More television

My run through the television. Obviously the concept is completely ripped off from, among other people, our own Norman Chad, who sent me this message tonight: "Hope you're enjoying Turin -- the IHOP just off of Main Street is pretty good."

7:03, channel 28: Canadian coverage of the Sweden-U.S. men's hockey game. Announcer: "I really learned the different kinds of wine in this country: rouge and blanc."

7:06: channel 29: Dutch speedskater Wust and Italian speedskater Simionato compete in the 1,000-meters. The announces are speaking French. It occurs to me for the first time that I will have a hard time making fun of the announcers who speak foreign languages, since I won't understand what they're saying.

7:09, channel 30: Wall Street Journal Report on CNBC Europe, in American. Venture capitalist Tom Perkins is discussing his novel, "Sex and the Single Zillionaire." He says that Danielle Steel is his literary mentor.

7:11, channel 33: EuroNews cross-country relay highlights, in British. Announcer: "Zorsi dug deep and then deeper....and crossed the finish line with Il Tricolore for company. Bronze for Sweden, party time for Italy."

7:13, channel 38: Highlights of the Olympic drug bust, in German, featuring shots of snow, an Adidas bag and police lights flashing in a darkened street, the official international symbol of a bad local news segment.

7:14, channel 39: Live bobsled, in German. The Swiss team goes down a snowy hill in a sled. Then they show the slow motion replay. This time I more fully understand what exactly happened as the Swiss team went down a snowy hill in a sledl. (Aside: I love curling, but the curling timeout is the dumbest moment in sports television. It's curling. The game already moves at the pace of FEMA on Benadryl. Can't they at least invent the 30-second timeout?)

7:16, channel 41: EuroSport, live coverage of the final two minutes of the Sweden-U.S. men's hockey game, in what sounds like American. Announcer: "The Swedes, showing that they're up to the task, not giving an inch....This could be the end of the day for the Americans, it looks like they're going to come out short in this game unless they can pull out some sort of miracle....The Americans unlucky or the Swedes lucky, take your pick, but any way you look at it Sweden is holding onto a one-goal lead....Stay with us on EuroSport, action to happen later on."

7:20, channel 42: EuroSport2 Mag program: "Skate with an Olympic Champion," which has the production values of "ElimiDATE" combined with the drama of, well, "ElimiDATE." "Me, renting ice skates?" some cheesy guy with long hair says as he mugs for the camera. "Oh, by the way, in figure skating the changing rooms are mixed," he smirks. Coming up next, EuroSport2 Mag features Woody Paige, Skip Bayless and all your favorite "Cold Formaggio" stars, discussing the Zorsi and the cross-country relay by screaming until their throats bleed.

7:23, channel 43: A CNN report on the BAFTA awards. Correspondent: "But the real star of tonight could be George Clooney, who himself has been nominated in FOUR different categories....He's actually going to be competing against HIMSELF....There's a very good chance George Clooney could be one of the lucky people going home with an award tonight."

7:25, channel 46: Soundless feed of Switzerland-Sweden curling game.

7:26, channel 47: Highlights of Olympic drug bust, in Italian.

7:28, channel 49: Women's 1,000-meter speedskating, in Austrian. Which, I know, I know, is different than Australian.

7:30, channels 50-100: Every station we get in that range features YLE, the Finnish Broadcasting Company. I see an ad for "MidSomer Murders," in English, and then a news update on the Olympic drug bust, in Finnish, hosted by Matti Ronka. Flip, Matti Ronka, flip, Matti Ronka, flip, Matti Ronka, about 40 times. Unbelievable. Finally, someone who's more overexposed than Seacrest. Ronka: Out.

7:33, the early channels: Lots of soundless Olympic feeds, including all four men's curling games, which threaten to derail this entire enterprise.

7:35, channel 27: Soccer highlights from the Coppa d'Africa, on SportsItalia. Some guy in orange (I don't think he was Dutch) hits a penalty kick, tears off his shirt and runs around in circles. Then some other guy in orange (I don't think he was Dutch) has a penalty kick blocked, and is consoled and hugged by his teammates as he makes sad faces. Is there a dumber way of determining winners and losers than soccer penalty kicks? Besides the Electoral College? Wouldn't a punt pass and kick contest be more fun for everybody? In both soccer and Presidential elections?

7:37, channel 28 again: Canadian Olympic highlights. Announcer: "It can only get brighter with respect to how well the Albertans are doing here."

7:38, I'm interrupted: Tracee "Il Duce" Hamilton begins screaming as a half-naked Israeli ice dancer takes the ice on the second television. The costume was not popular in the office. I attempt to find the ice dancing on my television, somehow managing to change the station on both monitors at the same time, causing the three women in the office to scream louder. Much louder.

7:41, channel 28 again: Live feed from Canada Olympic Park in Calgary, where about 30 Canadians wave flags and look enthusiastic for the cameras. Announcer: "We hope the Germans turn in a "schloozer" (?) when we come back with the final of the two-man bob, next." Then the channel conked out, so I'm not sure whether the schloozer happened, but bobsled was on about five channels at this point anyhow.

7:44-9:13: I fall asleep on the office couch, while co-workers take pictures of me. This made me the third member of The Post's Team Formaggio to fall asleep in the office today, joining brilliant columnist Sally Jenkins and Style writer Libby Copeland.

The Olympics are more than halfway over. Loving roommate Les could be stranded up in the mountains tonight due to a snow storm, leaving me potentially roommate-less.

Stuff readers have sent me:

This link about the Ike Austin cheeseboot.

This tale of more cheese and Olympic watching from reader Mike in Oklahoma, bringing the total number of readers who have eaten cheese while watching the Olympics to at least two, just one short of trend status:

I made Rotel dip yesterday and tried to explain curling to my 8 year old and 4 year old while we watched (I believe) the Japan/Sweden women's match.

I don't suppose that counts, but we're in the middle of an ice storm here, and I couldn't really justify braving the elements to look for some Castelmagno here in Oklahoma.

Can I get one more tale, so I can declare cheese-tasting while Olympic-watching to be an official trend?

This from the father of Boston Globe scribe and former Washington Post intern Amalie "sounds like family" Benjamin:

I went to the Costco and bought 4 lbs of Jarlsberg.

This from reader Yong in San Francisco:

I'm in the process of planning a trip back to DC to visit my family. The original thought was sometime mid-May (which is still probably when I'll go), but I am actually thinking about moving it up a few weeks so that I can be there for the cheese tasting you posted about earlier.

I wonder if I could cinch the deal by inviting the Kiwi Curlers, Joel mit der nicknames und other stuff, Angela and Teresa from the Alpine Hut of Cheese and Gianluca Bertone.

This from reader Sarah, parts unknown:

When you are done with cold weather curling, perhaps you can move onto its warm weather equivalent - lawn bowls. Great jargon, great uniforms, no lycra, heavy black balls that curl... Bowls are on the slate for the Commonwealth Games, the mini-Olympics of the former British Empire, and as you can see from the link, the Kiwi bowlers are in a fine position to cause some damage and to collect some serious metal there. Although the games are in Australia, you could pass through Central Otago in the way home.

At this rate, I would not be at all surprised if I wind up in Central Otago on the way home from covering lawn bowls.

By Dan Steinberg |  February 19, 2006; 5:19 PM ET
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"(Aside: I love curling, but the curling timeout is the dumbest moment in sports television. It's curling. The game already moves at the pace of FEMA on Benadryl. Can't they at least invent the 30-second timeout?)"

The reason that the timeout seems so long is that if the coach is being called in for consultation the minute doesn't start until his arrival. Unlike Football, Basketball, etc. the coach is not sitting around right by the edge of the playing field in easy walking distance of the playing field. And then technically after the minute, the discussion can continue (sans coach) with the time counting against the team's time.

Also, while somewhat disparaging to my sport of choice, I love the FEMA-Benadryl analogy.

Happily returning to the TiVo'ed USA-GBR men's game,
-- Jack

P.S. If I were a cheese fan, I'd totally help you on your quest for trend status.

Posted by: Jack Esteve | February 19, 2006 07:01 PM

I'm now determined to hit the cheese section of Wegman's tommororw......

Posted by: Kim | February 19, 2006 07:40 PM

If one of them actually accepts the invitation - consider the deal cinched!

Posted by: yong | February 20, 2006 01:15 AM

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