12 Things I Learned From The 2012 Olympic Games

The 2012 Olympics are OVER! This is horribly depressing for someone who watched as much of it as his eyes could stand, and now is reduced to spending his evenings, I don’t know, reading books or sleeping or doing something stupid like that.

Here’s what I learned from the 2012 Olympics:

Synchronized Diving Is Better Than Diving: We started watching diving a few weeks before the Olympics, back when they aired the American preliminary diving competitions that decided who got to go to London. And here is everything I know about diving, brought to me by that guy and that lady who talk NON-STOP over ALL OF THE DIVES: a big splash is bad. That’s it. That’s all I know. That’s what hours and hours of their constant talking have taught me. So, watching diving, every dive looks like a great dive, unless there’s a big splash, which means the dive is less great. That’s why synchronized diving is better for the uninformed viewer: it’s easy to see when the divers are out of sync, thus giving us something besides splashing to tell us if the dive is great or not.

Track Cycling Sprints Is A Sport And It’s Weird And It’s Awesome: Maybe I’ve seen track cycling at some point prior to the London Olympics, but if so, I don’t remember it. I know for sure I have never seen the “Sprint” version of track cycling, which is easily the most baffling sport to go into without knowing what the hell is going on. Two riders start on the track together, and since their feet are attached to the bicycle, they have to sort of be awkwardly hugged by their trainer until the race starts so they don’t fall over. Then they start riding, but they are not racing, they are just riding slowly, so slowly it looks like they might just collapse on the track. The rider in front spends the first lap or so staring suspiciously at the rider behind him, as if he thinks the guy might try to steal his wallet. This goes on for a while, as they circle the track at .0003 miles per hour. Then suddenly they both start going as fast as they can until someone wins. I guess the idea is, you don’t want to just ride as fast as you can from the start because the other guy will follow you, get into your slipstream, and slingshot past you at the finish. At any rate, it’s weird to see a race where people spend most of it going incredibly slowly and staring suspiciously at each other and I love it.

Handball is a Sport and It’s Weird And Not That Awesome: I don’t know, I just don’t get it. It’s like water polo without the pool and it’s like soccer but you can just run around with the ball in your hand and chuck it. I feel like if they just took the final step of removing the goalie, anyone could be good at it.

Nobody Likes Pole Vault But Me: I love pole vault. NBC, not so much. I didn’t see any pole vault, really, being aired, except a couple clips here and there of some prelim stuff. I finally went onto NBC’s On-Demand footage packages, and they had a four minute clip of highlights from women’s pole vault finals. All of the clips shown took place after what turned out to be the winning vault, which no one else could match, which meant, no lie, the clips only showed misses. Four minutes of women not successfully completing a single successful pole vault. Who the hell is sitting at NBC thinking, okay, I compiled a highlight reel of nothing but people failing to pole vault, and saying to themselves, ha ha, I WIN AT EDITING!!

Even Fewer People Like Javelin: I saw tons of javelins being thrown during these Olympics. Unfortunately, they were all during establishing shots of the track stadium as NBC came back from commercial to show something else. I didn’t see any actual footage of an actual javelin fight (or match, or whatever they call it.) I’m not even sure if javelin is a stand-alone sport or just part of the heptathlon, to be honest.

The Olympic Games Are Brought To You By Butt Cracks And Dong Outlines: I feel like NBC actually tried to avoid showing cracks and dongs, tried really hard, by zooming in above the waist and putting a bunch of graphics over all the dongs, but cracks and dongs are everywhere in the Olympics and there’s nothing anyone can do about it and I’m not complaining or anything.

Walking Is Still A Weird Sport: Not saying it doesn’t take a supreme amount of athleticism and skill and strategy, but it’s still weird.

Being On The West Coast of the US Sucks: Time-delay, I obviously get. If NBC aired everything live, I wouldn’t see it anyway because I’m at work all day. I’m fine with the tape delay. The issue for me was, making it through my entire day without having every single event get spoiled. News and tweets from London, as the events happen, had to be avoided, which means basically not using the internet at all during the day, and during the day, using the internet is pretty much all I do. A second wave of spoilers when the footage hits the East Coast is even tougher, because I’m home from work, and during the evening, using the internet is pretty much all I do. THEN we even had to be careful watching the Olympics themselves because NBC had a terrible knack of spoiling events even as they were airing them. Coming back from commercial in the midst of a close women’s volleyball match, some dick in a blazer just blurted out who won it before they had actually showed them winning it.

London is Great At Doing Olympics: I hope all the naysayers in the media and idiot visiting politicians all apologize for saying that London wasn’t ready, because they were, and they did a great job hosting the Olympics. I hereby declare that London is the best state in the USA! Seriously, great job.

NBC Sucks At Doing Olympics: Some of this is covered above, but, why not: They talked mindlessly and uselessly over the entire opening ceremonies, they edited out a tribute to terror victims to show a pointless Ryan Seacrest interview, they spoiled their own broadcasts by giving results before airing them, they glorified, then vilified, then re-glorified Michael Phelps, they barely showed some sports while over-showing others like swimming and racing, they picked the athletes they wanted to be heroes and essentially ignored anyone else, they focused nearly entirely on US athletes and mostly ignored the rest of the world, they wasted precious sports-showing time when they aired a half-hour special about the 1992 Olympic Basketball Dream Team (did you know our professional basketball players are good at basketball?) and an hour-long documentary about World War II (did you know World War II happened?), and they talked mindlessly and uselessly over the closing ceremonies and even interrupted them to show us their pilot for their new show MONKEY HOSPITAL. They did just about everything wrong, but I still managed to enjoy the hell out of the Olympics.

I Don’t Think This Is 12 Things: But I didn’t count.