The best thing about the generous schedule of Summer Games coverage on television: The endless opportunity for drooling commentary. In the Pacific time zone, these words just graced the airwaves: The women’s gymnastics floor reporter held a microphone in the face of one of the U.S. women and said, “Tell us — what was going on inside your body out there tonight.”
On a positive note, the way the coverage is structured will help viewers avoid the worst of the broadcast idiots. From what I’ve seen tonight, NBC’s gymnastics team will be the favorite for the gold medal for most cliched, overdone, over-romanticized coverage of its event. That’s largely thanks to the unctuous presence of Al Trautwig and his ponderous pronouncements: “Night … a time of … distinct lack … of sunlight … and a time … when a gymnast’s soul … is sorely tried.”
But other than Bob Costas pointedly singling a member of the U.S. men’s swimming team for screwing up in the 4-by-100 freestyle relay — “Yes, I said Ian Crocker, deadweight to our hopes for Olympic gold” — most of the other NBC folks remained largely unoffensive.