July 29th, 2012

xmas me

NBC: the failure continues, day 1 of actual sports

Admittedly, I did not have high hopes for NBC's Olympic coverage to begin with. But, yesterday morning, I staggered out to realize that, gasp, NBC was doing something unusual: showing sports. (I KNOW!) The event in question was the men's cycling, which was pretty awesome even if the NBC commentators were under the impression that it was actually the Tour de France, but, CRASHES! Beautiful English countryside! Struggling at the last minute to win through all odds! Hampton Court! Buckingham Palace! YAY Olympics!

We took this as a decidedly positive sign, especially since this was followed by live showing of women's basketball (also awesome). Sure, we were also watching taped delayed Swimming Heats, but We Gained Expectations! NBC had Learned Its Lesson! We were going to --

We were going to watch an interview with a gymnastics coach, followed by a video of Emotional British People watching the Olympic torch race, while what NBC called the "marquee event of the day," Phelps versus Lochte in the swimming pool, was going on live. I took a nice long nap.

This pretty much set the tone for the rest of the day's coverage. NBC shifted from live coverage of various things to Touching Personal Stories. I caught up on some upcoming Tor.com reviews. Tape delayed events (I liked the rowing). More work on some Sekkrit Stuff. Bland Interviews. Tor.com reviews. Plenty of Commercials. No archery even as the rest of the world assured us that event had been pretty awesome.

The highlight, though, came later, when the local news, doing their best to put a happy face on the various murders and boating accidents of the day, breathlessly told us that they would NOT tell us who won the swimming race, to "keep the suspense" going. Literally five minutes later, NBC Nightly News popped up, announcing, "And the BIG NEWS OF THE DAY IS --" giving us the results of the race and a detailed commentary. (Sorry, those of you in Syria feeling that you are the big news of the day. Perspective, see?) So much for suspense.

Apart from the lack of suspense, the rest of the evening made decent enough background noise, what with men's gymnastics and swim races. I do find the gymnastics kinda freaky/scary to watch, partly because this was among my worst sports at school (I was unbelievably bad at everything except for the balance beam, where I was just very bad) and partly because I keep assuming they are going to fall and land on the equipment and never ever walk again and partly because part of me keeps thinking that bodies shouldn't move that way. Swimming, though, yay. Beach volleyball, though, painful (that's slamming on hard sand a lot.) Archery, though...well, can't comment on that. Not that I'm bitter.

You will notice that the hopeful word "Telemundo" does not appear in this post. This is because Telemundo abruptly stopped appearing on our TV. We're still getting Univision and a couple of other Hispanic channels, but Telemundo is only popping up in fits and starts. Alas; the short bits we've managed to see of Telemundo's coverage suggests that's been excellent.

(And yes, I assure alarmed readers that this blog will be returning to non-sports coverage after this Olympic interlude, and no need to worry that football season will be intruding.)