Your Monday Morning Roundup: OLYMPICS

"FUCK YOU, PUTIN!"
“FUCK YOU, PUTIN!”

I am baffled by NBC’s Olympics coverage. That’s not to say I hate it. I just don’t understand it. It’s new to me.

If you have been paying attention (I have), you’ve surely noticed that, unlike London, NBC is airing live coverage of events that it plans to air in prime time. It’s a marked improvement that, in 2014, you can – gasp! – watch live coverage, on TV, of major sporting events regardless of the time. You could stream all events during the last summer Olympics, but you were SOL if you wanted to watch them live on TV. You had to wait hours to see them on NBC’s taped prime time coverage. It was archaic, misguided and awful. So I applaud NBC for bending here. But I am completely baffled by their decision to use two broadcast crews to air the same event. Take for example figure skating. Oh, figure skating. I watched a lot of figure skating this weekend. I know that the best US dancing pair goes to Michigan and are taking a year off to concentrate on their craft. I know that Yulia Lipnitskaya is really, really good. And I know that Gracie Gold was built for a Wheaties box. I know these things, and I’m proud of it. Anyway, NBC is airing competitions live in the morning on NBC Sports Network with Tara Lipinski (oh my crush on her when I was 14) and Johnny Weir, who I’m convinced exists solely to anger Vladimir Putin (and it’s awesome). That’s NBC’s B crew. You can argue whether they’re better than the A crew of Scott Hamilton and that xenophobic cheerleader who yells a lot… but that’s besides the point. NBC considers them the B crew.* Fine. Yet, it’s Lipinski and Weir who broadcast the event live, and Hamilton and Co. who get the call on the tape-delayed prime time version. It’s crazy. NBC has two crews at the same event, and it appears there are two different producers, too. There are different camera angles and interviews in prime time(!). Yesterday, the live crew mentioned that Vladimir showed up to watch his 15-year-old ice princess help Russia to their first gold medal of the games. Putin was shown briefly after she skated. On the taped version? LOTS O’ PUTIN. Multiple cameras on Putin, Putin cheering, Putin hugging Evgeni Plushenko! [Like I said, I watched a lot of figure skating.] Compelling TV stuff, that was. Couldn’t be seen on the live version. It’s… weird.

*I have no idea who the play-by-play guys are, nor do I care.

Again, I get why NBC does it. Their prime time broadcast is more reality TV than sport. It’s what drives their massive ratings. That’s fine. It’s why we get backstories on athletes we’ve never heard of “who will be competing later. BUT FIRST…”

It’s why Bob Costas and his pink eye are a soothing presence to your winter evenings.

It’s why we get Mary Carillo in a Siberian cave:

That's an actual caption, via (@dhm)
That’s an actual caption, via (@dhm)

I get it. And, if you don’t know the results (which is difficult), it’s compelling TV. I’m not one of those people who hates NBC’s treatment of the games as TV drama instead of sport. It’s very highly produced and often outstanding. But why… why… use two different broadcasts for the same event? Forget about the costs of double everything, it’s confusing for the viewer and often waters down both broadcasts. The live coverage of a major event shouldn’t be second-rate to the taped version. Those Putin shots and interviews with the Russian team should’ve been on TV at 11 a.m. along with 11 p.m. NBC hurts its live broadcast by withholding that stuff. The taped broadcast suffers from A) being taped and B) having the viewer spend 10 minutes saying to no one in particular: “I think I saw this… but I don’t recall hearing Scott Hamilton yell like that. Is this a different event?”

There’s no precedent for this sort of thing. A live and tape-delayed version of the same event on major networks with two different broadcast crews. It’s jarring. It’s weird. It’s the Olympics!

Let’s hit it!

 

But first, a word from our sponsors:

T-shirts. Our USA hockey t-shirt is still on fire right now. Get yours in time for the hockey action. Also, our friends at Gravy Keg, who run our store, put together a limited-edition Sochi rings shirt. It’s available in our store until Friday.

More. Already have our entire catalog? Then be sure to shop with Philly Phaithful, who has some new Olympic-themed designs. Or do check out the Manning Face 2-pack for $40.

Flyers. Meet Wayne Simmonds, Steve Mason, Brayden Schenn and Andrej Meszaros, all at Sports Vault. Details and tickets here.

Tickets. We have concert tickets at Crossing Broad Tickets, too. Great deals. See for yourself.

 

The roundup:

The Sixers:

pic via (@jadande)
pic via (@jadande)

Brutal footage of the massacre.

Michael Sam is gay and will likely be the first – and only – openly gay NFL player. That’s cool. Good for him. It shouldn’t be a big deal, but it is, because there are idiots like the people quoted in this piece about why Sam being gay will affect his draft position. The media coordination of the announcement was outstanding. Ben Koo explains.

Sochi:

Voila_Capture1170 Voila_Capture1171 Did Putin miss the opening ceremony Olympic ring mishap, therefore saving a poor man’s life?

Speaking of Puuts… he showed up just about five minutes before Yulia Lipnitskaya’s gold medal-clinching skate yesterday. I imagine Vladimir approved of his ice princess. Unfortunately for Yulia, she’s only 15 and couldn’t go home with Putin. Instead I would imagine she was returned to a tiny cell somewhere in Moscow where a five-foot chain connects her to a brick wall adjacent to a tiny patch ice so she can practice her triple salchows for the good of Mother Russia. A ceiling may or may not be placed at five-feet, four-inches off the ground to prevent her from growing. These are just my educated guesses.

Anyway, no Yulia. Puuts went to the bar:

Voila_Capture1172 Voila_Capture1173

 

Secret American agents not allowed at this Russian restaurant.

Behind the scenes of the Bud Light commercial with the guy who had no idea what was going on.

High school bans yoga pants. Somewhere, a 15-year-old boy doesn’t know what a camel toe is.

Mike Francesca moves to FOX Sports 1.

Jogger interviewed about running in snow. Falls running in snow.

Kate Upton bikini GIFs.

Planes landing at wrong airports.

The NSA’s role in secret assassinations.

The dark side of the Olympics.

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15 Responses

  1. I can’t take WIP anymore, it’s actually insultingly awful. My daily WIP listening sesh lasts no more than 5 minutes before I become so physically angry that I have to drive in silence, stewing in my own anger. This morning for 5 minutes I had to listen to Angelo the buffoon and his moronic sidekick Al tell me why Michael Sam is too much of a distraction for an NFL locker room, and no good team should take that type of chance ruining the chemistry. Ohhh I forgot who a guy wants to have sex with on his own time affects team chemistry. Angelo is the same kind of prick who probably would have said in the 40’s that blacks had no place in professional sports for the same exact reasons. Between him and Herm Edwards comparing Sam to a player with “off the field issues,” can we please get these bigots off the air?

    1. Agreed, I haven’t listened to WIP mornings pretty much since the internets was invented, Angelo’s boorish hypocritical lame-ness was exposed so fully and quickly when other choices evolved.

      Having a gay teammate wouldn’t affect me right up til the point he hits on me, then it would be a problem. But I can’t see that happening, if anything this guy’s gonna go WAY out of his way to avoid any perceived locker-room issues. He’ll act less gay than dudes who aren’t gay.

      1. For 2 people that supposedly don’t listen to Angelo, you sure know a lot about him.

        Frauds! Oh, and thanks for tuning in 2, 3, 4 times a week to The Morning Show.

        .

  2. Governments assassinate people all the time. It’s a scary fucking world out there beyond the ‘Nova campus. Keep up the good work Uncle Sam. Wait until microdrones hit the stage and a fly-size piece of C4 will be landing on the target’s skull.

    1. Yes because killing innocent civilians never creates blowback and continues the cycle of violence. Just the price of being a superpower, right?

  3. Did anybody see Kacie Mcdonnell this morning. Her breasts were ginormous. Only Shirleen Allicott can contend with those puppies.

  4. I no understand why dis girl Johnny Weir have no breast.. Is she gymnast or skater? Does she do bendy things? Unconfuse me America, please do.

  5. pretty sure NBC doesn’t pay out of their pocket for the live production of the events. they use the international broadcast feed then happen to have their own NBC announcers. the “live” feed is the same feeds that are available on their “nbc sports live extra app”. the announcers for the app feed are british and actually hilariously awesome.

    1. Yes, but for figure skating at least they have been using two of their own crews for the two separate broadcasts.

  6. I did not pick up that Al Morganti had a problem with it, said it is getting better with people becoming more tolerant or maybe I missed something I only tune in before work to get scores, weather, traffic,etc. So after that I don’t listen again until later. Cataldi is a phoney baloney homophobe though I am also pretty sure he threw the N word around a lot in his younger years but now he is Mr. Super Liberal. I did hear the totally stupid remark he made that the first openly gay athlete needs to be a superstar like the first black player (Jackie Robinson was) in order for it to become acceptable. Well, one of these days, Aaron Rogers might come out; lol, AngeBlow is still upset because he was blindsided by Maria Bello coming out and he was too dumb to figure it out

  7. In the photo at the top, I don’t know who that man/woman on the right is, but he/she is checking out the blonde’s rack.

    .

  8. he National Security Agency is using complex analysis of electronic surveillance, rather than human intelligence, as the primary method to locate targets for lethal drone strikes – an unreliable tactic that results in the deaths of innocent or unidentified people.

    According to a former drone operator for the military’s Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) who also worked with the NSA, the agency often identifies targets based on controversial metadata analysis and cell-phone tracking technologies. Rather than confirming a target’s identity with operatives or informants on the ground, the CIA or the U.S. military then orders a strike based on the activity and location of the mobile phone a person is believed to be using.

    The drone operator, who agreed to discuss the top-secret programs on the condition of anonymity, was a member of JSOC’s High Value Targeting task force, which is charged with identifying, capturing or killing terrorist suspects in Yemen, Somalia, Afghanistan and elsewhere.

    His account is bolstered by top-secret NSA documents previously provided by whistleblower Edward Snowden. It is also supported by a former drone sensor operator with the U.S. Air Force, Brandon Bryant, who has become an outspoken critic of the lethal operations in which he was directly involved in Iraq, Afghanistan and Yemen.

    In one tactic, the NSA “geolocates” the SIM card or handset of a suspected terrorist’s mobile phone, enabling the CIA and U.S. military to conduct night raids and drone strikes to kill or capture the individual in possession of the device.

    The former JSOC drone operator is adamant that the technology has been responsible for taking out terrorists and networks of people facilitating improvised explosive device attacks against U.S. forces in Afghanistan. But he also states that innocent people have “absolutely” been killed as a result of the NSA’s increasing reliance on the surveillance tactic.

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