Monday, August 13, 2012

I Am So Sad. Winter Olympics, Please Come Quickly!


The Main Blurb

Blahblah Closing Ceremony blahblah basketball game blahblah DID YOU SEE THAT VOLLEYBALL GOLD MEDAL MATCH? I really hope you didn’t just tune in for the basketball game and then delete the rest of the recording. Because that was a brilliant gold medal volleyball match played by the Russians.

To get you up to speed, the Russian men’s team was playing Brazil in the match. Brazil, whose women’s team had already won gold the day before, quickly went up two sets to none. As a matter of fact, Brazil had Gold Medal Match Point twice! But the Russians wouldn’t quit. Their coach changed up all of their positions, and the Brazilians weren’t prepared for that.

Russia made it a late set, but won the third set. Now they were down two sets to one. Brazil just had to win the fourth set and they’d be champions. Did they do it? No! They lost the fourth set! Giant player Dmitriy Muserskiy – who could be the younger brother of Noah Emmerich – was crushing the ball, and the one-named Brazilians (one of which – Murilo – is a cross between Alan Tudyk and Josh Hutcherson) couldn’t handle it.

The fifth set is a shorter set – they only play to 15. And even then, the Brazilians were crushed. They couldn’t do anything. The Russians – who had already come back from match point in round-robin play against the Americans to win – knew how to play the match, and they conquered. I was really in awe of that match – it was probably the best volleyball I saw all Olympics!

Mini Blurbs
I did watch the entire US-Spain basketball game, and at the end I really didn’t know who was going to win it! I fully believe that the US may not win the gold medal next time around.

I also watched the entire marathon. I was disappointed that Mebrahtom Keflezighi, who had been a silver medalist in 2004 for the US, placed in a distant fourth place. The other two Americans dropped out. Don’t they condition themselves to run in those conditions? They’re marathoners, aren’t they? I could have ran the marathon and dropped out after a few miles!

I got to see some team rhythmic gymnastics, and there were some high flying equipment going around! One of the teams laid out the three ribbons, put them through a hoop, and the gymnast kicked the hoop into the air, causing the three ribbons to fly up…into the hands of the three gymnasts who knew exactly where the ends were going to land! Unbelievable!

Instead of Where’s Kobe? The past couple of days it’s been Where’s Becks? On Friday David Beckham was spotted watching BMX, and on Saturday he was at the Olympic Stadium for the men’s 5000m and at the Aquatics Centre for diving. And in other celebrity news, Arnold Schwarzenegger was at the gold medal baskeball game today. Why? Beats me!

Small side note: I purchased the Opening Ceremony music on iTunes, and the entire second disc is the music that was played when the athletes marched into the stadium that night. It’s 1 hour and 20 minutes of awesome remixed music. I could see myself walking into the Olympic Stadium with that kind of music. Usually I am turned off to that kind of music (“club” music), but I like this mix. I think you should check it out! If I ever need to pull an all-nighter (kind of what I’m doing right now trying to finish this blog!), I will put on that disc to keep me awake. And it will make me think of the Olympics, which is always great.

I did enjoy the Closing Ceremonies this evening. There was lots of variety, and I liked all the British music they chose. The Brazilian contingency was a little odd, but it always is a little jarring to have a bright culture like that thrust upon you after two weeks of Brit culture. I remember feeling that way during the Closing Ceremony in Beijing. When the Brits did their little thing, it was a culture-180 in a very short amount of time.

Did you know Prince Harry’s formal title is HRH Prince Henry of Wales? Because I sure didn’t! It was cool to see him as the leading royal figure in the Closing Ceremony. But I’ve always been a Prince Harry kind of gal, so...

And how about Boris Johnson? The London mayor was caught by the camera really boogieing to The Spice Girls during the Closing Ceremony. He’s quite a character, that one. (To be fair, who wasn't boogieing to The Spice Girls? The girl group of my grade school years!)

So the Olympic Anthem was sung once again, and the Olympic flag was taken down. That always chokes me up. But then they had to play “The John Dunbar Theme” from Dances with Wolves as the flame was extinguished. And I was a royal mess, because that single trumpet melody gets to me anyway, and in these special circumstances I was a goner. Ugh, it’s always so sad to see that flame go out. Britain chose to use a phoenix and ballerinas and precede the actual dousing of the torch with large fanfare. Personally, my favorite extinguishing of the flame was in 2010, when all they did was have Neil Young sing “Long May You Run” with his guitar and his harmonica and the flame just went out. Very simple, and very effective. Though this was effective, too. I was crying, so whatever they did worked.

Of course, then NBC had to ruin my tear-fest and barely had Bob Costas wrap things up before launching into one of their terrible new shows, “Animal Practice.” I wasn’t expecting that, so I never got to see The Who perform (one of my favorite bands) and see the actual ending of the Olympics. And way long ago I remember NBC doing some really great closing montages to the song “Titans Spirit” from Remember the Titans. But nothing here! They blew it AGAIN – I remember complaining in 2010 when they did the same thing. Don’t they ever learn?

I really hope that NBC can brush up its coverage and show a more worldly coverage next time around. They are so American-driven most of the time that we miss out on so much. If you can, watch BBC or Canadian television for your Olympics. I wish that I could.

Summer Blurb: The End

And just like that, two weeks have ended. The hype is done – now we celebrate the athletes that actually came out and won their events.

Can you believe we just spent two whole weeks talking completely about sports? I pretty much ignored every other news story going on and maintained my blissful ignorance. Sports is really the glue that keeps us all together. It brings in nations from every corner of the world, and for a brief moment we can set aside our political and cultural differences and just play sports together.  Sports! Occasionally revered way too much, but sometimes just the right thing to set us all back in our place.

As a matter of fact, the Olympics have really soured me on a few things here in the States. Take football, for example. Every year the football hype train comes earlier and earlier. I can’t find any magazines that talk about the Olympics, but I can find fifteen fantasy football magazines. Not just football magazines – FANTASY football magazines! Preseason games that get ratings equal to that of normal games. Media covering football camp like it’s the Super Bowl. (I’m talking about you, ESPN.) Every busted thumb gets fifteen minutes in Sportscenter. Can’t we wait for the real season to start before we all start freaking out? It’s probably the Olympics-buzz in me, but I am really sick of it.

So as I turn from gleeful Olympics lover to pessimist American sports hater, I guess that means I need to step back and take a break for a little bit. I need to get my bearings again, so I can return to normal American sports and not feel so lethargic about them. But I can strive to keep the good Olympics buzz going, because the Winter Olympics are only 18 months away!!

The Winter Blurb: Countdown to Sochi 2014

Can you believe it? In a year-and-a-half, we can return to this Blurb page and get our daily fix of the Olympics again! NBC already was talking about it today, and for once I was excited that they were! Think about it: figure skating, hockey, skiing, curling, and twelve – yes, twelve! – new events! Snowboarding and extreme skiing are adding new events, which can only be a good thing! Plus, SCOTT HAMILTON!!! Because let’s face it: Rowdy Gaines and Tim Daggett are just Scott Hamilton wannabes.

Put it on your calendar, folks: The Blurb will reconvene on Friday, February 7, 2014 to celebrate the opening of the Winter Olympics! Only 542 days, 19 hours, 41 minutes, and 44 seconds!!!

Thank you so much for reading the past couple of weeks. I have gotten so much traffic from my Olympics posts, and hopefully I can keep posting weekly so you can come back for a different perspective on sports... and other stuff!