There may have been more of Akebono and Nike swooshes on television than skiers and bobsledders, but the Olympics still managed to produce some memorable moments.
Now that the games are over - don't tell CBS, it still may be planning 5-day-old snowboarding coverage this week - here are one viewer's thoughts on the bests and worsts from CBS and TNT.(All announcers are from CBS unless otherwise noted).
BEST ANALYST: John Davidson, hockey. He knows his sport as well as anybody and can communicate excitement and insight without beating you over the head.
WORST ANALYST: Jim Rippey, snowboarding. One of CBS' worst decisions was hiring this television rookie, whose idea of analysis was that "He's a racer. He wants to go fast," and "Yeah, Chris. Come on buddy."
BEST PLAY-BY-PLAY: Gary Thorne, speedskating. This veteran's infectious enthusiasm brought excitement to a sport without too many American stories.
WORST PLAY-BY-PLAY: Steve Podborski, snowboarding. There are only so many times viewers need to be reminded competitors are "going for the gold."
MOST MISCAST: Jim Nantz. He looked tense early as postponements caused chaos in CBS' production plans. While he loosened up a bit as the games went on, he was no Jim McKay or Bob Costas. Time to get back on the "Road to the Final Four."
MOST VERSATILE ANNOUNCER: Al Trautwig. From covering Bjorn Dahlie at cross country to Masahiko "Happy" Harada at the ski jump to the late show with Michelle Tafoya, Trautwig was everywhere in Nagano. Throw in a dose of curling and biathlon and no one was on the air as much at as many different places.
BEST DECISION: Showing women's hockey gold-medal game on the morning show. While there were complaints the game wasn't shown in its entirety and was interrupted by news, weather and traffic updates, this was far better than NBC showing a gymnastics exhibition instead of the gold-medal softball game in Atlanta.
WORST DECISION: Holding Picabo Street's gold medal 23 hours. After complaining that weather postponed live ski events early in the games, CBS dropped the ball by not saying anything about her run during the prime-time show and then not showing it until a day later.
BEST NEW IDEA: TNT's "The Cutting Edge." The daily figure skating show with Peter Carruthers, Rosalynn Sumners and Alice Cook delivered a dose of humor, lessons and perspective on the most popular sport in the Winter Games.
WORST RIP-OFF: Late night rock-n-roll highlights. The pop-up boxes were a cheap imitation of VH-1's and weren't as good to boot. Throw in repeated references to CBS' researchers and producers, and this was an idea that should have left with former late-night host Pat O'Brien.
MOST MEMORABLE PICTURE: Hermann Maier's spectacular wipeout on the downhill. It was originally shown live in one of the most dramatic moments of the game. It was replayed constantly as Maier responded to win two golds.
MOST DRAMATIC EVENT: The end of the Canada-Czech Republic semifinal hockey game. From the replay of Trevor Linden's tying goal deflecting into the net over Dominik Hasek's shoulder to a spirited overtime to Hasek's dominating performance in the shootout, this was one of the tensest moment of the games, even if it took place at 3:30 a.m. The pictures of Theoren Fleury breaking his stick after being stopped by Hasek and the Czech players arm-in-arm watching their goaltender showed that even millionaires can have the Olympic spirit.
BEST FEATURE: Anthony Mason's feature on Russian skater Yelena Berezhnaya, who overcame an abusive former partner and a severe injury when she was hit in the head by a skate blade in practice to win the silver medal with new partner Anton Sikharulidze.
WORST FEATURE: Tafoya on Bosnian luger Ismar Biogradlic. This melodramatic feature during the opening ceremony was the kind CBS producer Rick Gentile said he would avoid. It was a bad start to a troubled opening weekend.
MOST INTERESTING FEATURES: Bill Geist. From Nagano's plastic food king, a k a "The Picasso of Pork," to sleeping in a capsule hotel, Geist was there to show a lighter and somewhat odder side of Japan and the Olympics.
WORST ATTEMPT TO ATTRACT GEN-X AUDIENCE: Kennedy, the former MTV veejay and lead winter sports commentator. One CBS producer said either you get Kennedy or you don't. But from out-of-tune singing to gulping sushi to inane interviews, this reporter clearly didn't.
MOST CANDID REMARKS: TNT host Jim Lampley talking about the stench left behind by the U.S. men's hockey team the day it was eliminated by the Czech Republic. Nantz followed suit that night, but without the same fervor.
WORST SET-UP: After describing how difficult it was to get a ticket to the opening ceremony, Trautwig interviewed a Japanese man lucky enough to be in the stadium. He asked, "How did you get your tickets?" The man responded, "By mail."
MOST INANE QUESTION: Bonnie Kaye, moguls. Her gushing interviews with athletes and their families were nauseating, but her interview with Jonny Moseley after he won the gold in freestyle moguls was easily the worst of the games. "Gold is a pretty color isn't it?" she asked.
BEST HIRES: TNT's Jim Huber, Chris Schenkel and Jack Whitaker. Producer Mike Pearl brought in three veteran storytellers who helped make TNT's event-deprived afternoon show a compelling show.