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And Another Thing

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Hey, look! NBC just missed the Olympics!

If you don't have cable, I feel sorry for you tonight. NBC screwed you big time.

What the Network of the Winter Olympics gave you was a guy in a cowboy hat and chaps prancing around the ice. What it could have given you was the most newsworthy story of the Games so far.

That would be the United States beating Canada 5-3 on Canada's home turf in its national sport, easily the day's most compelling story line and one the programmers at NBC, in their infinite wisdom, chose to relegate to their cable entity MSNBC, so they could show you ice dancing. Too bad. It was the most memorable Olympic hockey game I've seen since ... well, since that other one in Lake Placid in 1980.

Starring as Jim Craig in this version was Michigan State grad Ryan Miller, who was absolutely riddled with shots in the last five minutes and stood tall with the U.S. clinging to (and doesn't this sound familiar) a 4-3 lead. Then Ryan Kesler made a spectacular diving swipe at the puck to knock it in the empty net and seal it for the U.S.

And let's not forget Brian Rafalski's two goals, either.

All in all, a memorable night. But you go on and watch Cowboy Hat prance around the ice. I'm sure the ice dancing NBC gave you got better numbers, for all its irrelevance.

No wonder NHL commissioner Gary Bettman has strongly hinted the NHL is quits with the Olympics after Vancouver. Why suspend your league for two solid weeks so NBC can exile your product to cable? How's that benefit the NHL?

Ben Smith's blog.

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