Even though I'm Jewish, I've decided to give up something for Lent. I'm giving up saying anything negative.
This means I can't send you the letter I want to write with my opinion of NBC's "all-USA, all-the-time, no-one-else-matters, is-there-anyone-else-even-here, nope-just-us Americans" coverage of the Olympics.
Sorry. No letter. Maybe next time.
If NBC wants to increase the number of viewers, and thereby their income, I would make the following suggestion:
Switch from their current "We interrupt these commercials to bring you a few minutes of Olympics" to a program where they have three minutes of commercials no more often than every 15 to 20 minutes and run a banner along the top or bottom with advertising and bragging about the decreased interference by commercials. It works for soccer.
Last night [Monday], with all the hype, etc., there were three downhill runs in 30 minutes.
Arthur A. Fleisher II
Has anyone else noticed that NBC's coverage has robbed us of any national real-time experiences for these Games? While the commentators wax enthusiastic with comments like "Everyone in Oslo will be watching this!" their corporate bosses are scheduling events to deny the same experiences for Americans by broadcasting only on Eastern time. We are in the same time zone as the Games but can't see events live or at the same time as the rest of the country.
I support the U.S. team too much to boycott the NBC broadcasts but resent this cynical manipulation of the Olympic experience.
You've got to hand it to NBC: Day-old Olympic coverage with incessant advertising and promotion is better than narcissistic, non-funny talk show hosts.
I had not really noticed how smug Bill Plaschke looks in the rendering of his likeness until I read his column spouting off about and giving his opinion of the U.S. pairs figure skating teams. Does he actually think a 16-year-old skating with a partner for only 19 months should be at the top of her game when Shen and Zhao have skated together for 18 years? Caydee Denney is an inexperienced newcomer. Plaschke should have cut her some slack instead of slamming the young American competitor. Just because they won't win a medal, they should not be labeled as uncommitted losers.
Corona del Mar
The Times did its best to rain all over the magical indoor snowstorm that was Canada's Olympic opening ceremony.
Perhaps the show looked better in high-definition surround sound than it did live, although when I saw the athletes' faces during the dazzling aerial ballet of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now," they seemed as misty-eyed as I.
Asking Messrs. Erskine and Plaschke to convey the ceremony's essence seems akin to asking Laurel and Hardy to convey the magic of childbirth.
Michael P. Hickey
Sometimes athletes are injured or killed in accidents attributable to risks they take. The death of the Georgian luger at the Olympics is something much different. With no training in safety or structural engineering, I can ask this question after the fact: How can Canadian engineers construct a course with large unpadded steel bars just a few feet from unprotected athletes hurtling down a steep and twisting halfpipe of ice at 90 mph?
This morning [Feb. 13], Jack Johnson made me cry.
Chartering a plane, taking his little brother, making sure he marched in the opening ceremony of the Olympics; talk about a positive role model. And to think, here I was ready to deal him to Atlanta for Kovalchuk!
Friend of Mike
After reflecting on Sunday's story ["Behind the Face Mask" by David Wharton], I decided that I better hurry to get my two cents in at the same time as all of Mike Garrett's "emboldened enemies." Because how could anyone respect an undersized, homegrown athlete with a Heisman Trophy and a Super Bowl ring, a law degree and an extremely successful tenure as guardian of the Trojans' athletic legacy? Why wouldn't he have enemies?
Let me say this. Mike Garrett has been my friend for 37 years. I know Mike Garrett as one of the most principled, solid, upstanding and honest persons I have ever met. He is not a self-promoter, but he is a competitor. He is not a public speaker, but he is passionate about protecting the USC heritage.
Is he perfect? Of course not. Who is? Can he even be an idiot? Well, it was his word, not mine. But if the time comes that I ever have to pick someone to stand with in life, under any circumstances, Garrett will be one of them. For Garrett's "emboldened enemies," too bad for you.
Same old Clips