Tuesday, February 14, 2006
Valentine's Day you'd almost expect fluff, wouldn't you? Well,
you'd be wrong. Find out just how wrong by reading below.
• Just like last night, we jump right
into the events. Tonight it's the Men's Short Program in figure
skating. Unlike last night, instead of just seeing one skater and
then going into the usual programming, tonight we stay for the
first three skaters. Then Tracy Wilson explains the scoring
to us. All of this is in the first 19 minutes, which happens without
a commercial break. Why, it's like NBC wants to show us the Olympics
• Just before we get to see U.S. speed
skater Joey Cheek receive his medal for winning yesterday's 500-meter
race, Bob Costas tells us that he donated the entirety of the $25,000
the USOC gives him for winning to an organization called "Right
To Play" because he thinks his brief time in the spotlight
can be put to good use. And although he doesn't sing on the medal
stand, he at least tears up. Kudos all around to Joey Cheek!
• Bode fluff! To the theme song from "Crimson
Tide," we get to see Bode Miller do things "Bode-style!" What
is Bode-style? Apparently it's winning sloppily. But hey! NBC's
gonna make him a star!
off to the Alpine Combined, and we start with the downhill portion
of the competition. After a few minutes we get another 30 seconds
of Bode fluff, where we learn that Bode had an unconventional style
in Salt Lake City. Unconventional? Ha! That was BODE-STYLE!
• On his downhill run, Bode miller finished
first! That's BODE-STYLE!
• China's leading woman speed skater in
the 500-meters is named Wang Manli, pronounced "wong mon-LEE." Whatever
you do, don't pronounce it "Wang MAN-lee." That would
just be wrong.
• Johnny Weir is a rebel! He wants to
offend Republicans! He's from the U.S. and wears a Russian sweatsuit
to represent... uh... someone else's country? Basically, he's a
jerk. Johnny, nobody really cares what you think. They only care
how you skate. And he skates well. But please, Johnny, stop using
air quotes when you talk. That's so "eighth grade." Three
minutes of fluff.
• Belgian skater Kevin Van Der Perren
has a black leather costume with a circuit-board-like pattern of
sequins and a bunch of tubes coming out of his right arm. Is Van
Der Perren Borg? THE GOLD MEDAL WILL BE ASSIMILATED! RESISTANCE
IS FUTILE! Actually, he fell a couple of times. I guess the Borg
haven't yet assimilated any ice skating cultures.
• On tonight's Chevrolet Olympic Moments
with Jimmy Roberts, we're introduced to Austrian skier Benjamin
Raich. It seems that Benny's dad, Alois, is a woodworker and wanted
to bring Benny some luck, so, with the theme song from "The
Natural" playing in the background, Dad took Benny into the
forest to look for the perfect tree from which to make a pair of
lucky skis. Wait..."The Natural" and woodworking? Are
Benny's skis named "Wonderboy?"
Anyway, it turns out that young Benjamin Raich is also a clean-living
man who believes in staying home and being responsible and eating
your vegetables and flossing... or something like that. He describes
himself as the opposite of Bode. What would that be? The Anti-Bode?
Bizarro Bode? Regardless, Raich and his Wonderboy skis have put
him at the top of the skiing world.
Again, there must be something wrong with me as this is yet another
Jimmy Roberts segment that doesn't make me wretch. Or, could
it be, he's finally getting better? I shudder to think.
• Visa is still running ads featuring
Michelle Kwan. Ironic, because if the U.S. Figure Skating Team
wants to get the gold medal, they can't use American Express, and
they can't use Michelle Kwan. Ooo... that was probably uncalled
for, wasn't it?
• U.S. skier Ted Ligety goes through the
slalom and ends up in first place. Ligety. Ligety-Ligety-Ligety!
That's frickin' sweet. His run doesn't hold up, however. Bode Miller's
run ends up being the one in first place and...
Apolo Oh No! Bode straddled one of the slalom poles on the way
down the hill and as a consequence, he's disqualified! Ooo...
that's definitely NOT Bode-Style.
• What would Brian Boitano do? Watch
the Olympic men's figure skating, apparently.
• Ted Ligety blazes down the hill to surge
into first place. The only skier who can beat him? "Wonderboy" Benny
Raich. AND RAICH MISSES A GATE! Ligety! Ligety! Ligety! GOLLLLD!
How good is this coverage? We see Ligety celebrating. We see his
parents crying in joy. We see NBC pull out their Simulcam technology
and show us the spot on the course that Ligety pulled ahead. Ted
Ligety is the first U.S. man to win alpine gold in more than a
• What is with this little VW "Must
Fast" monster? Why would I want to buy a car that's possessed
by a Langolier?
• And in the closing fluff of the day,
Bob tells us all about that annoying voice that we've been hearing
in the start house for all of the skiing events. It belongs to
Pete "Baby Huey" Levin of Tahoe, California, who models
his motivational speaking after Chris Farley's "van down by
the river" character. Well, at least I don't have to spend
any more time trying to figure that one out.
One more 11-minute-fluff day. I've got to say
I'm impressed because, honestly, I never thought NBC would be able
to restrain itself. And although I could still easily get rid of
half of that 11 minutes, it's nice that the total is that small.
See you tomorrow!