Sunday, February 14, 2010
Day three of the Olympics finally gets us into
the money maker: figure skating! And yes, I know that there's also
going to be speed skating, mogul skiing, and luging, but c'mon...
those aren't real sports like figure skating!
Heh. Sounds pretty silly when you argue it like
that, doesn't it? On to the show!
Bob's intro, we head straight over to the long track speed skating
3000m race Canada will try again to win their first gold medal
of any Canadian Olympics. Do you think that NBC's constant emphasis
on this drought will have a positive or negative effect on the
Canadian team? Is NBC creating an Olympic version of the Chicago
Cubs? Discuss among yourselves.
While we wait through the first commercial, did you see the Men's
Nordic Combined this afternoon? In a sport where the United States
has never earned ANY medal, three of the top six finishers were
Americans, and in a sprint to the finish, Johnny Spillane of Steamboat
Springs, Colorado was only four tenths of a second away from winning
Why do I love the Olympics? When was the last
time you were standing in your living room shouting "GOOOO!!" at
the top of your lungs to the television? I guess I didn't yell
loudly enough. Sorry, Johnny. I'll do better next time.
Back to speed skating. Canadian Kristina Groves is trying to challenge
leader Martina Sablikova of the Czech Republic for the lead in
the 3000m, but you know she's not going to make it. How? NBC's
virtual "leader line" shows that Sablikova is many meters
in front of her. Canada's gold medal hopes are crushed by an imaginary
Now on to Pairs Figure Skating. What?! No Dick Button? Brian is
very angry. What could make it worse? Fluff! We get up close and
personal with China's Shen Xue and Zhao Hongbo for two-and-a-half
minutes. They're husband and wife, they're old, it's both Valentine's
Day AND the Chinese New Year today, blah blah blah... what I'm impressed
by is that they chose "Who
Wants To Live Forever" by
their music. That's a great song. Their skating? Well, it's a
kind of magic. The judges love them. First place!
Off to Whistler and the final of four luge runs. Commentator Bob
Papa criticizes Italy's Armin Zoeggeler all the way down the
track for being sloppy. Zoeggeler. Zoeggeler. Zoeggeler. What's
with you? He finishes...
First. Oh. Well, I guess it's not Zoeggeler
that has the problem, is it Bob?
Now that Germany's Felix Loch won the luge, we go back to the studio
for a minute of fluff about Nodar Kumaritashvili. Yes, it's still
sad, and I even think it's appropriate to have put this on after
of the men's luge. That said, I think now is the time for NBC to
back off this story otherwise it'll seem like they're just using
it to generate ratings.
Dan Patrick recalls last night's women's freestyle moguls event.
Why are we recapping something we watched live last night? One
minute of fluff!
Today, it's the Men's Moguls. I love the dolly camera
that runs down the hill parallel to the skiers. On the long shot
you really can't tell how fast they're skiing, but that side shot
makes it downright scary.
Bob Costas recalls Hannah Kearney and last night's women's freestyle
moguls event. Why are we recapping something we watched last night
as well as something we just recapped ten minutes ago? Oh... because
Bob's going to interview Hannah in the studio. Well, it's a good
interview, but it's still fluff.
Over to the ice rink where we watch the next generation of Russians
skate. Yeah, yeah... balletic perfection. Yawn.
And now another of these weird "How To Train Your Dragon" promos.
This one is the Viking medal ceremony, where we learn that instead
of the bronze-silver-gold progression, the ancient Norsemen used
horn, granite, and ham. Should I be counting this as ads or fluff?
Last night I counted it as fluff, but now I'm thinking it should
be ads. Why don't you drop
me a line and tell me what you think.
Dan Patrick introduces us to Dale Begg-Smith who skis for Australia
but grew up in Canada. He became a millionaire by starting an internet
spam business. That alone is reason enough for me to root against
him. That's 150 seconds of fluff that could have been better spent
ordering all of those cheap pharmaceuticals I keep getting emails
And now, yet another chance for Canada to win their first home
gold. Vincent Marquis racing in the finals of the Men's Moguls.
Don't jinx him, NBC!
Two Americans in a row crash on the mogul run. Right after Patrick
Deneen takes out a gate with his face, analyst Jonny Moseley
says he hopes Deneen
doesn't get disqualified. I'm pretty sure the first thought that
Patrick had as he slid across the finish line on his stomach was
NOT "I hope I don't get disqualified."
Canadians are 1-2 in the Men's Moguls right now. NBC keeps pointing
that out. Don't jinx them, NBC!
And now Dale Begg-Smith --internet spam millionaire-- takes the
slope. I hope when he crashes he's forced to listen to what a great
deal someone can get him on painkillers.
Grrr.... he finishes fast
and is currently in first place. That puts him, an ex-Canadian,
in first, with current Canadians in second
Bryon Wilson of the United States skis next.
Second! With two skiers to go, it's Australia-USA-Canada!
All of Canada holds their breath for Alexandre Bilodeau, declares
Moseley. Don't jinx him NBC!
Wow, is he fast! And goooood. The
FIRST PLACE! The Canadian
in first place with only Guilbaut Colas from France to knock
him out! Don't jinx Canada, NBC!
Guilbaut Colas is
lightning fast, getting the fastest time of the night, but will
the judges give him a good enough scores
on his jumps to win?
Sixth place? Well, I didn't see that coming.
But YAY for Canada! Bilodeau is the winner of the "never again
has to buy his own meal on Canadian soil" sweepstakes by earning
the first ever gold medal for Canada on home soil. The best part
all of this? We won't
have to listen to NBC trot out that stupid statistic anymore.
Bilodeau gives a post-race interview where he says all of the standard
things. But as soon as he finishes talking to Tina Dixon, he
is immediately leapt upon by a mysterious blonde girl who starts
kissing him. His girlfriend, perhaps? We don't learn who it is,
but back in the studio, Bob implies that it is about to be the
best Valentine's Day ever for Alexandre. Pretty cheeky, Bob.
Oh no, it's Ohno fluff! It's three-and-a-half minutes of Apolo
Ohno facts that you already know. He's won. He's lost. He won a
mirror-ball trophy on "Dancing With The Stars" while
chummy with Julianne Hough. Rough life, eh?
I haven't been commenting much on the Pair's Figure Skating. Of
course, neither have the commentators. Furthermore, when they do
comment, they're often wrong. After the Russian couple Mukhortova
and Trankov fell down, Scott Hamilton and Sandra Bezic all but
out of the competition. Their scores put them in second place
(later falling to eighth). Where is
Dick Button? If the experts don't know what they're talking about,
whey should I pay attention to them? I'll just sit back, watch
the ladies in the skimpy outfits, and keep my mouth shut.
Back in the studio Bob tells us about the Nordic Combined, which
I've already told you about. And then... speak of the devil! Dick
Button! Do we have time to get him into the arena for the last
four skating pairs?
Yet another skating pair gets an unusally high score. It would
be one thing if it was just me saying it. After all, I don't know
what I'm talking about, but all of the announcers keep agreeing
we're all idiots, because figure skating has never been prone to
In the arena after the last pair skates, the loudspeakers are playing
Miley Cyrus' "Party In The USA." Aren't there any "Party
in Canada" songs they could be playing instead?
As the figure skating ends, NBC shows the standings after the first
round and mistakenly has China's Shen and Zhao listed with a Canadian
flag beside their names. Not that two skaters named Shen and
COULDN'T be Canadians, but
think that it's a pretty bad to misidentify the country of the couple
leading the competition?
Cris Collinsworth is on the scene for the medal presentation of
last night's Women's Moguls event. Will Hannah Kearney sing the
national anthem? No... no singing, but she certainly looks choked
up. Shannon Bahrke on the other hand, also of the US and finishing
with the bronze, starts by crying, switches halfway through to
a huge grin, and finishes by singing "home of the brave" at
the top of her lungs. Awesome. Shannon Bahrke is now my favorite
could you not like closing with that? Well, I guess you wouldn't
have been so crazy about it if you were Canadian. But now that
Canada has the "no golds" monkey off their back, maybe we can just
get into great competitions between worthy competitors! Unless
one of them has a sad story, and then we'll milk the heck out of
it. See you tomorrow!