Monday, February 15, 2010

Stupid Tape Delay Can't Ruin Vancouver for This Fan

Lindsey Jacobellis (my hopeful pick to win Gold in snowboard cross) didn't qualify for the finals of her event. More disappointment for American sports fans (I always root for the good stories...who doesn't). Watching that race sucked. But what's worse is I already knew what was going to happen. I curse thee tape delay.

As it seemingly always is, my knowledge was totally unintentional. Sitting in our campus newsroom, I glanced to the left wall where three televisions are mounted and saw ESPN's graphic..."Lindsey Jacobellis Fails to Qualify for Snowboard Cross Final"...crap. Media really has to put a stop to this.

Meanwhile, there's a lot to catch up on in these last few days of the Olympic Winter Games. I'll try to go quickly:

- Nordic combined (and cross country skiing in general) was so, so much fun to watch. America had never won a medal in the event entering 2010 and the U.S. had two competitors (nordickers?) in the front pack entering the last turn. Johnny Spillane had the lead...and then he lost it. But a remarkable silver medal in a remarkable race was...well...remarkable.

Meanwhile, if you saw this race, you saw a disturbing trend evolve. NBC's play-by-play announcers are getting snowed in by some obnoxiously loud color commentators. As the exciting finish of the race was happening, the play-by-play announcer didn't stand a chance against his side-kick. I'm sure the play-by-play guy doesn't have quite as much knowledge as the specialized color guy does, but it's just getting ridiculous. Which leads me to my next point:

Just because you played the sport doesn't mean you can talk about it on television. Thank you.

-Pairs figure skating is beautiful. I don't care what you say, pairs figure skating is beautiful. Have I gotten my point across? My friends and I watched so much of the pairs competition that the only question we could ask was this:

How much of the skaters' training consists of "gaining body chemistry"? With all the positions figure skating pairs end up in, doesn't it make sense that the two would have to be comfortable with each other? You know? Ok, I'm done now.

-The curling tournament started!!!

-Best moment of the Games so far? Canada wins Gold. Alexander Bilodeau, in yet another fantastic moguls competition, won Canada's first home-soil Gold medal. But it was quickly followed by this:

-Most disappointing moment of the Games so far: NBC's botching of Bilodeau's medal ceremony. When American Hannah Kearney won Gold and the Star Spangled Banner was resounding through BC Place, viewers saw a wonderful montage of creative camera shots that melted hearts everywhere (or maybe it was only mine).

But when Bilodeau was on top of the podium, and "Oh Canada" started to play, what I saw was drastically different. With tens of thousands of proud Canadians in the crowd, NBC's feed showed one thing, Bilodeau's face. No shots of Canadians singing and smiling and waving flags. No shots of the flags rising in the distance while the camera is behind the medalists backs. Nothing. Disappointing.

But the Games go on. With Bob Costas' tweed jacket and Al Michaels' fireside chats keeping my excitement level through the roof, my dorm room will continue trying to set the mark for longest time consecutively watching the Olympic Games. I really don't think we've turned off NBC in 90 hours.

But what's most exciting about our Vancouver addiction? We have a second TV in the room.

I'm making it the CNBC TV.

All curling, all the time.

Thanks for reading.

p.s. Do you like buzzer-beaters? Here's a great one...first round of the playoffs, Vinton County (in dark jerseys) down two with two seconds to play...Tori Dixon defines what it means to be a "Hardwood Hero"

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