Jeremy's Weblog

I recently graduated from Harvard Law School. This is my weblog. It tries to be funny. E-mail me if you like it. For an index of what's lurking in the archives, sorted by category, click here.

Friday, August 20, 2004

I'm tired of the Olympics. Sort of. I've been watching some of it, especially the last few days. And I've noticed four problems:

(1) I feel like NBC thinks we're really stupid. They know who's going to win, because it's tape-delayed. I know who's going to win, because forces me to know. And it sounds like the announcers know who's going to win before they record their announcing. Because they make it really obvious. "You'd better keep your eye on Svetlana Khorkina here. In the practice rounds, she DIDN'T STICK HER LANDING. Yep, she DIDN'T STICK HER LANDING in the practice, so there's a chance she may have been SPOOKED and she WON'T STICK HER LANDING here. And that could be terrible, and possibly, if I'm a good prognosticator of outcomes I already know, that could prevent her from winning the gold. But who would win the gold if not her? Perhaps it would be the American, Carly Patterson. That would be THE BEST THING EVER. It would mean EVERYONE SHOULD BE WATCHING this. Call your friends and tell them there's an OUTSIDE CHANCE THE AMERICAN MAY WIN, maybe (ha ha ha), so you should stay tuned. We'll be back in three hours to show you, after we make you sit through some cycling, or we pretend the swimming races aren't all exactly the same."

(2) They should stop pretending we don't know it's tape-delayed and just show us the scores. Everyone recognizes that when it's live, the scores take a while to come out. So when it takes 7 seconds, we know it's taped. But why bother with the 7 seconds. He's done, show the score. Don't fake suspense. "Ooh, there he sits, waiting for his score... ignore the fact you just heard them announce the other guy's score, who we told you about four minutes ago. That's a mistake. Look at the empty seats instead. Aren't they pretty? Oh, look, he's nervous. WONDER IF THE JUDGES MIGHT SCORE THIS TOO LOW. Oh, look, they did. We're GENIUSES here at NBC!"

(3) We obviously live in a very small world. The countries of the world, according to NBC, are the United States, China, and Russia, and, sometimes, just for fun, Australia and Canada, because they seem a lot like Americans (hint: they speak English) and so NBC figures we might like them too. There are no other real countries in the world, although occasionally athletes will be in first place and they may have to acknowledge their existence. Pieter van den Hoogenboythatsalonglastname is the only athlete from the Netherlands who has ever existed. Romania does women's gymnastics and makes their own clothes from sheep. That's all they do. There are no other countries even competing in the Olympic games, let alone worth talking about. I don't like that we only see the top 3 finishers plus any Americans they can dredge up from the bottom of the rankings. When they show the leaderboards, (a) we can see there are other athletes we haven't been shown, and (b) I wish they wouldn't feel the need to show where every American is placing, even if they're last. This looks weird:

1. Paul Hamm---USA
2. Mao Tse-Tung---China
3. Who Cares---Somewhere Small
412. Brian Boitano---USA
182848382. Me---USA

(4) Not only do I think it would be nice to see people from other countries, I also think it would be nice to see more people who have no chance of winning. Surely some of the gymnastics competitors they didn't show us did some cool things, like falling off the bars, or stumbling off the balance beam, or going way out of bounds in the floor exercise. Maybe someone drowned in the pool. Or hit a tree while cycling. Show me. Maybe if I saw the last-place finisher, I'd have even more awe about how good the first-place finisher was. Maybe it would at least be funny, like an episode of TV's Bloopers and Practical Jokes. Did someone impale themselves on the pole in the pole vault semifinals? I want to see. Did someone knock down every hurdle? Even if he's from Gambia, or New Guinea, or some other country you refuse to acknowledge is also at the Olympic Games, I want to see. Please?