Did you say hype? Fuhgeddaboutit! Between White, Vonn, Davis, Lysacek and Ohno, there wasn't a Dan or Dave in evidence in Vancouver. The highly touted Yanks all medaled. Even attention-grabber Johnny Weir won over skeptics by skating his pants off in what some deemed an underscored performance.
Nelson Eddy, Dudley Do-Right and ... Mary Carillo? The NBC reporter admittedly does not merit the red tunic, but she lent needed lightness (and her athleticism) to prime time in a gamely deadpan training stint with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
Who at home can't relate to Shaun White's pre-event expletives, Norwegian biathlete Ole Einar Bj√∏rndalen's on-air upchucking or, best of all, Canada's Jon Montgomery (right), the auctioneer turned skeleton gold medalist who paraded with a pitcher of beer?
The instant catchphrase of NBC analyst Ed Olczyk applied especially to the netminding that Canada ran into. First Switzerland's Jonas Hiller (right) stoned 'em (44 saves) before losing in a shootout; then Ryan Miller made 42 stops in Sunday's 5--3 U.S. win.
Russian figure skating runner-up Evgeni Plushenko (left) pouted at the medal ceremony before ripping Evan Lysacek's winning routine. The South Koreans Ohno-bashed, and Aussie moguler Dale Begg-Smith slammed media from Canada before silvering behind that nation's Alexandre Bilodeau.
February 17, arguably the best night ever in U.S. Olympics history, was in TV reality the best day sliced and diced into 3½ hours of lucrative prime-time replay. That was fine—as long as you didn't have other media such as that newfangled, spoiler-spewing Internet.
That touchy torch at the opening ceremonies? A bad omen in what during Week 1 were labeled the Glitch Games. Skating was iced for 70 minutes by—count 'em, three—haywire resurfacing machines, while 28,000 saw their tickets canceled for lack of snow.
Pity the poor fourth-place finisher. It was bad enough to miss out on medaling, but to get unceremoniously unseated from the goofy, bean-baggy sofa bed that awaited the top three mogul skiers was even more demoralizing—instant heartbreak.
SI PLAYERS NBA POLL
WHOM DO YOU LEAST WANT ON THE LINE AT GAME'S END
Shaquille O'Neal, Cavs C 48%
Ben Wallace, Pistons C 19%
Chuck Hayes, Rockets C-F 9%
Dwight Howard, Magic C 7%
Rajon Rondo, Celtics C 4%
Among those with at least 1,200 free throws made, only Wilt Chamberlain (.511) has a worse career percentage than Shaq's .527.... Howard, who at this year's All-Star Game set a Guinness world record for sinking the longest shot while seated, might consider bringing a chair to the charity stripe: He's ninth worst alltime (.602).... Rondo (.590 this season) was the only guard to receive more than one vote.
Based on a survey of 173 NBA players
HEINZ KLUETMEIER (PLUSHENKO)
COURTESY OF NBC OLYMPICS (CARILLO)
SRDJAN SUKI/EPA (HILLER)
RICK SCUTERI/US PRESSWIRE (O'NEAL)
RON TURENNE/NBAE/GETTY IMAGES (WALLACE)