Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Permit Me a Geriatric Growl or Two…

Call me mean -spirited and divisive if you will,but I hate the way the Olympics
are covered on TV !

I have nothing against the athletes. I know they work very hard and do super-human things during the competitions. It’s the “Entertainment Events” and the Network Commentators I hate –passionately !

By “Entertainment Events” , I mean those insane gymnastic events – performed on snowboards or skis – with arcane scoring rules , and ratchet jaw commentary. It’s all quite spectacular, and it is clearly “made-to-order” for TV audiences , but what in Heaven or Hell does it have to do with Olympic competition ?

One event – Giant Slalom – in which skiers manuever around simulated obstacles – is spectacular in and of itself ; but is ruined for me by the loud, yelping commentaries that accompany it.

Hey, NBC : I have a working pair of eyes, which is why I’m WATCHING the event on television. I can SEE Kurt Muskular struggling to keep his balance as he rounds that tricky gate, and I don’t NEED you shouting at me !

I’ve saved my biggest gripe for last : Skate Dancing.

I watched the finals last night , and wanted – in the worst way – to snatch the remote out of my wife’s hand ,and fling it at the wall – after listening to Commentator Dick Button’s derogatory comments about the various teams; but I waited. NBC, it seems, had injected a note of “high drama” into proceedings normally about as exciting as watching wallpaper dry.


It seems, during their last performance, the male skater had lost his grip on the female skater, causing her to fall down and go boom ; and she: good-natured trouper that she was , was giving him THE GLARE !

The NBC crew followed the couple around –on and off the rink – capturing evidence these two were not speaking to,or even looking at each other.
She was still doing THE GLARE , and he was IGNORING HER ANGER !!


Finally it was time for them to go on the ice. I wondered : would he do a lift on the lady , wind up , and pitch her into the stands ? If he did , how many generations would it take for the ensuing vendetta to subside ? Would NBC be doing follow-up coverage of the feuding ? Would they somehow find a way to blame the whole thing on the Bush Administration ?

Ho-hum. They managed to complete their program without resorting to anything even remotely homicidal – unless you count boring the audience to death .

As we prepared to switch channels , Dick Button – who had nearly soiled his drawers with joy over the rather boring Russian skaters – was heaping scorn on the Israeli team – who had turned in a very similar performance. It seemed they had made the unforgivable error of using Ravel’s “Bolero” as their background music : the same music somebody else had used in the 1980’s – which made them crass imitators, yadda yadda yadda.

Be still my heart : Women’s Figure Skating starts tonight …


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