Sunday, August 10, 2008

These Olympics are so good, my butt's asleep.

It's rare something lives up to runaway hype, but so far, these Olympics have delivered. It's not going unnoticed. NBC says these Olympics are on pace to be the most watched ever. I'm sure it helps that they're on more than Seinfeld reruns.
The opening ceremonies were, hands down, the best ever. I can't imagine the amount of practice, money, and imagination it took to pull that off. That drumming thing blew my mind. I'm also glad HD was invented prior to 08-08-08. Phenomenal.
Our entire family was standing up, screaming at the television during Sunday night's 4 X 100 men's swimming relay. That was the greatest finish I've ever seen in any race. The French talked smack, and the Americans made them eat it. Michael Phelps stays on track for 8 gold medals.
Phelps is a fish. The guy defies belief. I also love the way he immediately looks for his mother after winning. When you've had a good one, you never outgrow that feeling.
Iowa State professor Rick Sharp helped designed the Speedo swimsuit that keeps slicing through the water in world record time. He should design some football uniforms for I-State. Maybe basketball too. Can't hurt.
President Bush has the lowest approval rating of any President in decades, perhaps deserved, but I predict he gets a positive bump after the Games. He's at his best in weeks like these, and I agree with his decision to not boycott the Olympics. Boycotting is not the way to human rights progress in China, and it would mostly hurt the athletes (talk to an Olympian from 1980). The interview between President Bush and Bob Costas was interesting. Costas is the consummate pro on nearly any subject.
Props to NBC for so much live coverage. It was nice to watch the USA vs. China basketball game live Sunday instead of waiting for prime time. If the Redeem Team doesn't win gold, I'll watch a WNBA game from start to finish by the end of the month.
As Chris Hassel said Sunday night, "Shawn Johnson sizzles, Team USA fizzles". Shawn was as good as advertised, showing she's the one to beat in Beijing. Her older, more experienced teammates looked nervous and rattled, but Shawn, as ever, showed poise and delivered. Her coach, Liang Chow, told the Register's Nancy Stockdale that Shawn held back too. She'll up her game when she needs to.
If you get popular enough, you'll attract haters. It's true of anyone, even the innocent. Believe it or not, 6% of the people voting at say Shawn Johnson won't win a medal in the all-around. For that to happen, she'll have to fall down twice or pull out with an injury. There's definitely some jealousy out there, just talk to someone who goes to Valley. Most of the students are proud and supportive, but a few dislike Shawn's fame (and fast-growing fortune). She handles it all so well. Can't be easy. I know I was a self-centered knucklehead at 16. And 26.
Gymnastics needs to bring back the "10". It made scoring much more exciting and understandable.
Biggest upset in sports viewing history: Shawn Terrell now watching women's gymnastics with the same passion he brings to the Bears and Cubs.
Just got a letter from Lolo's agent, and fellow Roosevelt legend, Kim Carson. Kim says Lolo is having a blast in China and ready to bring home the gold.
An athlete gets kicked out of the Olympics, and of course it's a cyclist. Can this sport clean itself up enough to make people believe again?
I spent 10 hours at the Iowa State Fair this weekend and really enjoyed it. First at the Olympic Pavilion, where people can watch the Olympics on our big screen, and later at the "Cast Your Kernel" site where folks 18 and over vote for President. Both places were packed and Andy and I met a lot of nice people. Andy is a star. Even people who give him a hard time want an autograph or a picture. He stayed busy signing and posing most of the time. His picture cards look like they were taken during his first day on the job at channel 13 back in 2000. I'm not even sure it's him. That's one way to stay young.

Andy and I will also be doing some Olympic Sound-Offs this week at and

Thanks for stopping by. I've got to get back to the Olympics. Women's volleyball is on. I can't believe I'm watching either, but it's the United States, I'm hooked, and it's in HD.

Let others know what you love, or don't like, about the Olympics so far.



Anonymous said...

I was wondering if NBC is planning to do a re-broadcast of the Olympics opening ceremony? I missed it last week and would love to have a chance to see it sometime!
thanks and keep up the great work!

Anonymous said...

"That was the greatest finish I've ever seen in any race."

This is what bothers me about the Olympics. In the U.S., no one watches swimming, gymnastics, figure skating, etc., when it's NOT the Olympics. But every four years, all of a sudden, every one becomes an expert and cheers passionately for athletes who they hadn't even heard of a few months ago.

It never ceases to amaze me how easily people turn into red, white and blue sheep herded by NBC.

Kelly said...

Would you rather they ignored the sports entirely, just to make you feel like you're a "true blue" fan?

Works for me, I could be outside, living my non-Olympic dreams ... instead of watching others' on TV.

Keith Murphy said...

I don't think NBC has any plans to re-broadcast the Opening Ceremonies, but since they went over so big, anything's possible. I'll check.

As for Anonymous #2, I'm guilty as charged, but not feeling guilty. I was jumping up and down, right next to my wife and father who were doing the same thing, all of us proudly yelling for the U.S. to catch France in a sport I don't typically watch. It was glorious, and I hope to get that excited again. It's good for the soul.

Anonymous said...

You know what anonymous, I would bet my last breath that your butt isn't parked on your couch any time these events are on TV, which isn't that often and could very well be the reason "no one" watches till the Olympics. I happen to love watching gymnastics when they are on, even when not the Olympics. What bothers me are people like you who always have to come up with something negative to say about other people just to run your mouth.

unialum said...

I think the appeal of the Olympics is exactly what Anonymous #2 gave as their reasons for disliking them. While watching the Olympics, you're not a Colts fan or a Hawkeye fan or (God forbid) a Cubs're an American, cheering for fellow Americans. That's what makes it special, fun, and worth watching every time they roll around.

Anonymous said...

You know what anonymous (the one who went after the other anonymous), your post was hypocritical because you anonymously criticized someone for their anonymous criticism. So take that!

U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

Sara said...

I love watching the Olympics. I cheer, I yell, I swear and I throw things. Watching the Olympics is great.

This is what I'm not loving... all the recap of the Olympic action. At the end of primetime coverage, they sum up what has happened. Then late local news kicks in with another summary of what happens and then there's maybe two local news stories and weather before sports, where yet again, the Olympics are recapped. So redundant!

I think Craig Ferguson is doing the best Olympic recap anyway with gems like "The French are just swimming fast so they can get out of the water before someone throws in a bar of soap."

Is nothing else happening In Des Moines right now? Just a fair and some Olympics. It seems kinda mean to make Bachman stay up late for that.

Anonymous said...

I think everyone watch the gymnastics last night. I was sorry they didn't get the gold but proud that they got the sliver. I thought it was unfair of you Keith to put the team down like you did. Just becouse there is one realy great gymnastic doesn't mean the others are less then great to! They all made it to the Olympics and the TEAM did get sliver! You were realy nasty to one girl inperticular! I am sure it is hard to be compaired to Shawn all the time It takes a whole team to get there. You should have been more proud of the USA Team gymnastics.

Anonymous said...

Go Shawn. Whenever someone experiences success and money there are a few bad jealous eggs. It just means those folks are not happy with themselves.
Go Shawn Go!