Well done NBC, you did it again. Fall guy, Bob Costas cut short any taste of glory that another nation’s athlete could be proud of and share with the rest of the real world that might have experienced except for that of the American athletes.
Stephanie Rice of Australia slaughtered her competitors in the 400 meter individual medley, winning in shattering world record time. At least we got to see her win, smile and get out of the pool. Other than that, it was as if she had just done nothing more than a training swim.
NBC immediately cut to Costas in his echoing “cone of silence” where he mentioned that Stephanie Rice was an Australian Swimmer – as if anyone having just watched the race needed to have been told that. Then he discussed Phelps and Torres and mentioned that after the commercials we would then go to watch some gymnastics.
It would have been particularly wonderful for the Australians and other alien foreigners stuck in here in America to have actually watched the medal presentation for Rice, Coventry and Hoff and to have heard the Australian National Anthem being played with the flag flying proudly. But then we wouldn’t have heard Bob waffling about irrelevant trivialities, followed by an ad.
We already knew Rice won (thanks to the Sydney Morning Herald) but it would have been nice to see the medal presentations. Why did NBC bother to shell out almost $900million for the rights and then not show the excitement of the games. Oh, I forgot, Hoff didn’t win!
I shouldn’t be surprised, because in 1996 I watched the ladies diving competition and in each dive sequence we saw the American girl dive, NBC skipped the Australian who at the time was in third position and cut to the two Chinese divers in second and fourth.
If you look at a map of the world it goes beyond the four borders of America. The world does not start in New York and end in San Francisco nor does it end at the borders of Canada and Mexico.
The Olympic Games is a world competition – it isn’t the American Games. All the athletes trained hard to be in Beijing and represent their countries, but NBC is only interested in showing the events where US athletes have the best chance of winning. Such a shame when it doesn’t work out!
It might surprise you to know that if you don’t keep a close eye on your competition and you operate in a bubble, the competition will slap you around the ears, like Stephanie Rice did today.
NBC, get your head out of your rear end and smell the roses – there’s a big, wide world out there and you need it more than it needs you. By the way Bob, the brown hair colour this year is no better than the red you were wearing four years ago.
Sally Gray is an opinions writer who doesn’t suffer fools, so stay out of her sights.