Home > Uncategorized > Running Off At The Electronic Mouth, No. IX

Running Off At The Electronic Mouth, No. IX

The ratings have been great. But I've reached my fill of the Olympics

OK, it’s time for these Olympics to wrap it up, B.

I was very excited for these games at the outset. While it was extremely silly to air the prime-time events on a three-hour delay for the time zone in which the games are actually played, I understood it. But what happened earlier this week made me hate these Olympics.

I just watched the U.S. men’s hockey team crush Finland (The Finnish quit like a fat guy on a treadmill). Yeah, I’ve jumped hard on that bandwagon. After the U.S. beat Canada on Saturday, I was psyched to keep watching the team when they played Switzerland on Wednesday at noon.

The only problem was that NBC decided to air the game at 3 p.m. — on both coasts. I don’t care if the CEO of Toyota is on Capitol Hill. It’s noon on a Wednesday and the country’s top-seeded hockey team is playing in the Olympics in an era in which there are 1,000 TV channels. Find a freaking way!

It’s bad enough that game wasn’t on network TV. Get that thing on CNBC or MSNBC or USA or Lifetime or Oxygen, anything! But instead, as I have for much of the past two weeks, I did my best to avoid all sports mediums and kill three hours until I could actually watch what turned out to be a dominant U.S. performance, despite a 2-0 score.

If it was some sort of skiing or skating event, I still wouldn’t like the delay but I would accept it. But not showing that game live on Wednesday for the West Coast was pathetic. In NBC’s defense, it probably thought there would be no one in the States interested in watching the No. 1-seeded hockey team live in mid-day during the week. Certainly, no one thought that the U.S. would be in that position before the tourney.

Still, even if I’ve had to wait for most of it, it’s been a fun Olympics. Here are my superlatives:

Best Event: Ladies’ downhill on Feb. 17

No event made you gleefully curse toward your TV more than the ladies’ downhill. Seeing numerous competitors fly off a jump, realize that they are royally screwed while in air, land with their limbs all over the place, then slide down the course, hit off some snow bumps and retaining walls … it’s like NASCAR. It’s only good when something goes horribly wrong.

I feel bad for you. I really do. But that was a pretty cool crash

Most Underrated Event: Biathlon

Relatively slow-paced skiing through the mountains is kind of listless. So let’s just throw some rifles in there. The beauty of the biathlon is that it’s a gratuitous use of guns for athletic competition. Sure, it would be better if the targets exploded like clay shells, but it’s kind of neat to watch the Winter Olympics and then see an NRA convention break out.

Aerials is a close second here.

Worst Event: Ice Dancing

I’m not going to say curling. Hell, it’s one of the very few sports (I use that term lightly) that had the majority of its games shown live throughout this country. I have to be grateful for that. No, the worst event to watch was ice dancing. I thought about taking a pair of shears to my eyes during the compulsory dance. I understand there is an art to it, but I don’t understand what the judges are looking for. There are rarely any visible mistakes. It’s less risky than figure skating. No one is doing a triple Axel in ice dancing. It’s just a lot of floating around the ice. No throws, no jumps, maybe someone hangs off another body’s but that’s about as daring as it gets. It’s just not compelling. It’s less of a competition than it is a fashion show.

Most Annoying Athlete: Apolo Anton Ohno

Considering the exposure, he hasn’t lived up to the billing. I mean, he’s not winning gold and even when he’s winning something, it’s not exactly deserved. That’s what has irked me about Ohno in these Olympics. During the men’s 1500-meter short track race on Feb. 13, he was destined for fourth place behind a Korean trio heading into the final turn. In that turn, two racers wiped out and Ohno was practically handed the silver medal on a silver platter.

After the race, he kept saying how well-prepared he is for these Olympics, how he ran a good race and how crashes are part of short track. But not once did he say what he should have: He got lucky. Wipeouts are part of the sport, but just tell it like it is, Apolo. Don’t act like you had it under control all along. You got lucky. You were a disappointment in the 1,500 meters with about 50 meters to go, but one South Korean got greedy and you were the beneficiary. It shouldn’t have happened, it did. But don’t play it up like you ran a good race. You got beat and were saved in the end.

I don’t want to call Ohno a punk … oops, I just called him a punk.

Best  Story: Nobunari Oda

I’m going to shy away from many of the great sentimental angles in these games and go with one that just made me laugh out loud. Male figure skater Nobunari Oda finished in seventh place in these Olympics, but I don’t care about that. As he was getting ready to perform his free skate on Feb. 18, NBC told a great story.

In short, Oda is a descendant of Oda Nobunaga. He was a powerful ruler in the 16th century and was the first person to try to unify Japan. He lived a life of continuous military conquest and was known for his fondness of firearms (He would have enjoyed the biathlon). He won many battles before being forced to commit seppuku in 1582. There is a statue of his liking in Japan. He is a legend in that country.

Now one of his descendents is gliding on skates and looking absolutely fabulous. Way to carry on that family legacy.

Some other things:

  • This controversy surrounding the Canadian women’s hockey team is so ridiculous. They are basically a bunch of college-aged kids doing what a bunch of college-aged kids do in celebration. It wasn’t the most regal scene ever, but cut them a break. They were enjoying the moment. If people are really going to bitch about how some of those girls are under the drinking age in British Columbia or that they disgraced some ultimate Olympic ideal, let’s be real here: These Olympics also celebrate snowboarding. The IOC is fortunate that the winners there don’t get up on the stand and start blazing before they get a medal.
  • What a day in baseball. Manny Ramirez is getting paid to drink Sum Poosie. Kyle Farnsworth and Zack Greinke are now one in the same. Jason Heyward is a vehicular menace. The best part of it all is the fact that spring training games are just four days away.
  • Ozzie Guillien’s Twitter feed has gotten a lot of attention lately and it is all well-deserved. This thing is great! He has been on Twitter for less than 72 hours, but there have been some beauties including:

going to eat in half hour why dye no have a job ?

Bed and bath I love this places

Looking for tickets to go to wrestlemania, I need help with that, they r way too expensive

I know he has said otherwise, but it’s only a matter of time before Ozzie starts going full blast about the evening’s umpires.

  • The NFL combine is going on through this weekend. Speaking of Twitter and the combine, this seems too amazing to believe. I would feel worse about myself after reading that if I actually had the ability to run. But just consider this: Adrian Peterson’s official 40-yard dash at the combine in 2007 was 4.40.
  • Oh, boy. I’m so glad Peter Stormare Zydrunas Ilgauskas will be able to re-join the Cleveland Cavaliers in a month. That way Nike can start re-airing that horrible puppet high-five commercial. Who wants to see a “Big Z” puppet anyway?

The best thing about this blog post? It has distracted me from turning on ESPN and spoiling all of what I’m going to see tonight. Thanks again, Peacock.

You must be kidding

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