August 20, 2016
Ryan Lochte Is Sooooo Sorry.
He said it, like, 50 times, so it must be true.
- Welcome to the last full days of events, and we start with the last shot of the shootout from today's Brazil-Germany gold medal soccer match. Spoiler alert! Brazil wins and the crowd goes crazy.
- To Olympic stadium and the men's 1,500-meter final. Matthew Centrowitz from the United States wins! What? Americans don't win this race, the Kenyans do! Sure enough, Tom Hammond tells us that no American has won this race since 1908. NBC had a great shot of his family basically losing their minds as he crossed the finish line. Why shouldn't they? It's been over a century and although I'm sure they were completely supportive of Matthew, just because you're supportive doesn't mean you have unrealistic expectations.
- Next up, the women's 800-meters, featuring transsexual racer Caster Semenya of South Africa. Tom says there's been great controversy about her for eight years, but tonight we'll put all that aside and just run the race. Yes, I'm sure if a transsexual wins a woman's footrace then there won't be any controversy at all.Caster wins in a dominating performance, thus ending any debate about whether transsexuals should be allowed to compete in women's events. "Wait," you say, "doesn't that mean–" "ALL DEBATE IS ENDED!"
- Would you like some Mo Farah micro fluff? Of course you would. He's about to run the men's 5,000m final having already won the 10,000m even after falling down. You've got to think he's the favorite. What do the commentators talk about during a race this long? Mainly different stories about how different racers have overcome hardships to be here. It's basically fluff but during an event. Why can't they do that with every other event?With just over four laps to go Farah takes the lead and no one else can seem to do anything about it. Different racers keep taking a shot at him, but he runs them off each time. It's like he's toying with the field. But the last runner to make a run at Farah is Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo of the United States, so he takes silver to Farah's gold. This is the first American medal in this event since 1964. This a historic year for American distance runners.
- Paul Kipkemoi Chelimo has been disqualified! Booooooo! They show a replay while Chelimo is being interviewed. The IOC says he was impeding the other runners, he says he was just running for position. He seems completely shocked and almost runs out of the interview area, presumably to find someone to file an appeal.
- Now it's time for the women's 4x400m relay, where the US women will be the favorites again. After two legs, the US is in first, Jamaica is in second, and no other team is within 20 meters of them. After three legs, no other team is even in the same camera shot. Allyson Felix closes out the win for America in leg four, beating the Jamaicans by over a second, and beating third place Great Britain by over six seconds. Felix now has six Olympic golds. There is simply no other team on Earth that has the depth the American women do.
- By contrast, the American men's 4x400m relay team is not as lucky. There are plenty of teams that can give the US trouble. And just as I say that, the US goes out and wins decisively by nearly a second over Jamaica. That time is more impressive when you consider that American Gil Roberts ran leg three with two pounds of gold necklaces hanging around his neck. I mean, it's not Mr. T levels of necklace, but it's certainly more than the dainty little things that all the other runners wear while running.
- Chelimo has been disqualified, but not for interference as NBC thought before. A different replay angle shows that Chelimo stepped out of bounds. Well, there might be some disputing interference, but there's not disputing stepping out of–
Wait a minute! Now he's been reinstated! This story changes so much you'd think Ryan Lochte was telling it.
- Let's watch Usain Bolt sing the Jamaican national anthem one last time. He sings! I think that makes him nine for nine. So that means he's earned one last minute of fluff. One minute of fluff takes more time than all of the running Bolt has done in medal races in Rio. Let that sink in.
- To the diving well for the men's platform semifinals. Since this isn't live, NBC can drop us into the action right in round three where the scores start to matter. And where it seems to matter is with Britain's Tom Daley, he of last night's classy fluff. Right now he's made a bad dive and is in 18th place. That would be bad for NBC if they devoted all this fluff time to a man who doesn't even make it out of the semifinals. Ooo… bad news for NBC's psychics. Daley makes a big splash on his last dive, knocking him out of the finals. I guess he didn't overcome enough hardships to deserve a medal this year.
- Who wants to know more about Ryan Lochte? Nobody! But that's not going to stop NBC from talking about it, so Matt Lauer is interviewing Lochte in a US studio. That's right, NBC's billion dollar Rio Olympic coverage is now coming to you tape delayed from New York. Ryan, in his now normally-colored hair, is doing a mea culpa. Two times he's used the term "overexaggerated." Isn't that redundant?
Anyway, Lauer is a professional interrogator, and Lochte is an idiot, so how do you think this interview turns out? The story: Lochte and his fellow swimmers were drunk, Lochte broke some stuff, and a security guard held them at gunpoint until they agreed to pay for the damages they caused. Then Lochte left out the part about him breaking stuff when he retold his part of the story.Now Bob comes back on and says we'll hear more from Lochte when we come back from break. What? We've already wasted seven-and-a-half minutes on this misdemeanor and now we're going to waste some more? I did mention yesterday that we saw no coverage of BMX racing, right? Here's your reason why! NBC thinks you want to hear more about an international vandalism story than the Olympic Games. The longer this interview goes on, the less it looks like a quest for knowledge and the more it looks like Matt Lauer twisting the knife. Bob tells us that the actual interview was 20 minutes long and they just showed us 14, and the rest will be on "Today" on Monday. Someone would voluntarily tune in for more of this?
- Back to diving, this time the men's platform final. Why, it seems like the semifinals just ended! Thank you, tape delay! Analyst Cynthia Potter explains the scoring. If the judges think it was excellent, they give the diver a 10.0. Very good? A 9.0. All the way down to a 0.0 if it's terrible. Sooooo…. you're saying they grade it on a 0 to 10 scale? That's really not analysis, Cynthia. Say what you want about the confusing gymnastics' scoring, but at least Tim Daggett can tell me they're deducting three tenths of a point for a bent knee, or a full point for a fall. That's what I need to know, Cynthia. WHY are they deducting points. After China's Qiu Bo performed a particularly spectacular dive, I turned to Team Rockwood member Sandy and said, "That's amazing." Turns out he got 10.0's across the board. I guess I can qualify as an Olympic diving judge according to Cynthia.
- Watch Ryan Seacrest on Olympic Late Night tonight, then tomorrow when he's at the Closing Ceremonies. He'll be there? Of course! How else will he begin to take over the Olympics. On Late Night, he says he'll be interviewing the breakout star of the Olympics. Ryan Lochte's lawyer?
- American David Boudia wins the bronze medal in platform diving. That's his fourth Olympic medal. Not too bad.
- Tom Brokaw stars in "The Gaucho Way." We're titling our fluff now? All right. Gauchos are Brazilian cowboys and they gave Tom an embarrassing hat to wear as they show him around the ranch. Then they have a great big party. Careful! Don't let Ryan Lochte near the beer! This way of life will live forever, says Tom, and then he throws some shade at Costas. Well played, Tom. Well played.
- Here's a soccer replay. Germany beat Brazil in the World Cup here just two years ago and Brazil has been waiting for revenge. Now's their chance. The game ended in a tie and went to penalty kicks. We get to watch the penalty kicks as if they were live. Had Bob not led with this at the top of the broadcast, I would actually have been a little excited not knowing which I'd like more: to see the home team be redeemed or to watch Brazil strike out twice in a row on their home turf. Regardless, Germany beat Brazil 7-1 in the World Cup final, so even had the Germans lost I hardly think an Olympic shootout loss would be as bad as a World Cup drubbing. We watch as both teams made the first four shots, but then Germany missed number five and Brazil's Neymar followed by putting in the winning shot. NBC immediately cuts to the medal ceremony and to Brazil's credit, the team, the coaches and everyone in the stands sings the national anthem. It's hard to top that.
- The last ten minutes of Satruday's show are credits. Will I count this as fluff? No! These people worked hard! Well, maybe not the executives, but the people on the ground at Rio. All of these people are who you have to thank for working around the disease-infested waters of Rio so that you could enjoy the Olympics from the comfort of your couch. Besides, I know some of the people working on this show and this is my way of giving them a shout-out. Good job, guys!
There's one day to go. Think we'll make it through without having to talk about Ryan Lochte again? Ha ha ha ha ha ha!