Thursday, August 21, 2008

So last night, I was home, watching the Olympics on TV.

During the 20 seconds it took for Usain Bolt to set a new world record in the 200m, I had a weird feeling.

During the 20 minutes of celebration afterwards, I realized what it was:

I knew this would happen.

No, I'm not clairvoyant. I just have Yahoo as one of my bookmarked websites. And they splashed on their main page the information about Bolt's achievements. I had forgotten that I had read about this... and now know I'm knowing the news before the night when I need to know.

Understood, the time difference with China isn't U.S. prime-time friendly. But the real culprit is Yahoo. They barely try to be spoiler-free, with headlines along the lines of:

"a beloved American gymnast finally gets her gold"

or "a sprinter does something that's never been done twice in the Olympics. We won't give anything away, but he's from Jamaica and his name rhymes with 'schmolt'"

or "Michael Phelps does something eight times". Hmmm, what could it be? If he were Jewish like Mark Spitz, maybe it'd be light the menorah candles...

Yahoo went out of its way not to ruin reality competition shows for its TiVoing fans. The top story would read: "On American Idol last night, Paula Abdul says something incoherent", which was true every episode, but the headline would still attract readers who enjoy watching that Straight Up trainwreck. And despite Yahoo's spoiler-free teasers about "Dancing With the Stars", it didn't matter anyway. Who didn't know that Christina Yamaguchi would win it all? And who cared?

But I wanna get my e-mail messages without getting messages about who got the medals that morning. If Yahoo could only give me the winners at Hollywood Park ahead of time -- that'd be a real goldmine. Otherwise... screw you, Yahoo.


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