The ceremony was great, but the commentary?


That Pop ‘n Fresh TV critic Tom Shales gives thumbs up (sort of) to NBC’s coverage of the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Despite the headline “More Limp than Olympic,” the review is positive (sort of) except for some obvious screw-ups any viewer surely noticed. Like what was wrong with Jim McKay? And that thing on Katie’s head, what was that? And did Bob seem a little short with Katie?


More and more, NBC is becoming a living monument to execrably bad taste. Despite flaws, however, the Winter Olympics coverage looks as though it will constitute a conscious effort to buck that sorry trend.

Here are my comments regarding opening night: Extraordinary ceremony. Bush had a Reaganesque night, especially that sit with the athletes move. Coolest Bush ad-lib (while everything else seemed brilliantly scripted) was his willingness to talk to someone an athlete had called on a cell phone. What was he saying? “No, really, it’s ME, she’s not lying.” Sting, Yo-Yo Ma, Dixie Chicks and the Mormon Tabernacle Choir. How did they keep those instruments warm enough to play? Strings in 20 degree weather. Hope that was a junker Ma was playing. The 1980 Olympic hockey team lighting the flame was a great choice. Brought back a flood of memories for Ann and me. We were present for both the USA-USSR hockey game and awards ceremony. Maybe I’ll have time to write about it during these Olympics. One of three historic sporting moments I’ve witnessed in person, but still the most incredible.

I enjoy the winter olympics, but here’s a humorous contrary view from Nashville Tennessean sports colmnist, David Climer.


Unless Tonya Harding takes off a ski mask and whacks somebody on the knee with a tire tool, this is about as exciting as watching water freeze. For every Miracle On Ice, there are Hours Of Boredom. After the opening ceremony, it’s a slippery slope to the nearest snooze button.

Speaking of contrary, here’s Dave Barry’s take on the opening ceremony.


Without question the most spectacular moment was the lighting of the Olympic Flame. As usual, the details were kept “top secret” until the last minute, when the Olympic torch entered the stadium and, in a dramatic climax that brought a roar of approval from the crowd, ignited a 25-foot-high stack of Enron executives.