Monday, 30 July 2012
Dotlympics 2012: Day 3
It's day 3 of the London Games and an unusual thing is happening: I'm watching some sport not involving an athlete from the United Kingdom. I'll be honest, it's a brave new world for me. What do you do?
The BBC are no real help in this. After eulogising the wonderful smorgasbord of sporting action offered by BBC 1 yesterday I am now predictably going to complain about it. I suppose that Olympic coverage in this country has always been rather Team GB-centric, but the more choices they give us - the more platforms there are available - the more the jingle-jangle of jingoism on the flagship station begins to stick in my bleedin' craw.
How are Team GB doing today? What did We win yesterday? How many Gold Medal Chances (i.e. Olympic events we have a competitor in, no pressure there) do we have today? And how are Our athletes coping with the pressure? We ask all of them continually, every hour of the day and night, for two weeks or until they cry. The BBC like to make sportsmen cry. It shows the human side of them and gives an insight into the emotional self-mastery and personal sacrifices they all make. It's also a vivid image and a good story.
So Tom Daley, how has your dad's death affected you? By the way, he IS dead and is not coming back. Yep, deadsville. Kark City, Arizona.
It's driving me completely bonkers, I have to tell you. Here's the program of events from yesterday evening on BBC 1:
1900: Gary Lineker asks Ian Thorpe if Rebecca Adlington can do it.
1920: Interview with Lizzie Armitstead, silver medallist in the women's cycling road race that afternoon. She rode a completely perfect race, you know.
1932: Minute's silence for Paula Radcliffe's withdrawal from London 2012.
1943: In the aquatic centre, Claire Balding asks Mark Foster if Rebecca Adlington can do it. Over her right shoulder we see vague traces of two world records being broken and two gold medals being won.
1956: VT of Rebecca Adlington, mostly from four years ago
1958: Footage from The Rebecca Adlington Swimming Centre in Mansfield as a crowd assemble to watch her race on TV, all the while missing a number of European and Olympic records being broken and more gold medals being won.
2008: A ninety second piece of VT as Jake Humphrey and Misha Hussein tell us how easy it is to watch some - any - fucking sport at this pissing Olympics.
2015: A Lithuanian 15-year old wins her semi-final in European record time. Claire Balding notes she trains in Plymouth, which is in the UK.
2016: Can Rebecca Adlington do it?
2023: Rebecca Adlington's race takes place. Rebecca Adlington takes a bronze medal. Names of the gold and silver medal winners currently escape me, as no-one mentioned them particularly.
2028: Gary Lineker, Claire Balding, Ian Thorpe, Mark Foster, C.B. Fry, Sir Winston Churchill and Windy fucking Miller discuss how well Rebecca Adlington did.
0100: Pages from Ceefax.
Today, my Olympic watching attempts so far have been a 30-minute long discussion about whether Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield can do it, 3 minutes of a badminton match between an Australian and a Slovakian, Michael Vaughan discussing Lord's and its role in the Olympic archery competition and then the phenomenal arse that is Garry Herbert successfully commentating on a coxless fours rowing semi-final only mentioning the British boat in a race in which they were, at no stage, higher than third in a field of six.
Today will see me cuddling my broadband connection. I may even buy the router chocolates. I can't take this endless, meaningless, chatter any more when all I want to see is some sport. Any sport - any sport - will do, just so long as it doesn't cut off after 5 minutes so that Reggie Yates can talk shit at me for a quarter of an hour.
I will relent and watch BBC 1 for Tom Daley and Pete Waterfield's 10 metre synchronised diving final this afternoon. But I shall be doing so with the sound off.