February 19, 2006

Olympic Thoughts

Jimmy Roberts seems like a nice enough fellow, but wouldn't every second of his air time fit better on the Oxygen channel, or on panel with Dr. Phil? I like Bob Costas and think he is a first rate choice to host for NBC, but even his interminable attempts to generate controvery are becoming tiresome. Is it just me or does there seem to be more commercial time than actual comeptition time during prime time? When they have to brag about so many minutes of uninterrupted sports coming up, you realize that even they know it is excessive. NBC's coverage, as with all previous Olympic broadcasts is still a little too jingistic for me. Finally, the use of "Torino" instead of "Turin" is just precious, Presumably, NBC will now refer to the Shroud of Torino from this point forward should that stained cloth enter the news once again. Other that that, NBC seems to be doing a good job.

Short track speed skating seems ideal for NBC's desire to generate controversy. You never know who wins until the judges have reviewed the tape after the race. Meanwhile, you can be the unquestioned best in the world at a given distance but still be knocked out through no fault of your own. Or you can be advanced for being fouled, even if you wouldn't have been able to qualify. Finally, as Ohno notes, illegal team skating is rampant but virtually impossible to police. I have doubts that this event can ever be conducted in a fair manner.

Shani Davis is being unfairly maligned. Why should he sacrifice his chance at a medal to support Chad Hendrick's extreme longshot for five medals? Chad seems like a nice enough guy as well, but his attitude towards Shani do him a disservice.

Johny Weir and Bode Miller are incredible athletes. They are also first rate jerks and they are suddenly finding out finding that their popularity is based upon nothing other than pre-games hype and people's desire to attach themselves to a winner. Now that they haven't won, they are being treated more like the antisocial, disrespectful toads they seem to be.

Any bets that Jacobellis' hotdogging will be a standard element of the USOC training film for all athletes moving forward?

As in the summer olympics, I still believe sport should be about attributes like faster, stronger, higher, and farther; primarily because the winners can usually be identified objectively and unambiguously. Events like ice dancing are almost 100% subjective and hence ripe for abuse and nonsense. Mind you, I'm not saying that the cometitors in ice dancing aren't good athletes or that they haven't worked very hard, but hey, why not include "Drawing Binky" as an olympic event?

Is there a total absence of ice and snow in South America? What else would explain the apparent total absence of all the nations of South America in the the winter olympics?

Lest I leave you with the wrong impression, I am greatly enjoying watching the winter olympics in HDTV.

Posted by Charles Austin at February 19, 2006 12:42 PM