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February 16, 2014

Olympic Viewing: Professor Emrick on duty

Highlights from television coverage of the Sochi Olympics:

SEIZING THE MOMENT: Would be fascinating to know, in today's world, how many people already knew the result of Saturday's thrilling hockey game between the United States and Russia before tuning in to NBC's prime-time telecast. The network, which rarely spends much time on hockey in the evening, smartly recognized the moment and replayed the overtime and shootout at the beginning of its broadcast. Most who knew the results appreciated the chance to see it, and those who saw it once probably didn't mind seeing it again. Good touch having Al "Do-You-Believe-in-Miracles" Michaels and hockey play-by-play man Mike Emrick on hand to put it in immediate perspective, although it was odd to place Michaels' interview with American star T.J. Oshie three hours later. The NBC Sports Network is airing a full rerun of the game Sunday at 4:30 p.m. ET.

TWEET CRAZY: Twitter went nuts when Oshie scored the winning goal, hitting 72,000 tweets in the minute after the game finished. That tweet-per-minute level was easily more than for any other Winter Olympics event so far, Twitter said. In a few hours, Oshie's following jumped from 92,000 to over 193,000 by the end of the evening. Oshie's name had been mentioned in some 136,000 tweets by noon ET, including one by President Barack Obama.

PROFESSOR EMRICK: Math, medicine, linguistics — there seems to be nothing Emrick doesn't know and can't fit effortlessly into the call of a game. When the Russian crowd began chanting during the home team's game with the U.S., Emrick quickly said that what they were saying, roughly translated, meant "Go get the puck." When a partner suggested that American Ryan Kesler's hand was badly swollen barely five minutes after it was hit by the puck — even though Kesler wore a glove — Emrick cautioned, "we won't diagnose that." Kesler quickly returned to the game. And when, during a break, the camera caught four Canadian hockey officials sitting in the stands who each had NHL experience, Emrick remarked, "2,134 wins in four guys." Wow. Does the man have a calculator implanted in his head?

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