The Games of the XXIV Olympiad in Seoul were the Games of Florence Griffith Joyner, Matt Biondi, Kristin Otto, Greg Louganis and many, many more outstanding performers. But from a sports television standpoint, these were, clearly and simply, the Charlie Jones Olympics.

NBC Sports placed Jones in arguably the most important play-by-play position -- behind the microphone for the glamorous track and field events. And U.S. Olympic viewers paid the price for that move. Jones, who will give 200 meters of play-by-play in any 100-meter race, was awful. Here are highlights of Jones' Games' gaffes and goofs:

Men's 800 meters. Jones miscalled the winning runner. Down the stretch, he said, "Kiprotich takes the lead. Aouita will not catch him. Nixon Kiprotich!! It's Joaquim Cruz coming in second."

As a replay of the race was shown and analyst Frank Shorter detailed Kiprotich's winning move, Jones interceded.

Jones: "We have blown this call. Gentlemen, we are wrong. That is Paul Ereng . . ."

Shorter: "Oh my God!."

Jones: ". . . of Kenya -- NCAA champion, University of Virginia. We made the mistake of the Olympic Games."

Shorter: "Oh, my goodness."

Jones: "Number 651. Paul Ereng, 20 years of age. My mistake, nobody else's."

And a bit later, Jones concluded, on the air: ". . . We just wrote our names in the record book of blunders . . . But a belated congratulations to Paul Ereng. And Paul -- add a personal apology. I'm sorry that we did this to you when you look at the tape."

For once, the commercial break was welcomed.

Men's 5,000 meters. More than halfway through the final lap, Jones announced, "The battle at the finish line will be for the bronze." Yet, just a little bit later, he described how not one, but two runners passed the apparent silver medalist down the stretch. This type of error was not uncommon in his calls.

Men's 100 meters. Here was the hysterical, histrionic call of Ben Johnson's 9.79-second sprint to the finish against Carl Lewis:

Jones: "And it's a fair start. And it's Raymond Stewart with the start and it's Ben Johnson with the start. CAN CARL CATCH HIM? NO!! It's Ben Johnson!! BEN JOHNSON DOES IT AGAIN!! {as race finishes}. UNBELIEVEABLE!! NINE SEVEN NINE!! {almost losing voice}."

Shorter: "ABSOLUTELY INCREDIBLE!! WHAT A START. That was the best start of Ben Johnson's life."


Men's 400-meter hurdles. After Edwin Moses was beaten, Jones exclaimed, "THE KING IS DEAD! LONG LIVE THE KING!"

Once again, the commercial break was welcomed.