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Costas and Williams Enter

By RD Heldenfels Published: February 10, 2006

The A-team has arrived, Bob Costas and Brian Williams. Williams is the new kid, and his presence has fueled speculation that Katie Couric is heading out the door to CBS soon -- so NBC is more interested in promoting a talent who will still be on the team at the end of 2006. But if I'm Couric, I'd figure I didn't have to work the Olympics -- that NBC is going to want to keep me happy, and that means no huddling into a parka and pretending to enjoy snowball fights. And if I'm gone, then I don't need to do the parka drill, either.

Williams is hanging tough in a Playboy ''Back to College Fashions'' way -- sweater and jacket, very tidy.

Wow, some set in Torino. Like a top view of the starship Enterprise.

Is that a Power Ranger hitting the anvil?

The dancers gather and move about. Tight choreography. Odd costumes. Anyone have an urge to rent ''Roller Boogie''?

Amazing how Costas can read lines like the one about the beating heart as a symbol of passion, and not giggle uncontrollably. Which reminds me: Make Valentine's Day plans.

Hey, Netflix has ''Roller Boogie''!

We are now in the alpine portion of the program, which includes a tribute to cows, or maybe Gateway computers.

There's an overhead shot that makes me feel a little dirty.

Reminder: Make really good Valentine's Day plans.

Presentation of the Italian flag, introduction of Olympic officials, flag raising. Brian Williams tries to make us forget the operatically silly uniforms by invoking World War II. (Did he inherit the turf from Brokaw?) Williams speaks of ''the actions of U.S. GIs on this land, how blood was spilled, how many never went home.'' And does he remember which side Italy was on in that war?

Costas apparently does, mentioning Mussolini after the break.

The announcers quietly let the action unfold curing the close-order formation of an Olympic skier. It unfolds very slowly.

Costas points out Bode Miller in the crowd. We're getting a lot of Miller tonight. Imagine how big he would be if he took up curling.

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