Danielle and I have been making our absolute best effort to watch as much of the Olympics as possible, and I gotta be honest....it's not easy. The NBC nightly coverage just isn't that good, and is so repetitive it's painful. Swimming. Gymnastics. Swimming. Gymnastics. Diving (is there a stupider sport than synchronized diving? I think not. Let's take a sport that is already painfully boring and subjective, then have people do it, wait for it...TWO AT A TIME!). Swimming. Gymnastics. Now I personally am super partial to swimming, so I don't mind that part of it, but when Phelps and Lochte get replaced by pole vaulting and the triple jump....yikes. And to top that off, the events happened literally like 12 hours in the past, and they still refuse to put the good shit on until like 11:30pm, local time. And then during the day it's just a solid like 9 hour block of coverage, so you can't just press record on your DVR because you'll fill the thing up (unless Danielle is willing to lose some of those Undercover Boss episodes, a show I honestly don't think she's watched in over two years) and have to do a manual recording to try to get something interesting, but you never really do. All that said, here are some of my observations on various sports
Down Hill Kayaking
Those guys are just badasses, and also kudos to the Queen for getting a completely fake river built in the middle of England just so we can watch people paddle down it for a few hours. What boat are they in? Did he touch the gate? Who cares. It's just cool.
That Weird Game From Middle School Gym Class
Team handball is perhaps the first sport I have ever watched where I truly thought watching the women play was more entertaining than watching the men. In the male version of the game the goalie simply has zero chance whatsoever. These guys are throwing a ball like 70mph from, what, 15 feet away? And you expect the goalie to do, what exactly? Put his arms up and hope the ball hits him in the crotch? Good, cause that's about all he does. And what's with all the lines and stuff? Can the defenders not go inside the last one? Is it a three point line? Two point line? Am I allowed to tackle the dude? How many steps can I take? I really needed Bob Costas to do a power point presentation on this one, but had I gotten that I feel like I could have become a fan.
I'll always love water polo, but here is what needs to happen for the game to just absolutely take off. TV's need to get a little better, but once they do, we need the underwater camera seamlessly melded with the usual coverage. Bottom half or your screen...underwater. Top half, the rest of the game. Think about it. THINK about it. Also today at one point the USA women were losing to China, midway through the second quarter. That to me is more compelling evidence of doping than any possible time that girl could have put up in the 400 IM.
For the life of me I could not figure out what was required to score a point in Judo. They said you had to either throw your opponent, choke him, or get him in an arm bar. But I watched a full regulation match with lots of that sort of stuff seeming to happen, but nobody ever scored a point. Also, the guys clothes were falling off the whole time, yet were still be grabbed by their opponents, which makes me sorta wonder why..well, I dunno. It was just dumb.
Ride Through the Field Horses
I think this one is actually called cross country. I flat out don't get it; isn't the quality of your horse pretty important here?
I Am Not Lefthanded
All the fencers actually ARE left handed! Literally I watched three matches, and four of the six dudes were left handed. I mean, it's not hard to figure out why they'd have such a huge advantage, but still. As for the sport itself, it took the worst elements of That Weird Game From Middle School Gym Class and Human Tossing; not only did I not know the rules, but also I had no clue when a point had been scored.
So I'll continue to watch the games, but honestly I feel like NBC could do a better job showing me some cool stuff. I suppose what I want is more of a "pick your own" experience, where if I want to watch an entire woman's beach volleyball game (because the contestants are showing great professionalism), there is a special channel for that. Sort of like a Sunday Ticket type thing, I guess, where they just go nuts and have 20 channels showing everything. Until then, I'll leave you with a bold but probably true claim regarding Ryan Lochte. He is the best swimmer, male or female, of all time to fail to secure a spot on his country's 400 meter medley relay team. I mean really, how on Earth does that guy not get in? No wonder we always win.