Monday, July 26, 2021
That crazy swim coach? They all adore him. They think he's one righteous dude.
The Olympics move pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while you could miss them.
- To the pool we go at the 10M platform for Men's Synchronized Diving. Analyst Cynthia Potter says she can't even imagine what it's like to go to the top of the 10-meter platform for the first time. You don't have to imagine, Cynthia, just watch this video.
- British diver Thomas Daley's whole life changed once he became a parent. Awwwwww. Fluff!
- Tom wins gold, so 30 minutes into tonight's broadcast and we haven't seen any Americans yet. Yes, I'm a homer.
- To men's gymnastics, where the Americans are competing for a medal. Mike Tirico teases us by saying something amazing happens. Is Godzilla finally showing up in Japan? I can't believe we've gone three days in Tokyo without talking about the King of the Monsters.
- After round one, the US men are in fourth place. Then some commercials. When we return, round two is over and the Americans are in fifth. Wait, what? We watched 30 minutes of British and Chinese divers and now NBC skipped the entire second rotation featuring American gymnasts? At the end of rotation three the Americans are in sixth. I've got to say, Mike, this wasn't the "amazing" I was expecting. After rotation four, fourth place. I guess it's the ending that's amazing.
- The US is still in fourth place after the fifth rotation. Mike is trying to draw this out by telling us about the two skeet shooting gold medals won by US shooters. Nice try, Mike, but I'm not going to forget about the amazing end you've promised us.
- And the gold medal goes to… the Russian Olympic Committee? The US finishes in fifth. Japan gets silver. That was what we waited for? A win by the Russians? Meh.
- Just when I'd lost faith in NBC to produce some original fluff, along comes their story on American swimmer Regan Smith. Instead of the usual sad piano music and slow motion closeups, Regan gets to do a Ferris Bueller impression, breaking the fourth wall by talking directly to the camera as NBC follows her around town for her normal training routine. I'll admit, this was more interesting than usual. It's still fluff, but at least someone got to be a little creative with it.
- Back to the pool we go LIVE, where Ariarne Titmus and her crazy coach Dean Boxall are back in the venue for the Women's 200M Freestyle. This is only a semifinal, so there's no fear of Boxall molesting a handrail.
- Regan Smith is in the pool for the Women's 100M Backstroke final. She wins the bronze. That is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend you picking one up.
- Closeup on a typewriter. Ryan Murphy, American backstroke swimmer, opens up a bunch of letters from Aaron Piersol, a previous American backstroke swimmer. Aaron likes to write letters of encouragement to younger swimmers on an old typewriter. Who is producing fluff tonight? This stuff is weird. I kinda dig it.
- Piersol's letters are insufficient. Murphy finishes third.
- Steve Kornacki is back with some numbers. How can the US women gymnasts catch up to the Russian Olympic Committee? It's Simone's fault! No, really. Even though she finished first individually, she normally scores so many more points that she carries her teammates to victory. Think about that. Simone Biles is so good that even when she's substandard by Biles' standards, she's the best in the world. But her teammates aren’t picking up the slack when the GOAT has a bad night. If Biles is on her game, she is single-handedly responsible for being unbeatable individually and making her team unbeatable.
- Lilly King is the "Queen of Confidence." She likes to intimidate people by slapping her own thigh. Admittedly I don't know how swimmers think, but is someone slapping their own leg intimidating? If she slapped her OPPONENT'S leg I could see it, but who cares if you slap your own leg? Fluff.
- To Lilly's race, the 100M Breaststroke. Does she win? No! She finishes third. Not enough leg slapping, I guess. But the real story is who DOES win. Lydia Jacoby of Seward, Alaska, pulls off the victory while an entire gym full of her high school classmates erupts in celebration. Rowdy Gaines says of there's only one 50-meter pool in all of Alaska. I guess you only need one. Great job, Lydia!
- Now Michael Phelps and Mike Tirico are back in the studio talking about how exciting the Seward high school students were. They were! And now they're talking about people breaking Phelps' records. Boring! Show us don't tell us, NBC! Surely there's something we could be watching other than people talking about swimming.
- Alex Walsh, American swimmer in the 200M individual medley, has been swimming since she was a little girl and posed with her swim meet medals when she was a kid. Where are the Ferris Bueller references here? Anyone? This is B-level fluff. She wins her heat, though, so maybe her Olympic medal is coming soon.
- Women's triathlon coverage! More like a recap, but I'll take it. It's a little anti-climactic, though. The medal winners finish so far apart from each other that there's not really a race on screen. It's just a bunch of women running across the finish line separately. Still, it's better than watching a couple of guys sitting around in the studio talking about swimming.
- Weightlifting! Hidilyn Diaz from the Philippines trained with water jugs during the COVID era and has now won an Olympic medal, the first gold medal EVER for the Philippines. Yes! Ever! There's the amazing ending Mike was promising us earlier.
- Lydia Jacoby's medal ceremony wraps up the night! Will she sing? She's wearing a gaint mask, so we probably won't be able to tell. But I'll bet all those kids in Seward will be. Her parents are singing! I'm going to say that counts. Congratulations, Lydia!
You're still here? It's over. Go home. Go.
We'll see you tomorrow!
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