Blog Trouble in 'Lympic China

Friday, August 8
Saturday, August 9
Sunday, August 10
Monday, August 11
Tuesday, August 12
Wednesday, August 13
Thursday, August 14
Friday, August 15
Saturday, August 16
Sunday, August 17
Monday, August 18
Tuesday, August 19
Wednesday, August 20
Thursday, August 21
Friday, August 22
Saturday, August 23
Sunday, August 24

2000 Watch
2002 Watch
2004 Watch
2006 Watch
Rockwood Comic
Home Page



Monday, August 18, 2008



Not quite Phelpsian...

Because what would an Olympic be without a new catchphrase?

• We start tonight with Bob and track analyst Ato Boldon, talking about Usain Bolt's 100m dash the other night. Their conclusion? He's fast, and has the potential to be even faster. Oh, and he dissed the other competitors by pounding his chest before he crossed the finish line. Agreed, but it was still fun to watch.

• And for those of you who didn't stay up last night, we get a repeat of China's Liu Xiang pulling out of the 110m hurdles due to an Achilles injury. This is old news if you were up late last night, but since many people didn't know about this, I'll count it as events.

• As Bob Costas gives us the last of the Liu Xiang news, we discover that even halfway around the world isn't far enough to go to escape those goofballs who hang out behind the TV talent and wave a flag around. At least this guy wasn't on his cell phone at the same time telling someone, "Hey! I'm on TV! Woooo!!"

• Back to taped coverage. American Lolo Jones is running in the 100m hurdles semifinal. Go LoLo! It's fun to say. Try it! She's finishes first and moves on. Next heat: Damu Cherry and Dawn Harper. Not as fun to say as Lolo, but they both qualify.

• Bolt fluff! He only takes 41 steps in 100 meters! Before Bolt destroyed the field, who even knew they counted such things?

Anyway, after the fluff he qualifies in the 200m semifinal, again looking like he's barely trying. In fact, when he looked to the side and notice that U.S.A.'s Shawn Crawford was even with him, he just turned it on a bit more. It reminded me of Dash's race at the end of "The Incredibles."

Hmm... maybe Usain Bolt is a "super." That would explain a lot.

• Yelena Isinbayeva of Russia fluff. She's a hot Russian pole vaulter. What is it with hot Russian athletes? Remember when all Russian female athletes were large and wore gray? Anyway, Yelena likes high fashion, lives in Monte Carlo, and wants to go to Hollywood. Win the gold and you're on your way, Yelena!

• Stephanie Brown Trafton wins the first U.S. women's discus gold medal since 1932. And who was her Olympic idol? Mary Lou Retton. Sideline reporter Bob Neumeier is obviously doing his homework to find out something like that.

• Now LIVE to beach volleyball, where May and Walsh face down a different Brazillian team for the chance to play for gold. Notable in the pregame chatter is that when announcer Chris Marlowe talked about May and Walsh's winning streak, he called it a "Phelpsian" feat. My guess is that won't be the last time we hear that word.

• Tim Daggett joins Bob and Bela in the studio to talk about the gymnastics judges, specifically about the judges in the women's vault the other night. Nothing is resolved. This is like watching any one of those afternoon forum shows on ESPN or like listening to sports radio. All it does in the end is make you stupider. Fluff!

• Off to men's gymnastics. First up on the rings, Jordan Jovtchev of Bulgaria, who is 35 years old. Yes, thirty-five! Three times as old as the Chinese women gymnasts! Whoops! Did I say that out loud?

Incidentally, Jordan was in the '96 Atlanta games and liked the U.S. so much that he stayed here. Where? Norman, Oklahoma. Home of Jonathon Horton, Bart Conner, and Nadia Comaeci. Norman rules!

•  We leave gymnastics for the Bird's Nest and the women's 400m hurdles. I can't even describe how much I'd rather listen to Tom Hammond and Ato Boldon cover track than Al Trautwig and Tim Daggett cover gymnastics. I never feel like yelling, "Shut up, Tom" at the television during track and field events. That's something to work on for 2012, NBC.

• In the men's 400m hurdles, the U.S. goes one-two-three! Take that, Jamaica!

• The Chevy Gold Medal Spotlight tonight is the women's uneven bars. Uh-oh... I can tell just from Al's stilted speech pattern that this is about to be fluff. And it is! Nastia and her dad are gymnasts! They're related! They're a team! It's a gymnastics buddy movie! It's fluff!

Lookee there! Nastia has a mom! You'd never know as much as they focus on her dad. My bad! Apparently, when Nastia performs, mom gets so nervous that she can't stand to be there. I guess she's settled down a bit now that her daughter has three medals.

Al stirs the pot again with the very first Chinese gymnast, He Kexin, asking "does she look 16 to you?" Don't ask me, Al, ask Bela! Tim says she makes a few mistakes, but she still gets a 16.725.

• Commercial time! A Chinese lass gets off the bus, and causes a Chinese man to fall in love at first sight. Then, in his clutzy way, he knocks over a bunch of things and ends up in the hospital, where she just happens to be the new doctor in town. Of course, now she can't go out with him because he's her patient, and she'd be violating all sorts of ethics laws. This potential unethical love story was brought to you by GE!

• Now Nastia. She looks good, and Tim says her routine should come out on top and...

She's tied! But somehow, not tied. The computer for some reason says that Kexin's 16.725 is worth more than Nastia's 16.725. How does THAT work? High-ranking Team Rockwood member Sandy says that Bela's going to go crazy. I think Bela's ALREADY crazy; now he'll just be EXTRA crazy. He'll probably rip Bob's head off by accident.

The last Chinese gymnast to attempt the uneven bars is Yang Yilin and NBC's graphic says she's 15 years old. Eh? I thought 16 was the limit. What's going on here? She finishes with a lower score than Liukin, but Nastia is still officially in 2nd place.

Liukin gets a silver on a tiebreaker. She looks pretty calm about it. Imagine for a second if Michael Phelps would have had the same exact time as someone else but was awarded the silver based on a "tiebreaker." No FINA official would have made it out of the Water Cube alive.

Live with Bela and Bob! Bela berates the entire scoring system and the "lack of competence of certain judges." I think he makes a good point in that every other sport at the Olympics doesn't have a problem awarding two golds, two silvers, or two bronzes if there's a tie. Why should gymnastics be any different? The IOC really screwed up here.

• Al asks Tim does He Kexin really think she won the gold? Well, duh, Al. Even I think Kexin won the gold. I just think Liukin did, too.

• Oddly enough, the very next even was the men's vault, which also ended in a tie. Again, there's a tiebreaker. WHY? Why not two golds? Gymnastics rules are stupid.

• Back at the Bird's Nest, Russian hottie Yelena Isinbayeva wins gold, and the U.S. vaulter Jen Stuczynski finishes second. We didn't really see much of her vaulting, but we do get to see her aloof coach, Rick Suhr, berating her after winning the silver medal. Let me reiterate: AFTER winning the silver medal!

Dude! She just won a silver medal! Maybe you could congratulate her instead of chewing her out!

• Bob has a short fluff piece on America being sleep-challenged by staying up to watch the Olympics. Bob? Are you reading this blog? Fluff!

• Cris Collinsworth has a top five list of his favorite things of the Games so far. He likes the Opening Ceremonies, U.S.-China basketball, Phelps winning the 100m butterfly, Nastia and Shawn, and finally, the 4x100m swimming relay. I'm surprised that he didn't take in a soccer game, given that he's America's soccer dad. Fluff!

• We also get some... hmm... is it fluff?... on how softball and baseball are about to be eliminated from the Olympics. It sort of has some event coverage, but it's mostly about how people are sad, so it's fluff.

• Finally, we get the medal ceremony for discus winner Stephanie Brown Trafton. Is she going to sing? Hmm... doesn't look like it. But wait! She blinks back the tears and then, "...gave proof through the night..." She's started! And she finishes! Smiling, singing, crying... that's what America wants to see in their gold medal winners. Great job, Stephanie!

Not too bad, tonight. It's always fun to see live events, and the taped events were definitely dramatic. I hate to admit it, but even the fluff wasn't that bad. It's been a pretty good Olympics so far. Let's keep it up, NBC!

<<Back to Sunday, August 17 On to Tuesday, August 19>>