Team Handball: An example of how the Olympics is a chance for true glory in all those weird games your gym teacher made up.
We are just days away from the start of Fall camp so I am going to take this opportunity to go off topic and talk some Olympics. Has anyone else been burning the midnight oil following the London games? This has been such a great distraction during my hardest college football jonesing period that I am not sure what I have done in non-Olympic years to survive. Sure, team handball, archery, and synchronized diving can never completely fill the void left in the absence of football, but I have been surprised how much the Olympics have afforded me one of my favorite indulgences of the football season, namely, bitching about everything! From incompetent officiating, to horrendous TV coverage and cocky loud-mouthed athletes choking left and right... the Olympics has it all! Find out what’s got my mercury rising after the jump...
So, first of all, OH MY GOD NBC YOUR COVERAGE IS AWFUL! By now it’s likely that even if you’re not watching the Olympics, you are aware that NBC is blowing it with their coverage. It is so bad that it has become front page news. First there are the spoilers. For example, imagine you are watching the lead up to the final of the women’s 100 meter backstroke, pacing the room, biting your nails hoping that teen phenom Missy Franklin can capture her first gold when suddenly NBC airs a preview of the next days Today show where Missy Franklin and her parents will be interviewed about Missy’s first gold medal. Wow. DERPERS! That is pretty bad. Like “everyone should be fired” bad. And I mean EVERYONE. We should all lose our jobs and the whole world should start over from scratch. This isn’t their only spoiler either. NBC has basically been on a mission to ensure that there is no suspense to these Olympics whatsoever. Fello Bloguins at the Awful Announcing blog have the story here.
And another broadcasting gripe... Look, I understand the difficulties NBC is facing. When you are broadcasting sports like womens tandem open wheel freestyle hula hooping, it’s difficult to find qualified experts to man the broadcast booth. The other day I was watching badminton and thinking, “do these announcers only work once every four years?” However, there is a basic level of competence I expect from the major events like gymnastics. What I am trying to say here is TIM DAGGETT IS KILLING ME. First of all I could do without all the Jim Walden style snorts and chortles and grunts. USE YOUR WORDS TIM! When I am watching the pommel horse I do not know what “AWW, ooof, EEEEE, gosh, ugh blech!” means. Just tell me what the F is going on. In English, PLEASE.
Tim Daggett won gold medals so he thinks your effort wasn't good enough.
Last night in a bit of clusterfuckmelodramacontroversey a Japanese gymnist was penalized on the final routine of the evening for failing to do a hand stand on his dismount, thus propelling the British team into silver medal position and sending the arena into pandemonium for the home team. The Japanese protested the call leading to a lengthy review by officials. During this review we in the home audience were treated to one single replay of the questionable call and ZERO ANALYSIS from the “experts” about what exactly constituted a “hand stand” and what on the replay the judges were looking for. Instead they were like “oooh, thats so close”. How insightful. Also, they never showed a scoreboard indicating where the teams were in the standings. Not once. I mean, who watching a gymnastics competition would want to know which teams were winning anyway, right? RIGHT? Wrong.
So NBC is terrible, but lets move on now. Who’s next? Awww yes, the officials. The blubbering moronic idiots who never fail to ruin the sports we love. Back in the day we used to bemoan “that damn commie East German judge” when scores like this would appear “9.5 9.0 4.5 9.0 8.5”. They had a rule about throwing out one score because it was just generally accepted that one official was totally in the bag for the commies. We laughed off the “4.5” because we knew it was going to be thrown out. We need that rule back. First of all, the officials that overruled THEMSELVES last night to determine that the Japanese gymnast really did do a hand stand should be thrown in the Thames AFTER a quick lesson in what the hell a hand stand is. If that dismount is the standard for achieving a “hand stand” then I am much better at hand stands than I thought I was. In fact, I have never fallen down a flight of stairs without doing pretty much a carbon copy of this dudes “hand stand”. You know when you are watching America’s Funniest Home Videos and one kid knocks another kid off the trampoline and he pinwheels into the side of the house? That is a hand stand. Now you know.
Pretty sure even the East German judge wouldn't call this a "hand stand".
And ANOTHER thing... Who is the candy-assed Walt Disney kindergarten teacher that came up with the rule that no country can have more than two gymnasts qualify for the all-around? This sounds like something that was negotiated at the United Nations. I mean, what’s next, participation ribbons? Are we all going to share orange slices at half time and give out a gold medal for sportsmanship? American Jordyn Wieber had the 4th highest score in the women’s qualifiers, yet she won’t be included in the field of 24 to compete for the all around because two of her teammates had even higher scores. Yep, instead of a champion gymnast like Jordyn Wieber in the final, her spot will be filled with some fluzy from Turkmeniganistanopolis who can’t even do a real hand stand. Good job, Olympics.
And speaking of Jordyn Wieber... good god, young lady, pull yourself together and congratulate your teammate! Look, I know its tough. You trained 27 hours a day your whole life to be an Olympic all-around champion and in gymnastics you only get one shot at it and your shot was stolen away by some stupid rule and the fluzy from Turkmeniganistanopolis. Your tears are understandable. But you could at least PRETEND that you are also a part of a team and go congratulate your two teammates who did make the final! And NBC, yes YOU AGAIN. While you are interviewing an ecstatic Aly Raisman who qualified for the all-around final on her last event, do you have to use the camera angle with a crushed and weeping Jordyn Wiesman right behind her? Kinda ruined the moment there. Do I need to fly over to England and broadcast this damn Olympics myself? Ugh.
So that is how I feel about these Olympics so far. If you have gripes as well, or if you think this is the most dazzling and enchanting event to ever flicker across your living room, please share.