Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Toe Pick

Alright, I realize this may generate a lot of angry comments, Booo-urnses, rotten tomatoes, or immediate clicks to the HuffPo link in your bookmark, but I need to get this off my chest.

First, I may be slightly biased about the sport of figure skating because I think the greatest figure skating move around is two hockey players holding each other suggestively and spinning around the ice while bashing each others' brains out.  Plus there's an honorable element to that (50 seconds in).    OK, D.B. Sweeney moment out of the way. 

Second, as a product of the former Soviet Union, I've had to watch a bit too much figure skating than I care to admit.  In fact one of my earliest childhood memories is a Soviet couple winning gold by skating to Albinoni's Adagio in D (the couple on TV right now is dancing to Albinoni's Adagio in D).  And I've come to the conclusion that the sport is just like network TV...very uncreative.  (The limited song rotation in the sport is probably just another symptom of the lack of creativity).  I realize there are specific elements that they have to hit.  I get that.  I also realize the limits imposed on the sport by the laws of physics (you spin faster when you move your hands closer to your body).  But despite all that, the sport as a whole just borrows whatever move garners the max points at the present time.  For example, all the spinners grab their skates now because that gets a tenth of point extra or something.  Similarly, the jump du jour is a triple toe loop.  The axle is apparently too easy these days.  The phenomenon exists in other sports. The Miami Dolphins had marginal success with a new offense, and next thing you know, every friggin team is doing a version of the "wildcat offense." My earlier analogy to network TV is also appropriate because for every American Idol (a British show), you have America's Got Talent.  For Dancing with the Stars, you have So You Think You Can Dance.  For every successful season of 24, you have another season that takes the precise story arc, erases the penciled in recycled characters and "terrorist countries", and calls it a wrap. 

Third, the NBC announcers, for figure skating at least, are TERRIBLE.  "They're just savoring the moment right now."  Huh?  What the hell does that mean?  I just muted them and pretended John Madden was calling the skating:  "You know Al, if the Chinese want to take home the gold, they really can't afford to slip...and I might add, Brett Favre really looks like a kid having fun out there on the ice."

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26 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

What the fuck are you talking about and why do we care?

2/16/2010 12:58 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

I'm talking about unchecked aggression.

2/16/2010 1:01 AM  
Blogger Toney said...

Yeah, curling is where it's at. Sweep bitches!

2/16/2010 8:31 AM  
Blogger Peter H, Co-Pres said...

Epic The Cutting Edge reference, and I'm with you, until skaters start doing the Pamchenko throw I'm not going to watch.

2/16/2010 9:47 AM  
Blogger McWho said...

My most angering moment:

In reference to Russian skater, who is an immigrant to Russia:

"You don't see many people defecting TO Russia, ha ha ha."

Really? Way to make fun of an entire nation with an incredibly wrong comment. People 'defect' to Russia all the time, from Africa, the Middle East, and Asia. It made me want to punch the guy for perpetuating the ignorant American stereotype.

2/16/2010 10:02 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, I don't know what you're talking about, but I'm talking about drawing a line in the sand. Across this line, YOU DO NOT CROSS.

2/16/2010 10:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This aggression will not stand!

2/16/2010 10:25 AM  
Blogger Armen said...

Hmm, I really think we can rewrite the rules/terminology of figure skating using The Big Lebowski lines.

The long program = "the compromised second draft."

Sticking a landing = "throwing rocks tonight."

Russians missing out on a gold medal = "the bums lost."

Qualifying for the Olympics = "getting the venue that you wanted."

Olympic skaters = "bunch of f*cking amateurs."

The Chinese pairs = "man in the black pajamas, worthy f*cking adversary."

I'm sure there's more than that...

2/16/2010 10:25 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

I got lost somewhere in that post, but I did watch the figure skating last night, and I agree with your condemnation of the announcers.

This is not just a problem with figure skating coverage, though. NBC as a whole has done a TERRIBLE job at just telling us what the fuck we are watching and why. If you miss the first 35 seconds of an event, you could watch the next two hours without a single explanation of who is in the lead, what is at stake, how the event works, or how points are scored. If you're not an expert in the event being televised, your entire viewing experience is reduced to "oh, that looks difficult!"

Even Bob Costas, the biannual emissary of olympic ambiguity, has just seemed high most of the time this year. I guess he's just excited to be out of his cryogrenic tube again.

NBC can do no right these days. Get it together, jerks.

2/16/2010 10:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Does anyone remember the 'Tano lutz? Dude did a triple lutz with his hand extended straight up over his head, thereby raising his center of gravity (as well as his moment of intertia) and increasing the difficulty level of the jump. Nobody? Okay, me neither...

2/16/2010 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Costas has an orange face even though his hands have a normal fleshy color. I'm just saying. Take a look and you'll see what I mean.

Also, did Armen really start a thread to complain about figure skating? Because if I didn't know better I'd say that he did.

2/16/2010 11:21 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Becky Hammon migrated to Russia so that she could make the Olympic team.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Becky_Hammon

2/16/2010 11:23 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Doesn't this blog have a theme?

2/16/2010 1:05 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

1:05, I'm happy to discuss your concerns. My email is in my profile.

2/16/2010 1:15 PM  
Blogger Dan said...

1:05, the theme is "stories from the fruits and nuts" of Boalt Hall. It's right there in the subheading. Is there some reason you don't think this qualifies?

Also, stop being a dick.

2/16/2010 2:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is a good blog. And thorough.

2/16/2010 3:12 PM  
Blogger McWho said...

1:05 just wishes that fewer people would talk about things other than law. Because clearly, all lawyers need to discuss the law more, and life less.

2/16/2010 4:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let's see - a link to a hockey fight and a comment section full of Big Lebowski references. I dunno what your problem is 1:05 because this post is all kinds of awesome.

2/16/2010 5:30 PM  
Blogger Armen said...

Correction: A link to a hockey fight where one of the fighters tells the other guy, "Good luck man" before proceeding to drop the gloves.

2/16/2010 5:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is awesome. After 18 months at Boalt, I finally feel like I fit in. I'm counting down the minutes until the men's short program begins (yes, I know, its done already, I'm pretending its not).

2/16/2010 6:49 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This blog is a zesty enterprise.

2/17/2010 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Now here's a guy who knows how to liven things up.

(more Madden quotes, please)

2/17/2010 8:36 AM  
Anonymous '93 Alum said...

I go nuts when the announcers say, "He has to stay within himself." Picture the guy skating with his intestines trailing all over the ice. Ugh

2/17/2010 10:40 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yesterday during the final round of Snowboard cross, they filmed the Canadian gold medal winner crossing the runway, but then CUT AWAY to her friends and family in the crowd while Silver and Bronze were coming in. And it was a pretty tight race for silver and bronze! Ridiculous.

2/17/2010 11:37 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

i sat down to watch the olympics during prime time a couple nights ago while i ate dinner. saw 30 minutes of fluff stories about polar bears and short-track leg gashes. no sporting at all. miserable.

2/17/2010 11:39 AM  
Blogger Dan said...

Yeah, I tivo'd four hours of coverage last night, and with fast-forwarding through people who had no chance of winning, fluff stories, and commercials, I finished in about forty minutes.

2/17/2010 11:51 AM  

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