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Monday, August 2, 2021

The last night without Simone Biles.

It's important that you understand the most important thing about NBC's Olympic coverage.
  • LIVE to volleyball, where the US team of Alix and April is taking on the German team of Ludwig and Kozuch. So why does the score bug use the last names of Laura Ludwig and Maggie Kozuch and the first names of April Ross and Alix Klineman? I asked this yesterday, too, but I still don't have an explanation. A & A win the first set and then the second. On to the semifinals!
  • It's time for some Allyson Felix fluff! She says "they" told her she couldn't get back in shape or win another medal. Who is "they?" It's a speech to her daughter, born since the last Olympics. It's boilerplate fluff!
  • To the track for LIVE running, the Women's 400M heat that Felix wins easily. I guess "they" aren't very smart.
  • Around the Olympics there is some table tennis on Couldn't we watch some of that? I guess not.
  • Not live track: Gabby Thomas finished third in the 200M semifinal, so she had to wait to see if she'd qualify for the final. She did!
  • LIVE track: more Women's 400M heats. American Wadeline Jonathas qualifies for the semifinal.
  • Time to pay the bills! We head over to Women's gymnastics for the floor exercise finals. Simone Biles is here cheering on Jade Carey, the lone American competing here tonight. Simone's cheering has paid off as Jade is the current leader. I mean, we've only seen one competitor, but she's the one! A few gymnasts later and she's still in first. Vanessa Ferrari of Italy performs a clean routine, but is still behind Jade, and there are only two gymnasts to go. Rebeca Andrade of Brazil steps out of bounds. That should mean at least a silver for Jade. Only Jennifer Gadirova of Great Britain stands between Jade and a gold. She landed poorly on all three of her tumbling passes. Does that mean…? Yes! Jade Carey wins gold! Andrea Joyce connects her to her remote family via a slow internet connection and Microsoft Teams. This isn't live, so couldn't they have edited out the pauses in the videoconference? I guess it's more authentic if you see how slowly Microsoft Teams performs. If the connection was fast it wouldn't seem realistic.
  • Tomorrow: Simone Biles! Simone Biles will be performing! Did NBC mention Simone Biles? Because Simone Biles will be on TV! Is Mike Tirico excited? Yes! Are all of the NBC executives who spent a zillion dollars promoting Simon Biles excited? Oh yes. Do you think we'll see two hours of Simone fluff that NBC's been holding back for the last week? Let's hope not.
  • More running, this time the Men's 400M semifinals. Michael Cherry of the US runs away with the race, winning by half-a-second. Another Michael-American, Michael Norman, finishes second in his heat and will also advance to the finals.
  • And now it's raining for the Women's 400M Hurdles semifinal. I don't know if this was before or after the last race we just watched, I just know it's not live. Dililah Muhammad gets fantastic start and wins by a mile.
  • Sydney McLaughlin likes going to the beach now that she's living in L.A. This is a weird segment. It seems like there should be some background music here. The edits are too long. It's like this was the first draft and they forgot to finish it. Incomplete fluff!
  • Sydney runs her race in the rain, and the camera work on the race is better than in her fluff piece. She wins. On to the finals for her! Next up for the US is Anna Cockrell. She gets herself in a hole early in the race, but digs her way out to get second place. Is that the right metaphor? You can't dig your way out of a hole. What else could you say? She got in a hole early then filled it up to get out? That sounds weird, too. Anyway, three Americans in the finals!
  • LIVE for the Men's 200M heats. Noah Lyles of the US is the current world champion, and he's trying to be the third American to qualify for the semifinals. He cruises to the semis.
  • Hey! Did we mention Simone Biles is coming back tomorrow? You know, Simone Biles the gymnast? Let's talk to Terry, Tim, and Nastia about Simone Biles' performance tomorrow night. Tomorrow! Simone! Fluff!
  • But today, how about America's Rai Benjamin versus Norway's Karsten Warholm LIVE in the 400M Hurdles final. Sanya Richards-Ross asks if we can hear her heart beating? Nope! Not unless you put the mic up to it, Sanya. Come up with another cliche! Are we overhyping these two? There are six other runners after all. Let's see. Wow! That wasn't hype. Raj Benjamin breaks the previous world record time of 46.70 seconds by running a 46.17! Amazing! However, Warholm runs even faster to set a new world record time of 45.94. Benjamin is crouched at the finish line, looking shocked. Can you blame him? He just beat the world record by more than a half-second and still finished almost a quarter-second behind the winner. You'd be shocked, too. Okay, Sanya, I'll admit it, that was pretty amazing.

So what do you do when you're a happy Norwegian man who just broke a world record? How about dinner? I know this little out-of-the-way place that serves great Viking food. See you tomorrow for Simone-Tuesday!

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