Monday, August 11, 2008

The Obligatory (But Not In A Bad Way) Olympic Post

It seems for some reason that I am the last blogger to be posting about, or to at least mention, the Olympics. I guess that’s par for the course for me. I’m usually the last to catch on. This is most noticeable when it comes to fashion. For example, I only recently got through my Birkenstocks phase and I still think Hawaiian shirts count as ‘dressing up.’ But enough about that, this is about the Olympics.

I have been an Olympic junkie since the 1984 games in Los Angeles. I was in elementary school at the time and freaked out about how cool the Olympics were. Anyone remember Sam, the Olympic mascot eagle? That was a rhetorical question, of course. While I don’t remember a lot of moments about those games (aside from Mary Decker’s horrific fall and Lionel Richie performing ‘All Night Long’ during the closing ceremonies), I remember watching every event I could and seeing the Olympic torch being run through Newport Beach in a Mercedes convertible. Yes, I made the convertible part up, but anyone who has been there knows what I mean. My passion for the Olympics has continued ever since. Besides, the Olympics are essentially 24/7 televised sports, so why wouldn’t I be in heaven every 4 years?

Where to start on this past weekend’s Olympic action? Michael Phelps? The new men’s basketball Dream Team? The very not so subtle-underage looking women’s Chinese gymnastics team? Bob Costas’ horribly dark dye job? That weird Coca-Cola bird’s nest commercial? Almost-nude women’s volleyball? There have been so many plot points.

And speaking of women’s volleyball (bet you didn’t see that segue coming), did you hear about American beach volleyballer Kerri Walsh’s little incident? I read on Yahoo (and a big hello to any readers of this post that work for Yahoo – or at least one of them) that she lost her wedding ring going up for a set or block or jumping part where you can’t hit the net. You’re not alone if you too recognize the irony of her losing her gold while trying to win the gold. Or maybe it’s just me. Anywho, she lost her wedding band and apparently some broadcasters working the match or round or quarter or whatever noticed it. They were able to go back to the tape, which I guess is essentially using instant replay, and isolate whereabouts the ring may have fallen in the sand. While that may not be comparable to finding a needle in a haystack, it had to be about as tough as seeing the sun through the Beijing smog (I’ve been waiting all weekend to be able to use a Beijing smog analogy – hoped you enjoyed it). Once the metal detectors were brought in though, Kerri’s ring was found and all was well with the world, at least for Kerri Walsh. And possibly her husband who paid for it – three months salary’s worth, if he’s a good guy.

While that’s a weird occurrence, imagine reading an internet headline that says something to the effect of ‘Opening Ceremony Fireworks Faked.’ Does China really need any more bad press while trying to host these games? I guess the fireworks were real, but the live shots of fireworks were computer generated because it was too dangerous for the helicopter to be in the sky filming them because of how many fireworks there were. Basically translated (I think): if you saw them live in China, the fireworks were real but if you saw them on TV (like most of the world), they were computer generated.

I guess that just means they were ‘enhanced’ for the home viewing audience. If they have the ability to do that, why not computer generate blue skies or something so that the smog doesn’t appear so bad. Computer enhancing things during the Olympics is a slippery slope. But then if you are able to maintain control, slipper slopes can sometimes be fun, too. You could computer enhance the shininess (wow, I really didn’t think that was a real word, but apparently Microsoft thinks it is) of the medals during the medal ceremony or every time an athlete smiles at the camera, you could computer generate a sparkle to their shiny teeth (you know, a big bright star on their teeth with the ‘ting’ sound to it).

There’s lots of neat things (really, that's the best I could do? Neat things? Sorry) we could do via computer while people are watching the Olympics. Heck, NBC could hire George Lucas’ Industrial Light and Magic to really bring the games to life. Imagine superimposed pirates in the water during rowing or athletes pole vaulting into computer generated water filled with computer generated piranha or (for you Austin Powers fans) mutated sea bass with frickin’ laser beams attached to their heads. And really, who wouldn’t want to see superimposed wings on our beloved gymnasts, a flaming volleyball or synchronized diving into lava? I fear however that Lucas might have to stop short of superimposing Storm Troopers into Tiananmen Square. But then again, it could be a great promotional tie-in with his new Clone Wars movie coming to theaters this weekend…

14 comments:

Mel Heth said...

Hahaha this was the best Olympic post I've read thus far! Thanks for the shout out, by the way. I'm glad someone is contributing to the betterment of our stock price.

I was shocked about the CGI fireworks too, I mean really? Really was that necessary? Because like all the other crazy people-moving-under-fabric-cubes trickery wasn't spectacular enough?

One last thing: I had a Sam the Eagle watch when I was a kid. Of course, now, I have no idea where it is...

Eva said...

I had an Olympic eagle too! I remember that the archery competition was held a mile from my house, in El Dorado Park. That was too cool. Thanks for bringing me up to speed on the latest in Olympic news! Also, I wish I could buy something that would make a "ting!" noise every time I flashed my pearly whites.

Lil Sass said...

I refuse to even read this post in it's entirety because I don't currently own a tv and am deeply bitter about it.

I HUMP the olympics and am really friggin' upset about all this.

So all'a'you bloggers blogging about the Olympics - SHUT UP ALREADY! ;-)

Sunshine said...

I love your take on the Games!

I don't care if the TV fireworks were fake, my favorite part was the drummers anyway.

Also, I like your addition of Lucas to the mix! Add in some Darth Vader in the fencing competition!!!

Employee No. 3699 said...

Wait...where's the Panda Dung Souvenirs?????

Natalie said...

I think the opening ceremonies are the least interesting part of the Olympics. I was watching something else that day. The actual events though, those are pretty cool. Well, some of them are.

Wonderful World of Weiners said...

I have not yet jumped on the blog about the Olympics band wagon so you are NOT the last one.

I saw the match where she lost the ring. She IMMEDIATELY pointed at her hand when it happened. One wonders why, when the sport you play relys so heavily on whacking the hell out of a ball with your HAND, that you'd where your precious ring. Doesn't seem like the end of the world would occur if she took it off PRE game and replaces it POST game.

I'm just sayin...

Hallie

citizen of the world said...

Nope, I haven't mentioned the olympics yet either. In fact, I may well not mention them at all.

Isn't it an engagement ring that is supposed to be three months salary? Because how poorly would you have to be paid to spend three months worth of wages on a gold band? It's the diamond that costs. (But, in my book, a ridiculous rule in any event.)

meleah rebeccah said...

Only YOU could make the Olympics an even more enjoyable read than watching it on TV.

sari said...

I haven't blogged about the Olympics either, but this was so good, now I'm not going to.

What I wouldn't give to see a mutated sea bass with a frickin' laser beam on it's head! Seriously. I would love it! And it would be even better if the mutated sea bass had the sparkly star shine on it's tooth! Right?? You know it would be better!

I think I've had too much ice cream.

sari said...

And sadly (or not sadly, I can't figure it out) I had just graduated from high school in 1984. Elementary school, poosh!

Patti said...

Ralph has a mug featuring Sam the Olympic Eagle. If you read his "equestrian event" post a few weeks ago you'd know he was at the '84 Olympics in L.A. He got sunstroke, but he survived.

That was before I knew him, so I can't say I've ever been to SoCal...

Funny post, and so far it's the first I've seen on the Olympics. I haven't been watching them on TV. Guess I'm not patriotic.

chefmom said...

That was a great synopsis of the Olympics so far. Can you believe what a crew they had out looking for that ring???

Selma said...

Oh, I can't type for laughing. They should have faked some blue skies, shouldn't they? And what's up with that line dancing they're doing in the streets? Have you see that in the US? It's the Chinese version of 'Achy Breaky Heart.'You are the best. Thanks for such a laugh!