I'm sorry, I hate myself for it, but I can't just let this abomination go by.  It's time to take ol' Al Trautwig and throw him under the bus again.  My latest example is from the Men's All-Around gymnastics, where Paul Hamm won the first gold ever for the U.S.A. in that event. 

Example #3:  It's right after Paul finds out he's won.  NBC is doing a quick montage of his routines leading up to winning the medal, and they're at the last one - the high bar.  Paul does his last flip and begins to release for his dismount when Al utters these words of utterly insipid brainlessness:

"The air has been let out of the balloon.  And with those mighty lungs from the Midwest, Paul Hamm has won the gold."

Ladies and gentlemen, WHAT the MESS is THAT??  What in the world was mister Al trying to say?  Paul Hamm won the gold... with his LUNGS??  Al, look at me.  I know you're trying to use the sweeping metaphors of dramatic sportscasting like those found on old NFL films, but PLEASE, lay off them a bit and let the moment shine!

In an interesting corollary, apparently this on-camera vaccuum of common sense is spreading.  Soon after Paul comes off the gym floor, he has a quick interview with one of the "sideline" reporters.  You know them - usually women, mostly good looking, not really expecting much in the way of hard journalism out of them.  (Melissa Stark is an incredible example who's managed to escape the last part of that stereotype.)  This reporter, and I'm sorry I couldn't find a bio for her, corners off Paul and proceeds to ask him three questions.  The first two were pretty silly, but the last takes the cake:

"Paul, what did you learn about yourself during those last three rotations on your way to the gold medal?"

Now, let's think for a moment.  The man has had about 5 minutes to even know that he had the gold medal, much less reflect on it.  There is a much greater-than-zero chance that the moment hasn't even sunk in, or made a solitary dent.  He's in the blissful shock of incredible success that athletes across the world live for, and you're asking him to take a metaphysical assesment of the greatest moment of his LIFE?  What has he learned?  Not a thing yet, except he looks great in GOLD, woman!


"I've been downhearted, baby, ever since the day we met..."

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