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BEIJING 2008 : STEVE SPRINGER / ON SPORTS MEDIA

As the Games fade, questions linger

August 25, 2008|STEVE SPRINGER

The torch has been extinguished, the mass exodus from Beijing has begun and all that remains of the 2008 Olympics are the memories, the DVDs and questions. Lots of questions:

Will we ever believe NBC again when we are told something is live?

With blockbuster Olympic ratings to bolster its case, will NBC extend its tape-delay policy to next year's Super Bowl and show it at 8 p.m. on the West Coast?

If prime time is so important, why did NBC break its own rule and show the men's basketball gold-medal game -- U.S. versus Spain -- live at 2:30 a.m. on the East Coast?

Given that tape delay isn't going away, couldn't NBC at least have made the order of events more user-friendly to those who have to go work in the morning and shown the women's all-around gymnastics title first at 8 p.m. instead of last, stretching until almost 1 a.m.?

Debbie Phelps, Michael's mother, we get, but do we really need to know about Herman, his dog?

NBC has signed deals to show the 2009 world swimming championships and the U.S. national championships for the next three years. Will anybody watch?

Since Kobe is so popular in China, why not build a 50-foot statue of him like the one of Shaq that towers over a Beijing park?

How long before an NBA owner circles Mike Krzyzewski with an armored car full of money?

How long before an NFL team tries to sign Usain Bolt as a wide receiver?

How come Jerry Colangelo could never do for the Phoenix Suns what he did for USA Basketball?

Is there any sport that leaves Bob Costas speechless?

Is there any athlete Cris Collinsworth doesn't gush over?

Costas asked Mark Spitz everything except the one question most viewers were curious about. How did he feel about not being invited to the Olympics?

Can we finally retire the cliche, "They will win a medal -- they just don't know which color"?

If softball was eliminated from the Games because of U.S. domination, does the defeat of the American squad provide an opening to bring it back?

If U.S. domination is the standard, will swimming now be banned?

IOC President Jacques Rogge told Costas softball was removed from the Games partly because of U.S. domination and partly because the sport suffered from being linked to baseball in the minds of some IOC officials in terms of steroid abuse. Rogge, however, then said the IOC would look more favorably on baseball if major league stars participated in the Olympics. Huh? Wouldn't that increase the possibility of steroid abuse and the likelihood of U.S. domination?

Would beach volleyball be as popular if Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh were required to wear sweat suits?

Would fencing be more popular if the competitors were allowed to dress like the beach volleyballers?

Why didn't U.S. baseball Coach Davey Johnson show the same fire for the game he demonstrated in Beijing when he was managing the Dodgers?

Shouldn't Doug Collins' performance as an analyst be required viewing for all future athletes yearning to get behind the mike?

Shouldn't Bela Karolyi's performance also be required viewing as a prime example of those who shouldn't be allowed behind the mike?

Is there a better track analyst than Ato Boldon?

Will Olympic boxing -- the sport of Cassius Clay, Sugar Ray Leonard and Oscar De La Hoya -- ever battle its way back into prime time?

Isn't it a relief to go back to reading the sports headlines across the bottom of the screen on ESPN and other non-Olympic stations during the day without worrying about ruining the tape-delayed, prime-time hours?

Is ESPN still in business?

How many days until Whistler?

--

steve.springer@latimes.com

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