Got a call from the wife a few moments ago.
“Did you see the Bode Miller interview?” she said.
Um … no.
“You need to watch it.”
So I did. Oh, boy. Ohhhhhhh, boy. Awful. Not Emmitt Smith-interviewing-anyone-with-a-pulse awful, but awful. And also telling. Whenever the Olympics come to our televisions, they’re packaged with stories. And more stories. And more stories. The reason is clear: Most of us don’t give two beans about the sports without knowing the characters and novels behind the names. So NBC breaks out the cheese music, breaks out the five-minute flashbacks, breaks out the kiddie pictures, and does everything to grab our hearts.
Curling when a competitor survived a tsunami doesn’t suck.
Hence, there was Christin Cooper, standing alongside Miller, asking and asking and asking and asking about his late brother. He died. And Bode’s sad. And in case you don’t see Bode sobbing, we’ll throw another question his way—about his dead brother. And another. Then he’ll REALLY start to cry.
Deadspin took time to transcribe the Q&A. Here’s how it went:
Cooper: For a guy who said the medals don’t really matter, they aren’t “the thing,” you’ve amassed quite a collection. What does this one mean to you in terms of all the others?
Miller: This was a little different. With my brother passing away, I really wanted to come back here and race the way he sends it. So this was a little different.
Cooper: Bode, you’re showing so much emotion down here. What’s going through your mind?
Miller: A lot, obviously. Just a long struggle coming in here. Just a tough year.
Cooper: I know you wanted to be here with Chelly experiencing these games, how much does it mean to you to come up with a great performance for him? And was it for him?
Miller: I mean, I don’t know if it’s really for him. But I wanted to come here and…I don’t know, I guess make myself proud.
Cooper: When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?
The thing is, I don’t think it’s fair to destroy Cooper over this. She’s not a journalist, she’s an athlete filling a role. This isn’t her comfort zone. That being said, the final question is so beyond-the-awfulness-of-awful, it seems fair game. “When you’re looking up in the sky at the start, we see you there and it looks like you’re talking to somebody. What’s going on there?”
Um … Cooper knows what was going on there. Everyone watching knew what was going on there. Bode Miller—who has discussed his brother’s passing at length—wasn’t speaking to Santa Claus, or Shannon Hoon, or my grandma, or Yinka Dare. It was an obvious moment, and good reporters don’t force a subject to state the obvious.