19 Aug 2014
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Olympic Obsession: Day 5

NBC found a way to give water polo more exposure at the Olympics: Show off the nastiness that goes on under water.

Olympic Obsession: Day 5

Water polo is an amazing sport, and it’s great for us that the U.S. is good at it again.

It means more attention and more athletes giving it a shot.

It’s also probably one of the roughest, nastiest and low-down cheating-est sports you’re ever going to see.

And thanks to the underwater camera used by NBC during Wednesday’s broadcast, the sport got even more exposure than usual.


See, it’s pretty common for players to grab at each other under the water. They also punch, kick and scratch each other for position. So to see one of the female players yank another one’s off enough that you can see part of her breast wasn’t a shock to me.

Apparently it was for everyone else.

Site after site posted stories about NBC showing the nip-slip. Yahoo photoshopped a medal over the offending breast. Others had embedded the clip from NBC’s coverage (you can see one of those at the link above).

Me, I didn’t see it. Yeah, she rips the suit back and yeah, her skin’s exposed, but so?

It’s a tough game. I bet it’s not the first (nor will it be the last) that the player will have her suit pulled like that. That’s why many players wear two suits.

And it’s not just the women. Take the time to watch what happens during a men’s game under the water. And if you’re squeamish about seeing punches to the groin, well, you may not want to watch.

I’m just glad that there hasn’t been an out-of-control reaction from people calling for NBC’s heads for showing as horrible as a woman’s breast. Oh, that’s right, all the people who might care were in line at Chick-fil-A on Wednesday.

SPEAKING OF THE POOL: I had this link passed on to me today thanks to the wonders of social media.

Yeah, everyone pees in the pool. Even Olympians.

Doesn't that make you feel better?

DON’T FENCE ME IN: Spent part of the morning watching a pair of Americans lose in the final four of fencing.

It’s a graceful sport that is all about speed and strategy and the ability to maneuver a blade into position to score a “touch” on an opponent.

But let’s face it, a lot of us just look at it as sword fighting, much like the derring-do of the likes of Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks and Cary Elwes. And as such, I’m sure there’s some folks out there rooting for someone to really stab someone with their blade and draw some blood.

Which is why the loss of American Seth Kelsey in his bronze medal individual epee match all the more unbelievable. He lost after his opponent scored a touch on the tip of his toe. Yes, the killing shot in for the bronze medal came on a toe.

Can you imagine the historical portrayal of a sword fight ending with the hero striking his opponent’s toe and walking away the victor?

Yeah, all that’s fantasy and has nothing to do with modern fencing. But it’s still a funny thought.

BEACHED: Count me among the people who aren’t upset over the new rules that don’t force the female beach volleyball players to wear bikinis during competition.

Sure, the outfits that some of the teams are wearing don’t provide the same oomph as the bikinis in drawing viewers. (And are fashion nightmares – really, wearing the sports bra/bikini over the top of the shirt?)

But the players deserve to be comfortable – and warm – on the court. You’ll notice that most of the players in morning/afternoon sessions are still wearing the traditional bikini. You just haven’t seen U.S. golden girls Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings wearing them since they’ve played at night.

Oh, and checking out their Wednesday match during prime time – not having checked for their results during the day – I knew they were going to win, despite losing their first set. News like that would have broken social media.

UPCOMING: The men return to the water polo pool, with the U.S. playing Great Britian at 10:20 a.m. The women’s all-around in gymnastics – and with the subtext of Jordyn Wieber being out of it – will be live at 8:15 a.m., with it dominating primetime, along with more action from the pool (Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte and Tyler Clary will figure in races). Thursday is also the last day we will be without track and field, which will start Friday. It will also be the next-to-last day of competition in judo and archery, which will both finish Olympic competition Friday. And if you want to feel inadequate about your bicycle riding skills, the cycling competition moves indoors to the track. Crazy fast stuff.

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