Thursday, August 28, 2008

Team-Up #3: Kyle and Mark Discuss The Summer Olympics

Kyle talked about the Beijing Games on his blog, and I've talked about it on my blog, but now, in this post, we BOTH talk about the the SAME TIME! This is the same kind of logic that leads to movies like Rush Hour being made, but, without further adieu....

Kyle: Alright, I'm too self-conscious to start this, so you'll have to...

Mark: Ok, it begins......... So, the Olympics. Good thing we're writing this before people completely forget about them and move onto a) NFL season, b) MLB pennant races, c) Democratic convention, d) Labor Day parties.....and then pretend I named 89 other things before getting to the FedEx Cup.

Kyle: I know this is strictly about the Olympics, but, quickly: a) I'm just getting into Hard Knocks (great show! How have I missed the first SEVEN seasons); b) I don't want to talk about this; c) was it me or did Hillary's endorsement of Obama not really contain an endorsement...or talk about Obama? Maybe they could make self-aggrandizing speeches a demonstration sport in 2012.

Mark: At least she ripped on McCain for a while, which basically has the same effect. Seriously, there is no more overblown media storyline than "Will Hillary's supporters vote for Obama?" Of course they will! They're not idiots. They're not going to vote against a guy who agrees with 90% of their platform for a guy who agrees with 20% of their platform.

Kyle: They will on Thursday (because it'll be a catatrophe otherwise), but in November? Who the hell knows? They may just be stupid enough to do something that illogical (some of them, at least). Incidentally, how horrible was Hil's "sisterhood of the traveling pantsuit" line? I considered performing a makeshift lobotomy on myself after hearing it...

Alright, now, let's FOCUS. How were the Olympics for you? How many hours of coverage did you end up watching? Don't you miss them just a little bit?

Mark: I actually watched more of these Games than I have of any Olympics since Salt Lake City. That's what happens when you're marginally employed and keep weird sleeping habits.

Kyle: For all the talk about the time zone issues--or was that just me?--it kind of worked out perfectly. Live stuff in the a.m., replays of important stuff at night. Plus the whole 12 hour thing made the math super-easy, which is always appreciated.

Mark: Yeah, as much as people complained about certain networks (i.e. NBC) not showing live coverage, it was nice to see an important event in primetime rather than, say, LIVE skeet shooting or something.

Kyle: I'm in the same boat, btw, except replace "Salt Lake" with "Atlanta." I must've watched at least 100 hours, which is impressive/troubling, since I was on honeymoon for the first eight days of the games.

Kyle: I have a theory that NBC should just put up "LIVE" all the time. The idea being that people, ultimately, really don't care if it's not live, so long as no one tells them.

Mark: You'll make a great lawyer, Kyle.

Kyle: I'm putting that on my CV.

Mark: Now, Kyle and I have arranged a few talking points to help arrange this conversation. It's like a presidential debate --- I call Jim Lehrer!

Kyle: I'm Tim Rus--...never mind.

Mark: Let's just assume you meant Tim Russ from Star Trek: Voyager.

Kyle: Nice

Mark: (He played Tuvok, btw...I'm single, ladies)

Kyle: lol

Kyle: Carrie says that that guy was basically Voyager's Spock. I can live with that.

Mark: Oh man, Carrie's a closet Trekkie? Awesome.

Mark: So, anyway, point #1......who was the Olympics' MVP?

Kyle: Well, I think it pretty obviously comes down to one of two people: Michael Phelps or Usain Bolt. Stop me if you disagree.

Kyle: (Man, I'm horrible at staying on topic, but: we went to a wedding last Saturday and, for the kissing game, you had to answer Star Trek trivia (for the groom) or Star Wars trivia (for the bride)...and it was impossible. Though the dozens of vodka and sodas probably didn't help things.)

Kyle: OK, I say it's Phelps...and it's probably not all that close. 8 golds, 7 world records, 2 amazingly memorable finishes--that's a lifetime for most Olympians.

Mark: It's hard to argue, yeah. Too bad his middle name wasn't Vincent, then he could literally do the RVD points-to-self taunt by saying 'M-V-P'........Ok, so I just went to Wikipedia to check out Phelps' entry. Turns out his middle name is Fred. So instead of being MVP, he ends up sharing two-thirds of his name with a crazy racist.

Mark: That said, Bolt's story is pretty amazing. A guy that size, representing a whole new generation of sprinter, breaking two world records (one of which was thought to be unbreakable, the other he broke basically while in second gear), and he just only took up the 100m within the last year.

Mark: And good lord, you were right there in Jamaica in the midst of all of this going on! Was it a veritable Boltamania down there?

Kyle: According to SI, he'd been begging his coach for months to run the 100 and his coach basically said, I'll let you run the 100 as soon as you break the Jamaican record in the 200, which he promptly did. I find this amusing because it makes Bolt seem like he was 9 at the time. Now it'd probably go down more like "I'm Usain Fucking Bolt and I'll run the 10,000 if I feel like it."

Kyle: I've been asked about the Bolt buzz when we were down there and, frankly, it was non-existent. He broke the world record in the 100 our last day there and I didn't hear a single person mention it. Of course, it was an all-inclusive resort, and I imagine much of the staff spends most of the day trying not to cry, but still...

Kyle: Also: three world records if you count the 4x100, which, in itself, appeared untouchable.

Mark: Whatever happened to the days when Canada just poached Jamaica's best sprinters and they all ran for us? Ah, the past.

Kyle: Good times! We were like the Yankees (to the Carribbean's Expos) in the track world. We should definitely go back to that.

Kyle: So, then, are you planting yourself in Bolt's camp...or just playing devil's advocate here?

Mark: No, overall, you've gotta say these Games were all Phelps, all the time. Almost annoyingly so.

Kyle: Wasn't it satisfying to see the entirely-too-smug Mark Spitz put in his place?

Mark: Poor Spitz. Sad day for a fellow Mark. It was bad enough that he couldn't come back from Munich and be all "Pretty rad Olympics, eh?" since everyone was still broken up about the murdered Israeli athletes.

Kyle: That's a fair point re: Spitz. I don't even know: did they do the whole ticker tape parade when he got back...or did everyone sort of pretend that the Games didn't happen? All I know is he retired--at 22!--before the year was out. I also think his ridiculous mustache hurt his marketability just a bit.

Mark: I couldn't disagree more. We need more goofy moustaches in sport. Just look at Giambi this summer --- he started a fever. Sports fans love mustaches, end of story. How else do you think Sal Fasano keeps getting on major league rosters?

Kyle: Hmmm...true. I may need to re-think that. I just find his "Spitz '72 vs. Phelps '08" answer ("well, you really can't compare eras, so who knows?") to be totally disingenuous. He's obviously better than you, why not just admit it and move on? There are Marinos and there are Aarons in this world, and Spitz is definitely a Marino...except with hardware.

Mark: Spitz has got a point, though. That's always my answer when my brother pulls the 'athletes today are better than any old-time athlete' card. Marino is another athlete who would've been more highly regarded if he had a mustache.

Kyle: lol...given that he grew up in Pittsburgh, it's actually fairly astounding that he didn't sport a stache.

Mark: But anyway, we'll save this debate for a future team-up about facial hair.

Kyle: Looking forward to it!

Mark: Ok, topic #2........Canadian MVP?

Kyle: [crickets chirping]. I'd say Simon Whitfield.

Mark: I'd vote for Carol Huynh, just because she was the one who finally broke through and won some hardware. But really, you could pick anyone. Nobody really stood out for Canada in the Games.

Kyle: Is she the wrestler? If so, that's not a bad choice. The reason I say Whitfield is that he won gold eight years ago, but no one seemed to be talking about him this year. Then, the CBC announcers totally write him off during the run, at which point he miraculously runs everyone down. Admittedly, this would be more clear cut had he not been passed right at the end.

Mark: That's also notable because I think it was the only time in the whole Olympics that a CBC announcer actually didn't think a Canadian had a shot.

Kyle: lol, good call. Van Koeverden seemed poised to be the guy, but then he beefed his first race. Damn you, flag-bearer curse!

Mark: I didn't know about that curse until I saw a feature on it after the Games. That's downright shocking. Maybe we should try to avoid it in Vancouver by letting....I dunno, Stephen Harper carry the flag.

Kyle: I like it! Or a polar bear. Then we'll be known as "the team no one wants to fuck with."

Mark: Eric Lamaze was the only Canadian to win more than one medal but.....yeah, equestrian isn't a sport.

Kyle: Hehe...I was just about to say: I suppose you could make a case for the cokehead (aka "Josh Hamilton on a horse"), but then we'd have to recognize the event as legit.

Mark: You know the standard joke of 'They should give the horses medals!' I actually believe that --- they SHOULD give the horses medals. In a world where Barbaro, Cigar, Secretariat, etc. become household names, a medal-winning horse would be box office gold. We could train it to carry the flag in its mouth, alongside your DHARMA-trained polar bear.

Kyle: Hmmm, wouldn't the horse just eat the medal? Maybe more hay is a more equitable solution...btw, can you name any of the Canadian horses? I assume there was more than one (as opposed to just wearing one right down).

Mark: Lamaze's was named Hickstead, I remember that.

Kyle: Impressive. Unless you're just making that up...

Mark: One horse was named Special Ed, which just made me laugh out loud. It would've been great if Ian Millar had been riding the same horse for all these years. He just shows up in Beijing with his beat-up old nag.

Kyle: lol. I'm picturing a U-shaped horse.

Mark: "This is my horse, Uey Lewis. We'll win a medal yet!" "Sure, Ian, whatever you say. Now, go stop your horse from trying to break its own leg."

Kyle: Sticking with Millar, do you think he should come back in 2012? I figure if a senior citizen medals, they have to discontinue the event immediately.

Mark: Absolutely bring him back. It took him this long to win one....he's finally on a roll. Canada needs all the medals it can get

Kyle: Tough Olympics for us. Objectively, we went on a real tear near the end, yet everyone still seems kind of dazed from our first week failures. Also: despite having only about 10 million more people than us, the Ukraine beat the piss out of us in the medal count.

Mark: Well, the Ukraine is strong. And really, Canada was only guilty of bad pacing. If we had won just a medal a day, everyone would've been calling this the best Games ever.

Kyle: Well, we won roughly 3,000 medals in Los Angeles [editor's note: 44, actually] but it may no count, due to the Soviet boycott.

(Also, speaking of Dharma--we were too!--have you noticed how eerily similar the Bay's Olympic logo is to the Dharma octagon? I bought a travel coffee mug for that very reason.)

Mark: Hmmm, is the Bay's president actually Marvin Candle?

Kyle: Maybe he can tell us how we'll do in 2038...

(btw, I'm incredibly jealous you discovered the LOST countdown timer first.)

Mark: Well, I also wasn't on a honeymoon. Ok, topic #3...most interesting subplot. It's not exactly sports-related, but the whole 'IOC and NBC are tacitly ignoring China's human rights violations' thing never got old. Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin obviously hated each other.

Kyle: lol...but they're roommates! Roomates always get along!

Kyle: NBC's coverage was both inexcusable and totally predictable on this front. This is why I was so irritated when China got the games over Toronto. This whole "well, getting the games will encourage China to be less flagrant with their HR violations and/or the rest of the world will learn about their HR issues" is (and always has been) a bunch of bullshit. Once it's showtime, everything is always going to be whitewashed. Like, you can't have Mary Carillo going to an acupuncturist, followed immediately by an expose on, say, the Great Firewall. It just doesn't work.

Mark: Speaking of Nastia, she and Norm Macdonald were guests on Leno last night. I was secretly hoping for a replay of the legendary Norm/Courtney Thorne-Smith incident from Conan.

Kyle: I missed that. Did he hit on CTS or publicly shame her?

Mark: Oh man, see if you can find it on YouTube (editor's note: Found it!) It probably didn't help that CTS was there promoting her new movie co-starring Carrot Top.

Kyle: I think you know that I side with Lukin in any sort of gymnast feud (do you agree that she looks a bit like Kristen Bell?), but I kind of got the impression that they respected each other (even liked each other) but would smash the other person in the face if that's what it took to get the gold.

Mark: I'd look up their pictures, but don't want to ruin Kristen Bell for myself. I don't find female gymnasts attractive at all --- first of all, they're too young. Second of all, they're too tiny. Third of all, they're vaguely creepy.

Kyle: I don't disagree with ANY of those points, although I'd suggest that their remarkably well-adjusted for girls that fling themselves at/onto/across apparatuses (apparati?) for twelve hours a day.

Mark: Can we start a band called the Apparatuses?

Kyle: Yes. Yes we can. I call lead singer!

Mark: Dang! Ok, I call....keyboards?! Crap.

Kyle [on what as the best subplot of the Games]: Personally, I'd probably vote for the shaky gymnastics scoring here, which I found utterly fascinating. Or Rogge inexplicably going after Bolt. What a fool.

Mark: Ooh, I have more on the Rogge/Bolt thing, but that's for later. Yeah, the scoring all-around was shaky at best. Boxing, wrestling, judo, least Shawn Johnson didn't kick a judge in the face.

Kyle: Question: if that happened, would Bush have pulled a Castro and used the whole "the judge was totally asking for it" defense? That would be hilarious.

Kyle: I can't believe that something as crooked as Olympic boxing is still a recognized event. That Roy Jones Jr. screwjob ending happened TWENTY years ago and the system is still messed up? Why not just get it over with and bring in the WWE?

Mark: I'd watch Olympic pro wrestling. Judges could score based on appearance of realism versus how hurt the other guy actually is, showmanship, coolness of moves, etc.

Kyle: Actually, that would be sweet. Undertaker's routines would have a start value of 1.5...versus 7.5 for one of the Hardys.

Mark: lol "Ohhh, Undertaker's in a Hell in a Cell match, Jim. He's really raising his difficulty value to start with." And if Bob Costas was amused by Bela, he'd go nuts over Jerry Lawler.

Kyle: Totally. I'm completely behind this idea now.

Mark: Canada could've kicked ass in this event over the years. Bret Hart, Owen Hart, the Rougeau brothers, Chris Jericho, Chris Benoit....oh wait....

Kyle: YIKES. Of course, the whole "Spanish announcing table getting smashed" gag probably wouldn't work...

Mark: It could still work. Guys could just get slammed through the Spanish, French, Botswanan, Ugandan, Indian, Chinese, etc. announce tables

Kyle: Look, Mark, the Ugandans need that table to live, ok?

Mark: They could live with it if it meant a gold medal for Kamala, the Ugandan giant. Who I think was actually from Memphis, but still.

Ok, point four.....most overblown story. This was where I was going to bring up Rogge and Bolt.

Kyle: Go for it.

Mark: Basically it's horseshit, as you said in so many words in your own Olympic post. The fact that he was still able to set a record while 'coasting,' is actually more impressive, in my view.

Kyle: Totally. I mean, part of me did want him to run hard and go into the 9.5s, but I can hardly blame him for celebrating the way he did. And: I have no idea where Rogge got the idea that Bolt cruised in the 200. If you watch the tape, he runs hard the whole time.

Mark: Apparently he was running into a headwind....which makes the record even more mind-blowing. He broke an unbeatable record INTO THE WIND. btw, Michael Johnson = Nick Faldo. He was great on commentary. Wasn't Johnson supposed to be a sullen jerk back in the day?

Kyle: You're totally right: he was informative without being pedantic and was completely gracious when his record was eclipsed. Maybe we got too caught up in the whole 150m debacle...

Mark: Clearly Bolt and Phelps need a 150m half-swimming, half-running challenge to decide the world's greatest athlete.

Kyle: If you could somehow work a horse into that equation, I'm totally sold.

Mark: Let me get my drawing board....What was your most overblown story?

Kyle: I've talked about this elsewhere--on the blog, to Carrie, random people on the street, etc.-- but the whole "the Chinese gymnasts are younger than they're represented to me" strikes me as the sourest of sour grapes. Even Sergio Garcia would be embarrassed to make this point. And if I here one more American (the same country, you'll recall, where it's most famous female sprinter is now in jail, in part, for lying about her steroid use) cite the precedent of "rules are rules," I'm going to flip out. I firmly believe this never would've come up had that American (Schiamone?) not fallen off the beam, costing the U.S. the team title in the process.

Mark: Truth. Why complain about the alleged age gap when there's plenty of (valid) possible complaints about the judging?

Kyle: Agreed. My OTHER most overblown story is basically everything surrounding the opening ceremony.

1. it was OBVIOUS the girl was lip-synching from the get-go.
2. Aside from the fact that the "ugly" 7-year old was replaced by the "cuter" 9-year old fifteen minutes before they took the stage--which is lamentable--how is this casting decision any different than every single Hollywood movie featuring children? I could do without the "how could they?" outrage.

3. So some (most?) of the fireworks were staged...big fucking deal. We weren't actually there watching them, so why on earth would that matter?

Mark: I was far more offended by the closing ceremonies. Jimmy Page playing a 'family friendly' version of Whole Lotta Love? Ye gods.

Kyle: More to the point, how does Leona Lewis manage to big time Jimmy Fucking Page? It's my understanding that she balked at the "every inch of my love" line.

Mark: The line doesn't NECESSARILY imply penis. Well, it does, but it's a metaphor!

Kyle: ...for a penis

Mark: This never would've happened if Jimmy Page had been alive. Also from the opening ceremonies, I was curious to see what other scandals would break. Like, did the Chinese replace Rogge with, say, Daniel Day-Lewis?

Kyle: Full disclosure: I watched approximately 11 seconds of the closing ceremonies.

Mark: Ok, next point....what was the breakthrough event of these Games.

Kyle: Hmmm...

Mark: Your subtitle on this was 'is there even going to be one this year?'

Kyle: I really don't think there was. If forced (you're forcing me, right?) I'd have to go with BMX racing, if only for the wipeouts, the fact that they went with Mario Kart-esque circuit scoring, and the fact that every time it was on, I exclaimed "I can't believe this ISN'T the X-Games!" (As noted, I wanted it to be table tennis, but, alas, no.) Kyle: Maybe (maybe) the free swim, but it happened way too early in the games. In defense of the inclusion of the question, in Olympics past, there have been breakout sports (beach v-ball in Atlanta, snowboard cross in SLC, etc.)

Mark: I can't even think of one. It seemed like this was the 'let's shoot for guaranteed ratings' for NBC after 2006's ratings were bested by American Idol and some other regular programming. Gymnastics, swimming, track...those were the meat and potatoes events, so by god did we ever get a lot of them.

Kyle: Yeah, I agree. Those three events (throw in beach and indoor v-ball, too) amounted to probably 90%+ of NBC's coverage.

Mark: CBC branched out a bit more, but there weren't really any sports that really stepped up and grabbed people's attention. I was hoping for badminton, frankly.

Kyle: TOO FAST. It practically gave me vertigo.

Mark: That's why I loved it. It was like ping pong on steroids, except without the threat of someone running groin-first into the table corner.

I was hoping for more coverage of the shooting events. Not because I'm an ardent fan, but because I inexplicably had a dream a few weeks back where I was a multi-time Olympic shooting medallist. My nicknames were 'Mark the Marksman' and 'The Man With The Golden Gun.'

Kyle: This reminds me of Dwight's dream job where he makes $60,000 a year. Those ARE pretty good nicknames (though the latter could arguably apply to anyone). Why couldn't you dream about dominating a cool event? Shooting medallists don't, I'm sorry to say, get much tail.

(The last sentence is me evidently channeling someone from 1971.)

Mark: Note to readers, I paused a minute before writing my next bit since I was too busy laughing at Kyle's citation of the Jim-Dwight 'dream job in hell' routine. That might be my favorite Office bit ever.

Mark: But I was featured on a Maclean's cover where I stood, guns blazing like the Comedian or something, with all my medals draped over my rifles. It was pretty fictiously cool.

Kyle: Alright, bonus cool points for the Watchmen reference.

Mark: My backup reference was Punisher, but let's just say I recently saw the trailer for the Punisher sequel. It was....unfortunate.

Kyle: Is it still Tom Jane? (He just wants his kids back!)

Mark: No, Jane is out. Too busy with Homeless Dad 2.

Kyle: lol...who's in?

Mark: Some guy from Rome. The name is escaping me.

Kyle: according to imdb: Ray Stevenson. Never heard of him...Ok, what's next?

Mark: Best event and worst event. You covered this yourself in your post, summarize for the new readers....

Kyle: Best: swimming (compelling as all get out), with gymnastics a close second. Worst: equestrian (it's not a sport), but with a special shout out to the dreadfully dull soccer and baseball competitions...and sailing, which is--literally--impossible to follow.

Mark: I think I would've liked Olympic baseball more if we hadn't had to spend so much time watching Team Canada, who apparently hired Gary Denbo as their hitting instructor.

Kyle: Wow...I had to look that one up. I think he also moonlit as Canada's coach in the LLWS last week. (Sorry...that's basically the exact same joke.)

Kyle: He doesn't have an entry on Should I be alarmed?

Mark: My personal favorite Denbo stat is that in the one year he was the New York hitting coach, their team OBP was .334. The Yankees! .334! This was in 2001!

Kyle: Man, they should bring him back then. Maybe he's got some compromising photos of Hank Steinbrenner...

Mark: Sailing is pretty useless, I agree. I'd also throw in the marathon, which until the last few thousands yards is basically watching people torture themselves

Kyle: The marathon is, I'll admit, kind of a bore. Plus, now that we've seen a crazy person jump out of the crowd and attack a competitor, I'm disappointed when it doesn't happen. Kyle: What about best?

Mark: I really dug the canoeing. That was a nice story about the guy from Togo.

Kyle: "he's a real hungry canoer. He's actually canoeing for food." Oh, he medalled, right? I heard a bit about this.

Mark: He won a bronze, first medal ever from Togo. I may be slightly biased since I have fond memories of Togoland from SCTV, but still, good on ya, guy from Togo

Kyle: I was about to say that Togo is landlocked, but, no, they're not. Damn, geography. Are you prepared to go on the record with canoeing as your favorite event?

Mark: Yes....yes I am.

Kyle: [gasp]. What an upset!

Mark: What can I say. My parents are members of the London Canoe Club.

Kyle: For real?

Mark: Oh yeah.

Kyle: That's...improbable.

Mark: Oh wait, maybe it's the kayaking club. They even have a canoe-kayak, whatever it is.

Kyle: It's actually a desk.

Mark: Yes, my mother sails down the Thames in a desk. And then says "And now for something completely different...."

Kyle: I'm afraid we just lost our last reader.

Mark: Bye Ryan!

Mark: Ok, next category, best and worst TV personalities. Best....Bela Karolyi by a landslide Vegas has removed 'SNL does a Bela spoof in their first episode' from the board.

Kyle: I'm hesitant to do my best before you do your worst (if that makes sense). My worst is definitely Elfie Schlegel (NBC, gymnastics). As previously mentioned, I wish her ill. She was just so incredulous whenever a non-American scored above 15.5--extremely grating. It's actually kind of pathetic that they'd let someone that incompetent on the air.

Kyle: Bela! Bela was great. At first I was worried that he was too much of a homer, but then I realized that, when it comes right down to it, he's really, first and foremost, a gymnastics enthusiast. Inspired move on NBC's part to show Bela (on tape) watching Nastia win the gold. That was awesome.

Mark: I think my worst with an asterisk is whomever the colour guy for taekwondo was for CBC....the guy that wasn't Nigel Reed. He was a huge homer for Canada and seemed to think that the judges were blatantly ignoring points scored by the Canadian fighters. Then again, I don't know judo at all, plus the judging is always brutal, so he might've been right. Hence the asterisk.

Kyle: I dunno, I saw a Canadian girl actually knock someone from Sweden out...and she still lost. Kyle: Karch Kiraly (beach) was probably my favorite.

Mark: Here's what I love about the Olympics....before an SI article a few months back, I had never heard of Kiraly's name before. Then I found out he's pretty much the universally-accepted best volleyballer ever.

Kyle: In most sports, picking the greatest person in the history of said sport to do the commentary is probably a terrible idea, but dude knows his beach v-ball, and never came across as arrogant. Kiraly is the shit.

I also loved how, when he was asked if Walsh-May-Treanor (that's just two people, btw) were the greatest team in beach history after they won their second gold he said, without hesitation or equivocation, "yes." Classsy.

Mark: Then I guess my worst is Jim Lampley, who just seemed really out of place at anything but boxing.

Kyle: [nodding]. I can't watch Lampley without thinking about his wife's claw hands. It's like Larry King's ruined me on Lampley for life. In Lampley's defense, Costas hogged all the prime events, leaving Lampley with the shit sports for the post part (though that includes kayaking, your alleged favorite event of the Games). But, yeah, he seemed like a fish out of water.

Mark: Now, at this point, you put 'Diana Swain: secretly kinda hot?' on your list of topics. Uh.....

---- editor's note: At this point, I brought up Kyle's next point, which was "don't you think Diana Swain is secretly kind of hot?" He then mysteriously vanished from his computer for the next little while. ----

Kyle: we're back from a 25 minute power outage on my end (thank you, York University).

Mark: We were just starting to discuss your forbidden lust for Diana Swain. Why do you swoon for Swain?

Kyle: Wait, wait...did we talk about Lampley's wife claw hands?

Mark: Claw hands?

Kyle: Yeah, it's like this really rare medical condition. Her hands are like paddles.

Mark: Like the Penguin?

Kyle: If that helps, yes. I also wanted to say that enjoyed Ato Boldon (track), Tom Hammond (swimming), and Ted Robinson (aka "Batboy," but mostly because he clearly didn't have a clue what the fuck was going on during the diving...and didn't bother to conceal it.) And, I'll admit, I still enjoy the Costas smirk.

Mark: And the aforementioned Michael Johnson. And Brenda Irving did a good job on the gymnastics.

Kyle: We kind of got screwed over with gymnastics, as they only had NBC in Jamaica. She was good?

Mark: I found her on the CBC feed to be way more tolerable than your archfoe on NBC. It helped that she was actually not a homer.

Kyle: Considerably easier when, Kyle Shewfelt aside, we don't have an able-bodied gymnast in the country.

Mark: If only I had been able to keep the weight off....I figure I picked up enough by osmosis from reading Spider-Man comics that I would've cleaned house.

Kyle:'s actually Lampley's EX-wife. She suffers something called "ectrodactyly," which, according to Wikipedia, is a rare genetic condition "resulting in her fingers and toes being fused together."

Mark: I think Electrodactyl was the name of one of the Dinobots.

Kyle: Or a Powerade flavour.

Mark: Oh, we're going to hell. Anyway, so, yeah, Diana Swain. Is she on your laminated List Of Five?

Kyle: Totally (re: the hell thing) Re: Swain: no chance. I think it was a by-product of me watching Olympic coverage while dozing in bed before going to work (aka sans contact lenses), but, yeah, I was kinda digging her vibe ("secretly hot," I believe, was my expression of choice). This gets less and less defensible by the day, mind you. Am I way off base? I'm way off base, aren't I?

Mark: She's not bad-looking, by any stretch. But she's what I call TV hot --- that generic type of attractiveness that you can acknowledge as being attractive, but without getting you really fired up.

Kyle: Excellent term! You should add that to the Urban Dictionary. So...what's left?

Mark: Where do these Games rank in Olympic history?

Kyle: Boy...that's an ambitious one. It certainly had its moments (Phelps, Bolt, and...ok, maybe not that many moments). Compared to past years, and referring only to competitions, it was relatively scandal-free, wasn't it?

Mark: Pretty much, yeah. So that's a plus. I'd rank it behind Sydney in terms of recent summer Games....maybe Atlanta too, though that Games was single-handedly elevated by Donovan Bailey.

Kyle: But ahead of Athens and Seoul, right?

Mark: I'm a bit too young for Seoul. But definitely ahead of Athens. I barely remember those Games

Kyle: Dick.

Mark: It was all Greek to me [/rimshot]

Kyle: lol...oh, dear. Save it for the telethon.

Mark: Probably too soon to judge the history question. And, finally.....what was the best moment of these Olympics for you?

Kyle: Lezack outtouching Bernard to win the 4x100 freestyle relay for Michael Ph--er, I mean the Americans. That was incredibly improbable...and dramatic. You?

Mark: Interlude...ok, I'm watching the Jays-Rays game, and apparently Rocco Baldelli's at-bat music is "Dream Weaver." I have no words.

My favorite moment is an odd one...the men's tennis final

Kyle: ...of which, oddly, I saw nothing at all. Go on. (btw, re: Rocco, awesome)

Mark: I was in London the other weekend visiting home and also to visit with some family friends who were staying at my parents' place from England. (So, I went home just to sleep on a couch. But I digress...) Mark: Our friends are a couple and their two young kids....Jack, age nine, and Alexandra, age seven. So I'm watching the tennis final with them, and they're both rooting for Gonzalez. Jack's reasoning was that Nadal losing would irritate his arch-rival, a half-Spanish kid in his class at school. Alexandra just liked saying 'Chile' over and over again. So I watched the match with them, and they got really (hilariously) into it. I didn't have the heart to tell them we were watching a tape delay and Nadal had won hours earlier.

Kyle: Cute.

Mark: Wow, did I just turn into Rick Reilly there?

Kyle: Maybe a little least tell me you made a bit of money off of them.

Mark: Yeah, I swindled them good. They gave me a pound for just 10 Canadian dollars. I got them good!.....wait.....

Kyle: lol

Mark: Also awesome....Alexandra saying 'Yay Britain' whenever she saw a British flag on TV. So, like, when they're running through the standings in, say, triathlon, and there's a Brit who came in 39th or something. A tiny voice suddenly chimes in, "Yay Britain!"

Kyle: I felt like that during the first week, except replace "Britain" with "Canada" and "yay!" with an expletive-laden tirade.

Mark: lol. And a 39th-place finish would've been too positive a result.

Kyle: Exactly. Perhaps we should leave it at that--in no small part because Carrie will murder me if I don't sit down for dinner. Mark, as always: a pleasure.

Mark: The pleasure is all mine, sir. High-five! Or, as Jim Lampley's wife would say, high-two!

Mark: After your first bite, say 'Yay Ireland!' and then refuse to explain it.

Kyle: Done and done.

Mark: See you at the 2010 Olympics recap!

Kyle: Can't do it. Power outage. I mean: you bet.


Anonymous said...

I am STILL laughing about the "Uey Lewis" horse.

I literally almost pissed myself.

Also, I am stealing the band name "The Apperati" as I am actually in a band that needs a name... Thanks!

Anonymous said...

OK. I admit I didn't read your entire conversation but I still want to leave a comment with the following two points:

Phelps vs. Bolt: I vote for Bolt. Elliotte Friedman makes a good point about how a lot of world records were broken in the pool (thanks to the new swimsuits) but only three were broken on the track. Also, Phelps is incredibly boring and robotic. Bolt, on the otherhand, is a showman.

As for Canadian MVP, I'd also go with Carol Huyhn. Mark may argue that Whitfield got no credit prior to the race, but had he heard of Huyhn before? I doubt it. That said, the Whitfield comeback was amazing but the image of Huyhn, a Canadian of Vietnamese descent whose parents immigrated from China, will be burned in my mind forever.

Friedman's highlights: I didn't always like his post-race interviews, but it's worth reading.

Anonymous said...

I meant to say the image of Huynh crying on the podium will be burned in my mind forever.

Question Mark said...

Whew, good thing you cleared that up. I don't want you sitting up at night screaming, "Get out of my head, Carol Huyhn!!!"

Anonymous said...

Sorry guys, you had me but you lost me.

And I place with your pistol medal fantasy Shurk. After the javelin and the experimental 50m Jungle Minigun events, I'd be worried about the best shot in the world with something approaching a modern, useful skill.