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Peggy Shinn Blog - That World Series Feeling

Aug. 15, 2008, 2:04 p.m. (ET)

My Boston friends were right. With primetime coverage running from 8 p.m. until after midnight, the 2008 Olympics is, for viewers, like the 2007 World Series. Or the 2004 World Series for that matter, and the 7-game playoff series before that, when the Red Sox rallied against the Yankees in game 3, won the next 3 games, and took the American League pennant.

In those series, most of New England (aka, Red Sox Nation) stayed up well past midnight, catching the final innings in games where the first pitch wasn’t thrown until after 9 p.m. ET.

For four days in October (both of those World Series were won in 4 games), we staggered to work, bleary-eyed and fuzzy-headed, hoping to do little more than sharpen pencils or clean out our inboxes of Internet humor. Coffee was a hot commodity.

Now, after the seventh night of the 17-day Olympics, I feel World-Series-ish all over again.

And after checking NBC’s TV schedule in California (by entering a California friend’s zip code into the NBCOlympics.com TV Listings page), Pacific Coasters are probably just as bleary-eyed as those of us closer to the Atlantic.

Last night, the women’s gymnastics all-around competition was must-see TV. The willowy blonde Russian-born American versus the compact Midwesterner who won Worlds last year, and both of these girls against the just-as-willowy Chinese, whatever their ages.

I did everything I could to stay awake. First push-ups (yes, badly), then crunches, even yoga. I sat in an uncomfortable chair, and during one commercial break, unloaded the dishwasher. But I still fell asleep after the first rotation. Did you stay awake until 1 a.m.?

The Today Show recapped last night’s action, then I fast-forwarded through the recorded coverage. But now there’s so much more to catch up on: James Blake’s win over Roger Federer in the tennis quarterfinals, then his aggravating loss against Fernando Gonzalez in the semis. As I type, I’m watching Rafael Nadal vs. Djokovic play the tennis semis on NBCOlympics.com live video.

Ding — email from NBCOlympics.com News that U.S. runner Shalane Flanagan has won bronze in the women’s 10,000 meters on the track. And how ‘bout all those medals in shooting? Corey Codgell, Glenn Eller, Jason Turner, Kim Rhode, and Matt Emmons have a gold, two silvers, and three bronzes among them.

Ack — where’s my pencil sharpener?


Peggy Shinn is a freelance contributor for teamusa.org. This blog was not subject to the approval of the United States Olympic Committee or any National Governing Bodies.