2006 Rockwood Olympic Watch Wrapup
Yes, it's been more than a week
since the Olympics ended. In fact, it's been two. But that's okay.
I'm sure that you were, like I
was, sitting around the house, pondering, "Were these Olympics
really citius, altius, and fortius than the previous Games?" Well,
that's a judgement for you and you alone to make. I'm just reporting
And the numbers are... well, inconclusive. Since
I didn't have a breakdown for the 2002 Salt Lake City games,
it seems a little
unfair to compare the Turin Winter Olympics to the Athens Summer
Olympics. Most importantly, the fluff was down 40 minutes from
2004. Unfortunately, the event coverage was down almost six hours
(there's a lot more coverage of the summer Olympics), so the
ratio of fluff was actually slightly higher. Still, anytime the
count goes down, I'm happier, so I'll just be positive.
what would an Olympic Watch be without a medal ceremony? Nothing!
The 2006 Rockwood Olympic Watch Medal Ceremony
we'll be handing out medals to both the best and the worst of
the Olympics. Let's start with the positive:
Good Bronze Medal. Much like in 2004,
I'm going to cheat and call a tie between the Snowboard Cross
coverage and *gasp* the Figure Skating coverage.
The Snowboard Cross needs
little explanation. It was an awesome new event and NBC covered
it well, from the good of Seth Wescott
getting the gold to the bad of Lindsey Jacobellis choking the
The Figure Skating... well, the coverage was
good, what can I say? Unlike a lot of Olympic events on NBC, the
explained several times how the competitions were scored. That,
and the commentary itself was entertaining, if sometimes unusual.
But I don't deduct for unusual, I only deduct for stupid, and
Dick Button and company were at least never ignorant. I still
count myself as a figure skating/ice dancing fan, but I'll
recognize good announcing when I see it.
Good Silver Medal. Short Track Speed Skating.
From Apolo Anton Ohno finally winning to the clever explanation
of how the relay
events worked, NBC's coverage of Short Track was near perfect.
In the future, I might like to know more about what gets skaters
disqualified, as that seems to happen a lot, but I can't quibble
too much about that given how good the rest of the coverage was.
Good Gold Medal. U.S. speed skater Joey Cheek!
I know this isn't really something NBC had control of, but
I think it was the best
story of the Games. After Cheek's two medals, he donated all
of his winnings to the
Play charity. Cheek's $40,000 inspired others to give,
and ended up raising over half-a-million dollars for the charity
group. Despite the insistence of NBC in sticking with the Shani
Davis/Chad Hedrick pseudo-controversy, they couldn't kill the
positive influence of this story. Bob Costas even closed out
with it. Looking for some positive role models in the Olympics?
Look no further than Joey Cheek.
And now, the bad.
Bad Bronze Medal. Bode, Bode, Bode... what would
we do without you? Well, hopefully in Vancouver we'll find out.
NBC, of course,
is just as guilty as Mr. Miller, since they hyped him endlessly
leading into the Olympics, but Bode ultimately has to take the
blame for a thoroughly uninspiring performance in the Games. Bode's
attitude was, to put it generously, bad. Unfortunately, NBC kept
trying to ride this horse, and then was more than willing to turn
on their self-created media star by having Jimmy Roberts, Bob Costas,
and Tom Brokaw ALL trash him. I don't think anyone came out looking
good on this one.
Bad Silver Medal. Jimmy Roberts. What?! Upset!! How could Jimmy,
the Olympic Watch Bad Gold Medal favorite, finish second? Well,
he just wasn't as annoying in Turin as he has been in the past.
That's not to say I'm warming up to him, as his stories are just
as sachharine as ever, but at least in 2006 they were shorter.
And he didn't even have a report every day, which meant that there
were days during NBC's Olympic coverage that I didn't have to hear
him at all. Both of those are positives. However, ultimately the
reason for Jimmy's descent to silver medal status is that he couldn't
top the gold medal winner...
Bad Gold Medal. Tom Brokaw's 38-minute closing day fluff piece.
Really, there was just no excuse for this one. It had absolutely
nothing to do with the Olympics, and whereas Jimmy spread his 60-or-so
minutes of fluff over two weeks, Tom hit us with his 38 minutes
all at once. Had I not been reporting on the coverage itself, I
would have tuned to another station. It was that pointless. I know
Brokaw, as America's favorite retired anchorperson, can apparently
do anything he wants, but someone really needs to step in during
the Beijing games and stop him from trying to repeat as Rockwood
Olympic Watch Bad Gold Medal champion.
So, is that it? Oh no! New
for 2006, we have the special, commemorative Rockwood Olympic
Watch Gold Medal For Activities Unrelated To The
Olympics. Yes! It's the ROWGMFAUTTO! And the
Television! Thankfully for the Olympic Watch, other members of
Team Rockwood had televisions available, because my brand new
Philips HDTV failed me in the middle of the Olympics.
wasn't exactly new. I bought a Philips widescreen HDTV (model
number 30PW9110D if you must know) from the Philips Online
Outlet Store (which I'm not going to link to because I don't
want you to get ripped off). As a refurbished model, it only had
day warranty. Well, 180 days into my possession of it, the tube
went kaput (right as the figure skating started on the 21st).
Of course, when I called their customer service line they told
I was out of luck. One of the Philips' representatives that I
talked to (Shawn, a manager) even told me that he would NEVER buy
from his employer. Way to promote the company, Shawn!
moment? I was talking to a rep (whose name I didn't get), and said
to him, "So basically, Philips sold me a bum
TV and now I'm on my own?"
The rep replied, "Well, no,
that's not accurate."
Wait," I said, "I've got a bum TV, right?"
And Philips sold it to me."
And you won't pay to fix it."
So, I'm on my own."
So, Philips sold me a bum TV and now I'm on my own. Which part
of that statement is inaccurate?"
He had no reply to that one.
Anyway, the repairs will run me nearly
$300, so my discount Philips television is now an expensive Philips
television. Needless to
say, I highly recommend you shop somewhere other than Philips
for your HDTV needs, as their sets are prone to failure and expensive
repairs, and even their own employees wouldn't buy one.
it for one more Olympics! Will I do this again in 2008? Who knows.
I'm obviously crazy enough to
have done it
long, so there's always a chance. For now, let's just say I've
been crazy for this long, what are the odd of me changing?
in 2008 in Beijing!