Since water polo has two goals, a goalie, H2O and a power play, NBC decided to have hockey announcers Doc Emrick and Pierre McGuire call the sport’s matches during the Olympics. Emrick is joined in the booth by Wolf Wigo, a three-time Olympian who seems to have genuine disdain for Emrick’s dumbing down of the sport and constant hockey analogies (I, for one, love them and could listen to Emrick call my daily blogging routine (Kyle scampers into the chair… eyes the spacebar… avoids a dick joke, keystroke POST!!!). McGuire is doing what McGuire does best– standing uncomfortably close to dripping wet athletes and showing off his impressive man boobs that are larger than those of any US women’s swimmer, diver or beach volleyball player (or is it just their constrictive compression suits?).
For me, water polo has become my go-to sport of these Olympics. There's displays of endurance (treading water), physical play (those earmuffs aren’t for show), easy to comprehend rules (ball in goal– simple), and a neon line that runs across the pool (to make us feel all warm and fuzzy like we’re watching a football game). There was even a nipple slip in a women’s match* (not from McGuire). It’s all perfect, and when shown from below, the players’ legs look like fingers from that here is the church, here is the steeple thing you used to do as a kid. And thankfully, Emrick is there to describe it all to us.
Which brings us to today.
“[The Australians] are full of controversy. They are the Philadelphia Flyers of women’s water polo."
The Australians lost in overtime to the US, missing a spot in the finals– sounds about right.
*It wasn’t hot. These women are MASSIVE. Unlike just about every other Olympic sport, where female athletes only have select body parts outside the norm (hello, swimmers' shoulders), the water polo girls have big everything. Apparently, being the shape of an eggplant is necessary to compete at the highest level.