NBC dumbfounded by 2006 Olympics closing

It's amazing. NBC just sat there with God knows how many commentators, like bumps on a log during the 2006 Winter Olympics closing ceremonies. Keep in mind that all of this is taped, NBC literally has HOURS to edit and improve their broadcast. Hell, they could have even sub-titled the speeches and songs!

Instead the only thing NBC could do was:

1. Ask the American team members "How did it feel?"
2. Identify Avril Lavigne and announce that she is a Canadian.
3. Identify Ricky Martin.
4. Point out that fireworks were going off after the torch was extinguished.

Amongs the things that NBC had no clue about:
1. The show started with a white-clad clown on a white horse to symbolize "ice."
2. He was followed by snow explorers, a huge band of clowns, and acrobats, including a few that "flew" in the air above a giant fan.
3. One of the themes was the "Carnevale" parade which included people dressed as tarot cards and characters from Italian mythology.
4. Some of the clowns performing wore the original costumes from Fedrico Fellini's 1971 film, "The Clowns".
5. Famous tenor Andrea Bocelli performed.
6. The guy who grabbed the microphone yelled "Passion lives in Torino". NBC identified him as a person advertising an on-line casino. The "casino guy" incident actually took place on Friday when a guy streaked the curling bronze medal award.
7. NBC never figured out that the roller bladers with flames coming off their heads at the opening and closing ceremonies were called the "Sparks of Passion" bladers.
8. They never mentioned the next Summer Olympics to be held in Beijing in 2008. Only that the next Winter Olympics will be in Vancouver in 2010.
9. The 400 brides represented hope for the world. They formed a peace dove and then the Torino logo. Each bride carried a lighted lily. When all of the lilies simultaneously faded out, the torch extinguished.
10. There was a lot of confetti during the closing ceremonies. The Italians invented confetti.

The Italian Olympic Committee handed out books to the press that explained every single nuance of the opening and closing ceremonies. Evidently no one at NBC bothered to obtain, let alone read one of these media books.

Basically NBC's employees have no right to refer to themselves as journalists. The entire NBC Olympic coverage was shoddy and lacking in depth.


Dav said...

I don't know when you were listening, but on the West Coast edition the commentators did explain (a bit) about the clown band being what is known in most of Europe as GuggeMusik - they did not explain that the bands are amateur or semi-pro bands formed for carnival (there are hundreds, maybe thousands of these bands) - but they did mention that the clown band sounded a bit like the Stanford University band (somewhat accurate.)
I did not watch most of the closing ceremonies, but I didn't watch most of the entire event...

Bob Walsh said...

Hey Mike -

I completely agree with you; If I set out with the goal of making the Olympics totally boring, I could not have done a better (worse) job than NBC did on this.

This is the first Olympics I've "watched" only to be so turned off I gave oup on it in dispair.

The problem was that the US did so-so (http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/medals/) metalwise, and that's not a story NBC feels it can tell Americans...