Friday, February 24, 2006

Weekend Prepper

I think the worst sign for The OC is that I haven't missed it the last two weeks, and how could I, especially with Dancing With The Stars reaching it's final round. Thanks to them bumping the results show back a few days until Sunday, it gives us more time to reflect on how Stacy Keibler strung off over a dozen near-perfect dances, then dropped the ball on the final dance of Thursday night competition. It wasn't that her dance was that bad, it was just that while Jerry and Drew elevated their game - like Jerry Rice wasn't stepping up in a championship - Stacy kept the same consistency, and it didn't allow her to build the lead she needed to ward off the massive amounts of votes Jerry gets.

My prediction for the winner? I think Jerry kept it close enough with the judges scores, and as long as he doesn't screw up the last "bonus" dance Sunday night, that he'll take this thing, albeit undeservingly from Stacy and Drew. You let the American people vote, you bring in the overwhelming chance of a grievous error being made (See: Presidential Elections, 2000 and 2004). While some people will shrill that nobody deserves to be champ other than Stacy, Drew has been just as consistent all season, with his "Thriller" poso doble the best dance of the competition.

If Drew can maintain his lead on Stacy in the judge's scores, securing a 3, and then just get the 2nd most votes, he'll have a five, thereby defeating Jerry Rice, who will not be able to pass Stacy Sunday night unless she trips and falls and he pulls off the best dance of his life.

Then again, this is Jerry Rice, and he knows a little bit about stepping up...


Mad props to Shaun White, who has secured an Olympic gold medal, an X-Games fourpeat and Lindsay freakin' Lohan in the last couple of months. This is the best run since Luke Walton was in the 2004 Finals and Britney Spears - who was still marginally hot and not interested in killing babies back then, mind you - said she had a crush on him. Since Jeremy Bloom is dating Carmen from Real World: San Diego, it appears the way to go is the slopes if you want smokin' hotties.


Here's a list of USA Today's plans to better the Olympics. It's one of the more hit-or-miss things you'll find on the internet, combining practical ideas with stuff that simply will not work. Here's the suggestions:

1. Put more 'reality' in Olympic TV.

Their idea is to put in confessionals where the athletes get to voice their feelings, and of course I love this idea, since I've been advocating for years that every aspect of life should have an MTV-style confessional. They get a little weird at the end with the whole "hidden cameras in Olympic Village to catch late-night fraternizing", but overall, this is a do-able idea that would be successful.

2. Let viewers have a say.

These are the Olympics, not American Idol or Dancing With The Stars. We'll keep the vote out of it, if only because the "Yao Ming and Vince Carter Always Starting The All-Star Game" factor has proven that both Americans and Chinese are idiots when it comes to voting in certain players.

But wait, Catherine Mueller, head of Fuse, has a better plan!

"Mullen suggests NBC or the International Olympic Committee create an online venue where teens could post messages on topics such as which athletes would make the best-looking Olympic couple."

And if that won't save the Olympics, what will?! They also suggest breaking up the TV monopoly, dividing different events among different networks, which is a logistical nightmare since NBC already has exclusive rights. It would also be hell on viewers, attempting to keep track of what sport was on which network.

3. Tap more tech.

Mainly suggesting to stream all Olympic events to cell phones and creating podcasts about them. This is a nice idea, but it would be a minor boost, as I'm not sure many people would worry about streaming Olympic events to their phones when there's video available online and Tivo/replays all over the place.

4. Spotlight big rivalries.

One hundred percent agree with this one. Don't just focus on the Olympic athletes, but spotlight the evil foreigners our good-hearted Americans will have to beat in order to win the gold. There's a reason people will watch UNC/Duke or Ohio State/Michigan even if one team absolutely sucks, and when you know both competitors will be at the top of their game - well, except for Bode - this can't go wrong.

5. Decide more medals head-to-head.

They try to point out that the top three skiers in timed events should all go head-to-head in order to eliminate the clock, which might be one of the dumbest ideas I've heard. Racing against the clock is fine, because at least it's completely objective. If you're worried about eliminating anything, get rid of or simplify the scoring systems for the judged sports. Nobody gets pissed about clocks. Who came up with this one?

6. Offer more and hipper music, less and hipper talk

This is where the article slowly begins suggesting that the Olympics just turn into the X-Games, at least partly. I'll agree with that, because part of the fun of the X-Games - which is something the Olympics generally are not - is the enthusiasm of the announcers calling the downhill and trick events. Keep the figure-skating announcers prim and proper, but definitely had a dash of Sal Masekela to the skiing and snowboarding. The athletes are riding adrenaline, so why not attempt to infuse the viewer with some as well?

Sal knows winter sports.

7. Go back to the 4-year wait.

Impossible, at least through 2012, and not really the solution. If people enjoy something, such as Idol or the NFL, it doesn't matter how often it's on, as they'll still watch it. Just fix your product. You're still not seeing the big events - like figure skating - except for every four years.

8. Be less predictable.

This is like Carrie Ann Inaba urging Stacy Keibler to be more dangerous on the dance floor when they weren't allowed to use lifts, fire, live animals or trapezes. Their lone example for this was Muhammad Ali being used at the 1996 Olympic games. So either they want the IOC to fix certain sports to make the surprising, or they want more exciting opening ceremonies. I don't understand this one so much.

9. Be more extreme.

Oh, USA Today. They use the term "bicycle motocross", which would probably be one of the more exhausting sports in the world, if it existed. But considering nobody's gotten the leg strength to pedal up big dirt mounds and jump fifty feet through the air, that won't be happening. If you go too extreme, you'll A) Lose the Olympic people who hate the X-Game and B) Get more pundits saying we just added them to pad the gold total for America.

(Though, I guess neither of those would be particularly bad.)

10. Rethink the Olympic mission.

There is no sport left in this world that isn't at least somewhat corrupted by the corporate dollar. The IOC deciding that they don't want that big money from McDonalds isn't going to happen, and having corporate sponsors doesn't necesarily relate to poor viewership. The entire essence of NASCAR is sponsorship plastered everywhere, but they're doing fine.

Of course, these are all related to the American view of the Olympics. Is interest waning in other countries? Can we get some stories on this? I know Norway is pissed that they're neck-and-neck with Estonia in the medal count, but other than that, not a lot of word on ratings in Great Britain or China. Valiant effort by USA Today, although some of it is moderately retarded.



Is it Venom or Spidey, Topher or Tobey?! It's got to be Spidey in the alien costume, as Venom's costume has never been identical to the Spidey Suit. Heck, when Spidey had the alien suit, it didn't look just like the red-and-blue one, but just like Venom's.

/end nerd rant. Superheroes rule.


The only thing cooler than superheros?

Guys that can successfully pull off a real world heist, killing nobody and getting away with millions and millions of dollars. Like Dane Cook said, there isn't a guy in the world whose dream isn't to be involved in a heist. And note, nobody killed, as proper heists should be completed. I hope they don't catch these guys and they just spend the rest of their lives chilling out on a beach somewhere.


And finally, this is a bit late, but we do have a Bond girl for the unequivicated disaster that will be Casino Royale. After names such as Jolie, Theron and McAdams said "No thanks", they got....Eva Green? This is going to be terrible, despite the fact Eva is easy on the eyes.

The Irish take on Marquette tomorrow at 6 in their first of 13 Games To The Championship. On a national scale, UConn and Villanova rematch Sunday afternoon at 2:00. And for those of you who prefer terrible basketball and the potential of two guards attacking each other or a coach killing himself on national TV, the new-look Knicks debut on ESPN tonight.

Happy Weekending.

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