washingtonpost.com
Olympic Blogger Shares Stories, Talks Coverage

Dan Steinberg
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, February 24, 2006 1:00 PM

So why, in the middle of February, is a college basketball writer trying to figure out how to use a Nescafe instant espresso machine in Italy?

In his blog "Tales From Turin," Washington Post staff writer Dan Steinberg answers this question, dishes about the 2006 Winter Olympic Games and characterizes his latest cheese of the day. (Barba Buch anyone?) Let's not forget the weather. He weighs in on that, too. And Mike Wise.

Steinberg was online Friday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. ET to talk Turin: the scene, the people, and of course, the Olympics. And, yes, cheese. Questions about Toma del Maccagno?

This week, Steinberg also asked his readers these questions:

1. What will be the lasting story from these Olympic games?
2. What would you like to see The Post do differently at future Olympics?
3. What would you like to see NBC do differently at future Olympics?
4. Why is ladies' figure skating so much more popular than any other winter sport?

Steinberg chatted online Feb. 13 and Feb. 17. He talked about, well, cheese. Okay, and curling.

The transcript follows.

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Dan Steinberg: Hey all. I think we've done about 14 chats as a staff this week, but it seems like none of us have been able to make it through all the comments and questions, so fire away. Based on nothing more than my own gut feeling, I continue to think that we will never again see a tape-delayed Olympics quite like this, but I also thought the Swedes would win the gold medal in curling, so don't listen to me. But I'm curious how many of you deliberately kept yourself from hearing about what happened in the figure skating last night so you could watch it with an unsullied mind. Anyone?

I heard from one guy who is not looking at ANY Olympics coverage this month. He loves the games, and is Tivo'ing the whole mess until he has time to sit back and enjoy it. Crazy.

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Arlington, Va: Dan, loved your blog! I was so inspired that my roommate and I stopped by the Italian Store last night for some Italian cheese (and wine of course!) tpo watch the women skaters fall last night, and since I'm off today, I'm having a bit more cheese for breakfast while watching curling (USA up 6-5). At the next Olympics, The Post needs to bury the results a little, just bringing up the home page is a spoiler if you are waiting for the evening TV coverage. Also, can you get the Post to send you to the baseball classic?

Dan Steinberg: There's been some internal discussion about this topic over at The Post. Some staffers back in D.C. said they'd rather if the Web site did not put Olympics news on the front page, because they didn't want to know until they watched it on NBC. My feeling is we're way too far into the infolympic revolution for prime time to remain what it once was. I can't imagine not seeing a single Web site or ticker update, or hearing a single radio news blurb, or completely secluding myself from all Olympic news in order to be "surprised" by a six-hour old NBC broadcast.

Also, it occurs to me that the absolute best sporting event in the world is the NCAA tournament, and specifically the first two days of the tournament. Those are weekdays, and there are basketball games going on from noon until after midnight, and yet I never hear anyone say that our Web site should not publish the scores live, or that they don't want to know what happened. Why is that?

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Falls Church, Va.: Is it strange that I found out that Danylo - someone I've known for a few years - is engaged via a blog about the Olympics and cheese? Or is that normal.

I'm sure by now you've heard about Pops. How does that affect GW's chances at a #1 seed, assuming the rest of the gang can win out? Does the fact that the big-name player is potentially out of the tourney affect the committee's thought process?

Dan Steinberg: You know, at first I thought you were talking about me. Then I realized that Danylo is both Mike Wise's nickname for me, and Libby Copeland's fiance.

As to your question, yes, that's perfectly normal. As is hanging out with the Dutch curling team in Turin at 5 in the morning.

Yeah, Pops's absence could absolutely affect their seeding. The example is horribly overused but I can't think of a better one; Cincinnati a few years back was headed for a one seed until Kenyon Martin broke his leg, and instead the Bearcats got a two seed. I don't think GW had any real chance at a one seed regardless, and I could see this dropping the Colonials from a two to a three if they win out. But Pops's absence could also make some other guys (Mike Hall) more assertive offensively.

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Austin, Tex.: So, any chance you would be willing to take a question from a politics junkie who just wandered over into the Olympics chats?

Pretty much the whole rest of the world is mad at the US of late. Especially a lot of Europeans. Any evidence of this anti-American feeling on display at the Olympics, or in your wandering around and talking to people?

Dan Steinberg: I did a radio interview today and was asked a similar question. Certainly no one has said a cross word to me. I will say that some of my e-mails from Italians have been a bit unhappy with the way outsiders are portraying this city. And I think the way some of the Dutch fans got behind Shani Davis instead of Chad Hedrick had some sort of hard-to-define political element. I'll be blogging about this later today.

I have heard the stereotypical comments from some foreigners we've met about how they oppose the war, and how they oppose what they see as American unilateralism, but I haven't seen that translate into the sporting venues. Then again, I've mostly been at curling.

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Washington, D.C.: I was hoping to remain unspoiled for the figure skating competition last night, but the Post--and to be fair, every other news outlet--has been posting results on the front page of its website. So when I went to your site for something totally unrelated yesterday, "Cohen Falls Twice; Wins Silver" was right there in big font.

Before the Internet, TV networks--even the ones that weren't running the Olympics--were always considerate enough to give a little warning before revealing results. Don't you think you guys could give it a try by not putting the info on your front page?

Dan Steinberg: Thanks for writing. Like I said, there was an internal discussion about this yesterday, although not among the people actually running the Web site.

I do see your point, but I can't think of any analogous situation where we would deliberately withhold news in the interest of television. No one would suggest we do that with an afternoon MLB playoff game, right? Only the Olympics; and really, only figure skating. Or are there examples I'm not thinking of?

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Washington, D.C.: Hey Dan,

I had the live results up at work yesterday and did let out a yelp of glee when Cohen (not a fan) dropped to second. Why should I stay up till 12 p.m. just to hear Peggy Flemming say "Other skaters just skate to 'Romeo and Juliet', Sasha IS Juliet!' Oh, please!!!

Yea for U.S. curling bronze... (oops... see still not waiting until prime time!)

Dan Steinberg: SPOILER ALERT. SPOILER ALERT. Whoops, too late.

I also think it's asking a bit much from viewers, not only to scrupulously avoid the news for six hours until the broadcast begins in the U.S., but also to stay up almost as long as you would for one of those endless Monday Night Football games. Maybe they should offer an abridged version on CNBC.

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Washington, D.C.: Is Johnny Weir really that great? I mean, do people who meet him actually like him, or does he come off as somewhat arrogant?

Dan Steinberg: I think he's really that great. I think he's hilarious. I've never met him; I just watched him on the NBC set for about 20 minutes yesterday, and for someone with such a huge personality, he didn't seem to be at all arrogant, or at least not in an offputting way. Libby Copeland went shopping with him the other day and had a great time. I wouldn't be surprised to see him land some sort of regular TV gig.

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Arlington, Va.: Looking at your little picture atop the chat page, I can't help but think that if your hat was orange, you'd look like Dana Milbank. Except thinner.

Dan Steinberg: Did you read our Ombudsman's column about Dana wearing the orange hat? I suppose Olympics bloggers' headwear isn't an important enough topic for an Ombudsman to tackle.

All three of my winter hats over here could seriously use a bath, by the way.

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Washington, D.C.: Did you ever get the feeling there were only a few people reading your blog?

Dan Steinberg: My inner demons posted this one.

Yeah, I got that feeling all the time. Why, did you? I tried not to ask too much about my numbers; I figured a good answer would make me complacent, and a bad answer would have me jumping into the River Po. To be vague, the numbers were pretty good, and got better as we went. On the day the Shani-Hottie controversy really bubbled over, the blog was one of the most viewed links on washingtonpost.com Although it's still possible I could be fired when I get home.

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Arlington, Va.: I appreciate your effort to get to the heart of the Olympic media coverage questions, but who cares? I just want more cheese, drunken people and exploding cars. And I'm a female. Sorry. Habit from the Weingarten chat. The best thing to come out of these Olympics (besides Joey Cheek) is your blog. Thanks for your work. And hey, do you know who won the Iron Chef rematch between Roberto Donna and Morimoto?

Dan Steinberg: I'm not posting this to impress my editors, I'm posting this because of the last part of the question. I don't have the power to edit these questions.

Anyhow, Roberto signed one of those reality show contracts under which he is very, very, very, very strongly encouraged not to let anyone know what happened. I understand the need in shows like Survivor, which depend on the drama. I don't really understand in Iron Chef, since the fun part is just watching the chefs act crazy and the tasters make faces, and no one cares that much about the winners and losers. But in short, no, I don't know.

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washingtonpost.com: Ombudsman Deborah Howell's column: Crossing the Line on a Cable Show? (Post, Feb. 19)

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Re: NCAA tournament games during the day: Those aren't shown on tape-delay, are they? Have I been missing that? If I'm not going to get to watch them anyway, I might as well find out the scores during the day.

Dan Steinberg: Well, no, they're not. I just meant the system seems to work ok; games are played, results are broadcast, people find out. And some of us are "horribly sick" every March on a certain Thursday and Friday, or at least we were before our job actually became covering these games.

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Washington, D.C.: Dan,

How do you feel about GW's chances to run the table and win the A10 tournament?

Dan Steinberg: I'm not sure if Post.com Q&A's count as locker room material, and I'm in no way qualified to judge a team I haven't seen play in more than two weeks, but I certainly wouldn't be surprised if they lost in Cincinnati. Reminds me a bit of Saint Joe's a few years ago, although the Hawks went into the A-10 tourney with zero losses instead of one.

Wish I could go to Bonaventure this week. My parents live near Olean, and I always like going home. Other writers might not feel quite the same way about that road trip.

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Washington, D.C.: RE: I do see your point, but I can't think of any analogous situation where we would deliberately withhold news in the interest of television.

The Post doesn't have to withhold anything - just don't put it on the FRONT PAGE - just have a results link so that those who want to know, can.

Dan Steinberg: Fair enough. I'm sure the smart people who run the Web site and know a lot more about this stuff than I do are thinking about this issue, and will do so in the future. Vancouver, thankfully, will provide a reverse challenge.

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Washington, D.C.: Just a comment on the website posting results... I think it is different from an MLB or NCAA playoff game, because if I wanted to skip work and go watch one of those games on t.v. as it was being played, I could. I don't have that option with the Olympics.

For what it's worth, I remained almost entirely unspoiled for the women's skating last night.

Dan Steinberg: I guess that's true. Being in a room with live television feeds from seven or eight countries makes me forget that not everyone back home can choose to watch the event live if they want to. I know I've said it before, but it just seems so 1976 to me. We can text message each other while riding on a subway train an ocean away, but you can't watch a live figure skating broadcast. Weird.

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Washington, D.C.: Dan,

After the Olympic yawnfest mercifully concludes, will you be covering the Colonials in the NCAA tournament?

And for your question, no, I find it impossible to avoid Olympic results before the broadcast, which significantly decreases my interest, which is further decreased by the fact that medals seem to be going to the person who messed up the least as opposed to the person who rose to the occaision for a transcendental performance.

Dan Steinberg: If this is about figure skating, I'll second Amy Shipley's comparisons to other sports. No one objects to a Super Bowl win if the quarterback threw a single interception, or to a World Series win if the second baseman made a single error. But missing a single jump in figure skating is seen as tragic.

On the other hand, that sport is so bizarre that it's hard for me to ever understand who's winning and why. Sorry Amy.

I will almost certainly be covering the Colonials in the tournament, although I guess we need to wait and see where all our locals wind up being sent. The next four weeks are among the greatest in the sports calendar, I think.

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Behold the Power of Cheese: I love cheese. I appreciate it and its variations like some do wine (although I do it with wine too). I always feel like it is a dirty secret/guilty pleasure that I should be so interested in something as prosaic as cheese. Therefore, I love meeting (reading the blogs of) those who share this hobby. FYI -- my favorite description was when teh maitre d'fromage introduced a selection of the cheese course as, "a haunting little cheese." And it was.

Dan Steinberg: I find cheese descriptions somewhat similar to soccer goal descriptions. Adjectives like "classy" often show up in soccer broadcasts, and I never know exactly what they mean, but they sound really good. Same thing with a haunting cheese.

I posted this yesterday, but it's unbelievable how many people love cheese. One of the world's great common denominators.

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Reston, Va.: Live results.

I think it's not really fair to say that news outlets did not reveal results before ABC (or whatever) showed them in prime time. We just didn't have the access to the information as quickly, and not every paper and TV station had people on site. But satellites and the Internet have eliminated the delay.

When I was 9, I knew about the Miracle on Ice because my Dad heard it on the radio. Still worth watching.

Dan Steinberg: A comment....

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Takoma Park, Md.: On the contrary, I want/wanted to know all the results since there was no way I was going to be able to stay up and watch the results and still be able to go to work in the morning. You'd think they'd air the figure skating earlier, more prime time, for those of us without tivo.

Dan Steinberg: And another....

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New York, N.Y.: Lasting Story - Joey Cheek

What NBC should do better - EVERYTHING!!! Actually, would be nice to get some live events for a change, or at least put popular events early in the evening instead of at midnight.

Dan Steinberg: And another....

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Athens, Ga.: Is the Post relishing in having ruined the Sasha-Silver-Surprise and countless other Olympic moments for those of us who open up our web-browser (wp homepage) but prefer to see the big events play out on TV?

Dan Steinberg: And one more.

Gosh, I can assure you that no one sat in some dark office with an evil logo in the background and said, "Let me think how I can ruin countless Olympic moments for our readers in Athens, Ga." We want to keep readers, not lose them. But it's also our job to get news out there, and I'm sure tens of thousands of people wanted to read the news about Sasha yesterday afternoon/evening. I don't know what the answer to this one is. I still can't think of any analogous situations outside the Olympics.

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Results spoiled...: I was watching CNBC's coverage of the Ladies' Curling Final last night, when during a commercial break before the extra end, the CNBC announcer teased his show by saying, "Coming up -- Neither Sasha nor Irina get the gold, but what will Sasha's silver mean for her bank account." I was floored. This was on an NBC station during an Olympic event. I didn't even stay up to watch the end of the event.

Dan Steinberg: That's shocking to me. Not that you went to sleep, that NBC ruined its own surprise machine.

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Durham, N.C.: Love you Olympic blogs, Dan. As for what is next, perhaps you could follow the Terps though their abbreviated march through the NIT, blogging all the way.

Dan Steinberg: I believe Eric Prisbell is anxiously looking forward to a second romp through the NIT with the Terps.

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Washington, D.C.: It's so easy to pick on NBC. I actually think they did a decent job. There were way less "up close and personal" segments, and they kept Jimmy Roberts' "commentaries" pretty short. The tape delay is inevitable, most folks work all day and don't have the luxury of watching the event live. Just wait for China.

Dan Steinberg: It is easy to pick on NBC, I agree with you on that. The bigger the outlet, the easier it is to pick on them.

When I was hiding out in the NBC figure skating studio (see yesterday's adventures), I was initially thinking, this'll be easy. I can make fun of NBC. But everyone there, that I met at least, was completely nice and down to earth and friendly. I'm sure they're all trying their best, the same as I am, except their best has something to do with the Olympics while my best has something to do with cheese.

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Washington, D.C.: The reason the Olympics coverage should be different than say the NCAA tournament or an afternoon MLB playoff game is that we the viewers don't have the option of watching those games later in the day like we do with the Olympics.

A good portion of the excitement of any sporting event is the suspense of not knowing the outcome. Unfortunately, two out of the last three Olympics I've found out the results of the ladies' figure skating event long before being able to watch TV coverage (yesterday went to the Post online a little too late in the afternoon because I forgot to avoid it and in '98 a radio station announced it with no warning). Not NEARLY as much fun to watch when you know the results.

I don't think anyone is asking that the Post online not report the Olympic results live, but why is it viewed as such a huge crime against journalism to have a results link instead of the actual results on the front page of the website? That way everyone wins -- those who don't care to watch the event on TV have easy access to results, but those who DO want to watch it later can still get the rest of the day's headlines without having the excitement of the Games ruined.

Dan Steinberg: Fair enough. Obviously many people wanted to remain pure before the figure skating.

The Olympics are all about everyone winning, after all. Hence the 462 different cross-country races.

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Bethesda, Md.: With the first and second round of the NCAAs, people are trying to fill in their brackets and care more about who won and lost than the actual play during the game. With some of the Olympic sports, people might actually care about watching the event and having the suspense of learning who won. There's also so many basketball games, but only one Olympics skating final.

Dan Steinberg: This is also true.

What's weird to me, as a relative skating neophyte, is how the first 17 hours of the free skate don't matter; only the last half-dozen or so skaters seem to be important. Did NBC show all the early skaters? Do all you figure skating lovers like that part, too, or only the medal showdown?

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Washington, D.C.: Dan,

The La Salle coach commented post-game that he thought GW was more effective against the zone without Pops on the floor.

Can you see a scenario where GW is better without Pops? GW does become a bit more Villanova-esque if they choose to go with 3 guards and 2 athletic F/wings, ie, Elliot, Pinnock, Rice, Koundjia, Hall...thoughts?

Dan Steinberg: It seemed to me the Colonials took a step back early this year when Pops first returned. But maybe that was just because of the adjustment. Seeing him dominate against Duquesne made me wonder how I could have ever thought that team was better without him.

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Washington, D.C.: So Olympic blogging -- exhausting or exhilarating? I know you've been self-deprecating about "real work", but you've kept a pretty solid pace on that blog. Are the people keeping it fun or are you tired? Or both?

Dan Steinberg: I'm pretty beat. There have been some days recently where my production was piddling. The fact that we're a 30-minute bus ride from downtown, and that I don't have an air card like I do back in D.C., has made it hard for me to post as frequently as I'd like. And I try to find interesting things during bus rides, but the fact of the matter is that almost every time I jump on public transportation I'm just throwing time away.

So it's been nothing but fun, but I wish I had taken a few more energy drinks over the last few days. My goal, by the way, was 10-12 posts a day.

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Buzzard Point, Washington, D.C.:: I like watching the Games and I like that WaPo.com puts the info front and center. It is news and it shouldn't be hidden.

For the Athens, GA poster - how about changing your homepage for the 16 days of the Games? How hard would that be? Otherwise, enjoy your "whine" with the cheese of the day...

Dan Steinberg: The second person of this Olympic season to make the ol' whine and cheese joke. I did it myself once, a few years back. The number of puns in the world is limited, so I don't begrudge this at all.

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Washington, D.C.: Hi Dan,

Since you're the curling expert for The Post can you explain why the person throwing the stone has their broom in hand? They don't use it during that turn so why don't they just put it to the side? Or are they required to hold it the entire game?

Love the blog by the way.

Dan Steinberg: Thanks, and someone will probably write in to correct me, but my impression is the broom is used for balance. Curlers?

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Overland Park, Kan.: Dan, I just wanted to thank both you and the powers-that-be who thought up the idea of doing a blog for the Olympics. I've linked your blog to my personal blog more than once (especially for really funny snippets that I thought people should read) and hopefully my friends have taken the time to look in and become regular readers of your blog and the various feature stories by Libby, Amy, Mike, et al. I hope The Post does something similar for the 2008 Summer Games and possibly the 2010 Winter Games, although I think some of the charm of the present blog comes from the fact that you're seven times zones ahead and can talk about the evening activities that for us is the middle of the afternoon. Vancouver would present its own challenges for that...although the nightlife would definitely be better. Are you up for that?

Dan Steinberg: Thanks Overland Park. There's a distinct possibility that I will now launch into full-on self-promotion over the next few minutes, posting every positive comment in a craven attempt to get sent to China and then Vancouver, the site of my Honeymoon and one of the best cities I've ever visited.

I told my sports editor this the other day, but I think every major U.S. newspaper will send a dedicated blogger to Beijing. It makes too much sense. This time, most newspapers seemed to have people who were both blogging and writing for the paper, but when you're trying to put together a decent story from an event or a nicely written feature, it's impossible to also be blogging 10 or 12 days a day. I think we were a bit ahead of the curve in having a Web only person here, and I think more and more people will do it in the next few years.

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Spoil, ER: Here's an analogy: Would the post print in a movie review something like: "The Sixth Sense is a great movie. It came as such a shock when they revealed that Bruce Willis is actually dead!" The Olympics seem to straddle the line between news and entertainment - why not just bury the infor so only those who want it will find it?

Dan Steinberg: That's a good point. I hadn't really thought of it in that way. The thing that came to my mind was all those Internet reports about the winners of various reality television shows when the genre first started. I think you're absolutely right about these games straddling the line between sport and entertainment. Maybe they should just hold them in some Mongolian television studio and forbid any news outlet from publishing the results until that nation's television station has had a go of it.

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Foggy Bottom, Washington, D.C.: Dan,

I really need an answer to this question and Rennie and Prisbell have been ducking it on their college b-ball chat:

Who is the sickest dunker on the GW Colonial?

Thanks.

Dan Steinberg: Gosh, I don't think it's any question that it's Danilo Pinnock. Omar has had some nice ones, and Pops is Pops, but I always think the most exciting dunks come from shorter guards rather than taller power forwards. Why, who would you vote for?

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Potomac, Md.: The Potomac Curling Club would like to extend a formal invitation to Mr. Dan "Curly" Steinberg to be an honorary member. You can even throw at the first stone at our next match.

Dan Steinberg: I have had some invitations to come out, and I definitely, definitely will do this. I had fantasies the other day about trying to open a hip curling rink/bar in D.C. But I think it's probably too expensive to get the real estate.

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Dan Steinberg: Canada wins curling gold. The guys are crying. Nice to see Canada finally get one. They're burning coaches in Newfoundland right now.

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Bowling Green, Ohio: Sorry if this has been asked before. When was the Olympic fanfare that's used in the TV intros first introduced? I was at the opening ceremony in Innsbruck in '76 and thought it might have started there.

Also, why is the "Passion Lives Here" slogan in English, rather than Italian?

Dan Steinberg: I don't know the answer to either question, but I'm guessing one of my readers might at least know the answer to the first.

Passion Lives Here is a ridiculously bad slogan. Turin is a very nice city; honestly, I don't have a single bad thing to say about it, other than the smell, and I'm the only one that seems to be bothered by that. But no one would say "passion" is the word that primarily defines this city.

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Austin, Tex.: One comparable situation to the discussions about posting results:

Exit polls in politics. When presidential races have already been called and the polls are still open out west. Doesn't exactly encourage people in California to get out and vote. There has been much discussion over the years about the issue.

Dan Steinberg: That's true, but the comparable result for us posting results is that fewer people would watch NBC, and it's definitely not our job to protect NBC's ratings. You could make a better argument about us protecting the integrity of the voting process, I would think.

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Madams Organ, Washington, D.C.: I feel like I am losing a friend or an apendage, but not the really important apendage, but an apendage nonetheless. We will miss you Dan Steinberg. See you in China. Ciao.

Dan Steinberg: Hey, I'm not dead yet. I've still got 2.5 more days to go.

Maybe by China I'll have worked my way up to "baby toe" in your bodily part universe.

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Potomac, Md.: The difference between the sports you mention (NCAA, MLB) and the Olympics is that those are live here. So we can get "real time" scoring. Where as we are forced to wait until the evening to watch the sports, but already know the results, so no reason to watch. Show the Olympics live then you don't have to worry about home pages. Otherwise, you definitely need to keep the pictures and scores off of the homepage. Look at how the World Cup officials are trying to handle this coming Copa Mondial.

Dan Steinberg: Ok, ok, everyone who sent me a variation of this, you're right. To me, the solution is that NBC should just go ahead and show the stuff live, and let people plan their lives around that or not. Luckily, I dont have to sell ads for NBC, so I can make this suggestion.

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Washington, D.C.: What Colonial player have you been most impressed with this season?

My vote would be for Mo Rice, your thoughts?

Dan Steinberg: Most impressed with or most surprised by? If the former, I still say Mike Hall (although again, bear in mind I haven't seen one second of one game since the start of this month). I think Mike does all the little things so consistently, making the right pass or getting the big rebound, plus he's just a joy to talk to. If most surprised by, I would probably agree with you that it's Rice.

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Reston, Va.: Live v. Taped.

Can't we have it both ways. Televise the whole darned thing live and then the NBC reality TV editors can slice it up for the Prime Time audience?

What are your personal top 3 moments of being in Turin?

Dan Steinberg: This makes sense, but I'm sure that would destroy the ad rates NBC can charge.

I've had such a strange Olympics, my moments probably wouldnt' seem cool to someone who hadn't had entire experience. But I would say my top two moments were going to Roberto Donna's mother's house for dinner (the way it mixed celebrity with just every day life was completely cool) and watching the Germans and Kiwis hang out after their curling game (because they all seem like such genuinely good guys, and it was so bizarre to watch them taste cheese and play table top curling).

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Re: Curling results: Have you learned nothing from this chat? Thanks for the spoiler!

Dan Steinberg: Honestly, it never entered my mind not to do that. Now I'm sort of slapping myself. Sorry. I think journalists are just trained to shout things out when they happen. We're certainly not trained to have filters.

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Reston, Va.: "Bugler's Dream" is the name of the fanfare that ABC attatched to the Olympics, and has since become synonymous with the Olympics. It was first used when ABC picked up the broadcasts in 1968. My dad had an LP with this piece from the 60's.

As an aside, Jim McCay is infinately better at hosting the Olympics on TV than any other human.

Dan Steinberg: Thanks Reston.

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Dan Steinberg: This is when you know it's time to leave: when some poor Italian volunteer comes into the room and asks for a pin and you scream at him. Gosh, that was bad. I just don't understand. They're pins. Pins. Why does everyone want these pins so badly. What will that kid do with this pin 10 years from now? And will he hate Americans for all time because I just yelled at him? Aimee Sanders went ahead and gave him a pin anyhow.

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Washington, D.C.: Does The Post also plan to give away the ending to the season finale of Lost?

Dan Steinberg: Four to five investigative reporters are working on breaking this story, I believe.

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In a Kiwi state of mind....: ...weren't you going to be interviewed on Radio NZ this week? Or was I imagining that as the result of a cheese-induced hallucination? I looked on their website--ok, fine, I actually listen to it at work (tax dollars, working hard!)--and found nothing. What happened?

Dan Steinberg: The programme had trouble tracking down the members of the team. I was supposed to appear on the show at the same time as the curlers. I sent along some of their numbers, but I never heard back from the producer. Easily the most disappointing moment of the Olympics for me.

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Southern Maryland: I couldn't care less about ladies figure skating, but I am HUGELY excited about the U.S. bronze medal in men's curling. Pete and the boys had a great week and I can't stop grinning about our country's first medal in this growing sport. I know you're a fan of curling (or at least curlers) and I expect you may agree that these folks embody the olympic spirit.

Dan Steinberg: Like I've said many times, what I love about the curlers is that it's impossible for themselves to take themselves too seriously. Every single member of every single curling team I've talked to has been tremendous. Maybe every skier is the same way, and I just haven't spent enough time up the mountain, but the curlers rule.

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Ann Arbor, Mich.: Hi Dan-

I recently had to give a five-minute presentation on a topic of my choice, and being a loyal reader of your blog, I chose Curling. Of the ten or so people who auditioned, one had actually gone curling (in Canada) and one was a former Washingtonian who reads The Post devoutly and was familiar with your blog. Among the other topics presented were cheese lasagna, beer, and how to select kitchen knifes. I think your onto something big: curling, cheese, and alcohol are universally important!

Dan Steinberg: Thank you

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Bored Government Worker: Dan,

Thanks for your blog . It is the greatest thing since the lifecylce funds at TSP. Gotta get back to pushing papers.

Thanks!

Dan Steinberg: Thank you

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You are awesome: 1. Will the Post let you keep blogging after Torino? You should, maybe making it Cheese!Of!The!Week! instead of the Day!

2. Us Colonials fans miss you. Give us some hope for the next few weeks with the Mayor's bum knee.

Dan Steinberg: Thank you

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Arlington, VA: Hi Dan, thanks for doing a great job this year. If there has been one bright spot to the olympics coverage, it has been the online chats and the opportunity to get a sense for what it is really like on the ground...

Tackling all your questions at once... You probably hate long posts like this don't you!

1. The Lasting Story: Unfortunately I think it will be the failings, from show-offy snowboarders and over confident skiers to whiny hockey players and fighting teammates. At least over here stateside we are not seeing the best side of these athletes.

Oh yeah and Curling.

2. What would you like to see The Post do differently?

3. NBC: Live broadcasts, with "highlights" and human interest stories in the evenings. I am sure no one would mind cutting into the 14 law and order: SVU episode to show a winning downhill race.

4.ladies' figure skating: I have absolutely NO IDEA. My mom made us watch this every year growing up, no matter what else was on television. And consequently I can't stand it. To be perfectly chauvinist, because every girl wanted to grow up and be an ice skater, and be beautiful and graceful and all that... and every four years they figure they can force everyone else in the house to sit down and relive their childhood dreams.

Dan Steinberg: Thank you

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Reston, Va.: You should hook up with the WP World Cup crew and blog about beer and cheese from Germany.

Dan Steinberg: I wish, but the credential deadline has come and gone. Trust me, we've got a crack staff going to Germany and I'm sure there will be tons of online content.

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Arlington, Va.: If you are an olympic blogger, do you have a medal?

Dan Steinberg: Thank you, I think, although no, I don't.

Once again, e-mail me at steinbergd@washpost.com if you have any other outstanding questions, try to check in over the weekend if you're stuck at work and get ready for the best month of the college basketball season.

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