Over the weekend, I sat on my couch wat-ching NBC's broadcast of the Winter Olympics featuring moguls skiers...sitting on a couch of their own. After each run, NBC spent significant camera time on the reactions of these world-class athletes awaiting their scores while reclining comfortably at the base of the hill.
Then, on Monday night, three of the four finalists in an event called snowboard cross took to the course in strategically ripped jeans, looking more like the dudes lined up outside State Street Brats on a Friday night than Olympians. I'm reminded of what a Little League coach told me when I showed up to practice in Levis: "If you can do it in jeans, it's not a sport."
NBC spent as much energy on snowboard cross - billed as "NASCAR on snow" - as it did on one of the Olympics' marquee sports, the men's downhill. On Monday, we saw only six skiers attack a course against a spectacular backdrop. Much of the rest of the night was devoted to pairs figure skating, featuring one bungled routine after another.
But what has driven me from my own living room each night is when Bob Costas, who anchors NBC's primetime coverage, continually segues into a live, integrated promo for the animated Dreamworks movie How to Train Your Dragon. I'm embarrassed for Costas and nostalgic for the days when ABC's Jim McKay presided over the games with authority and style.
Will it get any better? With ice dancing and women's skeleton billed as the highlights of Friday's primetime coverage, there's no reason to be optimistic.