Department of English, University of Louisville
Phone: (502)852-6770 or (502)852-6801. Fax: (502)852-4182.
I think Jim McKay was worst at melodramatizing, sentimentalizing, trivializing
sports, in which, as far as I could tell, he had no interest. He was coiner or
at least promoter of the offensive nicknames for young female gymnasts, for
instance--in some ways the worst stuff surrounded Olga Korbut and later Nadja
Comanech (I know this is spelled wrong). She was brilliant but relatively
expressionless, so was dubbed "the porcelain doll" as I recall. Re 1972: all
through that Olympics, ABC's announcers kept ending every paragraph of copy
with "on our primetime weeknight telecasts." After the Israelis were taken
prisoner, of course the world was horrified, and the announcers were serious
and solemn--& some of them actually did some news reporting, it seems to me.
But my recollection (and it's only that) is of McKay seeming particularly
aggrieved, as though the whole thing was something done to him
personally--until he said, with grief in his voice, "we're just so sorry that
this had to happen on one of our primetime weeknight telecasts." It may be
that I misremember, or it may be that he was just so used to the phrase it
came out w/o thinking (in fact I suspect it did) but it seemed to typify what
I had disliked about him for years.
bitnet tbbyer01@ulkyvm; internet [log in to unmask]
Thomas B. Byers
Department of English/University of Louisville
Louisville KY 40292