Creepy London Olympics mascots chase Will Rockwood Comic
Monday, August 6, 2012
2:51 0:54 0:15
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Center of the World

We learn where the middle of the Earth is as we hit the middle of the Olympic Games.

* To the velodrome! Two bikes enter, one bike wins! It's track cycling, one of my personal favorite Olympic sports. I even saw this live in Atlanta. Team Rockwood member Sandy asks, "Why are they going so slow?" Well, because there's a lot of strategy involved, and often the cyclist who makes a break first gets caught by the trailing rider at the end. So positioning is part of the sport. Then she asks, "Why are those guys holding them like that at the beginning of the race?" The cyclists shoes are bolted to the pedals to maximize power, which means they can't hold themselves upright at the starting line, so their coaches keep the bikes up for them.


The biggest question would be why did NBC finally put this in primetime? Ah... Britain's Jason Kenny wins gold. Well that's your small taste of track cycling. Hope you liked it!


* To the men's 3m springboard, where we'll once again get our Chinese gold medal fix.


* Chris Colwell of the US gets 15 seconds of fluff to tell us about the hearing aid he needs to wear in everyday life, and how he adjusts to diving without being able to hear the board. Informative, short... I could live with 15 second fluff pieces.


* Wow. Qin Kai of China completely misjudges in his multi-somersault dive, straightens out too late, and almost ends up doing a cannonball. His average score out of 10.0? A 3.5. He even had one judge give him a 1.5! I don't know that I've ever seen that at the Olympic level, especially from someone who was contending for the lead. Fortunately for him all of these scores get thrown out.


* Beach volleyball for the men. It's the US versus Latvia. Will NBC viewers watch beach volleyball if there aren't any bikinis in it?


* Mary Carillo is back to give us a geography lesson. We're going to learn today about the Prime Meridian, which goes through the Royal Observatory in Greenwich, a suburb of London. The Prime Meridian represents zero longitude, and it is where it is because the royal family and Parliament were throwing money left and right at anyone who could figure out how to accurately measure longitude while at sea. The King spent a fortune building an observatory, convinced that the answer lied in interpreting the stars. Parliament offered a huge monetary reward to anyone who could do it by any method. John Harrison, a carpenter, figured out the best solution was to build an accurate clock. So he did and won the prize, worth 2.87 million pounds in today's currency. This was interesting. Yes, it would have been better on the History Channel, or at least not on the Olympics, but at least it was about something that was actually in the London area. It's still fluff, though.


* Back at the beach, the Americans are trailing in set three, 12 to 8. Will they comeback and advance? Now it's 13-10. Who even knew Latvia had a beach? 14-10. Match point. "Another One Bites the Dust" on the PA again, just like last night. I guess the venue just plays that whenever anyone is about to get eliminated.


Ugh. Tonight it's the US pair of Jake Gibb and Sean Rosenthal that bites the dust. Latvia? Hey, they're gonna get you too.


* To the track, where Allyson Felix is about to run a qualifying heat in the 200m. She gets some fluffette on how it would be really special to win a gold medal. I would hope it would be!


* How about some women's pole vault fluffette? Jenn Suhr of America is hoping to beat the dominant Russian pole vaulter, Yelena Isinbayeva. Presumably she wants to win while in slow-motion and with inspirational music in the background.


* Sanya Richards-Ross will be running in tonight's 200m heat, but first let's talk about her win in the 400m race in slow-motion! She wins her heat, and while she's being interviewed, a pole vaulter in the background clears the bar and the crowd goes wild. Hopefully, NBC will be telling us later who that was.


* Now the women's 400m hurdles. Lashinda Demus lost in a heat in the Athens games, then got pregnant, had twin boys, and battled depression before the Beijing games, losing again. Now she's back for the London games. Hopefully she won't fall short again.


She wins her heat. Yay! She was the subject of fluff. Boo!


* Women's pole vault. Suhr clears 15'7" and the crowd goes wild. I guess that must have been what we heard in the background of Richards-Ross' interview.


* The men's 400m hurdles final. The Americans finish 2-3-5. After winner Felix Sanchez of the Dominican Republic finishes, he pulls out a picture of his grandmother who died in 2008, puts it down on the track, and kisses it. Genuine emotion is better than fluff!


* Phillip Phillips gets another residual check and Gabby Douglas manages to smile again. I'm sure the two are related. Fluff!


* Gabby cried! When she got homesick. But now Gabby smiles! Because she won gold medals. I cried! When I saw that there was another piece of fluff on Gabby Douglas. But now I smile! Because it's over.


* I've been hammering Tim Daggett all week for not telling me anything about how gymnastics is scored. But tonight he redeems himself. Gabby Douglas misses an element on her uneven bars routine, but is so smooth that I never even realized she'd missed something. Tim walks us through the mistake and tells us why it's such a big deduction. By the time he's done, I actually understand what he's talking about. Good job, Tim!


* Usain Bolt's medal ceremony. Will this be the fastest medal ceremony ever? The Jamaican national anthem plays. Usain sings! How can you not like him?


* Grenada fluff! Previously only famous for Reagan sending in troops in the '80s, now Grenada is famous for Kirani James, running tonight in the 400m.


And now Grenada is famous for Kirani James, first ever gold medal winner for Grenada. Nice job, young man.


* Women's pole vault. Jenn Suhr wins the heavily edited pole vault! Would it really have been that hard for NBC to make this seem more live-ish than they edited it to be?


* Back in gymnastics, we're on the men's rings, where 39-year-old Jordan Jovtchev of Bulgaria is competing. Yes, 39 years old! Were you competing at an Olympic level at 39? I don't think so. He stumbled on the landing, so he probably won't win, but still, that's pretty impressive.


* Team Rockwood member Sandy points out this is the first time we've seen the rings event this Olympics, as NBC chose not to show them to us during the men's all-around or team events. Does that mean the US is going to win a medal? Keep watching.


* There are no Americans shown in the rings. So I guess no medal, then.


* Finally, the men's vault. Tomas Gonzalez of Chile rocks his mustache to bronze medal position. Now he just needs the Korean gymnast to fail. That seems unlikely. And it was. Hak Seon Lang of Korea knocks Tomas off the stand, but nothing can defeat his 'stache.


* Al says that American gymnast Sam Mikulak may not have medaled in the event, but he wins the gold medal for sportsmanship. Uh-huh. Where do they hand those out, Al?


* To the stadium where Felix Sanchez is getting his gold medal. He is completely overcome with emotion on the stand. He showed more emotion this one time than Michael Phelps showed in 18 golds. Congratulations, Felix.



Today seemed a little uneventful. Maybe there just weren't any of the big names we associate with the Games. And by "we" I mean "NBC programmers." But less fluff is good, so I suppose I can't complain. See you tomorrow!