Thursday, August 21, 2008

Yay. They won.

Am so happy Misty May-Treanor and Kerry Walsh won gold in Beach Volleyball.

Not so much because they won (although, y'know, I was rooting for them) but because now NBC can stop airing every damn match they're playing.  Perhaps we can see another sport now.

I don't want to take away from their accomplishments as athletes, but I don't think anyone has gotten more screen time this Olympics than May-Treanor/Walsh.  And while I'd like to think this is because of some latent Beach Volleyball passion of the American public, I suspect it's rather more because their standard uniform consists of underwear.

Skimpy underwear.

White skimpy underwear.

White skimpy underwear with see-through bits.

Which, in the finals, they wore in the rain.

I bet any sport in which athletic women jump around in skimpy underwear in the rain would get a ton of coverage.  (We just need to invent the sport.)

And another thing.  Why am I watching every game they play ... and qualifying rounds in swiming and track ... rather than gold medal rounds in other sports?  The only time they show a "second-tier" sport is when the Americans win.  I believe this is why we saw a few minutes of fencing, and that one rowing final.

I believe this is NBC's plan for Olympics coverage:

1.  Show every time Michael Phelps swims.
2.  Show every time May-Treanor and Walsh play.
Show every time American track athletes run.
4.  Show every time American gymnasts compete, and show some of the other countries' gymnasts too.  (Americans like gymnastics.)
5.  Show nearly every round of diving, but only the dives of the three athletes that win, and the Americans in the competition.
6.  Time permitting, show American athletes winning medals in other sports.  It is OK to join a gold-medal match in progress -- you just need to show the Americans winning and then dancing around holding the flag.

You know what I'd like to see?  I'd like NBC to take one of its other channels and call it "The Gold Medal Channel."  On which, in tape-delay fashion, they show the gold medal round of every sport.  (And since it is tape-delayed, they can cut out all the boring bits, like when they rerun a dive in 4 times from 4different camera angles, while they're waiting for the score.)  Just run through the final six dives for the final 12 competitors.  (Probably can fit the whole damn thing in a half hour.)  This will free you up for things like gold medal wrestling matches, gold medal archery, gold medal judo, gold medal handball, gold medal synchro swimming, and everything else that generally only gets a blip on my screen if an American happens to be winning.

For me, the Olympics should be about seeing the best compete in everything -- not to mention all that international "Go World" business so elegantly captured in them commercials Morgan Freeman narrates.  So show me every winner's moment in the sun.  (Or the rain.  In skimpy underwear.  Sheesh.)

1 comment:

mlraminiak said...

American television has followed the same formula for covering the Olympics since Christ was a corporal.  Even in the olden days when ABC owned the broadcast (I'm talking about the sixties and seventies...)  It's all about whatever Americans are excelling in.  I'm sure it has to do with how they present their coverage to the sponsors.  It's always about the money, isn't it?  Lisa  :-[