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Old 12-26-2013, 05:53 PM   #61
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They should combine curling and figure skating.
They should combine figure skating and hockey.
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Old 12-26-2013, 09:33 PM   #62
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I never said it was easy to do. Just not very interesting to watch especially when they're not racing against each other at the same time. Now add in the extremely high stakes of the Olympics, a little rooting for your national team, and a little personal information and I might care enough to watch. We've already seen that basically nobody watches Skiing when it's not the Olympics. Clearly something needs to be done to make people watch when it's the Olympics. THe high stakes adds a lot. Now just tell me who these competitors are. I don't need a 30 minute piece on them, just a brief explanation of their history and their previous results in high level competition.
I was surprised at your comment because you were talking about downhill.

For a summer equivalent, watching the descents during the Tour de France brings back the feeling of what it was like to go downhill when riding my bike. I don't have the bike-handling skills of any of those riders, of course, so the idea of going downhill at the speed those guys do is compelling by nature. The downhill skiing is the same way. If I stumble across it while it's on, I have to watch.

Maybe it's more fun for people who have a fear of falling.

To steal a phrase from my brother (who was talking about flying at the time) -- I like the falling part -- it's the hitting-the-ground part I can't stand.
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:01 PM   #63
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They should combine figure skating and hockey.
Didn't they try that once - "women's ice hockey"? (Or is there another way to describe ice hockey where body checking is illegal?) This ended when the line between "body checking" (illegal) and "accidentally running into an opponent while playing the puck" (legal) became more and more blurred.

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I watch it all, and I realize that the judging is probably very subjective and much of it is based on reputation. And when it's blatantly bad, it's good water cooler talk for the next day at work.
This is harder to do ever since they changed the scoring system. The only way you can find out individual judges' scores is to go to the International Skating Union website - and even there, they don't tell you which judges gave which scores. The incident with the pairs competition in 2002 probably would still be a mystery today had this system been in place (and, ironically, that incident is a major factor in why this system was invented).

As for skiing and snowboarding, the one thing I wish they would do is to go back to the original "one at a time" method for the snowboarding giant slalom; I was never a fan of the head-to-head single-elimination format, even in skiing.
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Old 12-27-2013, 02:47 PM   #64
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Didn't they try that once - "women's ice hockey"? (Or is there another way to describe ice hockey where body checking is illegal?) This ended when the line between "body checking" (illegal) and "accidentally running into an opponent while playing the puck" (legal) became more and more blurred.
I thought Women's Ice Hockey was part of the Olympics.

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As for skiing and snowboarding, the one thing I wish they would do is to go back to the original "one at a time" method for the snowboarding giant slalom; I was never a fan of the head-to-head single-elimination format, even in skiing.
Those are two different events. There's the traditional skiing and snowboarding events where competitors go one at a time and are timed, and then there is the Skiier X/Boarder X events that are supposed to be like motocross and BMX. I find the X events to be much more fun to watch, if for no other reason than the courses look like they would be so much fun to ski down.
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Old 12-30-2013, 03:03 PM   #65
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I liked a few Olympics ago when they had speed skiing where they wore these super slick outfits and funky helmets and would start down the mountain and once they reached a certain point (and reached a high rate of speed) is when they would start timing them. I think they got up to 300 or 400 mph.
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Old 12-30-2013, 08:57 PM   #66
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I liked a few Olympics ago when they had speed skiing where they wore these super slick outfits and funky helmets and would start down the mountain and once they reached a certain point (and reached a high rate of speed) is when they would start timing them. I think they got up to 300 or 400 mph.
I hope you added an extra 0 there.

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Old 12-30-2013, 10:57 PM   #67
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I think I only really take decathalon and marathon seriously as Olympic events.

They should just do them in the snow for Winter Olympics.
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Old 12-30-2013, 11:06 PM   #68
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Agree with you there These were the original events of course. Though Biathlon and Cross-Country Skiing are probably closest to this in winter.

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I think I only really take decathalon and marathon seriously as Olympic events.

They should just do them in the snow for Winter Olympics.

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Old 12-31-2013, 01:16 AM   #69
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schedule -- http://xgames.espn.go.com/events/2014/aspen/schedule/

video highlights from the 2013 x games -- https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nf-a9VuC5vY
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:51 AM   #70
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This is harder to do ever since they changed the scoring system. The only way you can find out individual judges' scores is to go to the International Skating Union website - and even there, they don't tell you which judges gave which scores. The incident with the pairs competition in 2002 probably would still be a mystery today had this system been in place (and, ironically, that incident is a major factor in why this system was invented).
Still, if the judging is bad, it's still fodder for water cooler talk. I still think they tell you where the judges are from, no? Even if they don't reveal who scored what, it's usually pretty easy to figure out who screwed who based on where the judges are from.
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Old 12-31-2013, 06:53 AM   #71
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I thought Women's Ice Hockey was part of the Olympics.
Yes, still a part of the Olympics. And this year, there's kind of a blood feud between the US and Canada teams. They've had brawls in 2 of the last 5 matches and LOTS of chippyness that comes close to crossing the no body checking rules. Should be fun.
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Old 12-31-2013, 08:02 AM   #72
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They should combine curling and figure skating.
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They should combine figure skating and hockey.
Don't be silly.

If you want to combine Figure skating with something, it should be shooting! Hard to shoot them when they are jumping and spinning and such!
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:46 PM   #73
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Figure skating and Pole dancing.
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Old 12-31-2013, 01:46 PM   #74
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Still, if the judging is bad, it's still fodder for water cooler talk. I still think they tell you where the judges are from, no? Even if they don't reveal who scored what, it's usually pretty easy to figure out who screwed who based on where the judges are from.
Not when the people watching only see two numbers for each skater (well, three, but the third one is the sum of the first two). Yes, they do know where the judges are from (and, in fact, their names), but if the 2002 pairs incident happened in 2014, while you could guess four of the five judges that favored the Russian couple over the Canadian one, there would be no way of knowing for certain who the fifth one was; back in 2002, we knew which judges gave which scores to which skaters because we were told this as the scores were displayed.

Little-known fact: a computer decided the winner of the men's figure skating competition in 2010. Back then, there were 12 judges, and at the start of each round, a computer would secretly choose three of them to be ignored (to make it harder to make deals to rig scores - who would make a deal if there was a chance that the judge's scores wouldn't even be counted?). As it turned out, about 1/3 of the possible combinations of 3 judges would have given Evgeni Plushecko the gold over Evan Lysacek. (In 2014, there will be nine judges for each round, and all nine will count.)

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Those are two different events. There's the traditional skiing and snowboarding events where competitors go one at a time and are timed, and then there is the Skiier X/Boarder X events that are supposed to be like motocross and BMX. I find the X events to be much more fun to watch, if for no other reason than the courses look like they would be so much fun to ski down.
The first year "traditional snowboard giant slalom" was done, it was done the way the skiing giant slalom is done - one at a time; fastest combined times of two runs wins. Now, after a preliminary run, the top 16 advance to a single-elimination round where there are two parallel courses (in fact, the event is called "parallel giant slalom" now); each pair does a run on each course, and the faster combined time advances to the next round.

On the other hand, I don't have a problem with how Snowboard Cross (four at a time, on the same course) is done.
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:14 AM   #75
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Not when the people watching only see two numbers for each skater (well, three, but the third one is the sum of the first two). Yes, they do know where the judges are from (and, in fact, their names), but if the 2002 pairs incident happened in 2014, while you could guess four of the five judges that favored the Russian couple over the Canadian one, there would be no way of knowing for certain who the fifth one was; back in 2002, we knew which judges gave which scores to which skaters because we were told this as the scores were displayed.

Little-known fact: a computer decided the winner of the men's figure skating competition in 2010. Back then, there were 12 judges, and at the start of each round, a computer would secretly choose three of them to be ignored (to make it harder to make deals to rig scores - who would make a deal if there was a chance that the judge's scores wouldn't even be counted?). As it turned out, about 1/3 of the possible combinations of 3 judges would have given Evgeni Plushecko the gold over Evan Lysacek. (In 2014, there will be nine judges for each round, and all nine will count.)


The first year "traditional snowboard giant slalom" was done, it was done the way the skiing giant slalom is done - one at a time; fastest combined times of two runs wins. Now, after a preliminary run, the top 16 advance to a single-elimination round where there are two parallel courses (in fact, the event is called "parallel giant slalom" now); each pair does a run on each course, and the faster combined time advances to the next round.

On the other hand, I don't have a problem with how Snowboard Cross (four at a time, on the same course) is done.
I don't pay enough attention to these sports to care how they are judged or how they are run. Honestly it's all fun entertainment and I'm glad they made it less transparent. I don't watch enough figure skating to be able to tell the subtle differences in skating to judge. I can only tell if someone got jobbed by what the announcers are telling me, and if it's really obvious (skater 1 skates clean and skater 2 falls, but skater 2 wins). Usually if a skater skates to a song I like, rather than some boring ballet, I'll root for them
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:43 AM   #76
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Still, if the judging is bad, it's still fodder for water cooler talk. I still think they tell you where the judges are from, no? Even if they don't reveal who scored what, it's usually pretty easy to figure out who screwed who based on where the judges are from.
Eh, that game got less fun once you no longer had the East German judge's score to mock.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:58 AM   #77
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Eh, that game got less fun once you no longer had the East German judge's score to mock.


It used to be fun in the days when it was an American vs. a Soviet and you can see where the judges are from. So, you'd have judges from USSR, GDR, HUN, and POL and you knew they are were all going to vote favorably for the Soviet skater. Then you'd see judges from the USA, CAN, GBR and S. Korea and you knew they'd all vote for the USA skater. The trick was to figure out how the judge from Switzerland might vote
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:24 PM   #78
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Little-known fact: a computer decided the winner of the men's figure skating competition in 2010. Back then, there were 12 judges, and at the start of each round, a computer would secretly choose three of them to be ignored (to make it harder to make deals to rig scores - who would make a deal if there was a chance that the judge's scores wouldn't even be counted?). As it turned out, about 1/3 of the possible combinations of 3 judges would have given Evgeni Plushecko the gold over Evan Lysacek. (In 2014, there will be nine judges for each round, and all nine will count.)
This is why I don't enjoy "judging sports". It just seems crazy that a judge has to submit a score 2-3 minutes afterwards without having analyzed the performance. Do they at least get to watch the routine over on replay to see if they missed something.

Also, as Steveknj said, I can't really tell the difference between the performances unless someone falls or looks much much worse. So I'm relying on what the announcers say is good and I just come along for the ride. I'd rather just watch the racing oriented competitions.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:52 PM   #79
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This is why I don't enjoy "judging sports". It just seems crazy that a judge has to submit a score 2-3 minutes afterwards without having analyzed the performance. Do they at least get to watch the routine over on replay to see if they missed something.

Also, as Steveknj said, I can't really tell the difference between the performances unless someone falls or looks much much worse. So I'm relying on what the announcers say is good and I just come along for the ride. I'd rather just watch the racing oriented competitions.
I tend to watch...because it's the Olympics. My wife enjoys the skating stuff, so I watch along with her. The racing competitions are better, and I LOVE LOVE LOVE the hockey tourney. I am very much looking forward to that.
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Old 01-02-2014, 02:11 PM   #80
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It used to be fun in the days when it was an American vs. a Soviet and you can see where the judges are from. So, you'd have judges from USSR, GDR, HUN, and POL and you knew they are were all going to vote favorably for the Soviet skater. Then you'd see judges from the USA, CAN, GBR and S. Korea and you knew they'd all vote for the USA skater. The trick was to figure out how the judge from Switzerland might vote
Yeah, back in the days of MAD and detente' when things were more predictable.
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Old 01-07-2014, 08:31 AM   #81
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NBC finally has reasonably detailed TV listings posted. http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:28 AM   #82
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I don't want to hear about the "human interest" stories, the hardships they had to overcome, the fact that someone's mom is in the hospital, the school mates cheering them on through an injury or illness, the family members sitting in the stands, the fact that it's their birthday, etc. Couldn't possibly care less. I just want to watch them compete.
I tell myself I feel this way, but...

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I kinda like Mary Carillo's quirky pieces.
Then the fluff stuff comes on and I watch it (and usually enjoy.)

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NBC finally has reasonably detailed TV listings posted. http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv
Thanks for the link. I was just going to search!
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:45 AM   #83
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I don't want "tell me what's on what channel when." I want "tell me when this sport is on."

When can we get that? They have a schedule of the events, sort of, but no channels listed yet as far as I can see.

And, not to be sexist, but can I get a schedule for men's hockey that doesn't also include women's hockey?
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Old 01-07-2014, 01:30 PM   #84
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I don't want "tell me what's on what channel when." I want "tell me when this sport is on."

When can we get that? They have a schedule of the events, sort of, but no channels listed yet as far as I can see.
NBC can't possibly tell you when each sport will be on with any degree of certainty because they have to add things like interviews and medal ceremonies; also, they tend to cut away from an event and come back to it later (especially with something like figure skating - on final round nights, they'll probably show the Americans out of the medal hunt early, and then an hour-or-so block of the medal contenders later), and some events are heavily edited (obviously NBC isn't going to show a 30km cross-country race in its entirety).

If you go to the TV link in post 81, and enter your information, the events appear to be separated by channel.

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And, not to be sexist, but can I get a schedule for men's hockey that doesn't also include women's hockey?
Here you go. All times Eastern.

Wed 12
Noon Czech Republic - Sweden
Noon Latvia - Switzerland

Thu 13
3 AM Finland - Austria
7:30 AM Russia - Slovenia
7:30 AM Slovakia - USA
Noon Canada - Norway

Fri 14
3 AM Czech Republic - Latvia
7:30 AM Sweden - Switzerland
Noon Canada - Austria
Noon Norway - Finland

Sat 15
3 AM Slovakia - Slovenia
7:30 AM USA - Russia
Noon Switzerland - Czech Republic
Noon Sweden - Latvia

Sun 16
3 AM Austria - Norway
7:30 AM Russia - Slovakia
7:30 AM Slovenia - USA
Noon Finland - Canada

Tue 18
3 AM Playoff First Round Game 1
7:30 AM Playoff First Round Game 2
Noon Playoff First Round Game 3
Noon Playoff First Round Game 4

Wed 19
3 AM Quarter-Final 1
7:30 AM Quarter-Final 2
Noon Quarter-Final 3
Noon Quarter-Final 4

Fri 21
7 AM Semi-Final 1
Noon Semi-Final 2

Sat 22
10 AM Bronze Medal Game

Sun 23
7 AM Gold Medal Game
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:00 PM   #85
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NBC won't tell you when each sport will be on with any degree of certainty because they want to add things like interviews and medal ceremonies; also, they tend to cut away from an event and come back to it later to pad ratings (especially with something like figure skating - on final round nights, they'll probably show the Americans out of the medal hunt early, and then an hour-or-so block of the medal contenders later), and some events are heavily edited (obviously NBC isn't going to show a 30km cross-country race in its entirety).
Fixed that for ya.

The official Olympic site will tell you what events happen when. You'll have to work from that (for non-hockey - thanks Don for putting that together).
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:11 PM   #86
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Here is another men's only schedule. Note that the times are Sochi local (9 hours ahead of Eastern). The "medal round" schedule will be finalized once they know which teams are in which positions, in part to allow teams to be placed in time slots that are best for viewing in their home countries. (Most of the countries outside of USA and Canada appear to be 3 hours behind Sochi.)

Also, here's the quick version of how the tournament works:
All games that are tied at the end of regulation will have a 10-minute 4-on-4 (5-on-5, including the goalies) sudden-death period (exception: 20 minutes in the Gold Medal game), followed by a 3-player shootout if necessary.
Once all of the preliminary round games are done, the teams are ranked 1-12 as follows:
1. The group winners are ranked 1-3, second place teams 4-6, third-place teams 7-9, and fourth-place teams 10-12.
Placing in a group is based on record (3 points for a regulation win; 2 for an OT/shootout win; 1 for an OT/shootout loss).
A 2-way tie is broken in favor of whoever won the game between the two teams.
A 3-way tie is broken by:
(a) Record against the other two tied teams
(b) Combined margin of victory against the other two tied teams
(c) Goals scored against the other two tied teams
(d) Apply (a), (b), and (c) against the team in the group not in the tie
(e) Higher world ranking at the end of 2013
If, at any time, one team drops out of the tie, use the 2-team tiebreaker.
Note that a 4-way tie is impossible (there are 6 games in each group, and each game has a total of 3 points; a 4-way tie would mean each team has 4 1/2 points.)
2. The first-place teams are seeded 1-3 using overall record, then total margin of victory, then total goals scored, then 2013 world ranking.
Similarly, the second-place teams are seeded 4-6, the third-place teams are seeded 7-9, and the fourth-place teams are seeded 10-12.
The "medal round" is a single-elimination tournament with brackets based on seed:
#8 vs #9; winner plays #1
#5 vs #12; winner plays #4
The winners of the games with the #1 and #4 seeds play in one semi-final
#7 vs #10; winner plays #2
#6 vs #11; winner plays #3
The winners of the games with the #2 and #3 seeds play in the other semi-final
Note that there are no separate games to determine 5th through 12th place; once you lose in the medal round (except if you lose in the semi-final, because there is a Bronze Medal game), your Olympics are over.

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Old 01-07-2014, 02:40 PM   #87
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Fixed that for ya.

The official Olympic site will tell you what events happen when. You'll have to work from that.
Keeping in mind a couple of things:
First, none of them are between 7 PM and midnight Eastern time (4 AM and 9 AM Sochi time), so when an event actually takes place is irrelevant most of the time. Yes, NBC does things for the highest prime-time ratings - in fact, the executive producer for NBC's Olympics coverage said, "First and foremost, our mission is to protect prime time - that's still the No. 1 priority."

Second, what happens if NBC wants to show two events that are taking place at the same time? The official schedule isn't of too much use for this.

You also have to allow for last-second schedule changes. I am under the impression that Sochi is a little warmer than the IOC would have liked, and there is a chance that some alpine events may have to be postponed because somebody feels that the snow surface isn't safe.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:46 PM   #88
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Second, what happens if NBC wants to show two events that are taking place at the same time? The official schedule isn't of too much use for this.
The official schedule is still useful for a couple of things.

1) It's easier to figure out if an event will be on TV if you start from a list of what events are supposed to take place.

2) If the event hasn't happened yet, it's not likely to be on TV.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:48 PM   #89
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Are the NBC satellite channels (like NBCSN, USA, etc.) going to cover these events live, even though some might be very early in the morning? Or will those even be delayed? Or repeated.
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Old 01-07-2014, 02:52 PM   #90
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Here's our USA Women's curling team:
What does the skip say?

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