Let the counting of the fluff begin...
NBC's had it easy the first few days, as I was out of town
and didn't have the means (or the will) to count their fluff.
But now that I'm back, watch out!
• After the intro, we start with a recap of last night's
men's gymnastics. Fluff? Nahh... I'm going to count it as
event, since most of this happened so late last night that
a lot of people wouldn't have seen it. Plus, there's no cheesy
music or annoying slo-mo shots.
• Off to synchronized diving, where as I've said before,
I looooovvve the drop camera.
Also, extra points to commentator
Cynthia Potter who managed to avoid calling
the Canadian divers "fat" by
instead just saying that they "weren't as streamlined" as
the Chinese divers.
U.S. diver Haley Ishimatsu is afraid to jump off that tower
unless she's doing a dive. Yes, this was fluff, but only
30 seconds of it. Let's just call it "fluffette."
Cynthia is doing a good job using freeze frames and
the telestrator to explain how synchronized diving works.
I just wish it wasn't the United States team that she has
to keep picking apart.
On the Canadians last dive, Cynthia proclaims it "a
tidal wave." Enough with the fat jokes already!
So, Jimmy Roberts and the Chevrolet Olympic Moments are gone,
and Chris Collinsworth is in for the Chevy Gold Medal Spotlight.
Does that make it better? Let's find out.
Chris is interviewing
Michael Phelps' mother. In fact, he's sitting with her in
the crowd as Phelps tied the Olympic
record for gold medals. This isn't really an interview or a story, it's mostly just somebody editing Chris sitting
with Michael Phelps' mom. Okay, he does ask her a couple
of questions, you know, stuff like, "Isn't your son
just the awesomest?" and "Aren't you proud of your
son?" or something like that. It's kind of boring, really.
this an improvement over Jimmy Roberts? Well, it's not as
cloying or saccharine, but I wouldn't exactly call it
better. Instead, I'd call it "a good time to go to the
kitchen for snacks."
You know these Pizza Hut chocolate dunker ads would impress
me more if the girl pretending she was French was fooling
other French people instead of fooling Americans. Wouldn't
that be awesome? "Zis shock-o-lot doonker, eet eesn't
French... (reveal the Pizza Hut uniform)... it's from Pizza
Hut, and we fooled you, Froggie. Not only that, but your
swim team? Owned by the Americans! Ha!
By the way, Sandy, a high-ranking member of Team
also has some comments she'll be making from time-to-time.
finds it interesting that in the China Olympics, the music
played between points in the Men's Beach Volleyball competition
is American arena rock. She likes it. Way to go China for
embracing American culture!
And now, the very definition of fluff. A story about pandas.
No, even worse... a story about panda BABIES! What could
be more fluffy than a story about panda babies? Mary Carillo
travels to the Chinese zoo that breeds pandas and... oh my
word I can barely stand it it's so sweet. Four minutes of
Sacre bleu! Eet ees Alain Bernard from France versess zat
feelthy American Jason Lezak, who mere days ago upset Bernard
and France in the 4x100 relay. Tonight they're back in the
100-meter freestyle. It's only the qualifying semifinal,
though. There will be no sweet revenge tonight.
The next semifinal?
Pieter Van Den Hoogenband! Pieter Van Den Hoogenband! Pieter
Van Den Hoogenband! He finishes second,
but he's still first in "names that are fun to say."
These events are all live, and NBC is having to run quick
commercial breaks to keep up. That's good, though. It actually
feels live instead of preproduced, like so many of the other
non-live events do.
And now, the Chevy Gold Medal Moment! How did Chevy get to
sponsor Michael Phelps' event? Well, no matter. Here we go,
watching to see if Phelps can break the all-time career Olympic
gold medal record by winning the 200- meter butterfly.
course he does! And in world-record time! And how does
he react afterwords? He looks disappointed. What? Rowdy Gaines
says it's because he wanted to break 1:52 in time. C'mon,
Michael. You now have TEN Olympic gold medals. You could
crack a smile.
We leave Morose Mike behind and go to the women's gymnastics,
and Al tells us that NBC will be bouncing back and forth
between gymnastics and swimming. I LOVE live Olympics!
Visa has a commercial all ready for Michael Phelps, with
Morgan Freeman congratulating him on winning more gold medals
than anyone, ever. You think Morgan would be so congratulatory
if he knew Phelps was throwing a fit for not making it to
1:51 in the 200-meter butterfly?
Al thinks it's stunning to see China's and America's gymnasts
talking to each other during the competition. Yes, Al, they
must hate... HATE... HATE!!! Then Al stirs the pot some more
by questioning the age of a Chinese gymnast. Look, I think
China is as bad as anyone, but really, can't we do better
than saying, "she's not 16! AAAA!!"
You know what's cool about seeing the gymnastics competition
live? Getting to see the gymnasts warming up and acting as
a team. You know what's NOT cool about seeing it live? Listening
to Al Trautwig and Tim Daggett try to fill air time.
You know what another good thing about live competition is?
No time for fluff!
Back to the studio, where Bob Costas and Bela Karolyi are
doing their own judging for the women's gymnastics. Bela
gives his own analysis of Nastia Liukin's uneven bars performance
and is largely unintelligible. The best part is when Bob
says that Bela is like that all the time, and they have video
to prove it. Cut to the replay... Bela bluescreened over
Nastia, cheering her on. Hilarious! Oh, it's fluff, but it's
Less than an hour after becoming the Olympic gold medal record
holder,Michael Phelps is back in the pool to lead the U.S.
in the 4x200-meter relay. If the United States wins, will
Morgan Freeman be back with another Visa ad?
The U.S. wins.
Big. But no Morgan Freeman.
Alicia Sacramone of the U.S. misses her mount on the balance
beam, costing the Americans eight tenths of a point. Later
on the floor, she falls backward after a flip. Tim describes
the second thing as a "disaster of epic proportions." C'mon,
Tim. It very well might have cost the U.S. a chance at the
gold, but they're still in the driver's seat for the silver,
which was the position they were in when they entered the
last round. A "disaster" would be, say, being dropped
from gold to bronze, or from silver to nothing, not from
silver to silver.
After a break, NBC comes back to the studio with Bob and
Bela. Bela makes a comment about Sacramone maybe feeling
more pressure because she's older. When Bob presses him for
more comments, Bela said that the advantage of the Chinese "using
the 14 or 15 year old kids" is that they don't feel
as much pressure because they don't think about it as much.
Bob "corrects" Bela,
saying that the lower age limit for women gymnasts is now
16. Bela responds with "it's documented, half of the
Chinese team is underaged" but that no one could prove
it because they have government issued passports.
NBC make China angry! Bob, clearly realizing what Bela was
implying, gently puts a "shut up Bela" hand on
Karolyi's arm and quickly throws it back down to the floor.
You can bet that someone's going to get in trouble for this
Sandy says they're going to bring Bela back for his politically
incorrect but true comments.
They bring Bela back and he says the Chinese team should
be commended but "too bad they are underaged and should
not be legally accepted." Wow. And here I thought the
Chinese thought police would have taken him backstage and
beat him with a sack of oranges. But then, if anyone should
know how a communist gymnastic team works, it would be Bela.
Who are you going to believe, Karolyi or China?
Michael Phelps reappears on another medal ceremony. Will
he sing this time, given that just moments ago he said how
emotional he was at winning yet another gold medal? Psh!
No. Sorry, Michael, but for all of your gold medals, you
haven't yet passed Natalie Coughlin as my favorite Olympian.
hours and almost all action. Will a "live" Olympics like
China's continue to keep the amount
of fluff low? So far, so good. We're running at full speed
now, so keep coming back to see how it all turns out!