Jim McKay’s famous phrase from the introduction to ABC’s Wide World of Sports, “The thrill of victory, and the agony of defeat,” never applies more strongly than during the Olympic Games.
Young (and not-so-young) athletes train for years to compete at the international level, with their fate often coming down to the minutes of an event. Winning a medal brings fame and glory to Olympic athletes. But falling short of expectations can lead to humiliation and pain.
Unfortunately, one of the major stories early in the 2022 Winter Olympics has been skier Mikaela Shiffrin and her falls in two separate events that resulted in DNF (“Did Not Finish”) outcomes.
NBC cameras focused on Shiffrin sitting in the snow after she fell, lingering on her as the women’s slalom race continued. By doing so, the telecast not only stayed on Shiffrin in an emotional moment but created the impression that the race had stopped.
NBC was criticized not only for keeping its cameras on Shiffrin as she tried to process what happened, but for its interview with the clearly emotional skier trying to collect her thoughts after the event.
“Makes me second-guess like the last 15 years,” said Shiffrin, choking up and fighting back tears. “Like everything I thought about my own skiing and slalom and racing mentality. Just processing a lot for sure.”
You can watch the entire interview here. (We can’t embed it because of International Olympic Committee restrictions.)
The falls were particularly heartbreaking for Shiffrin. Not just because she didn’t fulfill expectations in Beijing, but because her father died a year ago. The 2022 Winter Games were the first in which she participated without her father.
Many viewers drew comparisons to NBC’s coverage of gymnast Simone Biles during the 2021 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, during which she withdrew from several events to address her mental health. Many felt NBC and other media put too much pressure on Biles, creating major expectations to win multiple gold medals.
Did the network do the same with Shiffrin? It’s a question that might be worth considering for the remainder of the Beijing Games and future Olympics.
Doug Gottlieb On Praise For Pat Beverly: ‘What a Joke!’
“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport.”
Pat Beverley of the Minnesota Timberwolves may have used his appearances this week on ESPN to set up a potential career in media, but some just simply weren’t impressed.
You can count Doug Gottlieb among them. Gottlieb said Wednesday that Beverley’s takes on Suns guard Chris Paul and words for Matt Barnes regarding James Harden’s contract didn’t do him any favors for the future.
“Pat Beverley, if you’re going to die on a hill, James Harden’s hill is not the one to die on,” Gottlieb said. “In a week in which you have a chance to carve out a potential career for yourself which is as good, or greater than your NBA career. What a joke!”
Gottlieb added that Beverley also lost people completely “acting like the arrogant NBA athlete that so many assume that NBA athletes are.”
“To be in the NBA and say things that are demonstrably false, outright mean, and oh by the way, obtuse to reality and turns people off to your sport,” he said. “Congratulations, hell of a week and you’re only in day two.”
While Beverley may not have Gottlieb singing his praises as an analyst, the T-Wolves journeyman did get the attention of Barstool Sports president Dave Portnoy. Portnoy said if Beverley wanted to do a podcast for the company, he would give him a blank check and hire him no questions asked.
Mick Hubert to Retire After 33 Years As Voice Of Florida Gators
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew.”
After more than three decades and more than 2,500 games called in Gainesville, Mick Hubert is retiring as the voice of the Florida Gators.
Hubert, 68, will call it a career after the Florida baseball team concludes its regular season this weekend.
Hubert, who’s called numerous Gators national championships across multiple sports in his tenure, said he had been thinking about retiring but finally had peace about it to make the decision.
“This wasn’t the end of a five-year plan. I don’t know if I can explain how I knew, but I knew,” he said. “I had been considering this for a little while. I just had to do some praying about it and enjoy every game.”
The longtime broadcaster is a 2019 inductee into the Florida Sports Hall of Fame.
Hubert said he poured his heart and soul into broadcasts and that hopefully fans recognized that.
“I hope they heard the enthusiasm, and the credibility is important to me,” he said. “You need to be factual and credible, but you need to be enthusiastic. That’s what I always felt. I always wanted to take my audience on a roller-coaster ride of emotions. I also wanted to give them enough information so they could paint that picture in their mind.”
Reporter Tells Kevin & Query About NBA Draft Lottery Security Measures
“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know.”
The NBA Draft is coming up towards the end of June, and the top half of the draft order was set this week in the NBA Draft Lottery.
The lottery adds a level of excitement to the mix because you never know if the team with the best odds for the number one pick will actually get it.
But it’s a whole process that actually unfolds well before it airs on ESPN. Pacers reporter Scott Agness of Fieldhouse Files told Kevin Bowen and Jake Query on 107.5 The Fan in Indianapolis what it was like to have access to the lottery.
“By the time you’re watching the production on ESPN for the lottery, we already know,” he said. “It’s already happened. But we’re locked down, sequestered in a room, a ballroom, can’t leave.”
What was even more interesting to Agness was the fact that even people representing lottery teams were under an embargo until the results aired on TV.
“We had all that good info, but the person that won the lottery for instance couldn’t call and celebrate with their people,” Agness said. “None of us in the room could tweet it out because none of us had our devices.”
Agness added that the league had contingency plans in case the lottery drum failed, if the same team had its ping pong ball drawn, and just about every other scenario you could think of. He said he was very impressed with how the NBA did things.
“It was kind of cool to see how well-run everything was in the end,” he said.