For spectators, the thrill of the Games and the spontaneous celebrating of the Cariocas in the Olympic host city were far more infectious than Zika—and the sight of Usain Bolt in full flight wholly unforgettable
ON RIO: I had the same concerns as everyone else. If you read everything in the papers, you would never come down here. I tried to reserve judgment. The Brazilian people have exhibited a lot of pride in showing off their country. A parade or party can happen at any given moment. You can look over at the next table in a restaurant and all of a sudden four people will get up and start dancing. I didn't necessarily join them, but it's been great.
ON THE GAMES: As great as dark horses can be, the Olympics are like March Madness. We like Cinderellas and upsets, but in the Final Four we want the big names. We want to see the greats be great, and the interest in the biggest names is what ultimately drives coverage. Unlike some sports where we want to see dynasties crumble, it was gratifying to see the Phelpses and Bileses of the world dominate.
ON USAIN BOLT: One rule change in track I didn't like? One false start and you're out. What if that had happened to Usain Bolt? Would they really disqualify Usain Bolt in the 100 meters for one false start? It's not consistent with the Olympic spirit, which is everyone should be able to compete. When we saw runners get booted for false starts, it felt wrong. Still, TV doesn't do Bolt's speed justice. With high-definition and all the advances in technology, watching sports on a screen is great these days. But I tell people, if you get a chance to see him run live, that's one event you have to go to. Someone asked if competitors had a problem with his celebrating after he smokes these guys. I say, if you don't like it, beat him. Run faster. He reminds me of [Panthers quarterback] Cam Newton last season: If you don't like his end zone celebrations, don't let him score. Some have wondered if Bolt would do well in the NFL with his speed. I don't know if he would dominate the combine. Guys like Darrell Green or Deion Sanders might have beaten him in the 40. They're paid to be quick. Bolt is paid to be fast. It takes him a while to get to his top end speed but after 40 yards he would be waving to them as he passed.
ON ZIKA: Have I seen the Zika mosquitoes? Not many, maybe one or two. Pierre McGuire, NBC's hockey analyst who was down here covering the Games, noticed one buzzing right above my head and swatted it for me. I got lucky on that one.
ON CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: I ran into Zac Efron, who was on his way to surprise Simone Biles, which was very cool. I also saw SNL's Leslie Jones, who thought I was Jim Lampley.