NOTE: If you're reading this from the Mountain or Pacific time zones you should have a friend from the Eastern or Central time zones read this two hours before you do and tell you exactly what happens so it's not as dramatic.
I'm sure by now the internet has seen it's fair share of "NBC has totally screwed this up" type articles, but hey, I'm still going to add my two cents.Why not? It's effected my enjoyment of these games. And not just on the Hockey end. Sure, Curling has taken away a few minutes of the beginning of some games here and there, but that's nowhere close to the biggest annoyance or faux pas so far. I'm not even talking about the crap that's happened to the Olympics themselves like the torch lighting gone wrong or delays due to conditions. No, my major beef is simply the coverage (or lack thereof) that NBC has chosen to give these the Games of the 21st Winter Olympiad.
Yeah, this might turn into a venting / little bit of whining session, but then that's what it'll be I guess. See? I love the Olympics. It's one of the few times that sports become something that (most) people don't turn into this crazy rivalry. It's sport in it's as close to pure form as we're getting in this day and age. I'm not silly enough to still believe that this is still some absolutely pure thing no matter what the IOC tells me. I do however know that in this country this is one of the few times that the vast majority of these sports get any exposure hardly at all. Hell, hockey and figure skating, the two highest profile winter sports, get shoved to the back burner for most of the time. It's the only time sports like curling, ski jumping, skeleton, bobsled and speed skating get any recognition here at all. People are glued to the tv watch Apollo Anton Ohno speed around on Short track. Watch a Harry Potter looking Swiss ski jumper win both of the major individual events. Heck before this week 99% of people couldn't tell you the name of one down hill skier, but now everyone is talking about who fell and who was cutting the sharper angles on their skis.
The sad thing is though that for those of us in time zones that aren't Eastern or Central we get to "enjoy" these events a good 2 hours later (at least). In this day and age of Twitter, Facebook and non-stop media coverage we can't even insulate ourselves against knowing what happened so we can be a little bit surprised. When Shaun White blasted the competition in the halfpipe, twitter exploded and told me exactly what happened. When Lindsey Vonn won the downhill facebook statuses were instantly updated. Hell I couldn't even keep other TV channels from ruining things for me. The Coyotes were playing the Avalanche in Colorado. What did I hear two hours before I saw it for myself? That Wayne Gretzky lit the Olympic flame. I heard about the glitchy arm of the cauldron before it was even close to that point in the show for up. It's just been one thing after another with these games.
What I don't understand is why viewers aren't getting a choice. NBC is showing the Olympics on multiple channels, just at different times. There are hockey games and curling on MSNBC and CNBC (the two things we actually get in real time) The odd game here or there on USA Network, NBC Universal has some things, though unless you have extra packages on your provider you're not getting that and I guess there's even some figure skating on Oxygen, but my remote doesn't acknowledge the existence of that channel. I guess my question is, with all this space available are reruns of Law and Order SVU, some annoying news coverage or late day business news really bringing in so much in the ratings that the network couldn't have both live coverage and some packaged together prime time coverage for those that want the condensed version? Or couldn't they at least stream more events live so that those of us that are stuck in tape delay hell can escape for a little bit? I just don't get it. Though I've given up on thinking I'll ever understand a network that thinks Jay Leno is funny.
This is usually the part of the rant where someone chimes in "You could just not watch them if they bug you that much." Sure. I could turn the TV off. I could stop watching Cheesy Bob Costas. I could just live with recaps from east-coast friends. The problem is, like I said earlier, I love the Olympics. I wait for them to come around, both in the summer and winter. I like the stories, I like learning about another country (even if it's just Canada). I love watching these athletes that dedicate their lives to pursuing something that's just not given the time of day. I watch for them. If I could get my coverage elsewhere, I would, but I can't. So I'll keep watching at least for now so that I can watch someone who's name I won't remember win the Biathalon. Why? Because they just kicked ass at it and I may not remember the name, but I'll remember what they did.
Since I've probably driven everyone away with that ramble, I've got one other thing to complain about. WHo the hell thought it was a good idea to complete the hockey coverage with Jeremy Roenick and Mike "I Can't Tie My Shoelaces but Someone Let Me Run a Franchise" Milbury? I get that there are contract issues and things like that, but really? The time they spend an analysis is great, unfortunately that time is spent listening to two guys that just love hearing themselves talk. Everyone is waiting for Roenick to lay Milbury out like some 8-bit Gretzky from NHL94. Hopefully it happens soon because they are terrible together.
Alright. I'm done with this vent, but please NBC, next time these Olympics come around how about we actually show the events when they happen instead of this delay BS alright? /fingers crossed /going to be disappointed