Thursday, February 23, 2006

On watching the Olympics, closed-caption style

I have an iPod which as most of you know gets no radio reception. There are TVs at my gym with the volume off, but as a result of using an iPod I can't tune in to the audio on whatever FM broadcast channel they've chosen. Not only do I not give a rat's ass, I've actually found some amusement the past couple days watching the closed caption commentary come across the screen.

Yesterday: Curling, Canada v USA

If you haven't watched curling, and most of us have at least SEEN it once or twice by now, it basically involves a bunch of surprisingly-fit looking C++ programmers wearing fancy shoes that let them slide across the ice while they frantically sweep a broom back and forth in front of a big ass lump of iron (with a handle on it) that one other chap has calmly let flee down a bowling alley. Only the alley is made of ice, and rather than pins at the other end you have a giant bulls-eye. Yesterday, those friendly-looking Canadians managed to place one of said handle-clad iron lumps in the circle towards the end of the match, eliciting the following response from the booth:

While the Canadians shook hands and probably sipped a cup of tea.


Earlier, talking about I believe a member of the US team whose father is the coach:
Booth man A or B: And he looked at [insert Team USA member name here] and told him to follow his dreams and just keep curling.

If you are like me, your reaction to said statement was something more or less on the order of WTF? Follow your dreams? Really, kiddo? Couldn't you have at least dreamt of becoming lead driver for the New York Municipal Waste Management service?

Today: Figure skating, Boy and Girl from Canada in the booth along with Mary (?) and Scott (? Former figure skater, looks like someone famous I just can't recall the face). Boy and Girl from Canada had done a routine the other day which culminated in one of the more painful ass-plant-on-the-ice scenes in recent memory. So what does USA network decide to do? Air the entire routine, beginning to end, while badgering Team Canada the whole time about whether they've seen the replays yet. The general gist of the exchange:
Mary or Scott: Guess what? We are going to show the replay of your amazing ass-bite from the other day. So have you guys watched this yet?
Canada Girl: Oh God, noooo
Canada Boy: Kill me
Me: God bless you, USA Network
Canada Girl: Oh, I don't think I can watch the end of this. I am going to have to turn away
Canada Boy: I can't handle this. Hold Me.
(Replay continues to run, we're a full minute into it and the Canadians are skating beautifully)
Mary or Scott, some paraphrasing here: Man you guys were IN THE ZONE!* How devastated must you be, four years of preparation for what we're about to see, which is Joe Theismann-injury-like in its sheer awesomeness??
* Note: The "in the zone" phrase was actually used by a commentator to describe their performance up until the massive fall
Canada Girl: Yeah, I pretty much don't remember anything about this.
(Replay continues, about a minute and a half in, the bust occurs, eliciting an "OOOF" from me and no one else, indicating that I'm probably the only one watching figure skating, but it's ok because I'm bigger than you.)

Here's the best I can give you:





At 2/23/2006 10:57:00 PM, Anonymous CD said...

You know how the official rules of cricket calls for a mid-day tea break? Well, alcohol breaks are actually in the official rules of curling. Most curling rinks or parlors or whatever they're called actually have kegs lined up right next to the alley or whatever where people play.

The figure skating commentators you speak of are Scott Hamilton (former U.S. gold medal winning skater) and Mary Carillo, better known for her work as a tennis analyst, at which she is outstanding.


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