Day 3 — So Long NBC, It’s The Beeb For Me

29 Jul

I’ve tried. Honest I have. But I just can’t handle NBC Sports.

Also in today’s post:
Soccer fight
Horse sense
Shooting for two

Maybe it’s the over-the-top, melodramatic features that viewers must endure before big events. Then again, it could be the breathless announcers presuming to know what we should feel while watching TV. And let’s not even go into trying to sell us Ryan Seacrest as a journalist. (As a friend said on Facebook the other night, “There’s two things Ryan Seacrest should never talk about, sports and everything else.”)

I thought the NBCOlympics.com site might make it better. The promise of every event streaming in all its glory, many blissfully free of announcer hype seemed like a great antidote.

But many of the sports don’t stream smoothly. And even those that do are broken up at arbitrary moments, not even logical places, with a battery of commercials. So I’m moving to England.

Think again. A quick change of my DNS and suddenly the BBC thinks I’m in jolly old England.

Well, I’m moving my viewing to England, and basking in the world of the BBC. Actually I’m still sitting in my office here in Atlanta, but the BBC doesn’t know that.

For just a few bucks a month I got two new settings for my computer. One reboot later I am suddenly immune to the sniffer scripts that the BBC, NBC, CTV in Canada and other countries use to filter out who can access their content.

I signed up for OverPlay.net which offers a couple of options. But there are plenty of others, often listed under proxy server or ex-pat TV viewing. I’ll spare you the tech speak, except to say I am not worrying that I’m breaking any laws.

So what did my $4.95 buy me? Well aside from the ability to watch a half-dozen BBC broadcast channels any time I want, I also have access to the same 3500 hours of streaming video that NBC is offering. That’s because all the broadcasters use the same camera feeds. All that is different are the announcers, and the editing of recorded events.

Sure, I’ll miss Bob Costas from time to time. But think of it, no Mary Carillo, no Meredith Viera, no hyperactive color commentators at swimming or gymnastic events. Oh, and best of all, no more Ryan Seacrest

Soccer Fight!

The Olympic committee has some rather specific rules about what athletes can and can’t discuss via Twitter during the games. (Click here to download the official document.) Bad-mouthing any of the sponsors is a no-no. Slapping around the announcers covering your game, no problem — even if the target is US Women’s Soccer icon Brandi Chastain (yes, she of bra-baring fame at the 1999 FIFA World Cup).

Someone must have told US goalie Hope Solo that Chastain, between annoying boosterisms, tried to coach the team from the announcer’s booth. Several times she criticized the team’s line up, defense, and even goal tending. Within two hours of the last whistle, Solo whipped out her Blackberry and fired off this tweet.

Like many of us do, Solo read her tweet after it went live and apparently decided it didn’t quite hit the mark. So she followed up three minutes later.

Still, it appears that Hope worried she was being too subtle. So she fired off this little ditty 45 minutes later.

Neither Chastain nor NBC Sports have issued any response. But the next women’s game is 12:15 p.m. EDT Tuesday. It should be interesting.

Horse Sense

Saturday I learned that the horses at equestrian events must be ambidextrous, meaning that they have to move just as well to their left or right.

I don’t know about you, but I never considered if animals favored their right or left. But a quick read of equestrian sites revealed that horses are typically right-brain dominant and thus bear weight and turn easier to the left.

That means that to win a medal at the Olympics the horses have to overcome their natural bias in order to demonstrate skills equally to the left or right. Which begs the question, why is it the medal goes to the rider?

Shooting For Two

Malaysian air rifle shooter Nur Suryani Mohamed Taibi may have had a big advantage over her fellow competitors. She said her recent weight gain made her more stable on the shooting platform.

Before you judge her, Taibi is pregnant, eight months pregnant. So while her weight has proven beneficial, she worried that an ill-timed kick by the baby could ruin a shot.

She finished in 34th place on Saturday. No word if the baby kicked.

About Project TILWO Every day I watch London 2012 Olympic coverage on TV and online then share the lessons I learned, with occasional help from my friends. Edited by Lynn Hess @ Premier Proofing.