Friday, July 27, 2012

ABC clip of spectacular Olga Korbut routine from 1972 Olympics

Here is perhaps the most famous gymnastics performance of all time. During the team competition of the 1972 Olympics in Munich. 17-year old Olga Korbut of the USSR executed a never before seen maneuver  on the uneven parallel bars. This routine propelled the then unknown Korbut into a household name and helped fuel interest in gymnastics. The electritfying move which became known as the Korbut Flip was subsequently banned for safety reasons.

Jim McKay called the action for ABC and the enthusiastic analyst was former gymnastics coach Gordon Maddux

Monday, July 23, 2012

Remembering Dave Wottle winning 1972 Olympic 800 meters

While the 1972 Summer Olympics are unfortunately best known for the terrorist attack on Sept 5, the Munich games featured many memorable events during the competition. I still vividly recall watching the 800 meter final on Sept 2 when Dave Wottle of the USA came from well behind to win the gold medal at the wire. Wottle famously ran the race wearing a golf cap. The IOC has since banned hats during track events.

The ABC announcers were Jim McKay and former middle distance runner Marty Liquori. This is a classic call by McKay who handled track and field and gymnastics during the 1972 games. Of course, he is best remembered for his coverage of the hostage crisis a few days later.

At the start of the race, ABC displayed individual graphics for each runner, but never showed one for lane 8 as the event started while McKay was still announcing the participants. The end of the clip also features Chris Schenkel who was the primary ABC host for the Munich Olympiad.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Observations on the 1967 NIT final footage on MSG Vault

Recently, I posted about the MSG Vault episode which included footage from the CBS telecast of the 1967 NIT championship game featuring Walt Frazier. After watching my recording a few times, I will share some observations:

The show contained a fair amount of footage from the original telecast. The audio and video quality was fantastic considering this game took place 45 years ago. What a find by the Carbondale PBS station!

I found several aspects of the playing surface quite noticeable. The floor contains mostly light colored boards interspersed with some darker ones, but not in any specific pattern. The midcourt stripe was yellow as were other court lines. The color of these markings was not significantly distinguishable from that of the light floorboards making these lines rather difficult to see. Also striking was the complete lack of logos on the floor. There was nothing on the court surface which identified this as an NIT game or the site as Madison Square Garden. You can see the court in the video clip I added to my original post.

Play-by-play man Tom Kelly did a decent job, but analyst Frank Gifford offered very little commentary during game action. There was also an odd moment during the opening to the telecast. As Kelly set the scene, Gifford's head shifted awkwardly several times as he almost seemed to be going out of his way to look anywhere but at the camera. You can see also this segment in the same video clip.

The only CBS graphic I noticed was the one identifying Frazier as the MVP during the postgame interview.  A few times, CBS superimposed a shot of the stadium scoreboard underneath the action. And Kelly mentioned the score quite frequently during his play-by-play. Throughout the telecast, you can also clearly hear the public address announcer providing information on score, fouls, substitutions, etc.

If you haven't seen this and have access to MSG Network, I highly recommend this episode which will be re-airing many times over the next few weeks.