Okay, first of all, I recognize the incredible investment NBC is making in the Olympic Games. They've put a fortune into their coverage, both on the air and on line. The important word is "investment," of course, because they'll make a kajillion dollars off the games. They aren't doing this out of the goodness of their pixelated hearts.
I've never made a secret out of my frustration with NBC's coverage of Wimbledon. The involvement of the 'big network' makes it absolutely impossible for those of us on the West Coast of the U.S. to see the men's semis live. In fact, there are always several matches we have to listen to
on the website, if we care enough.
The very idea that NBC can control our coverage so completely that even internet results are difficult to come by is alarming. I want to know what's happening WHEN
it's happening. I don't want to have to go three or four pages deep into a website to see if Federer made it past the third round.
I'm stunned to find out the reason I can't get results for the men's gymnastics All Around is that it's just getting started. I'm so mistrustful of NBC, I figured they were just saving it for primetime, the way they did the Opening Ceremonies. Well, actually they are canning the coverage of the competition, which is happening right now while I'm watching yet another trip around China with the less-than-charming Mary Carillo. And you can't get the rotations live on line, either, because it's being hoarded for the possible rating points (although why it would be interesting to NBC or America without any competitive Americans involved is a mystery).
(Carillo just sang "I'm a Little Teapot" and handed a scorpion-on-a-stick to Bob Costas. I'm not kidding. I can't make this stuff up.)
I guess I should be thankful for the video footage on the understandably-slow-loading NBC Olympic website.
The Microsoft Silverlight plugin is pretty good. Yes, I resisted using it, but I also waited waaay too long to go from tapes to CDs and from videotapes to DVDs. I'm slow about technology. But for me it's working well, and even though I have to give a lot of personal information to watch anything live (I didn't reveal how many cable boxes I have), it's worth it.
If you want to watch Wimbledon live on their website, you have to PAY (which is why I still listen, marvelling at how many adjectives those Brits can use to describe the Federer forehand). Here's one time where it pays to care about an unpopular Olympic sport. NBC doesn't gain anything by commandeering the tennis coverage.
ETA: Allow me to add a rant about how this plugin completely ruined the settings on my computer.
Mother fucking Microsoft! I knew in the middle of the night when the updates to MS Explorer had started 'automatically' that I was going to be screwed. And, yes indeed, by this morning my desktop was wiped out and I couldn't get on line. Now this whole thing about the updated browser screwing up our internet is something I don't understand enough to begin to explain, but since Charlie had already been through it, I knew she could fix it. So I dragged her ass out of bed and put her to work.
What do people who don't have a Charlie do? I'd have to have a batphone to Geeks On Wheels if I planned to do ANYTHING on line without Charlie!
So now I'm at work trying to use the damn video to watch Nadal or Djokovic playing live, but naturally it won't work.
Microsoft, you suck.
Yes, the pundits are shaking their heads over the NBC juggernaut and people are already sick of Costas with ten days to go. Some of the commentator's remarks during the Parade of Nations were awful, and I myself am amazed that Al Trautwig has had a career that lasted this long. And 'our' home-team coverage is as jingoistic as ever. It's hard to believe there really are athletes that comes from other countries (except those underage chicks from China, that is).
But it wouldn't be the Summer Olympics without all the hype and hyperbole, which tends to make me characteristically hypercritical.
Good news: USA Network will be carrying the men's tennis gold medal round. Thank you!
ETA: Nadal and Robredo might be the hottest doubles team EVER. Too bad they lost.