Post-Olympic fever

posted by Jeff | Friday, August 17, 2012, 9:48 PM | comments: 1

I openly admit that I'm a little bit of an Olympic junkie. Yes, I'm into the games for all of the reasons some people find cheesy, including the drama and stories behind athletes who overcame unfortunate circumstances. More than anything though, I dig the summer games because you finally get to see some excellent indoor volleyball on TV.

The beach volleyball three-peat wasn't really unexpected, so to see Misty and Kerri win was just kind of there. They were at least challenged this time.

The indoor women were brilliant for the most part. I see so much of what I teach and expect in the flesh with the USA women. That probably makes sense, because much of what I've adopted in terms of coaching philosophy is rooted in the systems that their coaches used to play under. It's still remarkably effective. It is a bit disappointing that they fell apart in the final, especially considering they beat Brazil in pool play. I also with the TV coverage would have given more credit to the setters and the defense, and especially Logan Tom, who didn't necessarily have the most kills, but she touched the ball on almost every play.

And of course, it was NBC's TV coverage that absolutely drove me nuts. It was absolutely awful. I could have rolled with shitty coverage if they would have at least offered up everything online, but unlike Beijing, they wouldn't let you view any of it without a cable subscription.

Those fun stories about the struggling athletes? They were almost entirely US-centric, and therefore boring. The only interesting things I saw was a historic feature by Brokaw on the London Blitz, and a short feature on a female British BMX rider.

But the absolutely worst offenses were the editing decisions. Volleyball was fine when they aired matches live in the afternoon, but then they get to the gold medal match, show it in prime time, and start half-way in the first set with the US blowing away Brazil, and come back from commercial with Brail winning the next two and about to close out the last one. WTF? There was zero context about how the US team fell apart, all so they can fit it into 45 minutes.

Then there was the closing ceremony, where they completely cut out the performance by Muse... the band that wrote the official song of the games. In fact, I never heard the song even once on TV. When I first heard it, I figured I'd be sick of it after dozens of montages and highlight reels set to it. Never happened.

There were some good things here and there, you just had to be there are the right time, I suppose. Seeing Andy Murray beat Federer was epic. Every time Missy Franklin was on the screen for any reason, you just wanted to squeeze her as the best example ever of a kid who has their head on straight over the whole fame and ability thing.

I have to admit that I was a little disappointed, in part because NBC did such an awful job of covering it all, but there were still good times.



August 18, 2012, 10:53 AM #

The thing that kills me about NBC's awful coverage is that they have a ratings force field to hide behind. Ratings were through the roof, so as far as the network is concerned, there was no failure in their approach. The only saving grace with the Rio games is that they are an hour ahead of the Eastern time zone. That will hopefully provide for more live prime time coverage. However, I'm not holding my breath.

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