Did anyone else just catch Bela Karolyi going crazy in the NBC studio, while watching the Americans perform on television? It was killing him not to be able to watch the competition in person, he looked like Dick Vitale trying to broadcast a Duke game.
I can't understand why the network chose to keep Karolyi in the studio, when it would much more entertaining for the audience if he provided on-site commentary. Imagine for a second if he had actually been there when Nastia Liukin earned her high score on the uneven bars. I can't even picture what the old coach might have done. Whatever he did would have made him an instant YouTube sensation.
If NBC is smart they'll let Bela out of the IBC for the rest of these Games and bring somebody else in to banter with Bob Costas for a few minutes each night. He could fill the role that Cris Collinsworth has played up to this point as a glorified fan. Can you even imagine Karolyi sitting next to Debbie Phelps in the stands as her son Michael goes for his eight gold medal, that would be pure television gold right there. I can just see Bela screaming 'YOU CAN DO IT MICHAEL!' from the stands, as he did with Kerri Strug in the '96 Games. 'As my colleague Maggie pointed out, NBC could also run a reality show and follow him around Beijing. If it's anything like the outburst that we just saw in the studio, I know viewers would enjoy it.
Photo via Getty Images
- Bela Karolyi
- Dick Vitale