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Walcoff: NBC Olympic coverage doesn’t measure up

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Since when does prime time mean past many people’s bedtime? What a ridiculous decision by NBC to present the most captivating and compelling event of the Winter Olympics, the ladies figure skating competition, tape-delayed again tonight before finally showing us the crowning of the champion around midnight.

Tuesday, the peacock network ruffled feathers by waiting until after 11 p.m. to bring us the record-setting short program of gold medal favorite Kim Yu-na, American champion Rachael Flatt and the gut-wrenching third-place performance of Canada’s Joannie Rochette, who was skating just two days after her mother died of a heart attack. Did Bay Area viewers really need to see more bobsled qualifying runs ahead of the only women’s sport that trumps all the macho-filled events in Vancouver?

I’m sure glad the U.S. curling team didn’t make it to the medal round or we probably would have been subjected to seeing that preposterously weird competition in prime time. Let’s start a new Olympic standard: If you don’t sweat, don’t call it a sport.

Maybe we should blame ESPN for blurring the line between games and real athletic endeavors when they give huge coverage to the World Series of Poker and hot dog eating contests. Sorry, but card playing is not a sport and neither is speed gluttony which just makes me nauseous.

Kornheiser goes too far
Meanwhile, ESPN apparently has enough problems in-house. After firing baseball analysts Steve Phillips and Harold Reynolds for sexual misconduct and suspending anchor Dana Jacobson for a drunken, expletive-laden tirade at a company roast, now the cable giant has temporarily pulled the plug on Tony Kornheiser.

The “Pardon the Interruption” co-host will be off the air for two weeks after making disparaging remarks about colleague Hannah Storm on his Washington, D.C., radio show.

He said the TV anchor was wearing a “Horrifying, horrifying outfit. Red go-go boots with a Catholic school plaid skirt, way too short for someone in her 40s or maybe early 50s. She’s got on a very, very tight shirt that looks like she has sausage casing wrapped around her upper body.”

I guess Kornheiser, who left his announcing job on “Monday Night Football” because of a fear of flying, now prefers to be sportscasting’s answer to Mr. Blackwell, the late fashion critic instead of his usual role as a Woody Allen-like kvetch.

Matchmaker, matchmaker
Warriors fans, there’s no truth to the rumor that after watching centers Andris Biedrins, Ronny Turiaf and Chris Hunter suffer through another dismal game Tuesday night against the Sixers, Don Nelson was heard wailing in the locker room like Tevye, from Fiddler on the Roof, “If I had a big man … yada, yada, yada, yada, yada, yada …”

KGO (810 AM) Sports Director Rich Walcoff can be heard weekdays from 5 to 9 a.m. on the KGO morning news and is also the co-host of “Raiders Gameday” and “Recap” talk shows on KSFO (560 AM). He can be reached at RichWalcoff@gmail.com.


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