August 10, 2016
This Is Only A Test.
What is live and what is recorded suddenly becomes important.
- Straight into events we go! Without even an intro segment, Bob shuttles us over to Copacabana Bech to watch…live?… beach volleyball? As fast as we were transferred over here, you would think it was live, but the little "live" tag isn't in the upper-right corner, so maybe it isn't. Did you know that immediately after the London match where Kerri Walsh Jennings beat April Ross for the gold that she offered an invitation to her to team up in Brazil? You knew that if you've watched any beach volleyball coverage at all because NBC literally brings it up every time Kerri and April are on screen. Enough already!
Team Rockwood member Sandy points out that the Swiss team features Switzerland's Isabelle Forrer, the busty beach volleyball player we pointed out on Saturday. It must be cold on Copacabana Beach, because with all of the full-length outfits both teams are wearing, I hadn't noticed her. But once again, this situation requires dedicated study.
- Time for a message from our sponsor! Walmart has a back-to-school ad that features "Here I Go Again" by Whitesnake. So, it's official. I'm old.
- Hmm… the Swiss were ahead 11-10 when we went into the last commercial break, but it was tied 12-12 when we came out of it. I think NBC has time-shifted us on the DVR and they're trying to catch up. What's this? The US won the first match, but the Swiss then handed Kerri only her second lost match ever in her Olympic career. So we come back for match 3 and the score is… 8-7? I'm pretty sure matches don't start at that score, so we're definitely time-shifting now. The US regains the lead at 10-9 and Forrer gets injured. The have a "five minute" injury break, where we spend a couple of minutes in commercial and a minute looking at the suddenly revived Forrer. But even though this isn't a gimme for the US, they hold on to beat the Swiss 15-12 in the third set. Anything that's not a blowout is a close match for Kerri.
- Over to live swimming! Wait a minute. For the first time this Olympics, the swimming is on tape. That's a little disappointing. But remember on Monday when I said I'd never seen anyone win anything from lane one? Well, I'd never seen anyone win anything from lane eight either, until this 200-meter breaststroke race. Dmitriy Baladin of Kazakhstan won that country's first-ever Olympic swimming medal. The entire field from first to eighth place was separated only by eight tenths of a second. How would you like to train for years at your sport, finish a second too slow and end up in last place? That's got to be humbling.
- Swimming mini-fluff! American backstroke swimmer Ryan Murphy was a valiant three-year-old, diving into a pool with floaties on to "save" his older brother, who wasn't actually drowning. Cute! But cute is still fluff.
- There's a short break in swimming, says Bob, so we have time for this story. There's a short break in our taped swimming coverage? Whatever. Anyway, the story we have time for is about 43-year-old American cyclist Kristin Armstrong. She won in Beijing and London, and now has won again in Rio. Her young son approves. Why couldn't we have watched some of this event instead of seeing a soft-focus story about her family with a little cycling thrown in for color? Three minutes of fluff!
- Now back to LIVE swimming! I guess NBC's DVR finally caught up. Anyway, we get to watch the women's 200-meter butterfly final live. And since this isn't predictable, there's actually no US medal winner. Strange things happen when you're not in control!
- Next up is the LIVE men's 100-meter freestyle final. Again, who will win? All we know for sure is that it won't be Michael Phelps since he's not in it. The winner: Kyle Chalmers of Australia, who was seventh at the turn, but somehow passed six other swimmers to win the gold. Amazing! And live! Awesome!
- Last night Ryan Lochte and Michael Phelps were all lovey-dovey, but they used to be bitter rivals, sort of like Rocky and Apollo Creed. Now they're going to team up to beat the Russian, Drago! What's that? Oh… sorry. They're not teaming up today. It's like we went backwards from Rocky IV to Rocky II, and now Rocky is fighting Apollo again. Except it's just a semifinal for the men's 200-meter individual medley. That's not too exciting. But, hey! It's live! That's exciting! I'll take what I can get.Phelps and Lochte finish one-two and advance to the final, so while tonight was a little tame, tomorrow night will be exciting. You can look forward to that.
- Ryan Seacrest is out on the beach, teasing his Olympic Late Night show, the stealthy vehicle he's using to eventually take over the Olympics Games.
- More swimming mini-fluff! The US women want to win the 4x200-meter freestyle relay! That is all.
- Live! At the women's 4x200 relay final. The Japanese team shows up wearing full-length coats. So does the US. This isn't the Winter Olympics! Put the coats away! The US wins! Japan finishes eighth. Clearly, big coats are not the difference between first and last place.
- Now over to "plausibly live" men's gymnastics. The first American up is Sam Mikulak and his Vanilla Ice haircut on the pommel horse. If you gotta problem, yo! He’ll solve it. Check out the pommel while his legs revolve around it! Okay, that’s horrible, but it’s late. Cut me some slack.
- And then it's over. Not tonight's NBC coverage, as there were still 40 minutes to go. But rather, my DVR, which conked out and refused to let me watch anything past this point. Because the broadcast ran long (again), I was able to see the medal ceremony (which the DVR thought was the 11:00-11:35 local newscast) for the men's gymnastics all around, so I know that Sam indeed did not solve his problems, because he finished out of the medals. I know I could have stayed up until 4 a.m. watching the prime time replay, but I know the last 40 minutes of the show features some country other than the US winning medals, so it's not really worth it to me. Hopefully my DVR won't let me down again tomorrow night.
After last night, Wednesday was a little anticlimactic, and not just because I had technical difficulties. No angry Phelps, a mediocre volleyball game, and no US gymnast gold. Tomorrow will surely be better. See you then!