A Chance For
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Skaters searching for former glory, boarders
searching for redemption, and us searching for less fluff. HA!
Like that's going to happen! It's Day 5 of the Vancouver
• Again we start not by showing NBC's
beautiful montage of the Vancouver area, but instead by going directly
an event, in this case the Men's Figure Skating short
program. Notice I didn't say we went directly into a "sport." Yeah,
I know. I'm a hater.
As the ominous music plays, we ride shotgun with Yevgeny Plushenko
as he drives his Mercedes through the streets of Moscow. He's competing
for Russia, but he must think he's actually competing for the Soviet
Union. He keeps talking about how his "enemies" in figure
skating are afraid of him and about how he's "fighting with
(his) enemy, with (his) rivals." Watch the men tonight at
the figure skating competition. Do any of them look like fighters?
Is it just me, or does Yevgeny kind of look like a younger, blonder Steve
Perry of Journey? Anyway,
although he had previously gone
ways with figure skating, he decided to come back
so he can be a two-time Olympic champion like Dick Button. Don't
stop believin', Yevengy! I'm sure the judges will welcome you back
• Canada's Vaughn Chipeur is
not only a skater but also a drag racer. There's an unusual combination.
Can you imagine Don
Garlits as an ice skater?
How does Scott Hamilton feel about Plushenko? Well, after the Russian's
first jump (a quad-triple something), Hamilton screams like a kid
who's just found the complete collection of Transformer toys under
the Christmas tree. At the end of Plushenko's routine, which admittedly
was very good, Scott said, and I quote, "Ahhhh.... ahhhh....
ahhhh." That's some brilliant commentary, right there.
Back in the studio, Dick Button talks about Plushenko and his "evil
skater" persona. He's also delighted that Yevgeny wants to
tie or beat his record. He commands your attention, Dick says of
the Russian. Of course he commands our attention. NBC won't stop
• Over to Whistler for the Women's
Luge. After three runs, there are no Americans in the top ten.
I'm predicting that NBC isn't
going to stay on this pre-recorded event very long.
of the United States gives us a turn-by-turn description of the
track while a split-screen shows us the part of the track
she's describing. Actually, that was pretty cool. Why did we wait
until the last run of single's luge to do this?
Sweeney makes her
run and is in first place! Of course, she's the first to run, so
that doesn't really count. The same goes for American
Erin Hamlin, who finishes just behind Sweeney.
And much as I thought, when we come back
from the break, we jump straight to the top three leaders. Germans
and Austrians win medals.
I could tell you their names if I felt like looking them up. You
that yourself if you'd like. Yeah, I didn't think so.
• And now it's off to the Lindsey
Jacobellis Redemption Tour in women's Snowboard Cross on Cypress
Mountain. Did you know that Jacobellis
blew her shot to win this event in 2006? You'd only know this if
you'd watched ANY of this Olympics, because that's the only thing
they ever talk about in Women's Snowboard Cross.
• Tina Dixon does a short segment
on what ski goggles the boarders will be wearing to see the track
more clearly. I can't say the
it was the most informative piece ever, but I do appreciate NBC
taking the time to show us some of the strategic decisions that
the snowboarders have to make. Good job, Tina!
• And now, the race that NBC has
been waiting for for four long years. Jacobellis gets a good
pull out of the starting gate and quickly
takes the lead. She runs a nice smooth race all of the way down
and wins her quarterfinal. Good for her! We'll catch up to her
later in the semifinal.
• We come back from the break with...
sigh... Jacobellis fluff. Hey, guess what? She fell down four
years ago. Perhaps you've heard?
• Whoa! That was fast! The beauty
of tape-delay is that we can go to the semifinal right away.
Jacobellis gets a good pull off the
start and... OH NO! A bad landing on the first jump sends her through
a gate instead of around it. And just like that, all of that time
NBC has spent hyping this story is wasted. The Women's Snowboard
Cross final will be Jacobellis-less.
• And now for Jim Cantore with the weather!
Has there ever been an Olympic Games that needed to have a special
on the weather? My guess is no.
And since weather is a part of news, this isn't fluff.
• Team Rockwood member Sandy thinks
that Japanese skater Daisuke Takahashi has the face, hair, and
jacket to be a Michael Jackson
look-a-like. I'm sure he's wants
to be startin' something, but
if he wants to top Plushenko's score he's going to have to beat
Is he bad? No, in fact he skates a thriller of a program and the judges say,
say, say that he shouldn't stop
until they get
enough. Okay, maybe that last one was too much.
Cris Collinsworth has dropped by the studio wearing his boring
dad sweater to tell us all about The Flying Tomato, Shaun White.
Oh this is hilarious... standing
around at the bottom of a skateboarding halfpipe shooting the breeze
are Cris, Shaun, and Tony Hawk. One of these things
is not like the other! Hawk tells how he
mountain snowboarding and Tony saw the then Little Tomato "shredding." Collinsworth
laughs like the kid who wants to be friends with the popular group.
Seriously, could Cris look any MORE square here?
We find out that White has
his own private snow-covered halfpipe. HIS OWN HALFPIPE! How
do you even price one of those? I guess snowboarding pays pretty
• Back at the Women's Snowboard
Cross, it turns out they can actually have a final race withOUT
Lindsey Jacobellis. Maelle Ricker from
Canada is the crowd favorite, so we'll root for her.
Wow! She gets
a great pull and is waaaay out in front early. Boarder number
four crashes, boarder number three crashes... now she's got such
a big lead that the only way she could blow it is to... you knew
was coming... pull a Jacobellis.
OH! Whew... just before the last
jump she almost fell, but she was able to put her hand down just
in time, keep it together and win what is now
Canada's second gold medal on home soil. Can you imagine if the
second Women's Snowboard Cross in a row had ended with the boarder
in first place crashing just before finish? They'd call this
• Mary Carillo is here to tell us
about Patrick Chan, a 19-year-old from Canada competing in figure
skating. His first coach was Osborne
Colson, who didn't just teach him about skating, he taught
him about life. Sounds like Mr. Miagi. Anyway, Chan's training
keeps things fun. He plays hockey and even beats Mary at tennis.
Mary reminds him that no Canadian figure skater has ever won a
gold medal. No pressure, Patrick!
• Patrick Chan takes the ice and
obviously has the crowd support, will the judges be as kind?
Sort of. He finishes seventh. That's not too
shabby for a 19-year-old, since Sandra Bezic has pointed out that
most men don't win until they're in their 20s, but you have to
think he would have liked to have a good chance at a medal instead
of just an outside chance.
Johnny Weir is wearing... well. Imagine Pee Wee Herman as a dominatrix.
That's the best description I can give. Maybe throw a little Marilyn
Manson in there, too. Sandra Bezic tells us he's named part of
his routine the "I love you/I hate you" segment to represent
the two sides of his personality. I would have bet there were a
lot more than just two in there. But he was good. Let's see what
the judges think.
Fifth place. I would have bet higher than that,
but what do I know?
• It's time for some figure skating
fluff! We start with Evan Lysacek who's sitting in a room lit
only by one shaft of light interrupted by a ceiling fan. Did Ridley
Scott direct this? Then there's Jeremy Abbott, who...
piece was so boring
I couldn't even concentrate on it. Evans is an extrovert, Abbott is an introvert.
Compare and contrast!
Kevin Van Der Perren from Belgium is wearing a skeleton costume. With sequins.
There are only so many songs you can skate to while dressed like a skeleton.
And "Night On Bald Mountain" it is! I would have put my money on "Thriller."
• Up next from the United States,
Evan Lysacek. He's dressed like a sparkly pipe-cleaner, and his
score almost ties Plushenko. That's right, Yuvgeny. He's one
• Two Americans in a row! Jeremy
Abbott, the man who beat Lysacek in the U.S. Nationals, simplifies
some jumps and generally underperforms. How do I
this? Because Scott Hamilton groans in disappointment all throughout Abbott's
The last skater of the night is Michal Brezina of the Czech Republic, who's performing
to "Puttin' On The Ritz." Wouldn't it be awesome if it was the version
from "Young Frankenstein"?
• Back in the studio with
Costas and Button. I'm getting less and less impressed with Dick
Button as a post-game analyst. He's talking completely in cliches.
It's almost like he gets more flustered the more time he has to think about
he wants to say.
Scott Hamilton, by comparison, doesn't
seem to get flustered about saying anything. He also doesn't
seem to be worried that his sentences
have no point. He says
things like "This is the Olympics!" or "He's doing what he does!" What
does any of that mean?
Again with Lindsey Jacobellis? She "came here to have an experience"?
Who is she, 2006's
Bode Miller? Well, no, because she did win
the consolation race to get fifth place, so she was at least trying. And
we can't blame her for falling down. In snowboard cross, as Scott Hamilton
would say, falling is what it is.
• And now Seth Wescott's medal ceremony
for his win in yesterday's Men's Snowboard Cross. SINGING! YES!
Plus, Scott seems to know all of the words. Awesome! Add
Seth Wescott to my list of favorite Olympians.
I was worried when yesterday's fluff count went
up, but it settled back down tonight. I have the feeling that live
events help keep down the meaningless fluff. We'll see if that
holds true through the rest of the Games. See you tomorrow!