Anyone remember Franz Klammer’s downhill run in the 1976 Olympics?
I do. If you’ve never seen it, here it is…
The call is by Frank Gifford and Bob Beattie. It sounds live. But that call, as exciting as it is, may well have been re-recorded prior to its broadcast by ABC. Klammer’s run was so surprising, so dramatic, that Gifford and Beattie had earlier called Switzerland’s Bernard Russi the winner and were unprepared to give Klammer’s run its rightful due. At the time, of course, no one knew that, because whatever ABC gave us was what we got. Live or taped. True or false.
It’s Lundi Gras in New Orleans, 2010. No Loyola classes today or tomorrow.
Rather than braving the cold to see yet another of the 50+ parades and celebrations rolling through the city during Mardi Gras, I’m looking forward to watching the men’s downhill at the Vancouver Olympics. With only a single terrifying two-minute run down Whistler mountain to determine the winner, the men’s downhill is very often the most immediate, visceral, and exciting event of the Winter Olympics. It’s the winter equivalent of the Summer Olympic’s 100-meter dash. Both signature events rightfully lay claim to crowning the world’s fastest human, on the track or in the snow.
Starting time: 10:30am PST. I’ve got the live interval times and updated standings ready to go on the Vancouver Olympics website.
But there’s no broadcast of the men’s downhill on NBC.
NBC is showing qualifying runs of the men’s snowboard cross, a new Olympic event. There’s no mention of the men’s downhill in the NBC coverage. No update. No video. No broadcast.
There is nothing.
NBC is taping and saving their coverage of the men’s downhill for tonight’s prime-time broadcast.
Will I watch NBC’s prime-time coverage tonight to find out? Probably.
Will I resent not being able to watch the men’s downhill live? Definitely.
What I expect to see tonight is a carefully crafted package of the men’s downhill run, spliced and splattered with commercials and self-serving promotions of NBC’s coverage. I expect to see a story. I want to see an event.
Should I suspend my disbelief? Should I trust NBC to groom and coif my experience of the 2010 Winter Olympics?
Once upon a time, circa 1976, I had no choice.
Where’s the 2010 Winter Olympics Men’s Downhill?