Olympic beach volleyball must be a ratings grabber for NBC. How else to explain the nine nights of primetime coverage the network has devoted to the sport (up from five in Athens). But if there's one thing I've heard most from people this week, it's they are tired of watching volleyball on the sand.
It's not that these people dislike beach volleyball, per se. It's just that it feels like Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh are always on TV and, more importantly, none of their matches have been exciting. The whole thing has gotten a little stale. This became even more evident this morning when compared to the thrilling quarterfinal game between the U.S. women's volleyball and Italy.
The rallies were long, some of the digs were astounding and the athleticism that seems to be diminished by the sand in beach volleyball was on full display here. Men's volleyball is equally impressive, but I like the women's game a little better because the game is a bit slower and is easier for the players to control. (It's the same reason I prefer women's tennis to men's.)
The U.S. women are now in the Olympic semifinals, which will be played late tomorrow night in the U.S.. NBC has been good about showing those games live, so it should kick-off the 12:30 a.m. broadcast (late Wednesday night). If you can stay awake that long, I highly recommend watching. And if not, that's what DVRs are for.
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