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Olympic Poseur Day -1

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Or How I Learned to Love Tape Delay

2018 Winter Olympic Games: Curling, Mixed Doubles, United States 9 - 3 Russia
Russian LOSERS. USA! USA!
Photo by Valery Sharifulin\TASS via Getty Images

It’s morning in America, but it’s already Friday in Korea.

I’m an unabashed Olympic fan. I particularly love the smaller scale of the Winter Games, as well as the fact that nearly every sport is designed to kill the participants. About the only sport that isn’t putting everyone at the risk of serious injury is the one that will be on your TV the most, figure skating.

But let’s not kid ourselves, this one is a tough sell. South Korea is FIFTEEN hours ahead of US Central Time. Like all NHL fans, I despise Commissioner Gary Bettman with all of my heart, but he does make a valid point by refusing to send NHL players to the Olympics to play in the middle of the night back home, when only diehard fans would watch.

So welcome to the tape-delayed Olympics!

Tape-delayed is a dirty phrase in our culture, particularly when it comes to sports. We want everything right now, and we want to see it live. With the internet, we’ve grown accustomed to having all of human existence on instant demand.

Look, if you want to watch the Olympics that way. You can. The first curling matches were streamed online through the NBC Sports app yesterday, right during dinner at Poseur HQ. The Poseur clan got to watch the USA beat those pesky Rooskies at a glorious start time of 6 PM. We sat at the dinner table, and daddy did his best to teach his children how to hate the Russians in sports. The Cold War sports mentality dies hard.

One of the first major events of the Olympics, the men’s downhill, starts at 11 AM local time on Sunday, so it will just squeeze itself into primetime here in God’s Time Zone, right at 10 PM Saturday night. However, that same night, cross-country skiing will hand out medals on the men’s 15km + 15km skiathlon beginning at 12:15 Sunday morning. And if you’re really committed, you can stay up to watch the men’s 10km biathlon sprint at 5:15. NBC has made a big show about committing to airing everything they can live in all timezones coast-to-coast this year, but that’s much easier to do when everything is taking place in the middle of the night. The Opening Ceremonies later tonight in South Korea will start at 5am Central our time Friday morning.

What I’m saying is, let’s not dismiss tape delayed sports out of hand. The Olympics are a giant, unwieldy sporting event and let’s be honest, they could use a bit of editing. Take it from a guy who usually tries to immerse himself in one sport and watch it from start to finish, the bobsled could use a bit of judicious editing. Watching forty sleds slide down the same course four times, separated by mere fractions of a seconds, gets a tad repetitive.

Usually, I dive into one sport each day, trying to totally immerse myself into it. That requires a bit of scheduling In advance to make sure I get good coverage of all the events, which is a bit difficult this year because an event on Wednesday might actually be on Tuesday here. So I’m just gonna wing it.

This Olympics, I’m just going to dive in each day and go wherever the event takes me. Instead of immersing myself in one sport each day, I’m going to try and experience the whole craziness of the whole five-ring circus.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to watch the replay of the ski jumping qualifying runs.