.  I understand normal programming in addition to a ridiculous amount of events happening in Vancouver, means a lot is going to be left out.  NBC thinks two older women who look like they see the inside of a tanning bed more than a naked man discussing what men are really looking for in a relationship is important, more important than an Olympic event.  I don’t agree, but I’ll accept it.  I get pissed, however, when I don’t have the option to find these events elsewhere.

Here are some ideas:

Pay-Per-View.  Charge us.  Charge us and let us have the choice to watch the extended coverage of … anything we want.  NBC, you’ll make money.

The internet.  There is this new fangled thing called the world wide web.  Al Gore invented it.  People have access to loads of things: television shows they missed, medical resources, blogs, lesbian spank inferno porn, two and three letter word references for scrabble … it’s pretty amazing what is out there.  Use this internet to broadcast what you don’t have the space to show on television.  Throw some ads up there and bingo!  You’ve got revenue and maybe a few less member of the NBC hate groups on Facebook (Jeremy, I’m surprised you’re not a member of an anti-NBC group on Facebook, it seems right up your alley because you could litter the wall with moanings and complaints and maybe heckle them about airing some 90210).  Most other countries, I say most because I’m talking about most of the other big countries, have this option.  Any day, any hour, you can access sites showing live events going on in Vancouver.  For some reason, we do not.

My niece sat down yesterday and watched a movie that is in theaters on her computer for free.  She is able to find that, but I cannot find a feed of the live downhill?  I have to wait until 8pm and watch the eight racers NBC choose to highlight (two of whom had huge crashes, so six of the finishers) and try and enjoy it while I already know the results since any website I go to is thrilled about celebrating Lindsey’s gold!?  NBC, you’re hurting yourself here in waiting to air the event because in today’s day and age, we already know the results.  It’s not 1985 anymore.  You are not the only source for this information.

And let’s continue on the coverage.  Due to the amount of coverage they are getting, to quote my brother, you’d think Chris Collinsworth and Bob Costas were the Olympians.  The amount of talking those two are doing whether or not they know a lot, a little or often times anything about the subject matter at hand is astounding.  Viewers are not tuning in for their take on anything.  Please, stop subjecting us to them.  When it’s impeding me viewing an event, I’m not appreciative. I even get angry and join anti-NBC Facebook groups.  Next thing you know, I’m going to write a letter.

As for the outfits the figure skaters are wearing, they’ve always been pretty horrendous.  Maybe this year’s skaters are simply honoring the past decades of their sport by continuing to wear ugly stuff.  The Spyder designed GS suits are pretty terrible.  Perhaps Bode, Lindsey and Julia should borrow some of those sexalicious black numbers and show up to the starting gate in one.

*NBC aired curling almost all afternoon on the 17th.  Is there some statistic I am not aware of?  Is curling one of the most popularly viewed sports in America?  Second to auto racing?  There were three or four hours of it.  Detailed coverage.  We saw every competitor.  Who is watching this on the edge of their seat?  Why is NBC dedicating this much time to it?  I need to be clued in.