Thursday, August 14, 2008

TOD - Olympics - What's working/What's not

Just a quick blog about what's working in my Tournament of Death and its coordination with the Olympics.

WORKING: Writing during the Olympics. Between the 4 NBC channels with coverage, I've been able to either write with live events or on DVR timeshift with little trouble.
NOT WORKING: Mix of events. Though there's plenty of time, we're not getting much coverage of events where the US doesn't have medal hopes. Seems to me that at one time, we used go get a glimpse of about everything in either main primetime, or the follow-up late show. Now those seem very US centered, and even then, we're still not seeing surprise event wins like in Judo and shooting.

WORKING: Live coverage. There's been more of this, despite the time difference, than I expected, and it's been very compelling.
NOT WORKING: Web site coverage spoilers. I thought Id' be able to catch things I like online -- Judo, Whitewater, Fencing, etc. Yet, every time I go to the NBC Site, they've got some spoiler right at the top of the page. So, if you like surprises (and I do), avoid the site. (That's why I'm not linking here.)

WORKING: Beach volleyball. Suddenly, one of my favorite sports seems to have become the world's as well, and we're getting a lot of coverage.
NOT WORKING: Event schedules on TV. Even with the extensive coverage, the non-primetime TV schedules remain vague. Want to find a "2nd string" string event in a 6-hour show. Good luck! Maybe there's an online solution, but see the note above about venturing online.

WORKING: Hitting my TOD deadlines. I've managed to get a new TOD episode up every day of the 6 so far.
NOT WORKING: Sleep. It's hard to watch a day's worth of Olympics, write a "finished" 2000+ word piece (twice what I'd intended) and then drift off easily. And, of course, people not into the project keep calling me in the early AM. Ugh! I love you guys, but my "call window" usually runs between 10am and 10pm anyway!

WORKING: Obama ads. A combination of truth-telling and vision.
NOT WORKING: McCain ads. A combination of lies, smears, and distortions. Who is this guy and what did he do with the McCain that ran in 2000?
NOT WORKING: Too many political ads. I'm pretty tired of ads, truthful or not, from both candidates. I'm watching the Olympics to see sports, not politics.
NOT WORKING: War. Russia, get out of Georgia. What's wrong with you people? You never hear of the Pax Olympica?

So, in conclusion, I hope you all are enjoying the Tournament of Death. I'm having a cool time, despite the self-imposed stress and the lack of sleep. And I'm looking forward to working on it during the next 11 days.

And I'm still having a great time watching the Olympics while I work. If someone invents a DVR where you can program all your favorite events and then get a mix of the rest, sigh me up! -- Steve Sulivan

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