Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Random Olympics

NBC has pledged to provide MORE Olympics this time around -- more matches, more hours, more variety, more sports the US isn't going to dominate in all medal positions and finals (see also softball, on its Olympics deathbed).

What the network can't promise is that many of them require color commentary, play-by-play, and slo-mo analysis. But that's the way we do it, damn it, so we will suck the life right out handball before you've had the chance to pick a team to cheer for.

I came home tonight with just enough time to watch about an hour of TV and eat some Tikka Saag. (readers like detail). But as I have mentioned, I no longer watch TV with any regularity, and I can barely stand the constant interruption. I thought for 1 hour I would check in on the Olympics, and just watch whatever game they were offering. No surprise it was a sport the US has never medaled in, "but just might be in contention!"

In the hour I watched, I was treated to about (2) 10 minute intervals of Men's Synchronized Diving. And you know, the US pair did come close to bronze, but why would you compete against the Chinese in synchronized anything? Didn't you get the message of that opening ceremony?

I missed why they are dressed as Cogsworth, from Beauty and the Beast, but I had the sound off.

This is not the easy teasing about synchronized sports, or men's diving wear, because it is clear that is a difficult sport once you see it done badly. The medal ought to go to Cynthia Potter for executing a full-twisting Madden in her attempt to say something different about this dive. It is pretty easy to spot when a synchronized sport goes wrong. Please do not chalk-talk the replay and explain perpendicular.... again.

Most of the judged sports -- diving, gymnastics, freestyle skiing, figure skating -- require someone like Potter to tell us what to think about what we just saw fly by in 10 seconds, and to secretly hope for a mess-up to break up the synchronized synchronization.

Then we broke for commercial. I flipped around. Discovered Stephen Colbert is still on the air. Miley Cyrus has a fake accent. Hey, Patrick Swayze! Quantum Leap is on the air, but why?

Back poolside, Potter outlined the knife wounds on a Russian Diver who has been stabbed multiple times in the stomach. She referred to the Chinese pair as "stoic." She explained judging math (that is JUDGING math, not judging MATH). She told us what to watch for, which she thinks we still might not understand: "perfect precision," "ab-so-loot synchronization" "like a mirror image!" I call this grammatical device the athletic enthusative. She explained how the US pair missed third place, and the fact that they were upset about it, and why.

This might be why these sports don't really catch on in the states. I'm just sayin'.

I selected the photo above because the last time I saw this ridiculously-dressed a group of men moving in-synch they were named Rum Tum Tugger and Mungo Jerry.

Describe that, Cynthia Potter.

I kind of miss getting my newsreel at the picture show.


  1. I've discovered that is what the mute button is for :) - your friend downstairs L

  2. "but why would you compete against the Chinese in synchronized anything? Didn't you get the message of that opening ceremony?"

    OMG. I love you.

  3. last night the commentator on men's diving mentioned that one of the divers walked away from the sport for 2 years to attend to some personal issues. being the gossip hound that i am, i am now obsessed with these personal issues. why mention it if you're not going to tell me? you expect me to pay attention to the point of their toes now??? i can't stand it! this is why i don't watch the sports.


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