Creepy London Olympics mascots chase Will Rockwood Comic
Tuesday, July 31, 2012
2:41 1:00 0:28
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The Greatest Ever?

Even the women's gymnastic team couldn't compete with Michael Phelps tonight.


Normally, women's gymnastics is the big story in any Olympics, at least as far as NBC is concerned. But tonight, with an outcome that became increasingly obvious, the bigger story was a dorky-looking swimmer who might just be the best swimmer ever. Let's get started.



* We start tonight at the women's synchronized 10m platform final. It's the same event they started with last night except then it was the men. Remember when I said their title would have been more legible if it would have been on two lines? Well, tonight it was. I guess someone at NBC is reading the Rockwood Olympic Watch!


* The Chinese win diving (yawn) so we head over to the pool and the men's 100m freestyle semifinals. All the expected people win.


* To gymnastics, where Phillip Phillips sings "Home" for the title sequence of "So You Want To Be An American Olympic Gymnast." They want it soooo bad, says McKayla Maroney. Yes, because none of the other countries want it so bad. Don't they realize they're on the Americans' reality show? It's the other countries' duty to lose to the Americans so that NBC didn't pay Phillips for nothing. One minute of fluff.


* Back at the pool, Michael Phelps and Allison Schmitt train together and like each other's company. That's about it. NBC just took a minute-and-a-half to say it. Fluff.


* Now Allison and America's new sweetheart, Missy Franklin, will be racing in the women's 200m freestyle. Do we root for Phelps' training partner or America's sweetheart? Oh, the decisions!


It's Schmitt with the win! Franklin finishes fourth by one hundredth of a second. That's okay, Missy. You're still our sweetheart!


* Al Trautwig says things that are completely ridiculous, but he does it with a completely serious tone. I'd almost think he was pulling our collective legs, except I've never seen him crack a Costas-like smirk. You know who he is? He's the commentator version of Adam West's Bruce Wayne. Seriously. Listen to him talk. If he started calling Tim Daggett "chum" you wouldn't even blink twice.


* Al "Bruce Wayne" Trautwig gives us some fluff on Jordyn Wieber and her disappointment on not making the individual round. You know, I'm sad for Jordyn, too, but all of this wailing overlooks the fact that it was one of Jordyn's teammates that knocked her out of the individual events. Instead of constantly whining about Jordyn missing out, couldn't we instead be happy for her teammates that made it in?


* Showing Jordyn's mom, Bruce Wayne says, "It's like being the parent of Evel Kneivel." How so? Did Wieber just try to vault over 13 buses in front of 90,000 people in Wembley Stadium and miss, resulting in her receiving severe injuries? I don't think so. But if Jordyn ever announces plans to flip over the Snake River Canyon on a giant balance beam, sign me up for tickets!


* Seacrest: IN! Mr. American Idol greets us at the pool to tell us all about Michael Phelps' coach, who --including the Allison Schmitt piece-- has now made an appearance in two of the fluff pieces tonight. He likes to throw unexpected things at Phelps to keep him off his guard. You know, Ryan Seacrest isn't that bad of an interviewer. He's certainly better than the Stepford McEnroe. That doesn't mean that this story wasn't fluff, though.


* Phelps will be trying to break the Olympic record for most medals ever with this race, the 200m butterfly.


And Phelps wins gold! Wait! No he doesn't! What? How is that possible? He was ahead! To the replay. Here's where NBC's underwater cameras come in handy. Phelps was ahead, but was a half-stroke short of the wall, so while he drifted the remaining distance to the finish, he got passed by South Africa's Chad le Clos. 200 meters of swimming, and he lost by inches. But he still gets the record for most medals, so it's not all bad.


* I'm starting to hate Phillip Phillips. Is NBC getting some kind of payola for using his song? And what connection does it even have with gymnastics? "Just know you're not alone, 'cause I'm going to make this place your home." That doesn't even make sense in the context of the Olympics. It's not the US's home, and they're not going to make it into one. I've already spent way more time thinking about this than I've ever wanted to. Grrr...


* I've been giving Tim Daggett a hard time for not explaining the scoring system, but he's actually doing just that while describing the Russian gymnasts' errors. It's very informative. Good job, Tim!


* To the water! The Americans have two women racing in the 200m individual medley. Neither of them have had any fluff pieces about them, so NBC must not be expecting too much. But hey! Caitlin Leverenz gets the bronze. Maybe there will be some fluff in her future.


* J.J. Abrams new show, "Revolution," is a story about what happens after all the electricity goes out. If there aren't any lights, how will J.J. fill his show with lens flares?


* The Russian women tonight are looking like the American men last night. They're falling apart faster than the Soviet Union did. If the Fab Five gets average scores on the floor exercise, the US is going to win the gold. U-S-A! U-S-A!


* USA wins gold! Wooooo! Al "Bruce Wayne" Trautwig says, "They will, as champions always do, walk together... forever." Ridiculous! You know what's even more ridiculous? A minute after he said it the first time, HE SAID IT AGAIN! Yes, really. I guess he thought this was his Al-Michaels-do-you-believe-in-miracles moment. But Bruce, Al Michaels didn't practice his phrase, and he certainly didn't say it two times.


To the Googles! This phrase is so weird it has to be from something. Bingo! Ironically, it's a hockey quote. Fred "The Fog" Shero played for the Philadelphia Flyers in 1975, and before game six he wrote the phrase, "Win today, and we walk together forever" on the team blackboard. They won. Presumably, the '75 Flyers are still out there somewhere, walking around until they die.


So not only did Trautwig say his weird quote twice, he didn't even create it. Well, I guess he sort of did, since he mangled the original, but not really. Al Michaels he is not.


* To the pool and Ryan Lochte's chance to redeem himself for constantly losing to the French. It's a team event, the men's 4x200m freestyle relay. Lochte does his job, getting the US out to a big lead on the first leg. After two legs, the Americans have a huge lead. It looks like it will come down to the final leg, when Michael Phelps will have to hold off France's Yannick Agnel. And he does it! See Ryan, that's how you close out a race. That's Phelps' 15th gold medal and 19th Olympic medal, the most ever of both. The greatest Olympian ever? Discuss among yourselves.


* Back at gymnastics, the US women step up to receive their medals. Remember girls, Americans love gymnasts. Sing and your endorsement deal goes up! Three of them stand still. Gabby Douglas even looks sort of disinterested. But Jordyn Wieber, she of the giant NBC pity party, sings and smiles all the way through. Get ready to cash in, Jordyn.


* Michael "Fluff" Phelps gets a recap of every medal he's ever won before he's interviewed by Bob Costas. It takes over two minutes to show a five or six second clip of each race he won. That's pretty impressive. The interview itself? It was over five minutes long and I've already forgotten everything that was in it.


* I thought we were going to get out of tonight without having much fluff. But with Phelps' interview and the interview of the US womens' gymnastic team, we close the night with 20 minutes of non-event coverage. Before that there had only been eight minutes the entire night. I guess when the US is winning medals, NBC likes to show us the events.







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