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Sunday, February 12, 2006

Bum...Bum... oh, skip it.

The Olympics are underway and my, oh my, is it exicting! I was going to post a full report last night but was too overcome by...what is the best word to describe it? Ah, yes... sleep.

I fell asleep at about 8:30 p.m. and other than getting up from the vast and comfortable leather chair in our living room (Note to Mrs. Fando: You were right about the chair, Love) and trekking to the bedroom, I woke not a second for the thrilling Torino Games or the dazzling commercials of their sponsors.

It's not the athletes' fault of course. They're doing what they love, zooming about on skis like duck hawks who've spotted a tasty rodent, twirling on skates like a gymnast caught in a top-load washing machine, running their luges like a motorcyclist through rush hour traffic on the Autobahn, and sweeping ahead of those giant curling stones for whatever peculiar reason they do that for. (I'm assuming it's not merely cleanliness.)

The problem is the usual one for those of us living in America: NBC.

Oh. NBC's done much better this year than in past, which is to say that the ratio of actual event coverage to "Up Close and Personal" style segments is now no longer 1 to 200. The main problem now is that the coverage of events is all delayed. For those of us who spend more than a few minutes on the Internet a day, who wants to sit around watching Olympic downhill coverage when everyone on the face of the Earth has known who's won it for over twleve hours? It's bad enough I have to disengage from the Internet for six to eight hours on Saturday just to watch my beloved Arsenal play a match tape-delayed and not know the outcome already, but staying free and clear of the Internet so as not to spoil the results in the 1,500m short track, or the K90 ski-jumping? What's the point? You're talking to a bloke who skipped much of the tape-delayed Opening Ceremonies to catch the U.S. vs. Japan footie match live on Friday evening. (Good result as the U.S. win 3-2.)

The funniest thing is where they show an event's conclusion, cut right to the medals ceremony (after a lengthy commercial break during which they apparently presume we assume everyone's gotten cleaned up and rushed over to the medal's stand), and then right to the studio, where they interview the athlete as though they'd just won the thing. You can see the look in Bob Costas' eyes: "Just play along, as if you've not had a good night's sleep between now and then!"

So, for those of you who are as thoroughly baffled and bored by NBC's delayed coverage, I plan to offer some alternative coverage of my own, just to spice things up. The only disadvantage is that it won't be entirely accurate, but it will be completely unpredictable in that you won't read about it anywhere but here. So here's the first installment of the DOUI Winter Olympics Update!


(Cue John Williams' Olympic Fanfare, as played on harmonica)

- The U.S. Women's Ice Hockey team demolished their Iranian counterparts 27 - 0. The Iranians did rather well considering they had to skate in full hajib and burka over all those hockey pads. The most difficult obstacles they had to face were the lack of players with significant skating experience (one), and the fact that the International Hockey Federation assigned a male referee to the match, meaning that not only could they not speak to him, they had to keep a full 30 feet from him unless their husbands were present on the ice as well.

- Brtish Ski-Jumping suffered their biggest setback since the days of Eddie "The Eagle" Edwards, when lone competitor Trevor "The Tankard" Troughton set a new world low of "nought" on the 90m hill, as he passed out after several pints in the Olympic Village and was only revived by the sounds of the Norweigan national anthem being played at the medal ceremony.

-The U.S. faced a similar problem in the ski-jumping when they mixed up their team members accidentally and sent their ski-jumpers to the freestyle events and vice versa. The results? In ski-jumping, the U.S. had horrible distance, but made up a little ground on style points from all the backflips and mid-air turns. The freestyle skiing team suffered horribly though, receiving extremely low marks for all the "lame, straight-backed, lean-forward stunts" they tried. Not only that, but the distance they gained on these jumps kept putting them at the bottom of the hill, occasionally in the middle of the crowd. Final tally: No medals, four broken skis, and one very irate German woman named Helga.

-Finally, the Syrian biathlon team were sent home after getting confused by the rules of the sport and attempting to shoot their fellow competitors. "We thought the idea was to slow them down so we could catch up." Fortunately, no one was killed, as the Syrians all pulled "Cheneys" and only winged a few of the slower, older skiers.


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