As I mentioned, today was the third scheduled "bug spraying" here at Elisberg Industries, so I had to be out for a good part of day. Not being able to be in the TV-watching chair at Olympics Center for that long??! It was hellish. But happily, fortitude won out, and I survived. It's that Olympic Spirit. Faster, Swifter, Stronger, Patient. I didn't get to see as much Olympic coverage as usual, but did catch up with enough.
Since the game ended long ago, giving the result shouldn't matter by now. But the U.S.-Canada women's hockey game lived up to its hype. Canada won 3-2 and outplayed the Americans the whole game. There was one controversial goal for Canada, about when the whistle blew stopping play. It was close --I thought the puck had gone in, the announcers didn't. But whenever it blew, I didn't think it should have, the puck was still rolling around, and the fact that it went it...it should have. Fun game, though. Sorry about the result.
Eric Frentzal of Germany won the Nordic Combined. I figured you'd want to know. I also figured you'd want to know that Nordic Combined is ski jumping and cross country. My kind of strange sport.
Coming into the Olympics, the Netherlands has won 89 medals. Of that number, 86 have been in speed skating. This is known as being a One Hit Wonder -- with an emphasis on the "wonder." That's amazing. But note that when you look at the leader board of medals and see that the Netherlands is high right now, remember that when speed skating is over, so too will be most of Holland's medals.
It was a tough decision to make about the figure skating pairs finals. When I watch coverage of any sports during the day, there's no need to watch again during primetime, so I've found myself not watch as much of the primetime coverage as I'd prefer. After all, I love watching Olympics primetime. But if I've already seen it? One option was to watch the early round skaters on NBC Sports, since they likely won't be covered on NBC primetime. But if I don't watch the top pairs during the day, then I'm stuck listening to the primetime analysts, rather than Terry Gannon, Tara Lipinski and Johnny Weir on NBC Sports. I opted for the latter.
A few comments about that:
Anchor Terry Gannon introduced himself as "the one who was underdressed." Then again, most anyone would be underdressed compared to Johnny Weir in his conservative grey blazer over a lace shirt and a huge red carnation on the front pocket. He also had a weird hair style that Gannon commented was so tall it would qualify Weir to play in the NBA.
Moore-Thomas and Moscovitch are the #2 pairs team from Canada, but are a joy and skated wonderfully. She especially glows. Make sure you watch the end of their performance. She had Tara Lipinski bouncing in her seat.
It was a good night for #2 teams. But what made the Russian's such a treat to watch was that amidst performances to Tchaikovsky and Borodin, they skated to...the soundtrack of The Addams Family.
I won't give any results, but will note that there are some surprises, so pay attention...
Also, the announcers again were near silent during the favored Russian team. I now have to figure that that's a directive from above. If so, it's a mistake. I understand the "awe" of watching the favorites, but c'mon, explain when things go right and wrong.
And finally, the camera kept occasionally cutting to the Protopopovs in the crowd, since of course the Games are in Russia. Yet as far as I could hear (unless I missed something), no one ever mentioned who this couple was. Not until the very end. Then Terry Gannon offhandedly mentioned them. But me, when I first saw them, my reaction was -- "Wait, oh, my God, is that...it's the Protopopovs!! It's the freaking Protopopovs."
You may not know the Protopopovs. (Or might...) They skate from another time, beginning in the '60s, but into the 80s. The styles of performance and dress were totally different. A time of tuxedos and elegance. Far fewer throws and flamboyance, more attention to "figures." But the Protopopovs are basically the Babe Ruth of pairs figure skating. Far above all others of their time and across eras, changing the sport, unbeatable.
And if the announcers aren't going to shout them to the rafters, I will. Here are the Protopopovs.
And the added treat is the announcers are the Babe Ruths of that field -- the great Jim McKay and Dick Button.
This is how it's done. Skating and announcing.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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