Tagged: ctv

Olympic-esque Blog Day 17

Nodar Kumaritashvili’s death is a big part of what will be remembered about vancouver 2010. Anytime an athlete dies that will leave a mark on an event. For me the Luge Federation’s horrible attempt to blame Nodar himself the next day is why I thought I’d open up the last blog with it. One of the lowest points of an Olympics I’ve seen.

Also saying the track wasn’t dangerous but then putting in various changes because it clearly was showed how two-faced they were. Case where I don’t blame the IOC but it fell on VANOC. Various racers leading up to these games warned them about it. Luge, Skeleton and Bobsleigh are treacherous no matter what. When they are worried about a track you listen and don’t blow them off. From Yahoo Sports.

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/news;_ylt=Alv.pDB1r3.MaOUfKofavKA5nYcB?slug=dw-winnerslosers022810&prov=yhoo&type=lgns

LOSER: Vancouver Organizing Committee

It was obvious they had built a sliding track in Whistler that was too fast and too challenging. Luge athletes were complaining from the start of practice. Then Nodar Kumaritashvili died when he was ejected from the track and into a steel pole. They slowed the luge track, yet then watched bobsledders struggle to make it down later in the Games.

Later, documents, emails and other smoking guns became public that showed concern about the track from officials, including those within the International Luge Federation. Luging is a dangerous sport, but there is no need to make it this difficult. The death of Kumaritashvili should be used to improve safety going forward. It was a terrible and unfortunately lasting moment from these Games.

Those athletes take risks everytime they race so it takes a lot for them to raise a red flag. Similar to race car drivers.

Takes a lot for me to agree with Jacques Rogge but I did in some quotes he’s said in the last few days. He said the IOC didn’t set the standards for the Whistler track.

“But we are morally responsible. Our responsibility is to make sure that no unnecessary risks are taken. There will always be risk in sport but it has to be reasonable. And the athletes take a lot of risk themselves.”

“The IOC has been very clear in saying to the Russians [2014 Winter Games] please deliver us a track that will be not hazardous. We never ask for more speed on the ice. Never. There has never been any requests to say you should go faster, it should be more difficult. This is something that clearly emanated from the international federation who approved the design.”

About Kumaritashvili’s death compared to other Olympic tragedies.

“It will be a part of the Games. It would be stupid to say the opposite. Just ask about what happened in Munich. What happened in Munich is part of the Games. What happened in Atlanta is part of the Games. There is no way you can isolate it.”

Rogge said the death affected him “very strongly,” and he didn’t sleep for two nights.

“In my profession, you are used to seeing people pass away, but for acceptable reasons, because of disease, because of age. [Rogge was a practicing physician.] And when you see a young athlete pursuing his dream of participating in the Olympic Games and end up in such an accident, it hurts.”

CTV Sunday morning had Rod Black and Jamie Cambpell on. I said before on the blog how I wasn’t a fan of his play by play. I do like him as a broadcaster. Always heard good things about people meeting him as well. Host asked them near the end what you would remember most about these games. Jamie gave the brutally honest answer.

The face of luger who died. Jamie was at the Broadcast Centre that Friday preparing for the sports he was going to call on Saturday. He saw the crash on TV, possibly before most of us had even heard about it. Once he heard he died he admitted he broke down. Betting CTV was looking for the first Gold Medal on home soil story from Jamie. Some things are more important.

Still haven’t watched an Olympic Gold Medal hockey game since 1994 between Canada and Sweden. Don’t like the professionals at the games. That’s it. I have to say the pros are the only ones who I saw cause anger in people the last 2 weeks. Where I work we had a lot of people come by and watch parts of the Olympics on a TV we have in the lobby. If Canada didn’t win in other sports no one got angry.

End of the Canada-Switzerland game which Canada won I saw angry people. Think I quoted this before but one guy before the shootout. “These Motherf$%kers get paid millions of dollars and they can’t beat the Swiss”. Didn’t hear anything like that if a speed skater finished 4th. More swearing at the team at the end of the Canada-Slovakia game.

Reading Twitter tonight and the word “relief” came up alot. Not happiness as much as people relieved they won. A bit strange. Felt much more happiness online when Moir/Virtue won. Tweets from women crying during that so it was memorable reading.

I’ll have one more Olympic-esque blog tomorrow as I catch up on things I missed. I’m a big sports fan but I know sports are a fun distraction. Nothing more and nothing less. Enjoy the game while watching it however it shouldn’t eat away at you if your team loses. Was my opinion of Canada or self worth going to change if the country didn’t win the ‘battle of the millionaires’ ? No, that be crazy. Tomorrow is another day win or lose.

In June it’s the world’s biggest sporting event of the year. 2010 World Cup in South Africa. Winter Olympics are big, but not World Cup of Soccer big. Don’t kid yourself. Those fans border on the insane from time to time. Killing a player for scoring on his own net for example. Not everyone knows the story about Andres Escobar. Scored on his own net against the USA in 1994. A month later in Columbia he was shot 12 times as the shooter reportedly yelled “GOAL!” after each shot. Whether the murderer was hired by Colombian drug syndicates who had bet heavily on the game was never proven. You can imagine that would be difficult and dangerous to prove in that country. The murderer was sentenced to 43 years in prison, then reduced to 26 years. And he only served 11 after being let out for ‘good behaviour’. No, that’s not fishy at all. To also show how big soccer is his funeral was attended by a few people. 120,000 to be exact.

Dark side of sports but let’s hope nothing approaching that happens this time. Does put “crazy hockey fans” in perspective though. Imagine a hockey player getting hurt at all for making a mistake. Unfathomable.

Remember Vancouver 2010 is not over yet. Even though some of the TV coverage would have you believe it is. The Paralympics start on March 12th. CTV/Rogers is doing more coverage than CBC has done. Didn’t see it but Brian Williams even said he’s hosting it. Glad they’re finally giving those games their due. I’ve tried to watch in the past but it would be tape delayed till late at night. CTV, TSN and Sportsnet showing it. We’ll see how they do. I’ll be here to write about it.

Thanks to Olympic Price Watch for linking to the blog yesterday.  I’ll post tomorrow any updates from the site.  Let’s hope the bad ones smarten up before the Paralympics start.

Quite easy to sum up the games’ ups and downs. Got the new Peter Gabriel CD as he covers various artists. Does a song by Randy Newman from 1968. Vancouver in one sentence over the last 2 weeks.

“Human kindness is overflowing and I think it’s going to rain today.”

Olympic-esque Blog Day 16

Think I watched too much of the Olympics at the start. Haven’t caught much the last few days. Keeping track of the medals coming in has been a lot of catching up. Need a day off from work just to sit down and go back over what I missed.

Men’s Curling with a Gold medal. Which means Canada will finish first in the Gold category, no matter what happens on Sunday. Total medals is US by a country mile. First time someone from ‘own the podium’ sounded reasonable. Chris Rudge.

“Through some kind of transference, I might segue over to gold medals and say Own The Podium met its goal, but that would be unfair and that would be a rationalization. Our goal was the most medals and we didn’t get the most medals.”

Glad he didn’t do the politician spin on it. As I said yesterday, strange coinicidence that once they admitted Canada wouldn’t get the most all these medals came in. A lot of the Canadians not used to intense pressure or don’t perform well under it. Exceptions of course with the ones who did.

However you have the entire ski team that didn’t win one medal. They got an extra $10 Million in funding for these games. Pressure they couldn’t handle apparently. Some got injured before the games but zero medals means they choked. Can’t sugarcoat it.

Paralympics start up in a couple of weeks. For those on the West Coast I’d advise checking it out. Friend from Twitter Katie Lawrence pointed out tickets for sledge hockey between Canada and Italy are $20. Twenty bucks. Not $200 or $2000. Twenty bucks. Impressive pricing considering the gouging we’ve seen in Vancouver.

http://www.twitter.com/BlueJayGal

Going with USA beating Canada 4-2. Not watching the game since it is the equivalent of 3am to me and who wins doesn’t interest me. American Moneybags or Canadian Moneybags. Not like Women’s hockey where you can see this is the end all and be all for the year. The guys? Back to their NHL jobs and push for the Stanley Cup playoffs. One of the women on Team USA even said as much. “It’s different for the guys.” Especially with World Cup 2011 next year for the Men.

Simple prediction for me just looking at scores. USA hammered Finland. Finland just squeaked by Slovakia for a Bronzel. Canada also just got by Slovakia. US beat Canada already. That’s it. Could be wrong but based on results you would pick the US. From a unbiased point of view.

You must have heard by now about Team Canada crushing the dream of Brian McKeever. When you think Team Canada officials might have their heads on straight they do something like this. Why bring him to the games if you’re not going to have him ski? Lot of people upset because the same officials used Brian as good P.R. before the games. Story of him being the first to compete at both the Paralympics and Olympic games. Went around the world and they liked the publicity it gave them. When push came to shove they don’t allow him to be part of the 50km Cross Country ski team chosen for Sunday. Insane.

Talking about putting in 4 guys who could possibly win a medal. The team has done better than expected but none of them won any medals so far. Brain dead thinking from the Cross Country side. After seeing people’s reaction to Rochette’s skate you would think they would clue in. Final day of the Olympics and which would people care about more. McKeever skiing or some other Canadians finishing 8th. Even if one of them won a medal it’s the same day as Hockey and the closing ceremony. Talk about being overshadowed win or lose. Chance to get your sport noticed to people who don’t watch it was McKeever. So you now have a race many Canadians will not want to watch because of how the team treated him. Nice going. A tweet from him Saturday morning as you can tell he was not expecting it either.

“Olympic dream over. Don’t think I’ve ever been so sad.”

Closing ceremonies shouldn’t be as bad as the opening. Let’s hope they improved the lip synching. Some good news to end this post. Website with the places in Vancouver that are not trying to ripoff customers during the Olympics.

http://olympicpricewatch.com/2010-nice-prices/

Similar to the list earlier in the week but updated as of this morning with some new entries.
__
NEW – Charm Modern Thai on Hamilton has no olympics autograt (Source: @asml)

NEW – The Greedy Pig – reported as having nice prices (Source: @thegreenpagesBC)

NEW – The Whip on Main – reported as having nice prices (source: @Kafkascoffeetea)

NEW – Maenam – good review and nice price report (source: @mbender88)

NEW – Ontario Pavilion – regular prices (source – personal visit)

NEW – PumpJack Pub on Davie- regular prices, no auto-grat, specials through Olympics (source: @ReiveD)

NEW – Joseph Richard on Granville – regular prices, no auto-grat (source: venue’s promoter @Bacardi_live)


Funny a place called “The Greedy Pig” isn’t but on the bad list is a place called “Smiley’s”. They’re smiling as they gouge you which means you won’t be smiling later on.

When the Paralympics I wonder if they will ease off on the price hikes. Still a lot of people in town from around the world so you never know. With the internet the good and bad list will live on way past the times the games end. Old adage about getting good service you tell 1 person, you get bad service you tell 10 people. It’s true.

Even on this blog. The horrible stuff on CTV has gotten repeated by a lot of people online. Good stuff like the pieces on difference between athlete’s bodies and ours, first time I’ve mentioned it. Although seeing the General Electric logo is a bit annoying. Does every taped thing on CTV/Rogers have to have a sponsor? The ‘unholy alliance’ overpaying for the Olympics shouldn’t force “Product Night in Canada” on us every single day of the Olympics. Last night saw something taped which ended “brought to you by Bell” and faded into commercial. Immediately followed by a promo for the Fan Choice Awards presented by Bell.

During CFRC football and hockey broadcasts I know not to put the same sponsor on back to back ads. You annoy the listener if that happens. And this is a volunteer position. When you’re getting paid you should know to spread out the advertising. Common sense.

Jay Onrait still trying his best on Olympic Morning.  Almost redeemed the 2 weeks of Olympic Morning today, almost. “A lot of people have been wondering. How do I get the I Believe song? We haven’t been telling you about this much on the show. We haven’t been playing it that much.” Thank you Jay. 🙂

Olympic-esque Blog Day 13-15 I think, starting to losing track

Soon as the ‘own the podium’ pressure got lifted all these medals start coming. Coincidence? Unless we’re talking about the ski team. They still have performed horribly. Speed skating was overshadowed Friday night but hopefully people found out about it this morning.

Olympic Morning still cringe-worthy. But Jay Onrait is trying his best. And he had some critical to say. Talking to a gossip reporter about who might appear at the closing ceremonies. Rumours Shania Twain is town and pictures of Alanis arriving in Vancouver. Then the part where Jay redeemed today’s show. About another rumoured act who might be there.

“Nickelback. That can’t happen can it? The world’s going to see Nickelback at the Closing Ceremonies, really Canada?”

Bravo Jay. If it’s true about Nickelback, my god. Let’s make Canada lame in front of the world. The Opening Ceremony did that in spades but the Closing can’t be worse.

The running blog will return for the Paralympics which start in a couple of weeks. TV coverage not as extensive but website says over 50 hours. Sure 99% of the media will hardly mention those games going on but I’ll try to pass along what I can.

6 crashes in the 4 man bobsleigh first run yesterday. So bad the Germans have said it’s dangerous. A coach and one of the bobsleigh pilots.

A good piece finally toning down the jingoism about Canada/US. CTV News had one comparing the countries to big brother/little brother. Best part was some intoxicated US fans in front of cameras after their win against Canada. Chanted “USA all the way” then one held up a Canadian fan and yelled.

“THANK YOU CANADA FOR YOUR HOSPITALITY! Thanks Canada!”

That was good to see.

Think I’ve seen more figure skating then hockey. They replay a tonne of figure skating overnight. Funny that I missed both the Canadians doing ice dancing and the bronze medal ladies performance. I’m at work and had to do something both times.

Hopefully CTV News learns not to anchor a local newscast in front of a crowd. Saw 2 nights ago a banner behind the 11pm pacific time Vancouver newsteam. “INVESTIGATE 9/11” popped up 3 times during the hour. I didn’t know that banner had appeared before in the previous 2 weeks. And again on Friday night. They’ve gotten to a point where they know where to stand to make it appear between the 2 anchors. Bet the director pulls their hair out every time he or she sees that.

Will write more tomorrow. Things wrapping up.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 12

Olympics = Money.

This can be taken many ways. For some the Olympics is about the endless ads and sponsors. Others the money it cost to stage the games and the debt a city can go into. These days the tax money that ‘own the podium’ has used comes to mind also.

But that equation came to my mind when Vancouver got the games. Was glad to see them get the games. Then the question came to mind. Hmmm, can I afford to go to the games? No. Short and to the point.

I know people who traveled to Vancouver during the Olympics, even some at the last minute. But Vancouver’s reputation as one of if not the most expensive city in Canada came to mind first for me. Which has come to pass in small ways at first. Like a parking lot going from $10-15 a day the week before the Olympics to over 90 bucks. That was Day 1.

One of those things where it’s different if you have a job or a career. Chris Rock had a great bit about that in his last HBO special. My version is a tad different. For those not familiar with the radio show, CFRC is volunteer work for me. Rewarding and enjoyable. Being part of Queen’s radio broadcasts as they made a run to the Vanier Cup was great. Hosting Salt Water Music is great on a weekly basis. So the radio stuff is separate from job vs career.

A career, you can save up money and vacation time and possibly make the trip. When you work a job, not so much. A career you can extra time off and they’ll welcome you back. A job, you will be replaced quite quickly.

If the Olympics are close to where you live that’s a different story. However flying halfway across the country? That takes some planning. Also with almost all of my family on the East Coast you think about the full trip since you don’t know anyone in B.C. to stay with. I know some people in BC but not enough to crash at their place.

Getting time off from work, flying out there, getting a place to stay, tickets to games if you can get them, food, traveling around, flying back and paying for all of this…… whew. Not happening. If I had a Scrooge McDuck vault in my backyard that had so much money I could swim in then that’s a different story.

Since Vancouver got the games I knew “I’ll be watching on TV”. Not a question of “if”. But that puts me in the boat of 99% of Canadians who can’t afford to go. That’s where the Olympics have gotten out of touch. In your home country and not even thinking of going to see it because it’s for people in another tax bracket. That’s too bad.

A lot of Vancouver restaurants and bars are doing what I thought might happen. Price gouging. Even a bit more than I thought. Not only raising prices but some have started adding an automatic gratuity on top of the bill. So bad service or good service, too bad. You have to pay up to a 20% tip either way. These links have a list of the ones doing that and ones that aren’t. Two people came up with the idea. Mark Prince who founded CoffeeGeek a local coffee website from Vancouver. And Rick Green who has the BC Brews blog.

http://www.coffeegeek.com/

http://bcbrews.wordpress.com/

Started writing the post on the weekend so funny how Mark’s words match to mine from a few days ago. My thoughts of Vancouver being expensive in the best of times. Along with worry about what places would do this month have come to pass. Here is from Mark’s post.


I have already been asked several times why I’m doing this – and the answer’s pretty simple for me. Vancouver’s already an expensive town. Cocktails are routinely $12 at a lot of places, mains are $25-$45 even at middle of the road restaurants. We have massive added on taxes (about to get higher with impending HST), and our servers in town are somehow trained to believe anything less than 15% tip is a slap in the face and an insult.

Jacking up prices, making “gratuities” compulsory – they all send a very bad message about this city. Tourists from around the world are visiting Vancouver for the first time, and if we send them home with memories of $7 “dollar pizza” slices, $12 for a plastic cup of Molson Canadian, and $35 prices for a $15 steak, you’re embarrassing us all. Tossing on a 20% compulsory tip at the end of the overpriced bill just adds insult to injury.

And, I might add, you’re damaging Vancouver’s reputation, long term.

Gouging list

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-16-2010_12-20am

Good Businesses list along with some bad ones

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-16-2010_12-20am

Real Reason for Olympic Auto-Gratuity

Another article on Spiffle specifically about restaurants in Vancouver and how management also dips into the “tip pool”. Except Revenue Canada in the last few years ramped up investigating servers and their tips.  But don’t with management.  So they get extra income without reporting it.  Things you learn during the Olympics.

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-19-2010_07-20pm

Latest update as of 6am est Wednesday morning with the good and the bad.

http://www.spiffle.com/rants/02-18-2010_12-15am

Thanks to the guys for starting out the idea and all those who contributed to the list. Great use of the internet to call out the bad places and praise the good ones. Which I’ll do at the end of this post.

Olympics have become out of reach for the average person. Honest examples from Bob McCown from the FAN 590 in Toronto.

http://www.fadoo.ca/blog/display/random-thoughts-from-vancouver-1510

If you watch CTV/Rogers coverage you would be led to believe that Hockey House is a great place. Wrong.

“Hockey House is pretty impressive, but very elitist. If you think you’ll be rubbing shoulders with famous hockey types when you get in…think again. The IIHF has their own space and “the common folk” can’t get in. Hockey Canada…same thing. Plenty of celebs are around, but you probably won’t even know who they are there. Too bad since this was a good idea gone bad.”

Only VANOC could mess up something called “Hockey House”. Bob had someone come up to him saying he had gotten a ticket to Canada-US hockey game. How much? $2300. I think staying at home was for the best. Credit to Bob also for pointing out where he’s staying. Rogers put him in a place that must’ve cost an arm and a leg. Bob was honest about that fact and even gave a picture of his view. Lot of complaints about how it’s an Olympics for the high rollers. Completely true. As of today McCown is the only media person to actually say how good they have it.

“Staying in a penthouse condo just a block from Robson Street (the epicentre of 24 hour lunacy) with a 270 degree view of English Bay, Stanley Park and the mountains. Trust me…this does not suck!”

Think Brian Williams is at a regular hotel room? No way.

Just found another person writing about the cost. ‘Vancouver Olympics Fancy Price Tag’ from Meena Mann.

http://aircheckerradioindustry.blogspot.com/2010/02/vancouver-olympic-games-just-like-any.html


The Olympic merchandise, the accommodations, eating out, and not to forget the event tickets can all add up to over $350/per day/per person.

The real drain to my bank account comes when I go out for lunch, dinner or even just a simple drink; the restaurants have definitely increased their prices for the Games. For instance, the first time I really felt the sting was when I had ordered one glass of house red at La Bocca. Upon receiving my bill my eyes popped out and my jaw fell to the floor. I couldn’t believe it, but that one glass of house red, which wasn’t even that great, cost me $16.67. Yup, that’s right. One glass of –house- is close to what the average 1/2liter would cost you. Hell, I’ve even seen wine bottles for less than that.

Another place which I found that has a high priced menu is Citta. It is located right across from La Bocca. Citta is a great pub environment, but the prices for drinks are way too high. I had ordered a bottle of wine, split between my roommate and me-just for the record. The bottle was no more than $25 but we had paid $56.00. I think that was one of their cheaper bottles as well.

Vancouver not really helping their reputations over the last 2 weeks. Not surprising to me, but still disappointing.

To close the list of GOOD businesses in Vancouver that aren’t being greedy bastards. I could use stronger words but I better not. Got to be semi-professional even on a blog. Each business has where it’s located and the source of the information. If you see something like @robertcarnell that is a Twitter account. Kudos to these places. I might not ever get out to Vancouver but at least this list can help some people. Either now or keep it for a future trip.

Long time listeners of the radio show might remember I haven’t been back to Newfoundland since 1999. That is also my last vacation of any length.  I realize 11 years is a long time when I write it down but don’t really think about it much.  So the list of good places in Vancouver to leave on a bright note.

Subeez Cafe, 891 Homer, Yaletown Great prices, no auto gratuity (one of the few Yaletown busineses to have #2010niceprices!). (source: @Network_Guy)

Sammy J. Peppers, Granville Island – prices stable, NO auto gratuity charged. (source: @hfguiere)

Ouisi Bistro, 3014 Granville Street – no price raises, great specials during Olympics, no auto gratuity. (source: me visiting).

Alibi Room, 157 Alexander in Gastown, prices stable, specials in effect, no auto gratuity, no cover charge. (source: @CAMRA_YVR)

On the Edge Pub, 303 Columbia Street (Gastown), Great prices (eg – $5.35 for 18oz of Phillips Blue Buck), no auto gratuity. (source: @ilford)

Black Frog Eatery, 108 Cambie Street, Gastown – No price increases, no auto gratuity, great beer prices in effect (as usual). (source: @loxyisme)

Pacific Culinary Institute, Granville Island – a favourite “secret” haunt of Vancouver locals, all prices etc as per normal even though Gastown is Olympics Crazy! (source: @SurreyMarket)

Irish Heather, Gastown no price increases, no cover, no auto gratuity – business as usual at this hopping Gastown favourite (source: @StephenLambie)

Salt Tasting Room, Blood Alley, Gastown – no increased prices, specials as per usual, no autogratuity. (source – personal visit)

Main Street Eateries on S. Main – word from a Main Street Restaurateur is that most, if not all Main St. eateries having prices as usual, no auto gratuities – Go Main Street dining! (source: @LatitudeonMain)

Urban Thai Bistro – Yaletown – featuring “as usual” happy hour, dishes under $5, no auto gratuity. Yay! (Source: @urbandiner)

Phat Sandwiches – Yaletown – nominal price increases, but Vancouver loyalty cards for locals to give a price break during Olympics. (was formely on negative list based on incorrect information via twitter). (Source: Global News Hour)

Au Petit Chavignol – nice discounts on weekends on fondues, wines during Olympics. (source: @petitchauvignol)

Incendio Pizza in Gastown – prices “as per usual” during Olympics, no autograt. (source: @IncendioPizza, @SBonnerABV)

Milestone’s in Yaletown – prices kept stable, $8 breakfast is available everyday. (source: @tellytelly

The Whip – 7th near Main has maintained their prices, service during Olympics. (source: @cbjerrisgaard)

The Diamond in Gastown has prices more or less stable. (source – me visiting)

Irashai Grill in Coal Harbour has promised to keep prices neutral during Olympics! (source: @Irashai)

Campagnolo on Main Street – reported to have no price increases, same service as always during Olympics. (source: @campagnolomain)

Refuel Restaurant and Bar keeping prices stable for some awesome food and drink. (source: same as previous)

Amarcord Ristorante of Yaletown – prices stable, no autogratuity for Yaletown! Yay! (direct from Restaurateur)

Provence Marinaside – removed – auto gratuity, realised it was bad policy – go Provence!

Corner Suite Bistro Deluxe, Thurlow at Alberni – no automatic gratuity, “launch” pricing in effect (they just opened), great service, killer deep bartending staff. (source: me, visiting).

Olympic-esque Blog Day 10

Didn’t watch one second of the Canada-US game on Sunday. Getting up early to watch a game where both teams automatically get in the playoffs? Nah. Plus not a fan of pros in the Olympics so waking up 3 or 4 hours early wasn’t going to happen. My Mom has watched a lot of the Olympics, and she didn’t watch either. Said she watched Desperate Houswives, Women’s Curling and didn’t even see the hockey score till Monday morning.  Not everyone in the country watched.

Bad results continued. Ski cross, bobsled, hockey. Did get a Silver in speed skating but the World Champion faltered and didn’t medal. Canadians patience is running out. CTV is not helping people’s expectations with graphics and promos like this for Monday: “Golden Opportunity: Virtue and Moir Go for Gold” Have they learned nothing so far? At this point aim for any medal.

The late Women’s Curling match was great. Although I’m sure you were asleep. Canada-China was close with the Chinese winning in 11 ends. Canada still first as it was only their first loss. Don’t file that under “bad results”. Does show how good the new Red Machine has come in Curling though. Betting Chinese sports officials looked at sports they can become competitive quickly in. Women’s Curling isn’t as deep as say downhill skiing. With over a billion people that’s a deep talent pool. The Chinese women are the defending World Champs who also live and train in Canada during the season. Curling is also their full time job as the government pays them just to do that. That’s an edge that is hard to beat.

Was going to take a day off from making fun of Olympic Morning but today they took the cake. In the first 30 minutes they had two people from MTV Canada on. Unbelievably they talked about the Australian commentator who got in trouble for homophobic comments during men`s figure skating. Couldn’t believe that since Canadian broadcaster RDS is in trouble for the exact same thing.

“Gay rights group to launch complaint over ‘homophobic’ comments by RDS analysts”

http://www.google.com/hostednews/canadianpress/article/ALeqM5jJGw1qb77I89DLAM_fRjAifNvOcg

Among the quotes was ‘We should make him (Weir) pass a gender test at this point’. Classy. And a lot of gall for CTV to point out the Australians doing it but not mention RDS at all.  Any thought of CTV getting better as they went along was thrown out the window around 6:20am.  Even discussed a Facebook group about the Aussie getting in trouble called ‘Eddie McGuire is ruining the 2010 Winter Olympics coverage’.  It would be like making fun of another country’s broadcaster doing body shots during a taped piece.  Oh right, MuchMusic did that for CTV.  Almost forgot.

CFRC alumni Neate Sager with a couple of articles, you can find more on the Yahoo Sports blog. William Houston is also writing for them. Neate also not a huge fan of CTV’s coverage.  I do remember CBC’s “on the cheap” attempt in Italy.  Where Brian Williams was hosting from Toronto.  Not their brightest moment.

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Del-Bosco-fiasco-hastens-Canada-s-backtracking?urn=oly,221117#remaining-content

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Even-hockey-fails-to-restore-Canada-s-pride?urn=oly,221170

http://sports.yahoo.com/olympics/vancouver/blog/fourth_place_medal/post/Americans-really-miss-CBC-covering-the-Olympics?urn=oly,221103

Back tomorrow morning.  Try and find some music links from all the East Coast artists that are playing in Vancouver.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 3

Glad the first Canadian Gold Medal went to someone that the media wasn’t expecting. 4th time the charm for Alexandre Bilodeau. Didn’t qualify for 1998, broken neck in 2002 and battling mono in 2006. 13 years on the team and his first Olympics.

As for the reaction I saw where I am in Kingston, one word “quiet”. Mainly because of timing. Here in Ontario, Monday is a holiday. Family Day. It was really quiet due to the holiday. Myself, I woke up after it had happened. I stayed up to watch some afternoon events but I work at 11pm so I did have to catch some shuteye. Men’s Nordic Combined had a great finish. Top 4 raced to the line and all finished within a second of each other and collapsed.

As for the Gold in the moguls a couple of people came by during work and asked about it. Both were from Quebec and had my reaction. Glad but more relieved that we I don’t have to hear all that talk.

Woman I spoke to said “I’m happy I don’t have to hear Canada has never won a gold medal at home anymore.” Not the reaction I think a Gold Medal is supposed to have. Thanks CTV/Rogers for running the ads so much you made us sick of the Gold Medal talk. Bravo. Relief is a strange emotion to have after someone winning something.

I bet if Canada gets a second Gold people will be more excited and happy around here. They’re going nuts in Vancouver but with the holiday it’s been subdued. Saturday night a lot people coming by asking about what medals were won. Sunday I spoke to two people.

Walking downtown after work and the majority of places are closed downtown. Even a convenience store and Indigo Books. Only thing I saw open was the fast food joints.

Wonder if the other sports today had anything to do with it. TSN wasn’t “Canada’s Sports Leader” Sunday. Olympic coverage? Not Sunday afternoon. TSN showed Daytona 500 which you could get on FOX. I change it to TSN2 and get the Pebble Beach Pro-Am which was on CBS. Huh? If I have TSN I have CBS and FOX.

Sunday Night TSN continued with non-Olympic programming with the NBA All Star Game. At least with the NBA case TNT is not available in Canada. But showing all that on Sunday during the Olympics seemed a bit much. I have TSN2 so the NBA could have been put there. I know not a lot of people have TSN2. Basketball fans should since Raptors get bumped to TSN2 a lot.

Some blogs about the weekend coverage. Chris Zelkovich from the Toronto Star, once a guest on CFRC Offsides with Tyler King. Julie Stewart-Binks who worked on our CFRC broadcasts. She’s currently in England. Finally William Houston with the same thoughts I had about the “choking” comment during the moguls on Saturday. See yesterday’s blog for that. I’m not the only one who used the “if NBC had done that Canadians would’ve went nuts” line. 🙂

http://olympics.thestar.com/2010/article/765675–ctv-cheats-viewers-of-full-olympic-experience

http://abgy292.portfolios.cutlines.org/2010/02/1st-weekend-update/

http://www.truthandrumours.net/2010/02/14/ctv-over-hyped-jenn-heil-and-the-telecast-suffered/

Bad luck so far for these games. Weather causing headaches and they’ve canceled 4000 tickets for events at Cypress. Too bad if you had standing room general admission. Because you will get a refund but no chance to watch. Heavy rains have washed away so much snow they had to cancel tickets. That’s $400,000 in sales that will have to be paid back.

Not the only problems at Cypress. Buses running late and drivers getting lost. Not a shock because Kingston Whig-Standard had a story about Kingston Transit drivers going to Vancouver to drive buses. Drivers from across the country came there to be part of it. Great for those guys. However if you are not from an area and get their shortly before an event that is not a recipe for smooth transportation. You take a wrong turn you might not know how to get back.

Some quotes from Renee Smith-Valade of Vanoc about what’s been going on.

“Cypress is like your special child. Your special child that’s bright and talented and good-looking and causes you all kinds of worries, but they’re still your special child. So that’s what Cypress is.”

That’s strange enough I don’t need to make another comment.

Sounds like they might smarten up about one really silly thing. Having a fence around the Olympic Cauldron keeping people from getting to it. This is where I can blame that ugly design for part of it. Clearly someone who might be intoxicated might attempt to climb it. The way the logs [or whatever you want to call them] are at an angle makes it easy or at least inviting for troublemakers.

Fencing it off though has been bad P.R. The point of the cauldron outside is for the public. The IOC mandates it has to be outdoors. Which has never been an issue till this time. Decision to hold it indoors at a stadium that sucks like BC Place is still mind boggling. See Jody’s article I put up on Day 1. I thought too that Vancouver getting the games meant a new stadium. Wrong.

If you don’t know they are putting $200 Million worth of renovation into BC Place. After the Olympics. Don’t bother trying to figure that out. Call me crazy but I would want to put money into something before the world comes to visit. Not afterwards.

Leave to Atlantic Canada to bring a tonne of talent to the Olympics. Anyone in BC should visit Atlantic Canada house.

http://www.atlanticcanadahouse.com/en/daily-schedule.php

Amount of music there is huge. Tonne of people I’ve played on the show since I started. This is the list of ones that have been played on ‘Salt Water Music’ that are playing vancouver over the next 2 weeks. I must have a good memory.

Amelia Curran

http://www.ameliacurran.com

Grand Theft Bus

http://www.myspace.com/grandtheftbus

Tim Chiasson and Morning Fold

http://www.timchaisson.com/

Sloan

http://www.sloanmusic.com

Lennie Gallant

http://www.lenniegallant.com

The Trews

http://www.thetrewsmusic.com

Vishten

http://www.vishten.net

Jimmy Rankin

http://www.jimmyrankin.com

Meaghan Blanchard

http://www.myspace.com/meaghanelizabethblanchard

Sherman Downey

http://www.myspace.com/shurmann

In Flight Safety

http://www.inflightsafety.ca/

Hey Rosetta

http://www.heyrosetta.com

Jessica Rhaye

http://www.jessicarhaye.com

The Irish Descendants

http://www.irishdescendants.com

Matt Andersen

http://www.stubbyfingers.ca

Rawlins Cross

http://www.rawlinscross.com

Jill Barber

http://www.jillbarber.com

Ron Hynes

http://www.hynesite.org

Catherine MacLellan

http://www.catherinemaclellan.com

Chris Kirby

http://www.chriskirbyonline.com/

Wintersleep

http://www.wintersleep.com

Shanneyganock

http://www.shanneyganock.ca

Rose Cousins

http://www.rosecousins.com

The Olympic Symphonium

http://www.myspace.com/theolympicsymphonium

Matt Mays

http://www.mattmays.com

The Navigators

http://www.thenavigators.com/

Jim Payne & Fergus O’Byrne

http://www.singsonginc.ca/bios/biofergus.html

http://www.singsonginc.ca/bios/biojimpayne.html

Whew. And there are even more artists. That is a big list.

Luckily I have 3 days off from work so I can watch more of the events live.  Saw many things but just replayed on overnights at work.  Not quite the same but at least I get to see them.

Olympic-esque Blog Day 2

Silver but not gold. That sums up the side effect of all those annoying ‘I Believe’ ads and the ‘Own the Podium’ program. Expectations have been raised a bit too high. A Silver medal at any other games would make people happy.

Day 2 and at work we had the moguls on TV. Few people watched Jennifer Heil get a medal. Their reactions:

“Silver is nice but she was supposed to get Gold”

“So we spent millions of dollars for Silver”

That is from regular people. Not the media, just some regular Canadians. It is a tad harsh on the first day of competition. However you get what you asked for. You can’t pump people up for a long time and not expect them to be annoyed when you don’t deliver. Oh wait, am I talking about the Opening Ceremony again? No, but I could be.

My Mom did watch the entire Opening Ceremony. She was underwhelmed. That’s my barometer of doing a good job at these things. If my Mom stayed up through the entire thing and still didn’t like they did a bad job.

That’s not even discussing CTV’s coverage so far. Tried watching Olympic Morning after getting home from work. They had someone from E-Talk discussing whether Sarah McLachlin is single or not……. years of preparation and this is what they come up with. Going to be a long 2 weeks if this keeps up.

Heil’s medal even had some suspect commentating. I know you want the event you’re covering to be the one where Canada gets a Gold but setttle down. Before Hannah Kearney, the American who won, started her run CTV Commentator Veronica Brenner said something. “She has a history of choking”. Choking is a strong word and if an NBC commentator said that about a Canadian in Salt Lake people imagine the reaction in Canada.

Sportsnet still comes across as, well Sportsnet. Even in Vancouver they have problems. After an Olympic sportscast they go to Sean McCormack doing one with other sports news. Starting off sounded like an audio problem then the camera that is moving starts to shake. Not good. Moves again in a jerking motion then zooms in quickly on him. Wow.

Hopefully the weather helps out with other events on Sunday. However figure skating also starts. [shudder]

Trying to see if I can find footage of MuchMusic’s contribution on Friday night. Body shots in a hot tub and asking girls to “drop their gear for beer”. Guessing they might not pop up during the closing ceremonies.

From what I’ve seen so far NBC’s production has been more professional and smooth. Just put it on Olympic Morning again. Still not good. A very “herky jerky” feel to it. They’ve said they spent months getting ready and rehearsing. I don’t see it yet. The morning show especially is painful at times. Right now some people from MTV Canada are attempting some “comedy” about figure skating with Elvis Stojko.

Finally the Olympic cauldron looks ugly. I don’t mind saying it. Read it described as a bunch of logs leaning against each other or on Yahoo Sports some joints. Drug humour about B.C.? I’m shocked. lol.

I would hope the TV coverage improves but so far it shows they are really out of touch with what viewers want. Comedy pieces and gossip about singers is not what people are watching for.