FanDuel - WFBC

July 29, 2012

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle:

A place to discuss the sports stories that aren't making news, share links that aren't quite front-page material, and diagram plays on your hand. Remember to count to five Mississippi before commenting in anger.

posted by huddle to general at 06:00 AM - 30 comments

The George Brett Story

posted by Hugh Janus at 12:00 PM on July 29

Between that and the pine tar incident, he needs to come up with a tale that involves Kool Whip or ceiling plaster to balance things out.

posted by beaverboard at 01:07 PM on July 29

I'm having trouble avoiding all the news, so I keep seeing Olympic results before NBC feels like showing us the event.

posted by bperk at 04:43 PM on July 29

The local NBC newscast in Detroit said something to the effect of, "We are about to show you a graphic with Olympic results that won't be aired until tonight. Turn away if you don't want to know." The graphic was about how local gymnast Jordyn Wieber had done. It was on screen for a few seconds, then it was replaced with a shot of the anchor, who said, "Okay, we're done with that. You can look now."

I thought that was a good way to do it.

posted by Etrigan at 07:21 PM on July 29

Dustin Brown picking up some stuff at the store

posted by tommytrump at 07:38 PM on July 29

The graphic was about how local gymnast Jordyn Wieber had done. It was on screen for a few seconds, then it was replaced with a shot of the anchor, who said, "Okay, we're done with that. You can look now."

So, like the BBC news used to do on Saturday nights for football results that were going to be on Match of the Day, which gradually fell out of fashion because we have the internet these days.

posted by etagloh at 08:15 PM on July 29

Or that new fangled thing called "radio".

posted by owlhouse at 09:04 PM on July 29

NBC affiliate in Boston gave a "spoiler alert" before their 3- or 4-minute summary of results. I would bet that most NBC stations would do this, but if you happen to be on another network or a local sports channel feed, don't expect the same. For me it does not matter. I watch the events for the sake of seeing the excellence of performance, and really, while I tend to root for the USA, I enjoy the games no matter who wins.

My son has announced that he has become a water polo fan. I told him that the sport was not for him - he would probably leave a ring around the pool.

posted by Howard_T at 09:14 PM on July 29

Marylou Belles obituary

posted by tommytrump at 10:13 PM on July 29

I'm a new fan of Olympic weightlifting.

That is some exciting and dramatic stuff, especially on the final lifts.

Also, I watched only the fifth man in history clean-and-jerk three times his body weight over his head. It's especially impressive because he competed in the "B" pool, meaning he wasn't expected to be competitive.

posted by grum@work at 10:20 PM on July 29

NBC excised the 7/7 London terror bombing tribute from their coverage of the Opening Ceremony. They replaced it with an interview of Phelps.

posted by insomnyuk at 10:42 PM on July 29

NBC is the reason I'm not more interested in the Olympics, their coverage is terrible.

posted by apoch at 06:32 AM on July 30

NBC excised the 7/7 London terror bombing tribute from their coverage of the Opening Ceremony. They replaced it with an interview of Phelps.

They got rid of a dance sequence immediately following the tribute as well maybe because they thought it was part of the tribute. Additionally, their commentary of the opening ceremony was incredibly negative.There are no words to explain how awful NBC is doing.

posted by bperk at 07:57 AM on July 30

The gymnastics coverage last night was excruciatingly bad: first they left it at random points to show swimming. No idea why it was mixed together like that. Then the whole thing was cut like the US team was double-parked; you couldn't catch your breath before someone else was on the apparatus or they were moving to a new section. But all of that paled in comparison to the main problem: with the exception of a couple of British gymnasts when the US was moving to a new section, they never showed other teams. The US could have been at practice. NBC's further and further distillation of the Olympics into "Hey, the world's best athletes, us Americans, have favored some country with their presence and we're currently kicking ass at EVERYTHING" is not what the Olympics is about. My wife and I agreed last night it feels like we used to see more variety back when there was just one channel. Now there are 8 or 10 but half of them have the same thing on (!!!) and with the exception of the dedicated sport channels (soccer and basketball, which each have two copies of the same channel for some reason), it's almost entirely US-focused.

It's my contention the whole "everyone loves gymnastics" thing was fueled by two events, Nadia Komanechi's perfect 10 and the US/ Romania Cold War in '84. You can't have either of those things if you don't show other athletes.

posted by yerfatma at 09:45 AM on July 30

They aren't showing other countries' athletes in prime-time. If you stay up really late or watch one of the sports on in the day, then you get to see the others. NBC is arranging things solely for prime-time ratings. It is baffling how badly they are editing it when it is time-delayed, so they have plenty of time to make it flow. That's what I didn't understand about the opening ceremony either. They had time to make their commentary not suck, so why didn't they?

posted by bperk at 10:23 AM on July 30

Yeah, I saw Korea v. China in women's archery and some non-US boxing matches, but that also meant turning to CNBC/ MSNBC/ the thing that used to be Versus. I haven't seen a lot of non-US coverage on NBC itself even during the day.

posted by yerfatma at 11:13 AM on July 30

NBC itself seems to show cycling, rowing, and archery during the day. CNBC seems to show boxing. MSNBC shows fencing and water polo. Bravo shows only tennis. I do like the dedicated sports channels. It would be cool if they could have more of those -- like a dedicated swimming and diving channel and a dedicated track & field channel.

posted by bperk at 11:30 AM on July 30

Yeah, I saw Korea v. China in women's archery

Hold on.

Archery teams compete against one another?

Like, shoot arrows at each other (he says, hopefully)?

posted by grum@work at 11:35 AM on July 30

It was cool, they do it all in bullet time too.

posted by yerfatma at 11:50 AM on July 30

It would be cool if they could have more of those -- like a dedicated swimming and diving channel and a dedicated track & field channel.

All the more frustrating that there are two copies of each channel for some reason. The channel that used to be Versus seems to have a decent mix of random stuff: equestrian, volleyball, boxing, etc. I think that's the channel I saw women's handball on Friday afternoon.

posted by yerfatma at 11:52 AM on July 30

The gymnastics coverage last night was excruciatingly bad: first they left it at random points to show swimming. No idea why it was mixed together like that.

To keep people watching for the entire duration: see "local evening news with one minute weather bulletins scattered at random intervals". The audience for primetime isn't NBC's customer: it's the product that NBC is selling to advertisers, and NBC has determined that the Dick Ebersol '96 model will exist as long as it's making money. Never mind that it operates in a vacuum independent both of other sports coverage and multi-stream coverage elsewhere on the network.

It's my contention the whole "everyone loves gymnastics" thing was fueled by two events, Nadia Komanechi's perfect 10 and the US/ Romania Cold War in '84. You can't have either of those things if you don't show other athletes.

I think that's true, but since then you've had the creation of America's Sweetheart champions, who are shoved into the reality model. I will say that watching women's gymnastics on, say, the BBC coverage, where there's no real expectation of British victory, gives you a better sense of the event and is much less icky.

I'm a new fan of Olympic weightlifting.

The BBC has always been great at packaging Olympic weightlifting for its evening roundups -- in a very different way from NBC's. It distills the day's contest while retaining all of its drama at the end. Some events definitely benefit from curation and editing to compress the action and foreground the competitive narrative, but there's a right and wrong way to do it.

posted by etagloh at 12:20 PM on July 30

I don't know if anyone in the northern tier of states picks up anything from Canada, but down here in SoCal, we can at least watch Mexican TV for something other than American athletes, and even Spanish language TV away from the border region will get you some non-US stuff. I was in Santa Cruz for the weekend and caught a bit of the Mexico-Gabon soccer match on Telemundo.

posted by LionIndex at 01:31 PM on July 30

Yeah, I've definitely been supplementing NBC's soccer coverage with Univision.

posted by yerfatma at 01:46 PM on July 30

NBC has determined that the Dick Ebersol '96 model will exist as long as it's making money. Never mind that it operates in a vacuum independent both of other sports coverage and multi-stream coverage elsewhere on the network.

Not too defend NBC for it's mostly atrocious flagship coverage, but why should they care about the whole story when all most of the viewing public really cares about is, "Did our American stars win in the top sports so we can forget about them for another four years?"

If we (overall nation "we", not necessarily SpoFi "we") cared more about Olympic sports, maybe I'd feel worse for NBC. But since I think they're generally just going off what they think people are expecting*, I'm not sure I can be too critical. At least we have CNBC/NBC Sports/Bravo to turn into full coverage.

*On the other hand, people expect that since that's what they've NBC has given them since Atlanta...it's a vicious circle.

posted by Bonkers at 08:46 PM on July 30

NBC just did a promo for the Today Show revealing the winner of an event they haven't shown yet. They aren't even executing their plan well.

posted by bperk at 09:46 PM on July 30

Bonkers, I think you're begging the question there. Do we actually know people only care about fellow countrymen? Seems like if NBC can come up with an athlete with a sob story, preferably one told in English, they could sell that.

posted by yerfatma at 10:54 PM on July 30

all most of the viewing public really cares about is, "Did our American stars win in the top sports so we can forget about them for another four years?"

In the weightlifting event that I watched (on CTV), there wasn't a Canadian in the competition to cheer for.

There wasn't even someone from North America to cheer for.

There wasn't even someone who speaks English to cheer for.

And yet, I still enjoyed the competition because it was dramatic on its own, without adding any "human interest" back story, or any patriotic brouhaha.

Just small guys trying to lift incredibly big weights over their heads. Sometimes they were successful, sometimes they weren't. Isn't that interesting enough?

posted by grum@work at 12:04 AM on July 31

I get the CCTV feed. I can't understand a word, and my partner has survival level Mandarin, but the action is terrific.

Every lift in the weightlifting live, and every shot in the air rifle finals live. Lots of fencing and archery (which has zero Chinese competing as far as I can see, but they show the other teams competing for medals). And very few adverts, and none that interrupt the action.

However, when they have extended interviews with the Chinese medal winners, I flip over to the Taiwanese and Thai channels.

posted by owlhouse at 12:55 AM on July 31

Anything's better than US television.

I was very pleased to watch The Open recently on ESPN3's live international feed. No false urgency or hysteria, a bit of welcome and very natural dead air here and there to give some space and breathing room to the broadcast, and an occasional taste of brogue to boot.

Just never occurred to me to want to journey in my mind to the NW coast of England to hear the voice of Mike Tirico coming toward me.

posted by beaverboard at 08:30 AM on July 31

You never want to hear the voice of Mike Tirico coming toward you. Or on to you.

posted by yerfatma at 10:49 AM on July 31

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