Friday, February 24, 2006

Take NBC out of The Olympics!

The Winter Olympics....

I used to love the Winter Olympics; much more than I liked the Summer Games. I think it has to do with the fact that when I was 10, my family lived in England and we got the chance to travel to Innsbruck, Austria just after the winter games had been held there. We got to see the ski jump, the ice rinks, bobsled track among other things. We saw where Franz Klammer went like a bat-out-of-hell in the men's downhill, looking like he was out of control, arms flailing, only to win the gold medal. Being there was made what we saw on television more real.

And I looked forward to watching the games on TV. From Lake Placid to Salt Lake City. But something happened along the way. The games were still good but the coverage began to take on a life of its own. No longer were announcers willing to let the athletes actions speak for themselves, no, we had to hear every nauseating tidbit of inane and arcane information about not only the athlete but the snow, who made the poles, what the fabric of their uniforms was made of, how Chinese and Russian judges were biased, how the Jamaican bobsled team got to the games (great story but I've heard it already and seen the movie with John Candy. No need to rehash it every four years!)

It seems almost as if the talking heads don't hear themselves in their earbuds then the games have no meaning. Come on! If I wanted to hear Katie Couric or Matt Lauer blather on I'd watch "The Today Show" instead of "CBS This Morning"! What I want to see is, during the time I'm awake (ie: before 11pm!), the highlights of the day. If I want to see curling on MSNBC (which I did on Thursday sitting at SkyTrek in Modesto!), I'll Tivo it or take the necessary arrangements to record it.

I guess what bugs me the most is the games have become more about NBC's coverage than of the games themselves. Who cares who announces? Who cares that Katie Couric got taught to ski by Pikabo Street? I want to see Bode Miller! I want to see Sarah what's-her-name! I want to see the US Curling Team for crying out loud!

I really wish FoxSports would get a crack at the games sometime in the future. That'll the ultimate in network over-indulgence!


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