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jerrycat
July 14th, 2004, 03:45 PM
I don't know if he will do it--but I sure want him to!!:D

Guvnah
July 14th, 2004, 03:56 PM
My prediction:

He will get in all three relays.

He will come home with 6 golds and 3 silvers. (He'll get silver in the 100 fly, 200 back and 200 free.)

And then the media will get all bent out of shape about his "failure" to win 7 golds.

Gareth Eckley
July 14th, 2004, 04:53 PM
That would be am amazing achievement. I am really looking forward to this Olympics.

His coach will be at the British swimming coaches Conference in October. I hope to talk to him then.:)

danjobry3
July 14th, 2004, 05:23 PM
From www.usaswiming.org
<<<<----->>>>
Phelps announces individual event schedule for Athens (7/14/2004)

Michael Phelps has announced the individual events program that he will swim in Athens. After a discussion Tuesday night with his coach Bob Bowman, the two have decided that Phelps will swim the 400m IM, the 200m free, the 200m fly, the 200m IM and the 100m fly. He will be foregoing the 200m back.

“We decided to save the 200m back for another opportunity,” Phelps said.

Bryce Hunt has been added to the Olympic roster in the 200m back.
<<<<---->>>>

danjobry3
July 14th, 2004, 05:25 PM
ooops . . .
that would be www.usaswimMing.org/

Guvnah
July 14th, 2004, 05:27 PM
Originally posted by danjobry3
[B]From www.usaswiming.org
<<<<----->>>>
Phelps announces individual event schedule for Athens (7/14/2004)

Michael Phelps ... will be foregoing the 200m back.



OK then. 6 golds and TWO silvers.

Actually, dropping the 200 back may improve his chances to have enough gas to win the 100 fly.

swimprincess
July 14th, 2004, 05:33 PM
i give michael HUGE credit for foregoing the 200 back. he now has himself in 8 events, including relays, right? good for him, and how awesome for bryce hunt, who was in third place, but now gets to go!
i wish the media had as much maturity as this 19 year old guy- instead they will have a heyday if he "fails" to break Spitz's record. so very sad!
also, has anyone been reading janet evan's commentary during the trials? if so, what has your take been on her comments about the older swimmers at the meet?

Guvnah
July 14th, 2004, 05:48 PM
Hey Princess, can you post a pointer to the Evans commentary?

Thx.

SwimsWithAFist
July 14th, 2004, 05:54 PM
Originally posted by swimprincess
i give michael HUGE credit for foregoing the 200 back. he now has himself in 8 events, including relays, right?

He actually only qualified in 5 individual events and 1 relay - the 4x200 Free Relay.

He didn't swim the 100 free at trials, so he's not a given on the 4x100 Free Relay. However, since he did a 49.05 earlier this year, that time is faster than anyone but Lezak's at the trials. I think this time justifies swimming Michael in the finals of the relay at the Olympics and having Neil Walker swim the prelims.

He didn't win the 100 fly in trials, so at this point I would imagine that Crocker is the flyer for the medley relay. Since the medley relay is the last event of the Olympics, if Michael beats Ian in the 100 fly, I'm sure he will get that spot. I don't see him getting the freestyle spot in the medley relay unless Lezak steps down and insists that Michael take his place or if Phelps out-splits Lezak in the 4x100 Free Relay.

jowelb
July 14th, 2004, 06:09 PM
I believe Phelps qualified in 6 individual events and this does not include the relays:

200 fly
100 fly
400 IM
200 IM
200 back
200 free

He has chosen to forgo the 200 back for Athens.

Jody

SwimsWithAFist
July 14th, 2004, 06:16 PM
I believe Phelps qualified in 6 individual events and this does not include the relays........He has chosen to forgo the 200 back for Athens.

Yes, that's what I meant.

Guvnah
July 14th, 2004, 06:46 PM
Hey, SwimsWithAFist -- Great screen name!

You make a good point about Phelps being in the medley relay. At least in the finals. There is a better guy at each slot (unless Phelps proves otherwise in events at the olympics), and it would not be fair to ask any of them to step aside for him simply because he needs his 7th. He'd make a great fill-in for practically any slot in the unfortunate case of someone else getting injured.

The dilemma of depth!

ced357
July 14th, 2004, 07:21 PM
I'm not going to lie and say that I’m not a little disappointed in Phelp's decision not to swim the 2 Back. That race would be incredible in Athens. However, it is a more sensible outlook for Athens.

Sabretooth Tiger
July 14th, 2004, 08:16 PM
Phelps can swim the fly leg in the medley relay prelim and still earn gold if the team wins the final, regardless of whether he swims the final. All relay team members who swim prelims or finals earn the final medal. No requirement that it be the same team in the finals. At least, that's my understanding.

swimprincess
July 14th, 2004, 09:05 PM
okay, bear with me on how to get to the janet evans article. go to yahoo, click on olympics, then on the right hand side is "expert analysis sports exclusive" from janet evans. she has been commentating all week, and some articles have been good, others a bit critical of the "older" swimmers, i.e. misty hyman. i read between the lines a bit of wistfulness... maybe it's just me?

Mark in MD
July 15th, 2004, 11:12 AM
If anyone might be interested, Michael will be appearing on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno tonight (7/15) which is on at 11:30 P.M. EDT. Check your local listings for your NBC Network carrier. Cheers!

Guvnah
July 15th, 2004, 12:59 PM
Janet Evans commentaries (http://http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/swimming/news?slug=je-swim0714&prov=yhoo&type=lgns)

I followed your trail, Princess.

Today's article is this: http://sports.yahoo.com/oly/swimming/news?slug=je-swim0714&prov=yhoo&type=lgns (Linked above.)

Clicking links through Yahoo, it seems, only lets you get to the current day's article. (That's the one I linked above.) But I found that I can change the URL and get to the old ones. just change the '0714' in today's URL to 0713 and you'll get yesterday's. 0712 gets that day's article... Etc.

I went back and found the one about older swimmers. Evans seems to be a really good writer and drills down to some interesting nuances of the swimming world. I like her stuff! Thanks for the pointer.

Tom Ellison
July 15th, 2004, 01:38 PM
I said this when Spitz won 7 Gold Medals back in 1972... and I will say it again here….and….for what it is worth…I hope I am wrong because Michael Phelps is one of life’s good guys….No one will ever win 7 Gold Medals in swimming again….Not going to happen! NEVER…..

Mark in MD
July 16th, 2004, 10:15 AM
Those of us here in Maryland are collectively hoping (praying) that Tom is wrong. Very wrong. :D (No dispect intended, either, for the record.) Re:
Michael Phelps is one of life’s good guys ...If the press would focus more on athletes like Michael than those like Kobe Bryant et al, then the world would be a much place for up-and-coming athletes, i.e., our children. I can tell you this, Michael is genuinely a good guy. IMHO.

pmbchill
July 16th, 2004, 11:05 AM
I agree. He seems like a very respectable person PLUS anyone who can swim butterfly from Greece to the Statue of Liberty is okay in my book.....

seltzer
July 19th, 2004, 08:56 AM
[….No one will ever win 7 Gold Medals in swimming again….Not going to happen! NEVER….. [/B][/QUOTE]

It's not highly proabably but wouldn't but it as strongly as Tom.

Phelps is a "lock" to win gold in four events: 200IM/400IM/200 FL and 400 Medley relay (he will at least swim in the prelims).

Here's how he can (will) win the other golds:

4 X 200 relay

I believe that Phelps and Keller will match Thorpe/Hackett. That means Lochte is the key and believe he will step up and be the diference maker. He's 19 but the team building and experience of the other swimmers will help.

4 X 100 relay

Lezak, Crocker, Phelps and Hall (with a relay start he's not much slower than Crocker) touch out the Aussies, Russians and South Africans.

100 fly
Phelps will beat Crocker this time. Watching him 8 days at Olympic Trials it was pretty clear that the 200 back versus Peirsol took a lot out of him and that he knew actually how to beat Crocker but couldn't execute. That won't happen at the Olympics. He'll run him down and touch him out at the wall.

Now that's 7 golds and 7 world records.

But what makes Phelps performance BETTER than Spitz is the 200 free. This should be the "greatest" race at the Olympics. World record holder in Lane 4 (Thorpe); defending Olympic champion in Lnae 5 (Hoogenband); US challenger #1 in Lane 3(Phelps); US challenger #2 in Lane 6 (Keller); greatest distance swimmer of all time in Lane 1 (Hackett) and at this point who can put anyone from this forum in Lane 8 and have the greatest 200 field in history.

I don't believe that Phelps will be beat Thorpe but he will likely go a 1:44 (new American record) but will most remembered for wanting to compete against Thorpe in one of his main events NOT expecting to win gold but for the glory of competition.

aquageek
July 19th, 2004, 09:30 AM
I agree there should be ample focus on Phelps but instead of the story about his pimped-out SUV and his eating and his mother, etc, would it be possible to squeeze in some more races for TV coverage? Yesterday was taped coverage and we got, what, 7 or 8 races in 2 hours.

I'm really hoping that NBC, with it's 14 sister channels, can have some coverage of back to back races. I understand that they have to have the human interest stories in prime time but I'll keep my fingers crossed that I can TiVO dozens of other races on MSNBC or NBCTalk or whatever the other ones are.

Does Phelps get a new suit for every race? I bet he does.

Frank Thompson
July 19th, 2004, 04:25 PM
I think Michael Phelps quest for 7 golds will be a lot harder than when Spitz did it. It must be pointed out that when Mark Spitz swam in the Olympic Trials in Chicago, he only swam 8 times for 4 events. Michael Phelps had to swim 17 times for 6 events. Only the 400 IM was not swam 3 times. We will never know if Mark Spitz would have won those 7 golds under todays format. Rumor has it that he wanted to scratch his last individual event the 100 Free in the 1972 Olympics. This is documented in one of the great swimming books "50 Meter Jungle" by Sherm Chavoor who coached Spitz in the summer of 1972 before the Olympics.

I really believe that if Michael Phelps swam with the same format as in 1972 that he would not drop the 200 Back and would have possibly swam the 100 Free at trials. We will never know what he would be capable of under these conditions. So you cannot compare what he does now because its not a valid comparison.

It was mentioned on NBC that Michael Phelps will attempt to break the record of some Russian that won 8 medals in the 1980 Olympics. Dropping the 200 Back means he can tie if he gets a chance to swim 5 individual events and 3 relays.

Sam Perry
July 19th, 2004, 06:58 PM
So who here thinks Natalie could have had a very legitimate shot at the 7 golds? I for one think she would have had a better shot than Michael had she decided to swim these events:

100 Fly
200 Back
100 Free
200 Free

All three relays

Would have been a challenge with Inge, et. al. but I wouldn't bet against her especially with the relay issue. The men have their worked cut out for them in the 800 for sure not to mention the 400 free relay.

Just a thought...

seltzer
July 20th, 2004, 08:33 AM
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Sam Perry
[B]So who here thinks Natalie could have had a very legitimate shot at the 7 golds? I for one think she would have had a better shot than Michael had she decided to swim these events:

100 Fly
200 Back
100 Free
200 Free

All three relays

Not me, and more to the point she would have been less likely than Phelps for the following reasons:

1) The key to winning multiple medals at the Olympics is to train and race at big time international meets with a program that emulates the Olympic program. That was the lesson that Spitz took from 1968 and Bowman/Phelps used 2003 Worlds as their Olympic laboratory. Coughlin did not have a similar opportunity at Worlds so she did have the confidence/experience to try it in Athens. Also her performance at Trials suggests she does not have the physical/mental make-up for multiple INDIVIDUAL medal attempts. NB: NCAA does not count since it is short course a very different sport than long course.

2) The supposed "relay" advantage of the US women is not real. Both US men/women medley relays are odds on favorite. However, this year's US women's team is relatively weak (compared to 2000) on paper and the US women cannot be considered odds-on favorites in the 400/800 free relay.

Tom Ellison
July 20th, 2004, 10:04 AM
Again, I HOPE I AM WRONG because Michael Phelps is one of life’s good guys and I would love to see him win 7 Gold Medals in Athens….BUT, it is so far off the planet tough these days to accomplish a feat such as this in swimming…. that is akin to….Whizzing in the Ocean to raise the tide……Not going to happen….

Scansy
July 20th, 2004, 01:31 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Again, I HOPE I AM WRONG because Michael Phelps is one of life’s good guys and I would love to see him win 7 Gold Medals in Athens….BUT, it is so far off the planet tough these days to accomplish a feat such as this in swimming…. that is akin to….Whizzing in the Ocean to raise the tide……Not going to happen….

Hmmmmm..... is that one of those techincal swimming terms that I am not familiar with ...... whizzing?:p

Tom Ellison
July 20th, 2004, 01:35 PM
I could have used a crude term but felt decency would be better served by reading between the lines.....Plus, Mr. Moose is the watch dog around here for decency and he insisted on that term....
That tide is never going to rise....trust me...!

LindsayNB
July 20th, 2004, 01:38 PM
It seems a shame that someone like Phelps will not do as well as he might due to the schedule. Have Phelps and Crocker raced the 100 butterfly recently when Phelps was well rested?

Looking at the trials, I wonder if it wouldn't be more interesting if swimmers could choose to use their time from preliminaries to qualify for the finals instead of swimming in the semi-finals. You would get some swimmers doing fast times in the prelims and arriving at the finals better rested. The prelims and semis would be more interesting and the finals faster.

seltzer
July 20th, 2004, 01:48 PM
Originally posted by LindsayNB
It seems a shame that someone like Phelps will not do as well as he might due to the schedule. Have Phelps and Crocker ever raced the 100 butterfly when Phelps was well rested?

Looking at the trials, I wonder if it wouldn't be more interesting if swimmers could choose to use their time from preliminaries to qualify for the finals instead of swimming in the semi-finals. You would get some swimmers doing fast times in the prelims and arriving at the finals better rested. The prelims and semis would be more interesting and the finals faster.

A. I would say that Crocker beat Phelps at World's under circumstances where Phelps was "relatively rested" given his multi-event schedule (remember the 400 im was at the end of that meet).

B. The semi-finals does work to the advantage of some swimmers in that you can finish 16th in the prelim and still make it to the next round.

BTW, for what it's worth I think that Phelps will beat Crocker in Athens, even though I'm pulling for Crocker since we need a 50 meter pool in Maine. That gives him four individual gold medals and means that his Spitzian fate is in the hands of his US teammates (who says swimming isn't a team sport?). I agree it's not highly probable but would disagree that it is so impossible as suggested by Tom Ellison. As Phelps so aptly replied to similar Ellison like prouncement "it's not impossible because Spitz did it once"

Tom Ellison
July 20th, 2004, 02:06 PM
Spitz did it “once” but that was “then”….and a whole lot has changed since “then”…. NOT in today’s times.........Not going to happen…..Now, doing that is as close to an exercise in futility as it gets.....and again..I HOPE I AM WRONG....

seltzer
July 20th, 2004, 02:24 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Spitz did it “once” but that was “then”….and a whole lot has changed since “then”…. NOT in today’s times.........Not going to happen…..Now, doing that is as close to an exercise in futility as it gets.....and again..I HOPE I AM WRONG....

I disagree with your tone. He has a shot, however improbable. And it's a worthy pursuit because it brings wanted publicity to swimming as a sport.

I also diagree with Evans and others who claim that if he fails to get 7 golds he'll be painted a "failure" ala Biondi. First , Phelps get's to start off with the 400 im certain gold and a likely world record rather than the immediate disappointment of Biondi's first race. Second, I'm sure that the Olympic commentators will prepare the US public for Phelps likely loss in the 200 free. In fact coming in predicted to win bronze Phelps will likely win silver and exceed expectations.

The key will be whether Phelps, Keller and Lochte can step up in the 800 free relay to beat the Aussies. That will provide more than enough "exceed expectations" to keep the Phelps medal watch train on track even if he eventually loses to Crocker in the 100 fly.

Tom Ellison
July 20th, 2004, 02:40 PM
Of coarse it is a worthy pursuit because it brings wanted publicity to swimming as a sport. My tone has nothing to do with that fact….I simply wanted to express my thoughts on how improbable it really is.
As to your thoughts on Biondi....I 1 Zillion % agree with you, Biondi is ANYTHING but a failure….Heck, the guy is a swimming ICON and anyone who refers to Matt Biondi as a failure is either a moron or knows absolutely NOTHING about swimming!
I believe anyone who even gets to the big show (Olympics) is a serious winner in my book….A lowly swimmer like me couldn’t carry 99% of our Olympic Swimmers goggles….

Scansy
July 20th, 2004, 02:49 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Of coarse it is a worthy pursuit because it brings wanted publicity to swimming as a sport. My tone has nothing to do with that fact….I simply wanted to express my thoughts on how improbable it really is.
As to your thoughts on Biondi....I 1 Zillion % agree with you, Biondi is ANYTHING but a failure….Heck, the guy is a swimming ICON and anyone who refers to Matt Biondi as a failure is either a moron or knows absolutely NOTHING about swimming!
I believe anyone who even gets to the big show (Olympics) is a serious winner in my book….A lowly swimmer like me couldn’t carry 99% of our Olympic Swimmers goggles….

Hey, not just olympians. Anyone who is up at the crack of dawn to swim thousands of yards several times a week (or more) has a very big chunk of winner in them. Contrats to all of you!:cool:

mattson
July 20th, 2004, 03:40 PM
Originally posted by Tom Ellison
Heck, the guy is a swimming ICON and anyone who refers to Matt Biondi as a failure is either a moron or knows absolutely NOTHING about swimming!

Careful Tom, you don't want to get the whole flash-in-a-pan discussion restarted. ;)

knelson
July 20th, 2004, 03:54 PM
Hey, no one thought Joe DiMaggio's 56 game hitting streak would ever be broken either.

....oops, never mind :D

Tom Ellison
July 20th, 2004, 04:57 PM
I want everyone here to know I am a very positive guy...MOST of the time....Having said that.....I just cannot see 7 Gold Medals around ONE swimmers neck in the same Olympics happening as things stand in swimming today. I seriously admire Michael Phelps and HOPE like heck he proves me dead wrong....and...I will eat public crow if he proves me wrong....but I do not think it is going to happen....

Frank Thompson
July 21st, 2004, 12:01 PM
I thought NBC's coverage of the Olympic Trials was not as good as previous Olypmpic trials of the past. They showed 15 completed swimming events with highlights in the other events. Comparing this with the 2000 trails they showed 23 completed swimming events. They showed 22 in 1996 and 20 each in 1988 and 1992. Those other Olympic Trials were not live feeds but were 4 hours tape delayed.

The biggest dissapointment was not seeing Michael Phelps swim the World Record in the 400 IM at the start of the competition. Instead we see wasted time on his SUV, what he eats for breakfast, interviews after every race about his medal expectations by the press, walking on the deck throwing his silver medal to female fans in the stands, and having his picture taken with Cindy Crawford. That kind of stuff I can see on ET.

Then with a half hour left in the telecast they show one event the women's 50 Free. Then we hear from Bob Bowman and Ed Reese
about Michael Phelps quest for 7 golds and what relays he may swim and how the relays will be determined. Again wasted time.

Then we see Rowdy Gaines and Dan Hicks with the telestrater like John Madden does in Football diagraming the strategy for 7 golds that we have already heard about so many times. Then we see the VISA commerical that talks about the 7 golds so that message just keeps pounding in our heads. Again wasted time on something we already know.

Instead of hearing Bob Bowman and Eddie Reese I want to see there swimmers swim the races. Another dissapointment was not seeing Brenden Hansen's World Record in the 100 Breast. I want to see the race not the highlights. Being the 1st American to go under a minute and the second person to do it would have been great to see. How about seeing Katie Hoff in the 200 IM. One of Bob Bowman stars and a lot like Michael was in 2000. Had a great race with Amada Beard and would be nice to see Beard swim the IM since we only see heer swim breastroke. Also lets take a break on talking about Harold the teddy bear.

Show some of the American Records races like Keller's 400 Free and Jason Lezek's 100 Free in the semi finals. This was the most successful Olympic Trials as far as records and we did not see a lot of them. Also I noticed they showed a lot of the same highlights repeatedly when they could have shown more races.

There were two event finals shown during the Track&Field Olympic Trials ( M 200 Fly W 100 Free) but who is going to know about those unless you happen to tune in. Also how does Track&Field get 3 times the coverage that swimming has? I noticed that when I watched the T&F trials they showed a lot more of the races and had a lot less personal stories.

With all the hype that Michael Phelps had I thought he swam one of greatest trials ever. To swim 17 events and swim as well as he did was something that I have never seen. I don't know of any swimmer that has ever done that many events and put up the places and times that he did.

jean sterling
July 21st, 2004, 12:25 PM
You are so right Frank about NBC not showing enough actual EVENTS!! What really infuriated me was that they didn't show Monday's events live. A local (Ryan Lochte) was swimming in the 200 IM, and I would have loved to see it live. However, NBC had something much more important to air - Fear Factor, the show where they eat bugs and stuff. So I had to be content with "watching" the 200 IM on-line via the Omega timing hook-up.

Fitswimmer04
July 21st, 2004, 12:37 PM
NBC has taken a lot of flak for the time they spend on personal stories instead of showing events-from people like us who are interested in seeing the events themselves. Most people who watch the Olympics are not runners or swimmers themselves, so the personal stories give them a connection that keeps them interested. Without NBC and their affiliate media constantly driving home the 7 gold thing, nobody outside the swimming community would know who Michael Phelps was-not to mention the other amazing members of USA swimming. NBC needs to engage the non-athletes in order to get the number of viewers that advertisers want. It's all about the money.....

seltzer
July 21st, 2004, 04:23 PM
I think that NBC should be given kudos for improving coverage of the 2004 OT trials. Isn't this the first time that the trials were covered LIVE? Can't judge the quality of the live coverage since I attended the Trials but the taped coverage the following weekend did seem like an improvement. Also the comment about taped coverage during Track and Field Trials was well publized both in CA and NE so no complaint there and I'm not under the impression that Track received more coverage than Swimming. And isn't NBC doing a great job with those commercials that feature Phelps, Coughlin, et.al?

Furthermore they promised 70 hours of DAILY coverage once the Olympics start and, while the TV coverage for the Olympics is supposed to be posted at the end of this week, I've been told that we can expect to pick-up live coverage on NBC affiliated cable during the Olympics.

While for me, having every race TIVO'd would the ultimate coverage let's give NBC some credit for doing a better job covering the Trials this year. Now let's see how much of the Olympic swiming will be in HDTV.

KenChertoff
July 21st, 2004, 06:37 PM
Originally posted by Fitswimmer04
NBC has taken a lot of flak for the time they spend on personal stories instead of showing events-from people like us who are interested in seeing the events themselves. Most people who watch the Olympics are not runners or swimmers themselves, so the personal stories give them a connection that keeps them interested. Without NBC and their affiliate media constantly driving home the 7 gold thing, nobody outside the swimming community would know who Michael Phelps was-not to mention the other amazing members of USA swimming. NBC needs to engage the non-athletes in order to get the number of viewers that advertisers want. It's all about the money.....

I've complained about NBC's soap opera-like coverage in the past, but in fairness to NBC, getting viewers interested in the personalities doesn't only get them to watch their coverage, it may also get them interested in OUR sport. :)

emmett
July 21st, 2004, 10:56 PM
NBC is absolutely NOT in the business of trying to provide coverage for the very tiny group of viewers that REALLY CARES about the competition minutiae of the different Olympic events and seeing every last second of every competition.

And we should hope they never GET into that business. Why? Cuz they'd be OUT of business in a hurry and there would be NO coverage. We are not a big enough market to interest the kind of advert $$ needed to support such a coverage effort. Failing to provide a healthy dose of human interest and failure to edit with an eye toward providing good competitive drama without big nap gaps would simply drive off the audience that really pays the bills.

Think of it a different way - how much would you be willing to pay-per-view for precisely the "afficianado" coverage we'd really like to see? I wouldn't be surprised if such an offering would cost WAY more than watching PPV football or boxing (by an order of magnitude?). How many people in the US would be willing to pay such a price?

Seems to me that what you get right now for FREE represents a far greater value than what you'd get with a PPV that only had 500K viewers (and I think THAT would be a very optimistic number of PPViewers - mebbe more like 100K).

So, yes it IS all about the money - thankfully.

Fitswimmer04
July 22nd, 2004, 07:53 AM
Good point. We've seen an explosion in pay per view offerings in the last few years as cable and satellite companies try to make extra money. Directv has a package for English football that's pretty pricey, but people are paying almost $200 to see Manchester United and Arsenal. Then there's the OLN coverage of the Tour de France. Who would have ever thought that someone would cover that thing stage to stage? Part of it is Lance's quest for 6, of course, but if OLN does well, they may try again next year. If you like a network's coverage of your sport and want them to do more, write and say so, but more importantly write the advertisers and buy their products. If we want more and better coverage of our sport, we need to show NBC and it's advertisers that it's worth it for them financially.

On another note-it will be interesting to watch our pools and see if the olympics motivates anyone to jump on in with us!

Matt S
July 27th, 2004, 11:45 PM
Emmett,

I completely understand your point about NBC's coverage, and I think it is valid. Clearly, we in the swimming world would like to see our favorite sport get more exposure, credit, money for the pros, etc. Moreover, we are, or we should be, OK with seeing it morph into a bit more of a spectator friendly spectacle, and not be such purists about covering a meet just the way we want it. I agree this is a trend in the direction where we want to go.

However, you can overdo it. Everyone would like to take college courses where the instructors are lively, interesting and humorous where appropriate, but there comes a point when a lecture ceases to be an educational presentation and turns into a stand-up routine. Everyone would like a little jazzy, more engaging music in their worship service, but there comes a point where it ceases to be a worship service and turns into a Vegas floor show. We would all like swimming to be more popular, but I hope we stop short of the WWF or NBA big money, freak show.

If we were to look for a model of what we'd like, I would recommend the way swimming is covered as a major sport in Australia. Maybe I'm dreamin', and we Americans are culturally prone to turn our major sports into cynical, money-grubbing, self-promotion-above-all-else cess-pools, but hey, a guy can dream, can't he?

Matt

emmett
July 28th, 2004, 03:27 PM
Hey Matt, good to see you back.

Dreamin' is fine as long as you eventually come back to reality.

What sports-coverage model, currently working (ie profitable enough to be self-sustaining) in the US, would you like to see appplied to swimming throughout the year?

Or are you thinking "whole new (for the US) paradigm"? If so, what entity(ies) are likely to undertake such a risk? Will it be an existing swim-interested entity or will it be an entity that already has a track record developing new marketing strategies for sports?

Down Under, did TV create a whole new market for swimming coverage or did TV build on an existing wide base of interest for the sport?

If swimming were already a "major" spectator sport here in the US, hope for more coverage done "our way" might not be in vain. As it is, however, every bit of free coverage we DO get is better than nothing at all, which is what we get MOST of the time.

If we were actually PAYING for the coverage we're getting I could see complaining about it. But we're not, so we shouldn't.

I wonder how many of the most avid swimming spectators (that would be US) communicated thanks and encouragement to NBC for bringing us the coverage that they did?

Here's my dream - NBC receives 40,000 snail-mail, individually written, "Thank you" notes from USMS members after the Trials coverage - all asking for EVEN MORE underwater footage of the swimming events during the Olympics.

Now I gotta get back to reality and take my kids to the archery range (where the fervent hope among the avid participants is that there will be more than one 30 second blip of archery coverage during the olympics). Did you know there are more avid archers in the US than avid swimmers? Most are bowhunters so NBC will probably have Ted Nugent as the color announcer when they finally give archery its "due" coverage.

Guvnah
July 28th, 2004, 05:32 PM
Face it. Not many people get excited about swiming. There's no blood. No contact. And, frankly, very few fans relative to the population base as a whole.

If you want more people tuning to watch swimming, there should be some events done in the nude. :) :)

Peter Cruise
July 28th, 2004, 06:03 PM
Well, Guvnah- if blood they want, then blood they'll get! Announcing the new swimming-archery event...watch world records fall in the water as the unlucky also-swams are ministered to by medical personnel...

Gareth Eckley
July 29th, 2004, 05:30 AM
I have not actually seen the NBC coverage, but having lived in Canada and watched their coverage of some major sporting events, I have a good idea of what it was like. I would probably have been irritated by it as well.

TV coverage could change to show more of the artistry and skill that swimmers have.

Swimming has a major advantage over other sports because of the beautiful fluid dynamics effects that could be shown to the public. This is really under utilised at present.

I would like to see some more shots that show the beauty of swimming. The shots that show surface tension and water deforming around bodies and trailing vortices filmed in super slow motion are very dramatic and could promote the sport well.

Very little of this is seen in normal coverage of a fast 100m event. If however live feeds were delayed to allow periods of super slow footage in an event it could enhance the coverage.

The underwater shots at Sydney worked well, different camera angles can also add to the excitement.

Could sensors be added to swimsuits that would display information such as velocity, water pressure, drag etc ? If it could be done this info could be displayed during a race or analysed afterwards.