Monday, July 30, 2012

A Tad Overstated

Perhaps TigerBlog's favorite scene from "The Sopranos" was the one where Sylvio and Christopher go to Rhode Island and meet with Lou DiMaggio and his gang.

Sylvio and Christopher were there to solicit, uh, services from the DiMaggio gang, who offered to recreate a previously executed, uh, formula for such services.

When the two New Jersey guys heard what the gang had done, Sylvio shook his head and said: "I don't think we need anything quite that overstated."

TigerBlog is no fan of the overstated. Understated is a much better way to go.

With that in mind, then it's obvious that TB was appalled by the Opening Ceremonies of the Olympic Games.

How could he not be?

The show lasted more than four hours and cost $70 kajillion dollars to produce.

Well, maybe not quite that much. Still, at a time when so many people in the world and in Europe specifically are struggling, whose idea was it to write the blank check for the ceremonies?

And that wasn't even the part that turned off TB.

Yes, the part with James Bond and the Queen was funny. The rest of it was just so, so overstated, overdone, over-the-top.

Except the parade of the athletes. And, even though he's just turned 70, Paul McCartney still made "Hey Jude" count when he sang it at the end.

And of course the torch-lighting ceremony sent chills down the spine of even the most cynical people who saw it.

The rest was so unnecessarily ridiculous that who could possibly be entertained by it.

Were TB in charge, he would have had the entire thing done in half the time. In fact, the formula should be basically something like this:

* some musical selection from the host country's most famous act

* Parade of Athletes - this looked like about the greatest party any of these athletes will ever attend; TB can't even begin to imagine the coolness factor that comes out of that

* some speaking role for some of the highest-profile former Olympians from the host country

* torch-lighting

* another musical selection

* go home

The real lure of watching the 2012 Opening Ceremonies was to see if any Princeton athletes would be seen.

Steve Dolan, Princeton's cross country coach, told steeplechaser Donn Cabral to stand near Kobe Bryant or Michael Phelps to ensure he'd be on TV. As it turned out, it wasn't necessary, as Cabral was seen outside the stadium as the U.S. team began to assemble.

And the Reinprecht sisters were also seen, with the rest of the field hockey team, swaying to "Hey Jude."

TigerBlog had basically nothing else to do this weekend, so he watched a lot of Olympics coverage.

He saw the Reinprects and the Americans play on the blue field while falling to Germany 2-1 in their first game.

He didn't see any of the rowing, but Princeton got off to a great start. It's looking very likely that there will be Tigers who come away with medals.

What TB loves about the Olympics is seeing events that he ordinarily wouldn't. For some reason, he found the long road cycling races fascinating, possibly because they could race for five hours and then have about a minute separate first from last.

He loves team handball, though the sport wasn't on as much as the TV listings said it would be.

He's never been a huge fan of gymnastics, though he does remember in 1984 when he and four male friends cheered wildly at an Olympic-watching party when the Romanian girl fell, giving the U.S. the gold medal. The women in the room, by the way, all sighed and said how sad that it was.

He doesn't need Olympic tennis. The beach volleyball isn't his favorite either.

He liked the archery. The equestrian dressage? He didn't get that at all. Where's the athleticism?

He followed the women's skeet shooting after seeing the interview with the incredibly happy Kimberly Rhode, who medaled for the fifth straight Olympics and won her third gold after hitting 99 of 100 targets. The silver medalist hit 91.

The ping-pong was okay. The badminton was really cool. So was the fencing.

He also watched some of "Goodfellas" and "West Side Story," not to mention the episode of "Criminal Minds" where it all comes to a head with Hotchner and the Reaper and a few "Big Bang Theory" episodes.

So it wasn't all Olympics all the time, but it was more Olympics than anything else.

The Opening Ceremonies might not have held his attention, but the beginning of the Games themselves certainly did.

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