Creepy London Olympics mascots chase Will Rockwood Comic
Saturday, August 4, 2012
2:38 0:56 0:28
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The Empire Strikes Back

The British finally figure out how to win golds, but still not as many as Phelps.

* We open tonight with a recap of the men's 10k. I actually watched it live this afternoon. Britain's Mo Farah won the gold medal in front of a screaming crowd of English fans. The US's Galen Rupp finished second. Coincidentally, Rupp and Farah are training partners. This was Britain's first ever gold medal in the event and the first medal of any kind for the US since 1964. The sight of Farah sprinting down the home stretch with an entire stadium cheering him on was amazing.


* To the track for the men's 100m qualifying races. How long can NBC stretch out four 10-second races? We'll see.


* US sprinter Justin Gatlin gets some fluff for successfully returning to the sport after getting banned from the sport for several years after getting caught doping. That's 45 seconds of fluff, four-and-a-half times longer than it will take him to run the 100m race.


* Bolt fluff! We head to Jamaica, where running is part of the national culture and Usain is its superstar. He's training hard to be only the second man to repeat in the 100m and the first man to repeat in the 200m. How hard is he training? Usain-ly hard!


* Bolt runs his qualifying heat and jogs the last 20 meters. It's amusing watching everyone else trying so hard while Usain easily outpaces them. It's like that scene at the end of "The Incredibles" where the Incredible family is telling Dash to run, but not too hard, then encourages him to finish second.


* So, the answer: NBC can stretch out four 10-second races for 25 minutes. Impressive.


* Here's something unusual. In the 400m qualifier, South Africa's Oscar Pistorius is a double-amputee who has "Cheetah Blade" prostheses instead of feet. Here's how this year's Games are different than previous years: In 2000, there is no way that Jimmy Roberts would not have had a five-minute long fluff piece on this. Today (well, at least so far today), we just get to see him race. Pistorius finishes second in his qualifier and moves on to the semifinals.


* Then Tom Hammond goes and ruins it. "He, and really all of us who witnessed it, are winners after that run." Oh whatever, Tom.


* Mary Carillo took a train five hours north of London, because five hours away from the Games is where all the action is. And there, in Scotland, she found the Red Hot Chili Pipers, a rock-and-roll bagpipe band. Then she got fitted for a kilt before attending the world bagpipe championship. How many minutes of bagpiping is enough for a piece of fluff? Mary's going to find that limit. She goes to the National Bagpipe Center, a museum devoted to all things bagpipes and figures out which one is a good fit for her. It turns out none of them.


* To beach volleyball, where Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings don their bikinis and try to keep their unbeaten streak alive. They win the first set. In the middle of the second set, they show a quick cutaway of James Harden, Kevin Durant, and Carmelo Anthony of the US basketball team playing Misty and Kerri in a pick-up game of volleyball. It's not fluff because they never stop the "live" aspect of the game. They don't ever say a score. Maybe later they can switch up and have Misty and Kerri play basketball.


* They win set two and the match. Still undefeated in Olympic play! Who will Misty say "hi" to on camera tonight? Her cousins, Mr. Beckman, the troops, and a whole bunch of others. Who's Mr. Beckman?


* To the pool, where it's the last night of swimming competition. First up: the women's 50m freestyle sprint. While I'm obviously rooting for the American, Jessica Hardy, I also secretly want the Dutch swimmer Ranomi Kromowidjojo to win. Why? I just want to Dan Hicks try and pronounce her name.


Ha! Kromowidjojo wins in Olympic record time! Hicks makes it through without stumbling.


* To the track and the 400m hurdles. British hurdler Dai Greene bears a striking resemblance to Wallace, of Wallace and Grommit fame. He finishes this heat in fourth place. Perhaps he would have done better if he hadn't eaten so much cheese.


* Carmelita Jeter for the US is running the 100m race. Because she's successful, people think she's doping. And, shockingly, a bunch of people made some rude comments on YouTube videos of her races, which made her grandmother upset. Grandma, a lot people who comment on YouTube videos are idiots. Trust me, I know. Anyway, she keeps her head up and is using those negative comments to fuel her fire. As long as she's not using anabolic steroids to fuel her fire, everything should be okay.


* To Dwight Stone with a "Field" report. Why do we watch the sprints "live" and then see dozens of replays of them, but the long jump events we just get an edited highlight package?


* US 400m runner Sanya Richards-Ross has necklace with a bullet on it because her mom says she runs faster than a speeding bullet. Well, I would bet a bullet travels 400 meters faster than 50.07 seconds, but she still finishes first, so she's at least closer to a speeding bullet than anyone else in her heat.


* Back to the long jump, the Brit wins! That's fine, but wouldn't it have been cool to have seen the reaction of the British crowd as the hometown boy won?


* Back in the water, the women's 4x100m medley relay. Can America's sweetheart win another gold with the US team? Yes, and in world record time! Hmm... it seems like I've typed that before.


* Jamaican sprinter fluff! Where Shelly-Ann Fraser Pryce grew up, a lot of girls got pregnant at a young age. When a man propositioned Shelly, her mom hunted down the man with a cutlass and threatened to chop him up. Interesting. I have young daughter. Team Rockwood member Sandy says that gives me some options when my daughter reaches dating age. A cutlass would look good over the fireplace.


* Fraser Pryce wins the 100m final by the width of a cutlass blade. I guess mom had the right idea.


* The US swimmers get their medals. Missy Franklin is rubbing off. A couple of days ago, Allison Schmitt sang the Star Spangled Banner eventually when she won a team medal with Franklin. Tonight, she sang right away with her other four teammates. This is the power of America's sweetheart.


* Grrr... Phillip Phillips is back with his stupid song in a promo piece for tomorrow's individual exercise competition in women's gymnastics. The gravel-voiced announcer tells us that "Gabby Douglas (will try) to smile again." Oh geez. Really? Does Gabby strike you as someone who has ever had trouble smiling? That kind of statement is more appropriate for someone who has cancer, not someone who's trying to win their third gold medal in a week.


* And now, Michael Phelps' last race ever is the 4x100m medley relay. Kobe is in the house as well as apparently every photographer in the world. The first two legs end with Japan in the lead, but Phelps takes leg three, the butterfly, and pulls the US into first. Can Nathan Adrian hold off the rest of the world and give Phelps one more gold medal? Yes! That's number 18 for Phelps.


* Bob narrates a triathlon recap. A mile in the water, a 26-mile bike ride, and a x-mile run ended in a photo finish. The race took two hours. We saw it for about 45 seconds. Then Bob recapped the US men's basketball win over Lithuania and Serena Willams' gold medal win in tennis. The only real interesting thing about that was that the American flag fell off of the bar that held it during Serena's ceremony.


* Heptathafluff! British heptathlete Jessica Ennis gets a minute of fluff before we see the heptathalon. She is the favorite in this event, and has a commanding lead by the time we finally get to see one of the seven events. All she has to do to win gold is not fall down. But she does better than that, in the final turn she pulls away from the group and finishes the 800m race in first place. There's nothing quite like hearing the home crowd cheer when one of their own wins an event.


* Great Britain had six golds today. Not too shabby. At her medal ceremony, Jessica Ennis doesn't sing "God Save The Queen," but Prince William does. Jessica cries happy tears. Awwww.


* The last swimming event is the 1500m. Sun Yang of China is the favorite in the event usually won by the Australians. But he trains with the Aussies, so we get some fluff about that. This event is 30 lengths of the pool. Think we'll watch all of that? Ha ha ha ha! Expect a commercial break and some editing.


Did Sun Yang just false start? No, they said "stand," for some reason. Dan Hicks and Rowdy Gaines debate on whether that's going to take disturb his mental edge. Given that they say he should win going away, I doubt that 15 minutes from now he'll be thinking about his non-false start.


At the 450m mark and 4:34 into the race, we take a commercial break. Two-and-a-half minutes later, we're back at the race, now at 11:37 and 1200m in. Heh.


Sun Yang is crusing well ahead of world record pace and is about five body lengths ahead of his nearest competitor. Yeah, looks like that false start really hurt him. He beats the world record by three seconds.


* We end Michael Phelps' career with --what else?-- fluff. Bob Costas interviews Phelps in the studio. What more could we possibly learn about him? Bob recaps all of his races from this Olympics and asks for comment on each one. There's nothing really new until the end. He says he'd like to diving with the sharks with Chad Le Clos. Well that's interesting. Bob asks him if he has any regrets. Other than this interview, Bob? Michael says no regrets and he's happy leaving the sport. So now we're going to voiceover his medal ceremony. He never explains why he doesn't sing. Oh well, at least we still have Missy Franklin.




So, the empire of Phelps is over, but Missy Franklin is ready to begin her reign as America's sweetheart swimming queen. The King is dead! Long live the Queen!