Talk about a bad ending...
Solid programming, a minimum of fluff, and events without
commercial interruptions. What could mess this up? Oh, just
• After Bob's intro, we start tonight with the Women's
Cycling Time Trial. While watching solo bikers racing against
the clock isn't really that exciting, here at least we get
to see some spectacular scenery. The Chinese set up the route
so that the cyclists race through what looks like Chinese
castles or perhaps part of the Great Wall. It looks really
Better yet, the United States' Kristin Armstrong, no
relation to Lance, pulls out the victory. In her post-race
you can tell she can't even figure out how to react. I'm
betting she sings on the medal stand. Or at least cries.
The Chevy Gold Medal Spotlight. Tonight we get to learn more
about U.S. beach volleyballers Misti May-Treanor and Kerri
Walsh. Costas narrates and tells us that they're dominant.
Uh-huh. It's fluff, and let's be honest, NBC is only putting
this on because chicks wearing bikinis are good for ratings.
Mary Carillo does five minutes of fluff on Chinese food.
She visits a 600-year-old restaurant that's famous for their
duck. When she asks what makes it so good, the owner says
that it's a secret, and he could tell her, but then he'd
have to kill her. In China, that's not a joke.
over to Beijing's snack street, where you can buy anything
as long as it's fried. That sounds like the
State Fair of Texas. She opts for jumbo scorpion on a stick.
The face she makes while trying a bite is priceless.
sees if she can get Bob to make the same face by bringing
him a tasty scorpion stick. Bob claims he likes
his scorpion freshly steamed. Nice excuse, Bob.
Over to live beach volleyball to watch May and Walsh beat
up on the Norwegians. High-ranking Team Rockwood member Sandy
asks, how do the Norwegians have such good tans? I can
You see, during the summer months, the sun is up almost 20
hours a day.
Fluffette, showing Misti May-Treanor dancing on the Great
Wall. I'd almost not even count this, since the match is
live now and NBC has to fill time during breaks in play.
But it isn't an event, so I have no choice. Rules are rules!
Karch Kiraly and Chris Marlow are very good commentators
for volleyball. Why, it's almost like we're watching a
and not some fluff-driven programming. Thanks, NBC!
May and Walsh quickly dispatch the Norwegians, and NBC fills
time by showing a Michael Phelps qualifying race.
now we've got some Phelps fluff, a music video montage
showing all of his gold medals from both the Athens and
Thirty-five minutes of live swimming. I love it!
Cris Collinsworth with fluff on Jason Lezak. Do I like Cris
better than the dreaded Jimmy Roberts? Yes. However, every
time I watch him, all I can think is, "what a goofball!" Seriously,
doesn't he just look like NBC got some soccer dad off the
street and made him into a commentator?
In the women's 200-meter butterfly, China swimmers Liu Zige,
19, and Jiao Liuyang, 17, get gold and silver. Funny how
much older these teenagers look than the 16-year-old Chinese
The men's 100-meter freestyle brings us... yes. Pieter Van
Den Hoogenband! Pieter Van Den Hoogenband! Pieter Van Den
Hoogenband! Also, Alain Bernard, the smack-talking loser
Frenchman, and Jason Lezak, the American who beat him.
He ees zee weenner! Lezak ties for third. Pieter Van Den
Hoogenband? Well, he finishes fifth. That might be
it for him, as he's already 30 years old. We've enjoyed chanting
your name, Pieter.
And now it's live men's gymnastics, but this time as individuals
instead of teams.
But first, a couple of minutes of gymnast fluff.
Did you know that both American and Chinese gymnasts can
and triumphant in slow-motion music montages? I know! I was
Incidentally, there's been some stink lately about China
packing their audiences with paid staff because they didn't
want the world to see empty seats in their arenas. Well,
the checks must be bouncing, because I see lots of empty
seats in the National Indoor Stadium today.
Hmmm... we cut away from live medal-round gymnastics to go
to Michael Phelps swimming in a semifinal race. I'm assuming
someone at NBC knows exactly when the U.S. gymnasts are performing
and that we won't miss any of them by watching a race that
Phelps is sure to win.
Phelps cruises, even though his goggles
leaked. Later, in an interview with Andrea Kramer, he
says that medals are
more important than times. He looks tired. He looked good
in his race today, but he does have a pretty ambitious
schedule. Will he make it all the way to the end? One thing
we can count on NBC to tell us, since every other segment
on their primetime show is about him.
We leave the gymansts so we can see France versus America,
part two. This time it's in the women's 4x200 relay. The
U.S. has never lost this event. Bring it, madames!
French... don't even matter. Instead, the Australians
clean up, breaking out to a big lead in the first two legs
and holding on to win it over the Chinese and the U.S.
one wasn't nearly as exciting as the men's race on Sunday.
• Back to gymnastics. Lots of people fall. Jonathon
Horton moves up simply by not falling.
• Heeeyyyy! Tim and Al finally explain how the scoring system
works! I'd actually figured it out by myself by now, but
it's nice that they finally told us.
• A scary moment when Japanese gymnast Hiroyuki Tomita loses
his grip on the rings just before his dismount and lands
sideways. Sandy says he's going to need to see a chiropractor.
I say he's lucky he didn't break anything. Ironically, this
happened just moments after I said that no one ever falls
off the rings. Apparently I'm a prophet of doom.
Isn't it sort of ironic that a show called "My Own Worst
Enemy" would star Christian Slater?
• Oh, and Jonathon Horton? He's from Norman. Boomer Sooner,
• When doing the replays of Alexander Artemev's high
bar routine, Tim makes good use of the slow-motion by pointing
techniques that Artemev is using. What? You thought I could
only criticize Mr. Daggett? He is a gold medal winner,
• At the end of four rotations the American's need to make
a move. Jonathon Horton is 12th and Alexander Artemev is
14th. Someone needs to start sticking some landings.
• A quick cutaway to show Alain Bernard's medal ceremony.
Even he sings, Michael Phelps! Why can't you?
• Now we're past midnight central time. I haven't had this
much fun since the All-Star game went 15 innings. I guess
the Olympics are going to be going on all night. Woo-hooo!
We're stayin' up all night!
Tim Daggett says that the Russians have had a "devastating" Olympics
in the gymnastics events. Those gymnasts better be careful,
or Vladimir Putin is going to send them to the South Ossetian
• German Fabien Hambuechen, the world champion in
the high bar, only needs a solid performance on that apparatus
secure a medal. On his first release, he misses the bar
and crashes to the ground. And just like that, his medal
The real error is after he finishes, though. After
his routine, NBC decides to stay on the man who will
be the winner, Chinese gymnast Yang Wei, instead of showing
replay of Hambuechen. A replay would have taken ten seconds,
NBC. Why not show us that instead of two minutes of hero
shots of Yang Wei?
• AAAAAA!!!! Jimmy Roberts is back! Why? Why??!! Why
is NBC ending their longest day ever with Jimmy Roberts fluff?
Jimmy is referencing how Georgia versus Russia were cordial
in the shooting competition so that he can show how past
Olympians defeated dictatorships. Or something. Really, I'm
just so very angry that over five hours of fantastic Olympic
coverage are being tossed aside so Jimmy can tell us how
to feel that I can't even pay attention to him.
And you know, that's probably the best way to take a Jimmy
A record-setting night, at least in length, and it was great
right up until the end. Ohhhh, NBC... you task me! You task
me and I shall have you! See you tomorrow...uh...today. It's
late! Go to bed!