ASSPOLED MY OLYMPICS
You thought I was going
to say "NBC fucked up my Olympics," or "NBC fucked
my Olympics by way of my ass." But that would be crass.
What I got was a good asspoling: The National Broadcasting Company
took an event I loved and raped me.
(Check that -- used
to love. As a kid, I loved sports. I've grown up.)
As you may know, I don't expect sportswriters
and sportscasters to be particularly intelligent. That's to be expected when your
raison d'etre consists of thinking up sports similes ("He
unloaded on him like a, uh... load of bricks!") and different
ways to say "Oh, that hurts!" every weekend,
a la ESPN every night. And NBC, in sending the NBC Sports
Department to take charge of the Olympic coverage, simply proved
NBC should probably send
the News Department to take charge of the next Olympics. But
then again, I'm not sure that NBC News is much smarter or more
capable than NBC Sports. NBC News is pretty stupid and shallow
itself, more concerned with presentation than substance, more
worried about chopping a story to fit a two-minute slot rather
than providing meaningful information.
Which was NBC Sport's problem
-- much fluff, no substance. That, and an assload of commercials.
The following article mainly derives from comments I posted on
Fedoralog, created by a friend who probably
wishes he had never given me permission to post on it. Check
The Opening Ceremony
Costas Makes an Ass of Himself, per the Usual
Whether you're a fan of them or not, the opening ceremony of
the Olympics in Sydney, Australia was sad. It featured
the strange and the "inspiring": Aussies on horseback,
a child dangling 80
feet above the ground,
giant balloon thingies and Cathy Freeman lighting a torch that
nearly broke (probably the best part of the show).
But the sounds of
the ceremony were dominated by Bob "I'll Say!" Costas
and some deep-voiced woman (whatever her name is). Never mind
the music and the fanfare! How could we do without Bob -- also
known as the
most annoying human being to have ever lived -- nattering in the background?
I expect ceremony watchers
all over the world gnashed their teeth in frustration as he and
his insipid cohort (whatever her name is) talked and talked and
talked over the sound effects, announcements and didjeridus.
And for no good reason -- nothing they said meant anything,
as demonstrated by Costas the Intrepid Reporter:
"All of Australia
feels a part of this night. No kids are in school."
Do I need to point out
that night time is not the right time to send kids to school,
Bob? Do we not know this? Jesus Christ. But then again, you're
the master of the meaningless:
Bob Costas' Useless
Factoids Afflicted Upon Viewers
During the March of Nations
wonder why the rest of the world thinks we're idiots. Thanks
buddy, you done us proud!
"Austria... land of
"Benin... they still
practice voodoo in Benin..."
"The Central African
Republic is located in Central Africa."
"Egypt. These are
the people who built the pyramids, after all, so it's little
wonder that they're a weightlifting power."
More stupid shit: During
said continuous and neverending nattering, Costas' cohort (whatever
her name is) announced, "The Australians have a unique phrase
in their venacular: 'Such is life'."
Really. "Such is life"
is a phrase unique to Australia. No one else says "Such
is life." No one. It's true, because NBC says it's true.
(You know, the
French never get any credit for anything. C'est la vie. That's just the way it goes
right! But then
again, it's only the French who're getting snubbed.)
The stupid shit continues:
Nikki Webster, the minor child dangling 80 feet above the stadium,
she who is "an elfin 13-year-old with toffee-coloured eyes
and honey-blonde hair" was annoying . I mean, there's kids
who are cute, and then there's those kids who try much too hard
to be cute. Of course, NBC, Australia and probably my mom immediately
fell in love with her.
"You think she'll wake up tomorrow and find herself a star?"
Costas pondered, loudly and uselessly over the chanting of performers.
"I think so."
Thanks again, Bob.
with Nikki Webster Which Basically Set the Tone of NBC's Olympic
NBC Reporter: How did your parents feel about
you flying 100,000 feet over the stadium?
Nikki: They didn't know! I kept it a secret!
NBC Reporter: Ha ha! They didn't know? Ha ha!
Nikki: No, they didn't know! I kept it
NBC Reporter: Well, Nikki, you're one remarkable
the story, NBC style, distorts the story
The shitty problem with NBC's forays into the Olympics is being
awashed in the continual stream of shitty formula
stories like so
much diarrhea. You know, the sad stories of the athlete whose
daddy died which led to depression which led to drug abuse which
led to arrests for suspicion of bestiality which led to finding
God which led to being "born again" which led to dedication
and aspiration which led to parole which led (as it must, else
the story couldn't be aired) to hopes for a medal in the Olympics.
We could be watching the
sports. We could be watching more sports. Go figure.
Yeah, there's a lot of
that story shit -- so much, there's no possible way a human being
could not have heard of at least one if they were within five
miles of a televison during the Games. No need to go over them.
Instead, let's talk about Australia.
Listening to NBC, you'd
think Australia hired out the network to take charge of the country's
public relations. Americans (and any other nations afflicted
with NBC coverage) were supposed to believe that Australia and
Australians were just good boys and hottie chicks who don't do
Oh sure, NBC paid lip service
to the plight of the Aborigines, even touching on the horrendous
episode that was the
but beyond that, didn't you get the feeling that Australians
were being paraded as the World's Nicest Neighbors?
is populated by human beings. (Of mainly European stock, no less,
which pretty much means they're mean bastards from the get go.)
Not Exactly What NBC Wanted
to Portray on TV
"[Australia] has made
great strides on the racial front in recent decades, but it is
showing some distressing signs of weariness from the progress,
and a resistance to march onwards.
"In recent months,
the Australian Government has ceased co-operating with the United
Nations human rights monitors looking into the status of Aborigines
and has opposed calls for an official apology for past wrongs.
Perhaps catching its reflection in the global glare will force
Australia to reconsider these positions."
-- from "The Other
No matter how you spin them,
NBC, Australians have a real history, one that fucks up your
Jim Gray -- who was competing with Bob Costas for the title of
Most Annoying Sportscaster Trying on Nonsports Television with
his "Dream Deferred" 30-second sound bites -- created
some five-minute, candy-fluff story about little East Timor,
the point of which was "Australia loves East Timor."
Apparently, East Timor
saved Australia from Japanese invasion during World War II, and
so the Australians count them as "friends."
(Actually, Australia invaded
East Timor, then
a territory of neutral Portugal, probably prompting Japan to
invade East Timor in response.)
As Jimmy pointed out not
once, not twice, but three times, the Australians gave
the East Timorese a rousing greeting at the opening ceremony
because "Australians Never Forget Their Friends."
Of course, Jimmy Gray didn't
note that Australia did nothing more than protest when Indonesia
invaded and conquered East Timor in 1975 -- in fact, the
Australian government shrugged. (So did the USA, for that matter, but that's
not the point.) East Timor remained occupied for nearly 25 years,
and Australians did not lift a finger to help the East Timorese
until the East Timorese had basically chased the Indonesians
And that's what you get
when sportscasters and sportswriters try to do something other
than sports. Lame. I hope Jimmy Gray has himself some friends
who'll "never forget" him. He deserves them.
and fewer Americans are tuning in to U.S. broadcaster NBC's Sydney
Olympics coverage, with the 15th night of taped telecasts drawing
the lowest rating yet by a large margin....
"Friday's rating was 15 percent lower
than the previous worst nightly rating for these Olympics (on
Tuesday).... The rating was 35 percent lower than what advertisers
were told to expect.... the cumulative rating for the Olympics
slipped to a new low of 14.2 with a 25 share."
-- From "Sydney
their lowest ratings
since Tokyo in '64"
Sydney Morning Herald
That's what you get for asspoling my
Olympics, you bastards.
hell, I missed the best part
As the Olympics continued to pour on the sob stories, the useless
factoids, the tours of the country side, the endless Kathy Freeman
bits, the Greco-Roman wrestling (once was more than enough), the tiresome "GOOOAAALLL!",
the Marion Jones 'Drive-For-Fiveathon,' the midget weightlifters,
the unending 'local coverage of local heroes', the fact that
the Olympic Torch didn't break during the Opening Ceremony...
I was very done with this
travesty that NBC had wrought.
I didn't need to see the
Closing Ceremony, and I would have purposely skipped them had
I not heard one thing:
Midnight Oil was to play.
And we all know what they
were going to play, don't we, because we're an astute audience
of this column with cultural capital to spare, aren't we? Beds
Are Burning, of
Midnight Oil's biggest
hit single, it was a concept song in a concept album (Diesel
& Dust) that was all about returning Australian lands to
Anyway, play it they did.
Not even NBC, what with their apparent mission to make Australia
look good, could do anything about it.
Furthermore, they played
in clothing marked "SORRY." Sorry for what? Sorry for
the fucked up way the Australians treated the Aborigines, that's
what. It's an apology and a recognition for the criminal behavior
of the Australian government, which kidnapped children from their
families -- and for which the
government has refused to apologize.
Well, fuck 'em -- Midnight
Oil did a better job than any politician could have done anyway.
Of course, I missed it -- NBC had long chased me away from any
hope of enjoying the Olympics. I was out drinking more beer than
I probably should have with a friend. It's all your fault, NBC.
October 3, 2000