Seacrest? Badminton? Gavin Smellie? One Olympics viewer is not impressed
By RICHARD ROEPER August 12, 2012 2:12PM
Germany's Stephan Feck competes in the
Updated: September 14, 2012 6:13AM
Badminton players tanked. Usain Bolted. A judo contender was taken down by a pot brownie. James Bond and the Queen jumped out of a helicopter. Sort of.
The Olympics were majestic — but they were also quite GOOFy.
For 20 years this column has spotlighted the most scandalous, silliest and most salacious stories and people of the year in the annual GOOF (Greatly Overhyped and Overexposed Fool) awards.
The London Games were worthy of some GOOFs of their own.
Decked out like he was covering the Golden Globes, the ubiquitous Ryan Seacrest brought a unique combination of blandness and sportscasting inexperience to the table. He noted athletes are “typically a lot taller” than showbiz celebs, he tried to do a split with the U.S. women’s gymnastics team and told them he had sent a message on their behalf to Justin Bieber, and he noted of Michael Phelps’ family, “It’s fun to see them in their real lives, because they’ve got real lives.”
The man is giving vanilla a bad name.
In other news, badminton is an Olympic sport
Badminton pairs from China, Indonesia and South Korea deliberately tanked in the hopes of getting easier paths to the finals. This marked the only time anyone outside the immediate families of the badminton-ers talked about badminton.
What do you meme by that?
After literally falling on her rear end and blowing the gold, silver medalist gymnast McKayla Maroney produced a pout on the podium that turned into a viral favorite, with pics of the unimpressed McKayla photoshopped into everything from the Mars Rover landing to the final scene in “Scarface.”
Ryan Lochte’s mother told Us magazine her son doesn’t have time for a relationship, so he has one-night stands.
Don’t touch that brownie!
U.S. judo fighter Nick Delpopolo was sent home after testing positive for marijuana. Delpopolo claimed he inadvertently ate something baked with pot before he left for London.
Left unasked: How is marijuana in your system going to help you on the judo mat?
Who are you wearing?
Gabby Douglas was criticized for her hair on some social media sites. Stories defending Gabby Douglas for her hair outnumbered stories criticizing Gabby’s hair about a million to one.
Even more ridiculous was the controversy over American uniforms. Fox News’ “America Live” program ran a scroll titled, “NEW CONCERNS ABOUT AMERICAN PATRIOTISM AT THE OLYMPICS” as guest David Webb ranted about “this kind of soft, anti-American feeling that Americans can’t show our exceptionalism. And frankly if they are offended about our showing our exceptionalism, then they have that right and I don’t care, and neither do most Americans.”
Wait, what? Gabby’s going soft and anti-American because she wore pink?
Poor Stephan Feck. Not only did have an epic fail of a dive, he has the bad fortune to be a competitor in 2012, which means the dive will live forever on the Internet. For. Ever.
Some fans howled because NBC required you to have a cable subscription to view all events live online. They were also offended by the time difference that made it impossible to show key events live in prime time and they wanted the entire world to engage in a results blackout so nobody would ruin their viewing experience.
The Samuel L. Jackson who tweeted about the Olympics is way cooler than the Jackson who talks gazpacho with Siri in those awful ads. To wit: “Uh oh, Pommel Horse next! Thass like Balance Beam for dudes! Horse def has US men’s numba! Oh well, Go USA!”
Just before the start of the 100-meter finals, some idiot threw a beer bottle than landed near Usain Bolt.
Somebody didn’t get enough attention from Mommy and Daddy as a child.
Out of the box
In 1984, the U.S. Olympics men’s boxing team medaled in 11 of 12 weight classes, with nine golds, a silver and a bronze. (A fully-eared young Evander Holyfield took the bronze in the light heavyweight division.)
In 2012, the American boxers were shut out. Not a single medal.
It’s official. Boxing is dead in the USA.
Maybe they’ll make MMA an Olympic sport in 2020.
Is this your first Olympics?
Among the “tourists” discussing the queen’s filmed appearance with James Bond in the opening ceremonies: Evander Holyfield. Nobody at NBC seemed to recognize him. Holyfield later tweeted, “Look the @todayshow did a good job. It was hard to recognize me with the baseball cap. This could happen to any reporter. LOL!”
Dept. of Bad Ideas
NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremonies eschewed a moving tribute to victims of terrorist bombings in favor of a Ryan Seacrest interview with Michael Phelps.
Waaah! I have to work late! Waaah!
Apparently under the impression Bob Costas controls NBC’s Olympic programming, a Jacksonville, Fla., sports anchor launched into a tirade against Costas because the broadcast ran a bit late.
“He did it to us again!” bellowed Dan Hicken. “He does it every four years. Bob doesn’t know that 12 o’clock means 12 o’clock. It doesn’t mean 12:02, it doesn’t mean 12:04, it certainly doesn’t mean 12:07. Bob, when it’s 12 o’clock, you say good night!”
One thing for certain: whatever Bob Costas was doing in London, he wasn’t thinking about Dan Hicken’s schedule.
Janet Jackson moment
During a live broadcast of a women’s water polo match, the breast of a Spanish player was exposed. No word yet on congressional hearings.
What’s in a name?
It would be politically incorrect to giggle at the names of these Olympians, so we’re just going to marvel at them. Dong Dong, Yoshie Takeshita, Destinee Hooker, American equestrian Rich Fellers, Aichen Wang, Gavin Smellie, Jack Bauer, Sparkle McKnight — and Vania Stambolova, who, alas lived up to her name and stumbled in the women’s 400-meter hurdles and did not finish.
We now return to our regularly scheduled habit of largely ignoring about 20 of the 26 sports showcased over the last two weeks. See you in Rio in 2016, equestrians!