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Bill Fitzgerald

Hype hype hooray!

Fourth-Place Medal

Four days and counting ... Only last week, FPM blogger Chris Chase complained that it was hard to find much in the way of Olympic preview material at the newsstand. Fret no more, Double-Cee, the Beijing Games hype machine is out of the blocks clean and has hit its stride. By Friday, this thing will have gathered more momentum than Boys' Life cover boy Jeremy Wariner at the 300 meter mark. The only way it could get any bigger would be if Brett Favre and Manny Ramirez entered the badminton competition as a doubles team. Then we might actually see Chris Mortensen's head explode. Which would probably become a game show in Japan, if it is not already.

For example, take a look at yesterday's New York Times Play Magazine Olympics edition - all 76 pages of it. And these are those NYT Mag size pages, as big as ESPN the Magazine, only with paragraph after paragraph of sentences written in English instead of translated text messages printed in video game graphic fonts. Who edited this thing? Tolstoy? My conservative estimate of total words is in the kilothousands. All of it presented by just one sponsor, Nielsen, the folks who remind you that America's Got Talent and Two and a Half Men were the most watch-ed shows on TV last week. Oh, the droll, profitable irony of it. Well played, Old Grey Lady, well played. Just think, if NBC took this tactic we could see sole sponsorship by AT&T Wireless and get treated to that Phelps Phan girl commercial 50,000 times a day as opposed to the 20,000 we are seeing now. I swear, if I ever meet her, I am going to put my phoot so phar up her phanny, she will pheel it in her phreaking phrenulum.

While we are on the subject though, the NYT might want to find a new copy editor for their Olympic blog, Rings. A recent item identified Team USA Basketball players as Kevin Redd and Duane Wade. Looking forward to their coverage of the 100 meter dash final between Maxwell Gay and Hussein Bolt.

To be fair, the names can get a little tricky. Consecutive items in the Washington Post blog, Heavy Medal, referred to Chinese soccer player Ma Xiaoxu and Mexico's diving coach, China native Ma Jin. Not to be confused with the 4 X 400 relay team of Ma Kettle, Ma Barker,Yo-Yo Ma and Mah Jongg.

By far the best news in Olympics coverage has to be Dan Steinberg's arrival in Beijing. The inveterate vegetarian, who memorably made gourmet cheese the center of his Turin Olympics blog, has already poked a hole in one of the most overhyped stories of the Games. Up next, Big Stein discovers that the Chinese government is providing universal, unfettered Internet access and encouraging its citizens to have as many children as they want. Either that or he'll provide video of the USA Pentathlon team discussing their bizarre sleeping pattterns, shoelaces and impromptu dance routines.

Until then, I'm off to Barnes and Noble to buy the latest edition of Dog Fancy - Shawn Johnson is on the cover.

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