Thursday, August 14, 2008

The Burn That Yost Built: Olympic Edition

My viewing experience for this Olympics has been greatly aided by one of the best inventions of my lifetime: The DVR.

In the past, I've pretty much had to pick one channel, stick with it, and catch whatever they decided to show me in primetime. Now? I tape pretty much everything and then zip through it, watching the events I want to watch. No 6 hours of fluff for an hour of events, no watching the gymnasts stand around for 3 minutes while their scores are calculated, no suffering through the events that I don't give two rips about. Plus the ability to rewind live TV gave me the ability to watch that Japanese dude wipeout on the rings about 13 times in a row.

I like it because it's allowed me to watch some of the sports that I didn't know much about--and grew to really like. The canoeing/kayaking was a surprise. I thought I'd watch about 5 minutes of it and then move on, but I really enjoyed it. The two-person runs are less fun, but the singles events are fantastic. I've also really liked watching the water polo (go Betsy Armstrong!) and field hockey (that's a sport I miss being in Ann Arbor for) events. Another one that's been surprisingly enjoyable has been synchronized diving.

The Curse of Bryan Herta reared its beautiful head again this past week. New AGR driver Frenchie McFrench was leading the Generac 500 at Elkhart Lake with about 11 minutes to go in the race, buuuuuut he crashed into a lapped car and took himself out. If you're keeping track (which you aren't), the driver change has resulted in fewer points per race for the team (even if you account for Sebring being worth more points than a normal race) than the Herta/Fittipaldi combo was producing. Bang up move there, Michael. Three races, three times they've had one of the two or three fastest cars, three times they've ended up multiple laps down.