I have been majorly obsessed with the Olympics the last couple weeks. Maybe because it only happens once every four years. Maybe because it’s the one time that track & field gets some well deserved attention. Or perhaps it just has to do with all the good looking male swimmers walking around. Suffice to say, I love the Olympics!
I love how every four years, the Olympics brings us new athletes to cheer for. Last time, I got hooked on beach volleyball and cheering for Kerri Walsh & Misty May-Treanor. This time around, I have become a gigantic Missy Franklin fan. I totally admire how much she has accomplished and how mature she seems for being only 17. Plus, she seems really genuine in comparison to a lot of other world-class athletes. She even made me hate that stupid “Call Me Maybe” song a tiny bit less with this video:
(But only a little less. The original version of that song really needs to go away, pronto.)
Another thing I love is Michael Phelps’ medals record. People really need to stop hating on the guy. They give him all this grief for not training as hard this time around. If I won eight golds in one Olympics, I think I would find it very hard to get motivated too. How can you top that? As Nathan pointed out, an easy day for Michael Phelps is probably way more than any of us would ever attempt on a hard day of working out. It is so impressive that he has accomplished that much, and I for one am very glad he was able to end on a high note and get some individual golds.
I also have discovered a few new sports that could potentially spark my interest. Say what you want, but I love any sport with a potential for a crash. I don’t want people to get hurt, I just enjoy the excitement and unpredictability. Take bike racing – totally boring . . . until someone wrecks, and they go down like dominoes! So you can imagine my joy when I discovered the individual canoe race through rapids. Where they have to navigate swirling waters and go through gates! Although nobody actually tipped a canoe (at least not when I was watching). So, good for them.
Anywhoo, as much as I love the Olympics, I seriously hate NBC’s coverage. For starters, they really need to re-evaluate their definition of “prime time”. I don’t know what prime time is in other parts of this country, but in my house, bed time is 10 pm. So I kind of have a hard time understanding how NBC can consider “prime time” to be from 8 pm to midnight. And even at 8 pm, they spend two hours showing us prelims and diving, saving anything remotely interesting to air after 11 pm. At which point I am asleep.
Another problem I have with NBC is Brian Williams. I realize that this may seem like a very specific problem. That’s because it is. Brian Williams managed to bump himself up to number two on my most-hated news anchors list on the very first day of the Olympics (George Stephanopoulos is firmly situated at number one, in case you were wondering). Call me old fashioned, but I don’t own a smart phone (yet) and I like to be surprised when I watch sports on TV. Between that and this new idea of prime time, I am on about a 24 hour delay with the Olympics and avoiding all media and Internet (including People magazine website, which is seriously damaging my celebrity gossip knowledge. Figures that stupid Kristen Stewart would break Robert Pattinson’s heart during the Olympics when I can’t read about it). So I do not appreciate that while I am making all these sacrifices, I turn on the Olympics coverage, in the middle of which Brian Williams comes on live from London posing as part of the Olympic coverage team but is really there to do his dumb old evening news, and without warning announces that Michael Phelps has been crushed in the 400 IM. He then justifies it by stating that the news has already rocketed around the world so he isn’t really spoiling anything. HELLO BRIAN WILLIAMS? THE NEWS HAD NOT ROCKETED INTO MY HOUSE YET. I don’t watch the news, but if I ever start, it won’t be his.
My last problem (well, the last for now, anyway) with NBC is their choice of commentators. Could someone please explain to me what Shaun White and Apollo Ohno have to do with the summer Olympics? Not that I don’t love watching Apollo Ohno, but seriously. Dara Torres or Michael Johnson would make a lot more sense. I am not thrilled with John McEnroe as a commentator either, but at least he played a summer Olympic sport. But the greatest offender of all is the alien robot posing as a human named Ryan Seacrest. I say alien robot, because there really is no other explanation how one person could possibly work so many jobs and still have time to breathe. Seriously, would you be that surprised if he was a robot sent here to take over the world? First Fox, than E!, the Weekend Top 40, NBC. Next up, ESPN, Facebook, and planet Earth. Even if he does turn out to be human, I find it rather unbelievable that he ever participated in a sport in his life. Therefore, I do not see any reason he can be considered a credible commentator. I hated his interview with the Phelps family; I would much rather see a former Olympic athlete who knows the right questions to ask doing interviews like these. If he ever shows up on Monday night football, I may have to boycott it.
But I guess in the end, NBC wins. Because they are still playing stuff late at night and using useless commentators, and yet I am still watching. Because I love the Olympics as much as ever, and probably always will. Go Team USA!