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Rio #25 – Goodbye to an Amazing Olympics …

Greetings from a Really Hot and Sticky Orlando,

What an incredible journey I (We) had in Rio, I will never be able to truly express the incredible pride and emotions that surrounded myself and my team over our time in Brazil.

We produced 39 matches in 15 days, which is approximately 80 hours of TV and the only way to survive these long days is … HUMOR … And our Crown Prince of nonsense was Kevin Barnett, who had more amazingly bizarre and outdated quotes during our LONG hours on the air. Mind you, they were ALWAYS appropriate and, though at times a reach, his “quoatablequotes” played well within the conversation … A special thanks to Kevin’s straight man, Paul Sunderland …

Sadly, “Settle Down Trolls,” “Sledgehammer,” “Largemouth Bass,” and “Poppy Seed Muffin” did not make the cut … And No consideration was made for James Wilroy, Members of Meathead Volleyball, Little Timmy, The Ball State, Penn State or Texas Volleyball Team or the Great Tim Tessalone … So, without furhter adieu, here are Kevin’s Top-10 Outlandish Quotes from Rio:

#10 – “Keep Milking that cow all day long.
No one knew what he was talking about then or now when he said this or what analogy he was making but it was funny.


#9 – “That’s Mario, the Brazilian Plumber.”
Kevin making reference to a fan in the crowd for a Brazilian men’s Volleyball match, who dressed like Mario, all green and gold (from the video game), the local Brazilian Plumber.


#8 – “The Men are following the Mayan Calendar.”
Kevin making reference to the Men’s US Volleyball team and it’s slow start in the tournament.


#7 – “Those are Brazilian, Green Teletubbies.”
Kevin making reference to a group of fans in the crowd for a Brazilian men’s Volleyball match, who dressed like Brazilian, Green Teletubbies.


#6 – “Quien es Mas Macho, Zaytsef o Lee.”
Kevin making reference to an old Saturday Night Live Skit with Bill Murray as a game show host, where the question asks “Quien Es Mas Macho, Ricardo Montelbon or Cesar Romero?” In this case our Kevin was comparing Ivan Zaytsev of Italy to David Lee of the USA.

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#5 – “He has been traveling through the Universe in a mirror.”
Kevin making reference to Brazilian outside hitter Lipe and his uncanny resemblance to General Zaad from the original Superman Movie from 1978.

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#4 – “Vote for Pedro.”
A simple reference to the mustache that US Outside Hitter Taylor Sander was growing after the USA lost its first 2 matches in Rio. The mustache looked a great deal like Napoleon Dynamite’s sidekick Pedro who ran for Student Body President in the movie Napoleon Dynamite.

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Awful Announcing paid homage to this “genius” analogy during the Rio games … Check out this link:

#3 – “Johnny says sweep the Leg.”
Kevin making reference to a fan in the crowd from the Netherlands all decked out in orange yet he had a tremendous resemblance to Mr Lawrence from Karate Kid 1. The same Mr Lawrence who told Johnny to sweep the leg and hurt Ralph Macchio in the movie. Yet, Since he was a Dutch fan, he was given the monicker, Mr VanderLawrence, yes, Kevin is weird … But we love him.

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#2 – “I am a Giant Tuna”
Kevin making reference the amount of times players get caught hitting or laying into the net after the Hawkeye replay. He claims that players should call themselves on the net, referring to the violation to be as blatant as a giant tuna in a fisherman’s net … Deep!


#1 – “I don’t know Paul, I guess they are 2 people who have never been in Cliff Clavin’s Kitchen”
Early on the tournament Paul asked Kevin about 2 Volleyball Players from a time far gone, Kevin had no idea what these two players had in common, so he busted out with the line of the month. Kevin making reference to an old Cheers line when Cliff Clavin went from $22,000 to $0 in final Jeopardy …



Well done boys, thanks for the many needed smiles!

There were a lot of GREAT moments that I thought you would appreciate as seen through the iPhones of my crew …

Here’s a sample of what the Maracanazinho did for team intros, it was fantastically modern and unfortunately NEVER seen during our 15 days ovef Coverage, this is from the Brazil vs Argentina Quarterfinal match.                     Edited in the Time Lapse Mode …

Paul and Kevin Air Guitar Masters …  At least its a GREAT song!

Here’s the first goal of the Gold Medal Match scored by Naymar and captured on the iphone of Big Jon. (Turn Up the Volume)

Here’s the Final point of the Gold Medal Match between Brazil and Italy from a birdseye view …  Captured by our Stats Team on the iPhone                                 (Again, Turn Up the Volume)

He is an Olympian in Volleyball but is there more for Kevin Barnett in the Olympics …  Click here for the answer (youtube link): 


As I mentioned early on in this BLOG, that none of this happens without being a graduate of The University of Southern California and, more specifically, without my first boss, Tim Tessalone (AKA – The Great Tim Tessalone – See Above), the Sports Information Director for the Trojans since 1984.

Thanks to him I am proud to share with you the Greatness that is USC Athletics … Read and then try and speak!

USC-affiliated athletes won 21 medals (9 golds, 5 silvers and 7 bronzes) at the just-concluded 2016 Rio Olympics, keeping Troy as the leader among U.S. universities for most all-time medals and gold medals and continuing its streak of having won a gold medal at every Summer Olympics since 1912.

USC’s 21 medals in Rio were tied for second most by an American university in 2016, while its 9 golds were fourth most. It is the third consecutive Summer Olympics that USC athletes have won at least 20 medals. If USC athletes had competed as a country in 2016, they would have tied for eighth in the gold medal standings at the Rio Games and tied for 11th in overall medals.

Since 1904, there have been 451 athletes who attended USC before, during or after their Olympic appearance, more than any other U.S. university. They have collected 309 medals (144 golds, 93 silvers and 72 bronzes). USC’s 309 all-time Summer Olympics medals would rank 14th most among all countries, while its 144 gold medals would be 13th most.

Forty-four current, former and incoming USC students competed in Rio, the most of any U.S. university. It was the fifth consecutive Summer Games that USC has had at least 40 Olympians. In Rio, those Trojans competed in 9 sports and represented 21 countries. Twenty-five of USC’s Rio Olympians were women, 29 were competing in their first Games and 9 were current or incoming student-athletes.

The 9 medals earned by Trojans in track and field in Rio are the most ever by USC tracksters in a single Games.

For complete coverage of #USC2RIO, go to www.USCTrojans.com/rio2016 .

Thanks Tim – You were an incredible boss and an even better friend/mentor to so many of us.

USC Last Blog

The only regret I have is walking into a place like Rio, one that is so beautiful in structure, architecture, charm and people, filled with endless fear and trepidation.   Instantly, the reality of Brazil was revealed to be the at the Polar Opposite of what it was portrayed to be.   I loved the people I met who call Rio home, they were proud, loving and filled with an energy very rarely seen …   The evil ones we read about were there but rarely if ever seen.    We had breakfast everyday with the same waiters and waitresses who not only knew us by name but greeted us with a hug, a smile and a tomato juice for me.   We lived 6500 miles or more away from Rio, yet we had these locals who took us in and helped create a very happy, safe and comfortable home for us in Brazil.   We will miss them but never forget what they did to earn our love and respect for the county and the people of Rio …

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Before I sign off from my Rio Journey I want to say THANKS to NBC Sports for believing in me and allowing my name to be part of the Olympics for the 6th Time.   Also, I preach it every day, TV is a team sport.  No place is this more apparent than at the Olympics where we rely on each other to not only succeed at work but away from the office.  I said it the day we wrapped up our amazing Men’s Gold Medal Match in Rio.   My Team at Volleyball began the Olympics as a Crew, we evolved into a Proud Production Team and we walked away as a family.



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Needless to say, I will be waiting for that special phone call and an invitation to South Korea.

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Thanks for coming along with me, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did …

Love to all,

Jason and my crew

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2 responses to “Rio #25 – Goodbye to an Amazing Olympics …”

  1. Heather says:

    Love it Jason…. So wonderful that you took the time to chronicle the amazing adventure we were on. Thank you for the awesome memories.

  2. Jeanne says:

    Once again thank you for sharing your experiences at the Olympics. You made us all feel a part of it and that was very special! We really got a taste of Rio and the joy you and your crew experienced. Thank you for all your hard work! It showed in the wonderful productions produced by all of NBC.

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