Vancouver Day 15: Unbelievable ratings for aerials
Back aching, retinas imprinted with the Olympic logo and Brian Williams' face, brain unable to rid itself of that ``Believe" melody, suicide prevention hotline number scrawled on my arm. Hey, you try doing this for 15 days.
As if that isn't bad enough, I'm now reading a CTV-Rogers press release that says the most-watched event on TV Thursday night was men's aerials. This, on a night of women's hockey gold and the conclusion of the incredible Joannie Rochette story.
But it's apparently true. Aerials coverage on Rogers Sportsnet averaged 7.8 million viewers. That's men's hockey territory. That's 2 million more than Canada's 2-0 win over the U.S. and 3.4 million more than figure skating.
The release also says that the figure skating audience peaked at 8.7 million just AFTER Rochette received her marks. Not during her skate, not while she was getting her marks, but after. So maybe this is all an illusion.
SINGING THE PRAISES: Here's an interesting observation about ``O Canada" from the Sports Business Journal on Friday: ``Is it just us or does this song seem too fun to be a national anthem? It sounds like it should be sung with a pint in hand. The song's been sung throughout Vancouver for the last two weeks, and the Canadian women's hockey team certainly relished its chance to belt it out atop the medal stand last night." And the SBJ never heard the late Roger Doucet sing it ...
THE GOOD: While both CTV and NBC did a great job of covering Thursday's women's figure skating final, CTV went one step further with a fascinating isolation on gold-medal winner Kim Yu-Na's coach, Brian Orser. The Canadian skating icon was practically doing his protege's routine as he stood rinkside. It was a great bit of television, especially considering that Orser finally got an Olympic gold on Canadian ice. .. NBC analyst Scott Hamilton got a little choked up when Joannie Rochette finished her program, and who wouldn't have been? ``I've never seen such a super-human amount of courage, determination," he said. ``What an inspiration." . ...CTV got a great shot of Rochette and her father hugging after the medal ceremony. ... Not to belabour the figure skating thing, but CTV's Sarah Orlesky's interview with Rochette was a fitting ending to the proceedings. .... Sideline reporters are known for detailing how one coach urged his players to try harder or that the team trailing 4-0 needs to score more often. So it's nice to see something interesting, such as Lisa Bowes' report during the women's gold medal game that the Americans were wearing heart monitors to give the coach an indication who was freshest. .... Kevin Quinn and Cassie Campbell-Pascall did a nice call on the game, resisting the urge to gush. Quinn's closing statement that, ``The fans at Canada Hockey Place let you know that Canada has won gold," summed it up perfectly. ... Great analysis by Jeff Bean at the aerials, explaining the intricacies of the sport and adding a bit of colour. When Dmitri Dashinski of Belarus finished his jump, Bean summed it up thusly: ``He looks like he just stepped off a curb right there on that landing. That's a four-storey balcony he just jumped off." ... Best prediction of the day came from skier Kelly Vanderbeek, who fingered Austrian Andrea Fischbacher as the likely winner of the women's Super-G.
THE BAD: NBC hockey analyst/entertainer/Don-Cherry-wannabe Mike Milbury gets paid to be colourful and more power to him. Better a guy who makes outrageous statements than one who spoons out pablum. But sometimes Milbury's words bypass his brain. His comments that the Russians played ``a Eurotrash game" against Canada wasn't half as dumb as his defence that he didn't realize that the term Eurotrash meant anything more than a perimeter game, ... Nice coverage of the women's bobsled medal ceremony Thursday, but CTV kind of ignored the silver-medal winners. It was as if Helen Upperton and Shelley-Ann Brown were from Kazhakstan, not Canada. ... Can we please put an end to those shots of people on the streets screaming and waving the second they realize that they're on camera?