February 15th, 2010

Sepia, RB Office

Olympic Musings

I'm a bit of an Olympics junkie -- albiet one whose addiction keeps getting interrupted by real life. But I have a few musings about the games so far.

First, why does the NBC announcer think that Americans are so badly innumerent (the number equivalent of illiterate) that you cannot mention that the luge starting point for men was moved down by "about 200 yards," but have to say "about two football fields"? I can understand him not wanting to say "about 200 meters" or "about 185 meters" or whatever the actual distance is, since Americans do tend to have a better understanding of imperial distances, but "two football fields"?

I've been enjoying what I've seen, and am glad that we've seen decent coverage of some of the less common sports, and ones that Americans don't do all that well in. For instance, on Saturday afternoon there was actually coverage of the biathlon, and it looked like it was pretty close to real-time rather than edited down. On the other hand NBC (like ABC and CBS before them) still tends to focus on US athletes and the favorites, ignoring other competitors.

It looks like the change in Figure Skating scoring is still, for the most part, having its desired effect. But I'm still suspicious that some of the judges still score somewhat on reputation and what they see at times other than the actual competition - which seemed to be exactly what happened during the old "out of six" scoring days.

I am looking forward to a few of the spots that haven't started yet -- curling, alpine skiing and some of the snowboard events are always worth watching -- but will probably pretty much ignore the hockey, especially the NHL All-Star class. And, I'll probably miss quite a bit with other commitments, including ConDor over the closing weekend. But I'll enjoy what I get to see.