The Olympics

The Olympics are now almost over. I've been scheduling TiVo recordings on a day-by-day basis since I have to do some manual recordings, and I've now scheduled the remaining recordings for the rest of the games. I really wish they would have scheduled their programs better so that there were program breaks always at the same time as something finished on another channel; when I switch from NBC over to MSNBC, I often have to use manual recordings on one or the other of the stations to catch the second half of a three hour block or the like.

This has been a very good Olympics, and a very enjoyable watching experience. The US commentary still tends to be jingoistic, occasionally blind to anything done by non-US athletes, overly sappy, and spectacularly repetative, but at least it did a much better job this year at actually showing sports. I have now watched substantial portions of the handball competition and much of the shooting for the first time, saw more fencing than I usually get to, and even got to watch some modern pentathlon. A definite improvement, although I wish they would fire all of the studio hosts except Mary Carello.

The worst-covered sport was probably a toss-up between swimming (idiotic carping on all the gold medals people were expected to win, spectacularly bad interviewing, and repeated complete ignoring of swimmers who were in the lead but weren't favorites) and diving (okay color commentary delivered in a horribly annoying voice combined with intense blinders for anything not related to the US divers and incredibly spotty coverage of the actual dives of the top competitors). As is typical, some of the more obscure (to Americans) sports had the best commentators. Basketball and tennis were well-covered, of course, since we know how to broadcast those, but Olympic basketball and tennis interest me basically not at all, so I skipped all of them. I skipped baseball even more aggressively; I think I only had to fast-forward through one game.

Next time I watch this, I hope I have a DirecTiVo or something that can record two channels at once and has a much larger disk. I lost quite a bit because I didn't have time to watch it in near real time; my TiVo only gives me about a day and a half of leeway before things start disappearing. (Yes, I could hack it. No, it's too much bother.)

I'm glad I have a job where I could do a lot of working from home, working odd hours, and making up for spending time watching by doing extra work on other days, since I like seeing as much of the Olympics as I possibly can. I'm usually that way -- I don't like seeing only part of something, unless I wasn't really interested in it in the first place. It always bothered me in past years that there was all this other sport going on that I wasn't getting to see. And NBC could *definitely* still be better in this area; they only showed portions of the gold medal fencing matches, they skipped two fencing sports entirely, they skipped a bunch of the diving competition, and they're still doing a bad job thoroughly covering some sports in favor of showing complete games of the team sports (which take a lot longer than showing us the full archery competition, but are easier to think about and probably get better ratings).

I've been completely avoiding all of my regular news web sites in order to avoid all spoilers for the Olympics (quite successfully, too), and I find that I'm completely not missing politics or the discussions that I'd been getting into about politics. Hm. This may be worth some pondering.

Posted: 2004-08-28 01:52 — Why no comments?

Last spun 2013-07-01 from thread modified 2013-01-04