While the New York Times spent hundreds of thousands of dollars sending dozens of reporters to Beijing for the Olympics, NBC spent hundreds of millions of dollars for broadcasting rights, only to leave a bunch of its announcers in cubicles in New York City. The Times (meta) reports that 13 different Olympic sports were deemed unimportant enough by NBC to have them called by announcers lounging around in jeans in an old Saturday Night Live studio, watching the action on TV. Oh, the glory of the Olympiad!

So, live from New York, it's archery, badminton, baseball, equestrian, fencing, field hockey, handball, shooting, soccer, softball, table tennis, tennis and weight lifting (none of which matters a whole lot to NBC's prime-time strategy).

Occasionally some of the announcers complain about not being able to see the subtleties of the sports on TV, at which point NBC is like, "Shut up and talk, drone." And it's very true that sending most of the people to Beijing would be a waste of money. Except: one of the NBC announcers stuck in NYC is Brandi Chastain, the former US soccer player most famous for ripping off her shirt on the field. Way to squander (don't deny it) the entire reason you hired her, NBC. [NYT]