The Olympics

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The Olympics are over, man, was that a good 17 days.  The Winter Olympics are really the one sport I love to watch. Every sport in it.  I watched almost every event.  Yes that includes curling, which I watched every (women’s) match.  There were some good ones, and some sad ones, but the Gold Medal game was up there for my second favorite.

All in all I watched countless hours of video.  Often times having 2 events going on at once.  One being streamed on NBColympics.com, one watching on TV.  Once I watched 3, that was alittle too much, mostly because I had to constantly mute them when they went to commercials (more on that, and NBColympics.com in general below).

Total though, I streamed gigabytes of data to my computer.  Don’t believe me, take a look at these beautiful graphics:

That’s the stats recorded by my router.  The highest day as you can see was the 23rd, with 33.8 GB.  The reason for that.  Curling.  There were alot of curling matches that day, only one of my favorite Russian team, but still at least 3 different matches which I watched live, and another 5 or 6 that I streamed throughout the rest of the day.

And to back it up, here is a shot of my Windows Task Manager:

The number of bytes received is: 238,385,189,425  that equals 222.013 GB.  That’s alot.  And, all of that came from Olympic coverage, as I restarted my computer the Friday of Opening day.

Yes, I’m crazy for watching so much.  But let me ask you this.  Am I more crazy for recording it all, and then being excited about all of it?  I don’t know, personally I think they’re both pretty bad.

Now.  Onto my favorite sports, and my favorite moments, and my favorite people.

Curling

I watched curling back in 2002, didn’t understand it, and forgot about it right away almost.  I didn’t watch it at all in 2006, but in 2010, I got addicted.

I’m pretty sure I got so involved in curling for 2 reasons:

  1. there were dozens of games on every day.  That and hockey were the only things streamed live on NBColympics.com.
  2. The Russian women’s Curling Team

Mostly that second point.

How can you not like that smile of Anna Sidorvoa?  With Liudmala Privivkova behind in the background also with a gorgeous smile.  Beautiful picture credit goes to Flickr user RyAwesome.

But I’ve grown to understand the sport, and am going so far as to actually go try playing it this weekend.

Hockey

I love hockey.  It’s really the only sport that I really truly love.  It’s the one sport that I can get into and just forget I spent 20 minutes watching.  Anyway, there were alot of hockey games, and, I tried to watch all of them, (This time the men’s cause women’s hockey isn’t as interesting as men’s (no checking)).  But both were equally enjoyable.  Of all the goals though, 2 stand out in my head as just memorable:

  1. The breakaway goal by Kristaps Sotnieks (number 5 on this list) that’s just textbook awesome right there
  2. Jocelyne Lamoureux’s against China, watch this, just watch it.  Even if you don’t like hockey, or don’t get the sport, you will realize that this goal was good

Of course the two final games bronze medal and gold medal in men’s hockey were just phenomenal.  For a minute it looked like

Speed Skating

I’m not much of a speed skating fan, but I like to watch it just cause of crazy awesome wipe-outs like this.  And it’s really not a wipe-out as much as the most unique way to win.

In the women’s pursuit Anni Friesinger just stumbled and ran out of energy on the last couple hundred feet of the race, and she swam across the finish line.  The look on her face was priceless as it changed from sorry, distress and anger to sheer joy and happiness.

Snowboarding

Ok.  I watched no snowboarding.  I just don’t like the sport.  Not much else to say about that.  But I did have various things streaming constantly, and one snowboarding event caught my eye.  That’s Callan Chythlook-Sifsof willpower to continue her race, even though she fell.  That right there, that’s what the Olympics are all about.  And in 4 years Morgan Freeman will be narrating a Visa commercial with that clip in it.

Like this one:

Figure Skating

I watch figure skating, but I don’t follow it, and don’t really understand the difference between all the different jumps, and crazy things they do.  But that being said, I watch it cause it’s fun.  And Elene Gedevanishvili made her Ladies’ short program great.  I think she performed flawlessly, but I’m no Official Olympic judge.  The smile on her face when she finished alone would have been enough for me to give her a medal.  Doesn’t matter which, but she should have had one.

NBCOlympics.com

Oh how I loved you, and hated you, and enjoyed you, and cursed at you.  You provided me with (in theory) uninterrupted live HD coverage of each and every curling match, and very soon HD coverage of every other event.

Here’s the problem though, you had alot of problems!

In order to watch full replays you had to perform some weird connection to prove that you actually get Cable to your house.  Or something.  I don’t know cause I checked off Cablevision, and then the whole thing just refreshed and I was able to watch everything.  Multiple other people though said they had to actually loginto their various cable provider accounts.  A.  Why did I not have to do anything (I bet it’s cause Cablevision is awesome, cause it is).  B. Why do you have to do it to begin with?

Advertisements, you had alot of them.  And there was no rhyme or reason to them either.  Some events (most notably the full event replays of ski jumping, and downhill) had no interruptions at all, just 2 hours of straight uncommentated skiing.   That was great cause I was able to have those open in one window, and do work, or watch something else at the same time.

Other times though you had 10 minutes of commercials.  And you didn’t even jumble them up.  If P & G and Audi were the sponsors for this event, those are the only commercials shown.  I liked the commercial, but come on.  Watching it 5 times in a row, and then watching the spinning NBC Olympics Icon for a further 2 minutes is just annoying.

Now, if you had Progressive as a sponsor, I wouldn’t mind watching Flo 7 or 8 hundred times.

Silverlight needs to die.  Sure, it was nice watching HD coverage in full screen and not using 100% of my processor.  But the system hangs, the ammount of RAM used, and various other problems I discovered about it are too much to be worth it.  Here’s just a list of things wrong.

Spacebar does not pause/play the video.  I don’t know what it does.  Sometimes it goes full screen/not full screen, sometimes it does nothing.  The spacebar is to pause or resume play of the video/audio.  That is one of the oldest standards in video.  I don’t know if it was Microsoft’s fault for not making it that way, or NBC’s fault for not implementing it in the code, but it must be fixed for 2014.

When in full screen mode there is far too much going on.  For starters, the entire controls stay visible.  They never disappear into the background.  Next there’s a giant ad on the top.  I get it, you want to make money NBC, but that’s just ridiculous.  Also, full screen is not black like it should be, its blue.  That really adds to the distraction of watching it.  Especially since the mouse does not disappear either.  It just stays visible.  That’s another full screen video standard that is not in use here, not sure who’s fault it is, but it must be fixed.

Also, I can’t embed anything.  Why?

I want to share these moments, I have to force people to go to their site, and watch it, that’s the opposite of social NBC.

This last part is just something I want to add, but no one’s fault really.  I’d like playlists.  So I could just queue up some different events, and not have to worry about it.  I can’t, you should fix that.

Hopefully they can get these issues fixed in time for the 2014 Olympics in Sochi Russia.  But what about London in 2012, I don’t watch the Summer games, they are not nearly as fun, or interesting.

Now I think that’s all I wanted to say. about these Olympic games.  I’m probably missing some things, or some awesome things that happened in the games, but whatever, onto other stuff.

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