The men with
the golden guns...
Who got the gold, and who shot themselves in the foot? Read
• And today it's sunny in Beijing, which means there's
no way NBC will show any taekwondo tonight. Yes, I know...
We start the night with... fluff? That's not a good sign.
Misti May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh rock out to "Barracuda" in
slow-motion. Bob interviews them in the studio. I guess the
match did run
late last night, so some people might have missed it, but
it's still fluff. Bob asks Kerri if she's run out of people
to hug, and Kerri says she hasn't hugged Costas yet. Is Bob
angling for some beach volleyballer affection? He doesn't
Off to the Bird's Nest, where it's raining! Oh yeah, this
was taped last night. Tape delay is fun! Nick Symmonds of
the U.S. is running in the semifinal for the 800 meters.
He gets a some fluffette, because you've never heard of him.
And now you never will (at least, not until 2012). He finishes
fifth in his heat and fails to advance.
Allyson Felix fluffette. Her church is important to her because
her dad was the preacher. Her coach, Bobby Kersey, is Jackie
Joyner-Kersey's husband. She won silver in Athens and works
kids. She used to be called chicken legs. We actually find
out a whole variety of things about Allyson, and no one
else voices it over. It's all in her words. It is fluff,
but it's well-done fluff.
Now Allyson's race, the 200m final, which features three
Americans and three Jamaicans. Revenge! Or not. Jamaica's
Veronica Campbell-Brown wins handily, but Felix finishes
a strong second. The bronze? Kerron Stewart of Jamaica by
one hundreth of a second over American Muna Lee. The six
runners all finished ahead of the remaining two racers. They
were from... eh, who cares?
Chevy Gold Medal Spotlight with America's favorite soccer
dad, Cris Collinsworth. Cris tells us how good his job is.
We know, Cris, you tell us every night. Tonight he interviews
the U.S.A. men's beach volleyball team of Phil Dalhausser
and Todd Rogers. Cris, a highly-paid on-camera personality
does the entire interview wearing shorts and an unbuttoned
polo shirt. He says the team has "raw emotion." And it was
a "wild scene" out there. He also tells Bob, "You said
it, brother." Since Cris is obviously saving all of his
money on wardrobe, maybe he could go out and hire some
The men's 4x100m relay. The U.S. has won this 16 out of the
last 21 times they've run it. Despite that, Tyson Gay's uniform
bib looks like "USA" was scrawled on it with
a magic marker. Really? China can't find a printer?
AAAAAA!!! The U.S. missed
the last baton pass and they're disqualified! They're not
alone. Four of the eight relay
teams missed the last pass. I know weather seems like a
copout, but could the rain have something to do with that?
second heat, two more teams get disqualified. These are Olympians!
Shouldn't they at least be able to make it
around the track?
And now the women get their shot at the 4x100m relay. Their
bibs, too, have USA written in magic marker instead of being
preprinted. How can something like that not be prepared?
Is the United States such an obscure country that China
AAAAAAA!!! It happened
again! On the last leg, again! The same as the men tonight,
and the same as the women in Athens.
Not to point fingers, but if Lauryn Williams has missed the
baton pass on two consecutive Olympics, maybe it's her.
Ato Boldon and Lewis Johnson did a good job analyzing both
the men's and women's mistakes. Occasionally they slip
into using jargon that only real track people would know,
but I like that. I'd rather they do that than dumb it down.
And afterwards, Tom, Ato, and
Lewis lay into the U.S. Track organization. I don't know
anything about the leadership changes they're talking about,
but it sure looks like U.S. Track has the same problem now
that U.S. Basketball used to have, which is there's no apparent
teamwork involved. That's fine when it comes to racing individuals,
but terrible when it comes to racing teams.
For the last time, we head to the Water Cube and the first
thing we get is Laura Wilkinson fluffette. She's not playing
it safe! She's going
On to diving. Chinese diver Wang Xin wants everyone to have
fun tonight. Everybody Wang Xin tonight.
Laura doesn't dive well on her first few dives, and that
takes her out of medal contention. But then, on her last
dive, she found out the true meaning of the Olympics as her
fellow American team members gave her a standing ovation.
And then in a truly amazing moment, she nailed her last dive.
Suddenly, Russia declared a cease fire with Georgia, Osama
bin Laden gave himself up to the U.S. authorities, and Israel
and Hamas laid down their arms. Yes, this inspiring moment
(cue sappy music) has truly changed all that is wrong with
the world. But now, thanks to Laura's inspiration final dive,
all hunger has ended and world peace has been declared.
didn't really think I could write a whole paragraph of
fluff, did you?
And yes, I wrote that because announcer Ted Robinson was
laying it on a little thick there at the end of the diving
Even Andrea Kremer was cloying as she interviewed Wilkinson
after it was over. In fact, it was so treacly that I'm halfway
considering labeling this segment fluff.
Back at track and field Tom and Ato give us a bit of Usain
Bolt fluffette and then just talk for a couple of minutes.
know... about track and stuff.
Really? We couldn't have shown
ANYTHING else? There was even a medal ceremony going on
in the background (all I know is it was the Russian national
anthem... I don't know who or what for). Maybe we could
For that matter, did you know that the U.S.A. softball team
lost the gold medal to Japan earlier today? I accidentally
found that out (I try to avoid Olympic news... and
that's not easy), and thought that maybe NBC would do a story
on that, given that one of the reasons softball is being
removed from the Olympics is that the Americans are supposedly
so dominant. But noooo. There was not even a single mention
of the softball upset --potentially the biggest upset of
the Olympics-- on tonight's broadcast. Couldn't we have used
this three minutes
Next up, the men's 400m final. Fortunately, there's nothing
for the U.S. to drop on this one. Jeremy Wariner is the favorite,
but that doesn't mean anything tonight. Three Americans.
Could there be a sweep? Tonight I think we'd settle for someone
Sweep! But surprisingly, Wariner isn't the winner.
Instead LaShawn Merritt wins and David Neville finished
literally diving in front of the Bahama's Chris Brown.
Afterwards, Wariner didn't really feel like talking to Bob
Neumeier, to the point that Bob looked shocked at one point
by Jeremy's non-response to a question about his coaching
change. LaShawn, on the other hand, was more than willing to
talk about himself.
Urkel! Cuba's Dayron Wrobles is
up next in the men's 110m hurdles final. He's flanked on
either side by Americans David
Oliver and David Payne. And... those are your winners, Wrobles
finishing first, Payne second, and Oliver third. Payne apparently
is a little confused, because after the race as he and Oliver
were hugging, Payne motioned to the camera and said, "Number
one baby!" I'm sorry, David, but perhaps you need to look
up at the board again to see who finished first.
Off to the X Games! Sorry, I mean the BMX finals. There's
lots of crashing and surprisingly, neither the U.S. men nor
women finish in first. There's not a lot of nuance involved
here. The sport itself reminds me a lot of the snowboard
cross in the winter Olympics. It's fast and fun to watch,
but NBC only spends six minutes here, so it's hard to get
worked up about it.
Of course, I could get worked up about the fact
that NBC won't even spend ONE minute on taekwondo, but
I won't. Not
Chevy Gold Medal Spotlight. It's beach volleyball, the men's
final this time, and NBC is promising that it will be live
and commercial free. Yes! It's the gold medal game featuring
Phil Dalhausser and Todd Rogers of the United States versus
Marcio and Fabio of Brazil. This should be fun.
is "Jaws." Like from the Bond
movies? You know, "Moonraker" actually had some
in Brazil. I wonder if that's why.
Yes! Chris Marlowe
shows us a graphic of volleyball player nicknames, and they
say Fabio got his nickname because when
he screams after a good shot he looks like Richard Kiel from
the Bond movies.
In the time it took me to write all of that,
the U.S. went from six points down to tied at twelve. That's
U.S. team is great. In fact, nobody
does it better. Makes
me feel sad for the rest.
They go back and forth to 17 points,
when Phil Dalhausser spikes one over the net to give the
U.S. their first lead.
Fabio probably didn't care for that view
of a kill.
Americans win the first set! Rogers, "The Professor," has
the winning touch. In fact, you might even say he has the
Fabio looks upset that they lost the first set
after having such a big lead. He's probably thinking, "I
can't believe we're not better."
Phil Dalhausser takes
a spike shot right in the face. It knocks his sunglasses
off. I guess that one was for
his eyes only.
In the second set, the U.S.A. gets ahead, but then blows
their lead and Brazil wins it. I guess The Professor lost
And now, after 71 minutes of commercial-free
programming, we take a break. But only for a couple of minutes.
Phil "The Thin Beast" is taking it straight to
Jaws in set three. He might even be scaring the
living daylights out of him.
The U.S.A. is now up 12 to 3, and the third set
only goes to 15. Is there a chance the Brazilians could win?
I'd say never, but after all the problems the U.S. track
team has had tonight, I'll never
say never again.
• Gold medal point! Brazil spikes! Dalhausser blocks!
Does Brazil catch it in time? No!
The Thin Beast and The Professor are the
men with the Midas touch! The U.S. sweeps the beach volleyball
events. They threw everyone in the world at them, but it
turns out the
world was not enough.
Do you think the Americans can also win gold in non-beach
volleyball? It seems doubtful, because you
only win twice.
Can you believe I strung out one little reference that far?
Back in the studio, some late breaking news from Bob. The
IOC is actually looking into the Chinese gymnasts being underage.
My goodness, Bela Karolyi must be going nuts right now.
I like that NBC is willing to take an entire hour and show
us a live event, but I'm a little upset that they seem to
be using that as an excuse to not show us a wider variety
of events. I'm torn. What
do you think? Still, it's been more pleasant that unpleasant,
so I'll tune in again tomorrow.