Day: August 30, 2004

Olympic Wrap Up, Part One

Another Olympiad has come to an end, meaning I no longer have 19 hours of guaranteed watchable TV each day. It’s also a time to reflect on what happened over the past two weeks, and what needs to be changed for the future. This is part one, part two will be posted manana.

To the world’s horror, what we feared most happened Sunday. The renegade Irish priest who has been holding the world hostage these past three years struck again. It’s sad when our worst fears come true.

One final bit on the US men’s basketball team before I drop it. The bronze medal game had something for everyone. Uninspired play by the US through much of the first three quarters, highlighting one last time all the areas those of us who have been critical of for the tournament. In the fourth quarter, the light finally went on, they began playing stifling defense, concentrated on truly sharing the ball rather than seeing who could throw the best behind-the-back pass, and lo and behold, three pointers started dropping. Larry Brown finally found a lineup that worked in Marbury, Iverson, Odom, Marion, and Duncan and the US cruised to the win. Any hope for the future was destroyed when David Stern mentioned Vince Carter as a player who could have helped this year’s squad. Vince Carter?!?!? Another overrated “athlete” who couldn’t hit a clutch jumper if the fate of the world relied on it? Oh, but VC is marketable, so the commish had to push his name.
Also, regarding Jason Whitlock’s assertion that criticism of this year’s team was based on racism, who are the four players most often mentioned as guys who could have helped this team? Ray Allen, Michael Redd, Rip Hamilton, and Tayshaun Prince. Brothers all around. I know Jason’s assertion was based more on style of play criticism, but add two of the four shooters named above, Duncan can get loose inside, we can force the zones to guard the perimeter, and the slashers can actually find room to operate. Gold medal, team racial balance not altered in any way.

I give NBC a B+ for its coverage this year. The use of their various cable outlets to show as much action as possible was a tremendous move, rewarding the interested viewer. They’ve come a long way since their Triple Cast concept in 1992. However, far too many interesting events were still condensed into a neat 10-minute package that showed who won the gold and how the key US performers fared. I realize they’re focusing on the big US picture, but why not use the USA Network to show every second of non-prime track and field events? You can still share a five-minute summary in prime time to split up the 157 hours of gymnastics, and those of us who would like to see the entire long jump event get satisfaction.
Another quibble is how NBC treated taped events as live. In a US volleyball game that ended 12 hours earlier, and NBC missed points during commercial breaks as if the action was live. If you’ve got 12 hours to edit and plan, you can do better than to have the game be tied at 22 after a commercial when the US was up 21-19 before the commercial.
There were plenty of clunkers on the mic for NBC, the worst absolutely had to be the guy doing the interviews at the track and field stadium. After the first night, couldn’t they have sent an intern down to write some decent questions for him? Or put Bob Costas in his earpiece with some questions that made sense? It’s a tough job, but I think NBC did pretty well this time around.


Like Sands Through The Hourglass, These Are The Emails Of Our Lives

Friday is my final day of gainful employment. After that, I’ll be a deadbeat dad doing my best to drag the economy down. I think my lack of purchases at the Apple store alone will bring the economy to a screeching halt.
This evening, I worked through a ton of my old e-mails on my work account. Unfortunately, due to a laptop mishap, I was only able to read them, not forward them out for permanent documentation here at home. It was really something reading through over six years of accumulated e-mails. I found pictures of many of your kids looking much younger than they look today, reminders of happy hours and road trips past, and most importantly, folders full of e-mails from the 80s Trivia List and ER List. I shudder to think what those days would have been like if I had access to blogging software back then. I don’t know if our lengthy discussions that seemed to make every Friday fly by would have been worse with the option of getting around e-mail, or if it would have better since each response wouldn’t flood your inbox. Good times, though, very good times.
I’d love to see the stats of how much e-mail I sent and received from my work address over the course of my employment. Scratch that, I never want to know because future employers may get access to the figures and use them against me. “So, it says here you sent 450 e-mails in Friday, April 17, 1999. What’s up with that?” How do I explain I had a two-part trivia question, a cliff-hanger ER episode, was trying to figure out plans for lunch, plans for the weekend, and was flirting with three women in HR and make me seem like someone they should hire? I really need to find someone in our associate systems department, give them a wad of cash, and have them purge all my records from the system. That’s possible, right?
By the way, more fun gifts from our friends at Google and Blogger. Under each post, next to the comments link, you’ll now find a small e-mail icon. Click it and you can send a link to your favorite posts to other people or to your home address for future reference. Blogger keeps getting better and better. They’re pushing Nike and Apple for my favorite consumer goods provider, and I don’t even have to pay for this!


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