Creepy London Olympics mascots chase Will Rockwood Comic
Sunday, August 5, 2012
2:59 1:12 0:51
Events Ads Fluff

Bolting Into Absurdity

The fluff hits a Games-long high as NBC finally just can't help themselves.

* "Talent got them here," says Bob about the athletes in tonight's upcoming events, "but now London calls for more." London calling? Are we going to have inside jokes about "The Clash" all night?


* For those of you who didn't stay up until the end of last night's broadcast, we're going to rewatch Bob Costas's interview with Michael Phelps. But now they've figured out a title card for it: "Michael Phelps, America's Golden Champion." Ay carumba. If it was fluff last night, what is it called if they replay it tonight? And really, what is there to talk about? Like sprinting, there's not really a lot of strategy in the kinds of races that Phelps swims. "Go that way as fast you can" would pretty much sum it up. Hearing him recap it all is a little monotonous. But I guess all of this proves one thing: he certainly didn't train in vain.


* So now, 32 minutes into the show, we finally get something that happened today, the women's 3m springboard final. And thank heavens for that, because I haven't seen the Chinese win any gold yet today.


* Shocker! The Chinese win gold in the 3m diving! Next!


* So yesterday, I said that one of the great things about double-amputee Oscar Pistorius' story was the fact that NBC didn't feel the need to do any fluff about it. I spoke too soon. Tonight, Mary Carillo travels all the way to Pistorius' homeland of South Africa to learn about his background. It turns out that he first started running because he sustained a injury playing rugby, and the track coach tricked him into running as "rehab." From there he progressed to the Paralympics, then attempted to get into the Olympics, but to do that he had to clear a bunch of legal hurdles from people who thought his "cheetah blades" were a competitive advantage. But you knew all of that already, right? What was really unique in this story was that Mary drank one of the green health smoothies that Pistorius makes himself each day. She grimaced while drinking it. That's the same face that I made while watching eight minutes of fluff.


* Cauldron trivia! Tom Hammond tells us that the many torch-ettes that make up the cauldron will be separated out after the games, with one torch given to each country that participated in the Games. Interesting!


* To beach volleyball, where we must be getting serious because everyone is finally in bikinis. It's Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings eliminating the Italian team. Is that premature? Maybe, but until I'm wrong, why would I predict anything else from them? They win the first set.


* I think the Nike ad with the overweight kid running is really good. Unlike most of the fluff that NBC puts on the air, the ad actually is inspirational.


* One of Italy's volleyball players is shown crying during a break in the action. There's no crying in beach volleyball! If you're questioning your abilities so much that you break down during play, you might as well ask yourself the question, should I stay or should I go?


* It's match point for Misty and Kerri, and the venue PA is playing "Another One Bites The Dust." Look, I'm rooting for the Americans, but doesn't that seem a little cruel in a supposed neutral arena?


* Misty and Kerri win again, then Misty continues her tradition of greeting people she knows on country. Has there ever been anyone so loose in the Olympic games going into the gold medal match?


* Mary Carillo is back again? This time she's talking about Bond, James Bond. According to Mary, Bond was sort of a doppelganger for his creator, Ian Fleming. She goes to a tailors to get a suit made, drives an Aston Martin, and plays cards at a casino. Well, if you call "Go Fish" playing cards. It's cute, I suppose, but do we really need two stories from Mary tonight?


* This story is followed by a commercial for "Skyfall," the next Bond movie. Wait, was that whole story just product placement? Sneaky.


* Back to the track and the men's 100m semifinals. In the first heat, Justin Gatlin runs a 9.82 to advance. And then...


* Bolt fluff! He's talking directly to the camera! He's running in slow-motion! He's backed with dramatic music! Fluff!


* Heat two: Bolt bolts! He pulls up at the end and STILL finishes in 9.87. That's not just insane, it's Usain!


* Yohan Blake of Jamaica likes to play dominoes to relax. He also plays cricket. Oh, and he also beat Usain Bolt in the 100m and 200m in the Jamaican Olympic trials. Bolt calls him "The Beast." I call this the beast of fluff.


* Blake versus American Tyson Gay in heat three: Blake gets first, Gay gets second, so both advance to the finals.


* In the 1500m, Taoufix Makhloufi of Algeria wins the first semifinal. He's rocking the casbah!


* To Dwight Stone and the heavily-edited women's triple jump. No Americans medal, so I guess showing the three winners' jumps are all that NBC feels is necessary.


* Curse you Phillip Phillips and the women's gymnastics reality show! Is it NBC's intention to make the US women gymnasts as unlikeable as possible? McKayala Maroney comes off as a stuck-up little diva with the words that NBC puts in her mouth. Maybe she is a stuck-up little diva, but couldn't NBC soften that up?


* More McKayla fluff! NBC makes her take three different pretentious poses before she explains what she's about to do. Why does NBC want McKayla to look bad?


* Eek! Al, Tim, and Elfi have spent the last 30 minutes telling us how good McKayla Maroney's vaults are going to be, and then she lands the second one on her posterior. Way to jinx her, guys. She still somehow ends up in first place, but there's one vaulter to go, Sandra Izbasa of Romania.


Bah! Unlike most of the other gymnasts, Izbasa lands her two vaults only on her feet, not her butt or her face, and that's good enough to win the gold for her. I blame Al, Tim, and Elfi.


* Back to the track, where Oscar Pistorius will be running in the 400m semifinals. He finishes in eighth place out of eight runners. Who won? NBC doesn't care! The post-race interview isn't with the winner, it's with the guy who finished eighth. If they really want to emphasize that disabilities aren't important, they should ignore the guy who finished last and interview the guy who finished first.


* The women's 400m final is won by American Sanya Richards-Ross, but that's just a warm-up for the main event, the men's 100m final. Justin Gatlin, Usain Bolt, Tyson Gay, Yohan Blake... this should be good.


* Bolt! 9.63 seconds, an Olympic record! That's UUUUUU-SAIN! Blake, Gatlin, and Gay finished clumped together for the next three spots, but they're clearly no match for Usain. They'll be partying in Jamaica tonight! Well, that's a silly statement. I think they party in Jamaica every night.


* Back to gymnastics for the men's individual floor exercise. What, no Phillip Phillips for the men? How am I supposed to care if I don't see someone who's been dramatically lit?


* When the Chinese gymnast wins gold he holds up a scroll with some Chinese characters on it. What does it say, asks Al? Tim replies that it says that he's won five gold medals. What do you think the odds are that Tim knows how to read Mandarin? It could just as easily say, "Screw you and your country, capitalist pig dogs!"


* Seacrest: IN! Talking about social media again. Bolt is popular on Facebook, but Phelps is even more popular. And Gabby Douglas is the queen of Twitter. And now there's something called "Bolting." It's sort of like "Tebowing" except it's what done by people who have actually won something. Oh, calm down. I like Tebow. It's just a joke! I'm a kidder!


Anyway, Bolting is pointing both arms up in the air to your left or right at a 45 degree angle. It's kind of hard to describe. How about a picture of Bolting instead? Anyway, Mickey Rourke is doing it, so it should probably be outlawed.


* On the pommel horse, British gymnast Louis Smith does a great job and ties Hungarian Krisztian Berki for first place, but he loses the tiebreaker, so he'll end up with silver. Again with the tiebreaker! If they're tied, why don't they both get gold? This doesn't make any sense to me, and Tim never explains it.


* Bob Costas interviews America's sweetheart! Missy Franklin is very bubbly, but then she is only 17, what do you expect? She gets a personal video message from Justin Beiber, which she then responds to on air. I don't think I've ever seen anyone giggle this much on a national broadcast. I suppose if you win a bunch of gold medals, you can giggle as much as you want. See you in four years, Missy!



Was it me, or was tonight just weird? It seemed like it was all over the place, and not just because they showed a lot of events. Maybe it was just because it was Sunday and the regular producers had the day off. Whatever, we'll see what happens on Monday. See you then!