NBC OLYMPIC COVERAGE – THEY DROPPED THE BATON AGAIN

11Aug12

Just when you think that the NBC network might actually be able to save face during their horrendous coverage of the 2012 London Olympics, they drop the baton again, reminding us why they have received so much criticism over the past two weeks.

During the first week of the games, you heard complaints from every corner about their ridiculous scheduling of events, choosing to show many of the big ticket items during prime time.  This resulted in the world knowing the outcome of the event as much as ten hours before actually being able to see the action.

Many people were disgusted with this philosophy, including yours truly (see OLYMPIC COVERAGE – NBC NEEDS TO JOIN THE 21st CENTURY, dated July 29, 2012).

Although they didn’t respond much to that criticism, they did at least make an effort to show a sampling of all events, while still showcasing the most popular competitions.

Unfortunately, today’s big SNAFU put me over the edge.  After catching the majority of the second half of the women’s gold medal game in basketball, a hard fought battle between France and the USA, the American women’s team did something that no other team has done in the history of the modern Olympic Games – they won a team gold medal for the fifth consecutive time!

That may not sound too spectacular until you stop and consider the number of team events that take place in the Olympics.  We’re talking men’s teams and women’s teams (and mixed, if you want to include tennis), and this is the first time that it’s ever been accomplished.

The medal presentations seem to drag on at times, but this is one gold medal presentation that I was looking forward to seeing.  So I patiently waited while the members of the team from France all received their silver medals and bouquet of flowers (I still don’t quite understand that part, but hey, what do I know).

During the ten minutes required to perform this task, the camera would occasionally pan along the USA team that was patiently waiting for their well-deserved moment in the spotlight.  You could see that it was going to be an emotional moment, as players as tough as Diana Taurasi were already getting tears in their eyes.

Then the moment came.  The volunteers began to make their way upon the court, with flowers and medals carefully laid out on trays.  The excitement in the room began to rise (and I was alone in my living room, so that’s quite an accomplishment) as I was about to witness history in the making!

The next thing I know, I’m watching a commercial for American Family Insurance, followed by a McDonalds commercial, and then three more commercials for some local sponsors.

When this three minute and 28 second barrage of untimely commercials ended, I found myself watching Noodle Doodles, with the NBC for Kids logo proudly displayed at the bottom left corner of my screen.

%$^&*$#@%^$!!!

After spending the next five minutes trying to figure out what universe I had just been transformed into, the station came back to the basketball court.  Whew, that was a close one.  Okay, I can forgive that near-blunder.  Let’s get on with the medal ceremony.

The next words I heard were something along the lines of, “Thanks for joining us for that once in a lifetime event”!  The station then jumped back to that wonderfully educational show that I had just heard of for the first time.

%$^&*$#@%^$!%$^&*$#@%^$!%$^&*$#@%^$!%$^&*$#@%^$!!!!!!

Really?  Did I just witness one of the greatest blunders of sports coverage in the history of the world?  I mean, I was hoping to watch the historical event of the USA women’s basketball team receiving their gold medals for the fifth consecutive time, but hey that would have been boring.

No, the geniuses at the NBC network were way ahead of us all.  They took it to epic proportions.  They attempted to take over the number one spot in sports coverage screw-ups ever.

That’s right; they were going for the world record.  They wanted to take the gold by exceeding the most infamous screw-up of all time – The HEIDI BOWL!

(For those of you that aren’t old enough to know about the HEIDI BOWL, ask your father or older uncle.  You will most likely get a very animated, and much more enjoyable description of the event than you would by reading it here!  Better yet, just Google it.)

Now, whether or not the judges will give them enough moron points to win the gold medal outright remains to be seen.  It will surely be debated at thousands of water coolers over the next few days.  I would recommend reviewing the footage of the two events, but that would just be cruel!

There is one conclusion that the majority of the world can agree upon.  NBC should be as far away from the coverage controls as possible for any future Olympic Games.  They have proven that they are clueless in scheduling, camera controls and choices of Olympic correspondents (Ryan Seacrest — REALLY?) .

There should be no question in anyone’s minds.  When it comes to Olympic coverage, NBC has dropped the baton, false-started, missed the wide-open goal, double-faulted, fell off the balance beam……..Okay, they don’t deserve to make the Olympic team again!!!

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