The World Track and Field Championships started Saturday morning in Berlin. The Czarina and I are like two kids in the candy store watching the telecasts. But we'll be switching to the Internet for the rest of the track fest in Berlin. NBC's coverage is just plain awful. NBC's Universal Sports website offers a British version of the event and it's so much better that words fail me.
There were two finals Saturday night in Berlin that were telecast on NBC Saturday afternoon. They showed the women's 10,000 and the men's shot put... sort of. They butchered the coverage of the 10K. They went to commercial just as a break was being made in the race. By the time NBC returned to coverage a pack of five runners had broken away and there were two miles to go. The broadcasters made no mention of how the break occurred nor did we learn how the American runners responded. They failed to move with the group. So viewers were cheated out of the drama except we did get to witness a stirring finish.
Then there's the men's shotput. The field was down to its last two throws with three Americans in medal contention, with the U.S.A.'s Christian Cantwell in second. But they shuffled off to gymnastics because it was time to go promising to bring the results later. By that time the Czarina and I headed to the computer to watch the rest of the meet.
The British coverage was outstanding. It was no frills, straight forward commentating by knowledgable announcers. Cantwell got off a big throw in the second to last round to win the event. The webcast was dramatic as hell. Plus we got to watch they mixed in coverage of pole vault qualifying and the women's heptathlon.
It was just great and so much more interesting than Tom Hammond stumbling over Lewis Johnson in the NBC booth. I will admit that I like Ato Boldin because he "gets" it. Dwight Stones can be pretty good as well. Those of us lucky enough to get NBC's much maligned triple cast during the 1992 Olympics can testify to the fact that when done right, straight forward coverage of track and field can be riveting.
I'm not going to bother watching NBC tomorrow or next weekend for that matter. The Czarina and I will sit infront of the computer and enjoy the Brits. I don't need the up close and personal crap that the networks insist on shoving down our throats to fill the "supposed" lulls during the meet. I want the "meet", not the potatoes.