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Just Off-Camera

"They respect you if you write. The dumber the world gets, the more the words matter." -Dan Jenkins


Thursday, February 16, 2006

Jack Bauer, NBC Olympic Commentator

These days, America needs heroes. And where better to look for a hero than to a man who has died for his country - twice? I speak, of course, about Jack Bauer. Unfortunately, Jack Bauer is fictional. Instead, we have to look to reality for heroes, and so some people turn to the Olympic Games for stories of human triumph. NBC, the host network for the Games, has been having some struggles with keeping ratings up in the face of competition from American Idol and other shows, though, so I got to thinking.

What better way to give ratings a boost - or even a shot of adrenaline straight to the heart - than by having Jack Bauer help broadcast the events?

Cue dream sequence effects...

Bob Costas: Good evening, and welcome to Day Three of our coverage of the 2006 Olympic Games in Torino. The big story today was in the men's downhill, where American favorite Bode Miller finished fifth. Let's go to Sestriere, where our reporter is with the controversial skier.
Jack Bauer: Bauer.
Costas: Jack, it's Bob Costas back in the studio. How is Bode Miller taking his fifth-place finish in the downhill?
Bauer: Well, Bob, I spoke with him earlier, and here's what he had to say.
Bode Miller: The variables that determine a ski race are too many to count.
Bauer: What?
Miller: The way Deneriaz skied today, he was pretty much untouchable.
Bauer: Look, Bode, I'm done talking with you, you understand me? Now you read my file. First thing I'm gonna do is take out your right eye, then I'm gonna move over to your left, and then I'm gonna cut you, and I'm gonna keep cutting at you until I get the information that I need. Do you understand me?
[quick cut back to Costas in the studio]
Costas: Uh, interesting stuff there, Jack. I understand you also spoke with Shaun White about his gold medal run in the half pipe today.
Bauer: Yeah. But let's get something straight, Bob. The only reason Shaun White is still conscious is because I don't want to carry him.

***

Ted Robinson: ...we are just about to hit the last lap here in the semifinal of the 1,500 meter short track race, and Apolo Anton Ohno still hasn't made his move to the front of the pack. Here he goes now, trying to pass Li Ye of China on the outside! No! He stumbles! Ohno will not be in the final!
Bauer: DAMMIT!

***

Scott Hamilton: ...so, a good performance by Johnny Weir in the short program, and we'll go down to Jack Bauer, who's with the American right now.
Bauer: Johnny, a strong showing tonight. Where do you think this sets you up heading into the free program?
Johnny Weir: I wasn't expecting that. To show that the judges are giving me that kind of support, that kind of love is really encouraging for the free program.
Bauer: How could you think the judges wouldn't give you high scores?
Weir: I know that a lot of people, especially the more Republican-style people, are very afraid of what I mean to the sport and what I'’m going to say, what kind of revolutionary, crazy things are going to come out of my mouth. Good for them; they should be scared.
Bauer: Listen to me, Johnny. You probably don't think I could force this towel down your throat, but trust me, I can. All the way. Except that I'd hold onto this little bit at the end. When your stomach starts to digest the towel, I pull it out. Taking your stomach lining with it. Most people probably take about a week to die. It's very painful.
Weir: Eek!

***

Mike Emrick: ...one minute remaining in the third period, and the U.S. looks like they will have to settle for a disappointing tie with Latvia.
Bauer: SON OF A BITCH! WE'RE RUNNING OUT OF TIME!



***

Oh, by the way, the field of 24 on American Idol has been submitted to the public for its voting pleasure. Sometime in the next few days, I'll get around to a few picks there, but in the meantime, just remember - I picked Katharine McPhee to win back on February 2, even before the entire Hollywood crew was selected.

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