Postcard from Athens

Athens 2004

August 19, 2004|By CANDUS THOMSON

Phevos and Athena are getting hammered, and not in the too-many-cocktails sense.

No one has warmed to the goofy-looking, hand-holding mascots with the huge feet alleged to be a brother and sister act. The mascot selectors swear P and A resemble a 7th century B.C. terra cotta doll.

The mascots, unveiled in 2002, are the latest flops in the Olympic marketing world. Who could remember Izzy, the blob from 1996 Atlanta, or Sukki, Nokki, Lekki and Tsukki, the creepy big-eyed foursome from 1998 Nagano? Don't take my word for it. Here's what Ernie Cambaro, a retired American, told the Athens News: "It looks like a critter called a "Shmoo" from Ll'l Abner. They may be saying it's based on an antique toy, but that sounds like something that was made up after the fact. ... I don't buy it."

He's not the only one.

What's ahead today

Michael Phelps is a virtual lock in the 200-meter individual medley, where he has history's seven fastest times.

Bethesda's Scott Parsons and Brett Heyl will paddle their first two heats in the men's whitewater kayak competition.

Joe Jacobi, a Bethesda native, and former Baltimore resident Matt Taylor will team up in the preliminary canoe event.

The U.S. men's basketball team, coming off a six-point win over Greece, will face Australia.

Women compete in the all-around final in gymnastics.

Today's TV schedule

NBC

12:30 p.m.-4 p.m.: swimming, men's beach volleyball*, rowing, canoeing

8 p.m.-midnight: gymnastics, swimming, women's beach volleyball

Bravo

5 a.m.-noon: tennis*, men's volleyball, men's field hockey, badminton*

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: tennis, table tennis, fencing

MSNBC

2 a.m.-7 a.m.: softball*, rowing, men's basketball*, badminton

10 a.m.-4 p.m.: men's basketball*, archery, badminton*, weightlifting, shooting

USA

7 a.m.-10 a.m.: men's basketball*, men's water polo, rowing

CNBC

5 p.m.-8 p.m.: boxing

Telemundo

12:55 p.m.-8 p.m.: boxing, men's basketball*, women's beach volleyball

Tomorrow's early TV schedule

NBC

12:35 a.m.-2 a.m.: men's volleyball

2 a.m.-5 a.m.: prime time replay

Bravo

Midnight-1 a.m.: sailing, judo

MSNBC

2 a.m.-7 a.m.: track and field*, softball*, women's field hockey

Telemundo

1:30 a.m.-3:30 a.m.: boxing

*-indicates live coverage.

Note: NBC carried by WBAL/Channel 11 and WRC/Channel 4.

On baltimoresun.com

For breaking news and results from the Summer Games, go to baltimoresun.com/olympics.

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