Tuesday, February 23, 2010

More Olympic Observations

In case you missed my first batch, click here.

Compared to other flags, the US flag has a lot going on.
A. Japanese kids have it easy learning to draw their flag.

The consensus seems to be that Lindsey Vonn isn't just Olympic Hot, she's just hot.

I may be the only person who doesn't care about Shawn White winning the Snowboard halfpipe.

NBC deciding to tape-delay the events has caused me to avoid ESPN.
A. I miss Pardon the Interruption.

I didn't watch Jay Leno at 11:35, I didn't watch him at 10, and I won't be watching him again at 11:35.

The Marriage Ref is essentially Mystery Science Theater 3000 using stupid people rather than bad movies for the set up of the jokes.
A. It won't be nearly as clever as MST3K

Part of me feels bad for the figure skaters who fall and have their Olympic hopes dashed after one mistake.
A. I repress that part of me and just laugh at others' misfortune.

The nearest Curling club to me is two hours away.
A. That's actually closer than I thought it would be.
B. I'm still not going to drive two hours to go curling.
C. Unless Nicole Joraanstad is there.
C1. Joraanstad is Olympic Hot.
D. Cheryl Bernard of Canada is as well.
D2. As are many women's Olympic curlers
E. I remain undecided as to Debbie McCormick's attractiveness
F. I've obviously watched a lot of curing.

In order to be a figure skating commentator, you must be a Debbie Downer.

P&G claims to be the official sponsor of moms, yet moms have to pay to get P&G products. I don't think they understand how sponsorship works.

Bobsledding looks to be essentially sledding down a sheet of ice.

Elfi Schlegel has to have the worst name of any announcer on television.

A. She is, however, slated to play Will Ferrell's wife in Elf 2: The Fight to Unionize

I've watched more CNBC during the Olympics than I have in the last four years.
A. I may watch some of their documentaries.

The lack of commercials make Olympic hockey thrilling to watch.
A. It also results in NBC relegating it to MSNBC or CNBC.

I would die on the slopes if I attempted any of the downhill skiing events.

I'd also die of exhaustion if I did any of the cross-country skiing.

There's a chance I'd die just from curling.
A. I'm miserably out of shape.

What possible reason is there to combine ski jumping with shooting?
A. Other than the fact that it's awesome.

The Toyota Sienna commercials annoy me.
A. Most of the commercials annoy me at this point.
B. If you're going to advertise for two weeks straight, have the decency to have multiple commercials or run the risk of alienating potential customers.

Any one of the USA women's hockey team could likely beat me up.

What do these niche sports' announcers do when the Olympics aren't going on?

I'm not going to watch 'Parenthood,' but it's nice knowing Lauren Graham is back on television.

Tanith Belbin may be fourth in Ice Dancing, but she's still first in my heart. (Don't tell my wife I said that.)
A. She says she's done with Olympic competitions, so I may never hear of her again.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Tiger Beat

I've long suspected that Tiger Woods is actually a cyborg of some sort. The mechanical way he went through everything seemed to indicate that he was part machine that only had the anger/frustration emotion actually programmed (albeit with a glitch that caused him to overreact at golf matches the way Randy Johnson reacted to the New York media after signing with the Yankees.)  Everything else about him screamed 'I'm not really human.'

What I didn't realize was that there are actually two models of Tiger Woods, and today those Woods gave simultaneous 'media events' (I refuse to call it a press conference when he did no actual conferring) and managed to simulcast them to two different segments of the public. One of the Woods (let's, for simplicity sake, call him Woods1), gave a 13 minute speech in which he was apologetic, contrite, heartfelt and said everything he needed to say to earn himself back into the good graces of the American (and presumably, world) public. Woods1 took responsibility for his transgressions, pleaded for privacy for his children and family and was a new Tiger. This Tiger vowed to be a better person both on and off the course.

This broadcast went out to most of the media covering the event live. After the event, those on camera applauded Woods1 for his forthrightness and generally gave him fawning adoration (the kind of adoration I can only assume Woods gave his mistresses prior to deciding his marriage to a Swedish model was worth throwing away for a Perkins waitress.) For an hour after Woods1 spoke, there was nothing but praise for Woods1's courage to bare his soul to the public.

This is not the broadcast I got.

Instead, I got Evil Woods. Well, that's not fair, it wasn't Evil Woods so much as it was 'Contrived, Controlling, Nothing's-Actually-Changed-and-I-Can't-Believe-You're-Buying-This-Load-of-Crap-I'm-Selling-You' Woods, but that's too much to type out each time, so I'm going to go with calling this version of Cyborg Tiger 'Woods2.' 

This broadcast went out to everyone else on the planet. I'm not sure why he would do this, other than he's surpassed "I'm Keith Hernandez" status and basically wanted to give the middle finger to everyone for daring to want to question him. The speech took place in front of a blue backdrop that had to be returned to the set of Saturday Night Live as soon as it was over.

Woods2 has a pathological need to control everything, as was evidenced from the entire event. He limited the room to only people he wanted there. He limited the media to only the ones he wanted there. I'm not even sure why the media was invited since he wasn't wasn't going to take any questions. It's like inviting the kids at a fat camp to an All-You-Can-Eat buffet but telling them they can't eat anything. I'm really not even sure why he felt the need to read the statement to us, just release it on your website and go back into hiding . . . errr, rehab. I know, I know, Step 9 of rehab, making direct amends to people and all that, but did he really do that just be reading a prepared statement? It all seemed as choreographed as a Tanith Belbin Ice Dance routine.

I'd love to see the actual paper Woods2 was reading off of. I'm assuming it had stage directions in parentheses. (Cry Here) (Look Angry Here). I was shocked that he didn't actually say 'Go Hug Mom' at the end. And while Woods2 did admit he was in rehab, he never specified exactly what he was in rehab for. Was it sex addiction, drug addiction, X-Box addiction? He made sure to apologize to his business partners long before he apologized to the children in the programs his charitable foundation supports. In fact, I think he apologized to everyone possible before mentioning the kids.

Woods2 seemed to be no different than Tiger before the Thanksgiving crash (which still hasn't been fully addressed. Why was he leaving his house at 2 a.m.?). He still has to control every aspect of everything around him. His speech consisted of nothing but therapy speak and buzz words and despite having ample time to prepare, felt as scripted as a middle school performance of Shakespeare.

I will give Tiger credit for these two things. One, he didn't cheat on his wife during the media event, so that was good. And two, he didn't end his speech by saying 'Hey everybody, we're all gonna get laid'.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fast enough, high enough, strong enough

Five days into the Olympics, these are my observations:

Figure skaters seem to have massive amounts of trouble landing their jumps.

Olympic athletes eat at McDonalds (or so their commercials tell me this, I'm a bit skeptical.)

Despite it's slow pace, curling can be fascinating and exciting.

Luge used to look like something I'd want to do.

Snowboard cross looks really fun.

Short track speed skating is always exciting.

Long track speed skating is not always exciting.

The Marriage Ref starts after the Olympics.

How to Tame Your Dragon spent its entire advertising budget for the Olympics.

How I Tamed Your Dragon will also be a porn movie within a matter of months.

NBC's announcers are not quite Olympic quality.
A. Repeating 'Anything can happen in snowboard cross' six times in 10 minutes seems like overkill.
B. 'We're cutting down to the top 32 for the Round of 32,' seems self-evident.

Polar Bears live in Canada and need a feature about them rather than showing actual events.

I still don't know the different between an axle, sow-cow and toe-loop.

My wife would rather watch the Bachelor or American Idol rather than the Olympics.
A. This makes me sad.

Al Michaels still believes in miracles . . . YES.

Choosing a city with an average temperature at this time of the year of 40 degrees may not be the best move the International Olympic Committee has ever made.

Lindsey Vonn's shin is a really important news story.

Canada's Opening Ceremonies were boring when compared to Beijing's.
A. Always double check your mechanical Olympic cauldron before using debuting it in front of more than a billion people.
B. I'm not intelligent enough to follow opening ceremonies without assistance from announcers.
C. I can't explain the appeal of watching the parade of nations.

More observations to come as the games continue (including my girl Tanith Belbin competing.)

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Dog eat dog world

While a record number of Americans were busy watching the New Orleans Saints defeat the Indianapolis Colts in Super Bowl 44 (that's right, no Roman numerals here), Jake the Chug (half Chihuahua, half pug) was busy taking home MVP honors in Puppy Bowl 6. The following is a transcript of his postgame press conference, for those who may have missed it.

Wow, what can I say. This is a huge honor. To think that 13 weeks ago I wasn't even born, and now I'm the most valuable  puppy in the 2010 Puppy Bowl. This is an unreal feeling, right up there with biting my first human and humping my first leg. It was really just an honor to be selected to participate. There were so many other puppies that were deserving to play and just to be chosen was a huge deal. I never, in my wildest dreams, thought I'd get the opportunity to run around on an astrotruf field with chew toys and other dogs and have someone film it, let alone have that footage shown on a national television station. And on Superb Owl Sunday, the day when everyone in America stops to think about animals, well that's just incredible.

(Head coach leans over and whispers something in Jake's ear)

Apparently there's no such thing as Superb Owl Sunday, and it was actually Super Bowl Sunday. Apparently that's a big deal, but really, how big can it be? They had The Who playing. Weren't they popular like 280 years ago? What's that? They had roughly 35 percent of the American public watch their game? Is that a lot? Most all time, huh? Wow, over 100 million people to watch. How'd we do? We got around eight million. So I'm not going to be famous? Well that bites.

One last thing before I take any questions. I want to thank my dad, for not humping that guys leg when he had the chance since my mom walked by two minutes later. I want to thank my mom's owners for not spraying dad with the hose like they'd done so many times before. I want to thank Animal Planet for giving us this platform to showcase our talents, as well as the entire Puppy Playing League for taking a chance on a Chug like me. Now, I'll be happy to answer any of your questions.

Sally Hull, Modern Dog: Jake, what does winning MVP in the Puppy Bowl do for your legacy?

I think it's far too early to start talking about legacies. Obviously I'd like to become the greatest of all time, but living up to the legacy of Lassie or Rin Tin Tin is something that's not even on my mind right now. Right now I'm just thinking about being adopted by a family with a big yard and a fence. Hopefully they have a kid who is around eight or nine. They younger ones are too rough and always pull your tail and the older kids don't care about you except when they want to take you for a walk to impress their lady friends. I'd love to get into commercial acting, maybe a Mighty Dog or even a fabric softener commercial with some cute babies. Or if Budweiser wants to bring back Spuds MacKenzie, I'd love a shot at being Spuds 2.0. Winning Puppy Bowl MVP obviously gives me a leg up in that I'm already well know. If that works out, maybe I can be like Eddie from Frasier and get a recurring role on a television series. I don't have any illusions of having the show focus on me, but to have a regular role would be awesome. And who knows, maybe I could be like Air Bud and star in a few movies. But I really haven't thought about my legacy a lot.

Kim Campbell Thornton, Dog World: What did you think of the halftime show for this year's Puppy Bowl?

I thought for sure it'd be the Pussycat Dolls performing, but it turns out they just had cats playing during halftime. The Pussycat Dolls would have brought some much needed excitement to halftime. I worry that we may have lost some viewers who flipped over to the Super Bowl and never returned. The chance of a wardrobe malfunction with Nicole Scherzinger would have kept pretty much everyone watching, but from what I hear, they were well beyond the budget Animal Planet had for their halftime show. I think the ad revenue generated from additional viewers would have more than offset the cost of them performing. And really, who wouldn't watch the Pussycat Dolls perform together again after breaking up last year. A reunion show would be a ratings bonanza. By the way, all you newspaper editors can now thank me for giving you a valid reason to run a picture of Scherzinger.

Tom Barthel, Natural Dog: There's been a lot of talk of performance enhancing drugs going on recently. Are you concerned that you'll be suspected of taking something to boost your performance after winning MVP?

The idea that I would take something to improve my performance is insane. I'm all natural, you can test me any time, any place. I want to say this again. I have not taken steroids, ever. I'd expect this kind of question from a magazine called Natural Dog. You've been pushing the steroid agenda for years, accusing anyone and everyone of using steroids with no evidence to back it up.

Snoop Dog, Doggie Style: Will you be in my next video?

Snoop, it'd be an honor. You've been an idol of mine since you were Snoop Doggy Dog. Anyone who sacrifices his own name to promote dogs everywhere is someone we need to support. Just promise me it's not going to be a remake of the Baha Men's Who let the Dogs Out? or there will be a revolt against you by every dog, on the planet. That song did more to set back our image than anything since the Pit Bull problems of the mid 1990s. You ask any dog around and they'll tell you that they're bigger fans of Michael Vick's than they are of the Baha Men. Don't get me wrong, Vick's a jerk and should still be in jail, but most of the dogs I've talked to believe the Baha Men should be shot on sight.

Randy Jackson, American Idol: Yo man, welcome to the Dawg Pound. I gotta say, you rocked tonight. You brought down the house. A million, billion, brazillion percent yes from me. Perfect song choice for you. You were a bit pitchy in spots, but overall, the best performance of the night. 

Ummmm, thanks. Do you even listen to yourself anymore or do you just enjoy being a caricature of yourself?

Randy Jackson: Being a caricature of myself is actually easier at this point. Did you know I was in Journey? Have I mentioned that yet?

I've got time for two more questions.

Denise Flaim, Dogs USA: The Puppy Bowl commissioner has talked of making this an international event, what are your thoughts on competing on a world stage?

I'd love the opportunity. I think I can compete against any dogs anywhere. I know there's the perception that American dogs are soft, that we're pampered with our chew toys and our doggie pillows and the fact that there are companies who will drive to my home to bathe me, pamper me and make me feel special. I know there are other countries where dogs aren't treated this will, but I don't think that would impact me in a competition. but we'd need to get the drug testing standardized and find an appropriate time in the schedule. I know the Japanese schedule is a bit different than ours, and with China and Russia having different schedules, it'd be tough to find a time to do it, but if they can find a time, I'd love to compete.

By Eve Adamson, Dog Fancy: Can you sum up in words what this means for you?

Eve, I really can't. I mean, it's like nothing else in the world. Year's from now, when people think of 2010, they'll think of me. Sure, I might be down the list after the Saints winning, after Stephen Colbert winning a Grammy, after pretty much anything else in popular culture, but eventually, in the annals of history, you'll be able to find me among the winners of this year. I'm a part of history than can never be taken away. I have to say that I'm the luckiest son of a bitch alive right now.