marathon, watch for the tanks...
The end is here today, but we're going back to yesterday.
Fun with time shifting in Beijing...
• We join the start of Men's Marathon LIVE at Tiananmen
Square. The starter's gun fires and 50 dissidents are killed.
ha! Just kidding! No one ever died at Tiananmen
runners pass Chairman Mao's tomb. My mistake. I guess there
ARE dead people in Tiananmen Square. But only one.
Fancy fountains spray in front of the Forbidden
City, looking much like the ones at The
conquer China, the Forbidden City will be turned into a
Tom Hammond mentions that this is the last event of the Olympics.
Confused? Remember, since we're shifting time, this LIVE
event is actually taking place on Sunday morning. All of
the taped events you will watch later were taped
on Saturday night in Beijing.
The 3D marathon map is back! A map like this is what the
capitalists will use when they conquer China. But for now,
a map like this is what the capitalists use when they sell
out to the oppressive Chinese government so that they can
get better access for their TV coverage.
Lewis Johnson is reporting from the marathon course via cellphone.
He sounds scratchy. Did you know that many sports broadcast
by NBC don't even have the commentators at the venue, but
instead have them in New
York, doing their analysis using
the same HDTV feed that you're seeing?
So, despite the fact
that NBC can transmit HD signals around the globe with
perfect clarity, the can't hook up Lewis Johnson with a decent
radio to make it a couple of miles.
Marathon trivia from Craig Masback! That blue line on the
pavement that marks the marathon route results in more traffic
accidents in the host city because local drivers get distracted
and follow THAT line instead of the normal traffic lines.
• "We check in again with Lewis Johnson," says Tom.
Then... dead air. A few seconds later, Tom says, "Lewis
didn't answer his phone." Too bad you don't work for
a worldwide communications company with access to reliable
Just four miles in, a pack of runners have broken away from
the main group. Craig thinks their pace is too fast and that
none of these runners will end up making it to the end. We'll
see if Craig's marathon predictions are more accurate than
mine were for the women's marathon.
Speaking of the women's marathon, it's the Men's Marathon
drinking game! Take notice all of the police officers lining
the route to shut down possible protestors. See a cop, take
Six miles in, three Kenyans, two Eritreans, and two Ethiopians
are in a pack of ten that is waaay out in front. Craig thinks
they've gone out too fast and predicts no win for them!
As the runners circle back past their starting point, Tom
tells us that Tiananmen Square is as big as 90 football fields.
He also gives us a rundown of all the other buildings that
surround the square as well as their histories. But does
he mention that there was an incident with
hundreds, maybe thousands, dying there? Of course not! That
never happened! Ha ha ha ha!
Mid-race fluff, starring U.S. marathon runner Ryan Hall.
He made a small decision that changed his life forever. That
decision? He wanted to run 15 miles around a lake near his
house, having never run that far before. He tried it and
made it. And thus was born a marathon runner. Can you imagine
ever thinking that? I can imagine thinking it might be nice
to drive around the lake. Fluff!
Tom throws us again to Lewis Johnson and his cell phone.
Lewis says, "zxxzzzttt shhhhhxx zsasxxzx xggttttx hxhxhxx." Exactly
what I was thinking, Lewis.
Camera note: the handheld camera on the back of the motorcycle
leading the marathon runners is having problems. More to
the point, the cameraman on the back of that motorcycle is
having problems. It's like he keeps losing the handle on
the camera. I can't imagine it's easy to shoot a camera while
riding backwards on a motorcycle, but this seems worse than
Ten miles in. The lead pack is down to six runners. Then
we go to a commercial break. By the time we come back, the
lead pack is five. Maybe Craig Masback DOES know something!
Ed Eyestone says normally he'd be concerned to see cars driving
this close to the runners, but these are okay because they're
hydrogen-powered cars. Yes, I'm sure it would hurt a lot
less to get hit by a hydrogen-powered car. It is the lightest
element, after all.
Some more mid-race fluff. Four years ago in the Athens marathon,
Brazil's Vanderlei de Lima, who was leading the race at the
time, was attacked by a spectator. That man, Cornelius Horan,
thinks aliens are going to come down from outer space and
rule from Jerusalem for 1,000 years. NBC interviews him.
Why? Why would you give this psycho any air time?
still finished third in Athens, so he got a bronze medal
which, he said, was "like gold to him." Bob
says that his running of the last lap in Athens was "celebration
in face of adversity." This is all extremely fluffy.
Nowadays, Psycho Alienman is sorry for what he did to Vanderlei
and thinks that maybe he went too far. Is that why we're
watching this? Was this supposed to be apology fluff? Blech.
The halfway point still has five people in the lead pack.
Craig's prediction is half right. Or half wrong. I guess
it depends if you're an optimist or a pessimist. And no,
I don't know which way would be which in this case.
More from Lewis on his cell phone! His mid-race report says, "xxxssttt
thsshhhh xxzxxvvht stttstttxx drrrrrttttt." Inciteful!
Ed Eyestone keeps referring to runners who drop off the lead
pack as "carnage." Is that term really appropriate
on a course that was routed by the site of a massacre?
Nineteen miles in and the lead pack is down to three. All
three of them check their back to see if anyone is coming
up behind them. Less than a mile later, the lead pack is
two. It's looking more and more like Masback might be right.
Whoops! After an ad, the lead pack is back to three. I guess
Masback was premature. But Craig isn't giving up. He keeps
predicting a leader collapse.
Lewis is back on his cellphone for another report! "xzdtt
sxxxzzz thmmxx sxttxx pzaszx xxsstt." Spot-on, Lewis!
Where are the Americans? About three minutes back. Not bad,
but they're not going to win a medal unless Craig's prediction
Oooo... and now the lead pack is two... no, one!
Kenya's Samuel Wansiru is leaving Morocco's Jaouad Gharib
Deriba Merga behind at the 22 mile mark.
Now in sight of the Bird's Nest, Wansiru is waaay out in
front of Gharib and Merga. It's looking like Craig's prediction
of total collapse is going to be wrong.
One more time from Lewis Johnson's cellphone. "xxssdtt
zzhht tshhxxk kcssxss qsrrt shhtxxx." This is why Lewis
is getting the big bucks.
Into the Bird's Nest tunnel goes Wansiru, shattering both
the Olympic marathon record and Craig's theory. The most
amazing thing is that Craig actually says that he was wrong
about someone being able to keep up that pace. When was the
last time you heard an analyst say something like that? Bonus
points for Craig!
Gharib finishes second and third is Merga...NO!
Merga's teammate Tsegay Kebede catches Merga after they
enter the stadium and proves
at least part of Craig's prediction correct.
Now, over to tape-delayed diving for the men's platform finals.
Now THIS is the last time we'll be here. I know I've been
saying that for two days, but this time for sure!
David Boudia's fluffette tells us that he really wants to
win a medal. I wonder what Lewis would think of that? "Zxxhxt
sdrrrth zhhhthttx kxxrt." Uh-huh. That's what I thought,
After four rounds out of six, Boudia is in seventh. If he
wants that medal, he better start calling upon the power
of fluff. Maybe he could recall some past hardship that makes
him worthy of winning. It would be best if it included kittens.
Who doesn't love a fluff story with kittens?
Cynthia Potter tells us now, in round five of six in the
finals of platform diving, that all male divers must do a
handstand of some kind. This is the first time I've heard
this rule. Shouldn't Cynthia have told us about this tidbit
earlier? And speaking of things they should have told us
earlier, I don't think I've ever heard Cynthia or Ted Robinson
talk about which scores the judges keep and which they throw
out. It's small thing, I know, but that's something for them
to work on for London in 2012.
What's this? The Chinese didn't win gold in the final! Matthew
Mitcham of Australia gets two 10.0s in his final dive and
wins. He didn't even realize it. Some blonde Australian
comes up to him and says, "You just won the Olympics!"
The Chevy Gold Medal Spotlight tonight is on the women's
and men's 4x400m relay finals. And I hate to have to say
it to the U.S. teams, but DON'T DROP THE BATON!
go first. The U.S. makes the first pass. The second. The
third, but they're trailing the Russians! Then Sanya
Richards kicks into gear on the back stretch and pulls
out the win! Great race!
The men's race will be coming up next, but first, some U.S.
relay team fluffette. They're all winners! Well, except for
the two guys who didn't win in the 400 meters. Those guys
are just close to winners. Except for Jeremy Wariner, who's
Now in the booth, Tom Hammond talks to both Ato
Boldon and Lewis Johnson about the upcoming race. Will
the U.S. team
be able to put their hard feelings behind them? Ato says
yes. Lewis says xxhhtt ssttrr zxxzhht.
Now, the men. LaShawn Merritt, winner of the 400m race earlier
this week, leads off for the United States. At the first
pass, the U.S. is ahead and the exchange is clean. The second
exchange is good to David Neville who now has a HUGE lead.
Hopefully he won't try to dive over
the line on the last
takes the last exchange and blows the rest of the field
away in new Olympic record time. The camera had to zoom out
far to capture Wariner's lead that you couldn't even tell
which countries were battling for second. It was the Bahamas
and Russia, by the way.
So will anyone sing on the medal podium? The women get their
chance first. Almost no. Mary Wineberg joins in at "Oh
say does that.." but the rest of the ladies just smile.
At least they weren't pulling a Wariner. From now on I'm
just going to call Jeremy Wariner "Scowly." Is
the man never happy?
As we get a blimp shot of the stadium, Tom tells us that
from the distinctive architecture we can tell how the stadium
got it's nickname "the Bird's Nest." Incidentally,
the name of the architect who created the criss-cross pattern?
Eddie Van Halen. That's why there's a big hole in the middle,
because it looks like a guitar. Would I lie to you?
Shannon Rowbury from the U.S. gets some fluffette before
she runs the 1,500m race. It turns out she used to compete
Irish step dancing... you know, like Riverdance. "His
legs flail about as if independent of his body!" Calm down,
She won't get a chance to imitate Michael Flatley on
the medal podium. She finishes seventh.
Bob talks to Jacques Rogge. Jacques is the president of the
International Olympic Committee. That means he's an Olympic-class
question dodger. When Bob asks Jacques whether Russia's invasion
of Georgia might endanger the 2014
Olympics in Sochi, just
miles from Georgia, Rogge waffles. He says that international
tensions have happened
with the Games before, such as the South Korean games being
just miles from North Korea. Nice try, Jacques, but South
Korea didn't send an army storming into North Korea right
after they won the Olympics.
Finally, the men's 4x400m relay medal ceremony. Will the
men sing? LaShawn? No. Angelo Taylor. No. Scowly? No. The
biggest disappointment, though, is David Neville, who sang
bronze medal in the 400m, but is apparently not singing due
here to peer pressure. David, David, David... it's COOL to
sing the national anthem! Don't be a Scowly.
That's it for live events at the Beijing Olympics. By tomorrow
night's broadcast it will actually all be over. But pretend
you don't know that and tune in tomorrow night anyway! See