This is going to be the laziest installment of the Olympic viewing guide yet, because it’s Friday night and I know you all don’t want me laboring deep into the night when I could be preserving my Olympic essence for tomorrow. So you’ll have to forgive me if I eschew commentary on every event, because frankly I have nothing more to say about judo or wrestling anyway. That being said, this weekend is going to be awesome, and the schedule is the most important thing. Before we get there, a reminder of how this works for the new and forgetful:
1. Using both NBC’s various TV channels and their excellent live streaming site, I will show you how to watch the Olympics with an unmatched level of obsession and fanaticism. Note that every event listed on a TV network can also be streamed live, though the opposite is not true.
2. The focus is on catching every event where a medal is at stake, regardless of sport, and every team sport match featuring America. Follow me, and you’ll miss nothing.
3. Everything you see below is LIVE. We may be many things, but we are not tape-delay punks.
For a handy one-stop schedule of each event for the full two weeks, I made this spreadsheet to aid in your quest. Refer to it as needed.
9:50 a.m. — Field — Men’s Discus Finals — NBC
11:00 a.m. — Tennis — Men’s Singles Semis, Women’s Singles Finals, Women’s Doubles Bronze — Bravo
Madison Keys is also going for bronze for the Americans. Nadal vs. Del Potro should be off the charts in the men’s semis.
11:30 a.m. — Shooting — Men’s 25m Rapid-Fire Pistol Finals — Computer
12:00 p.m. — Women’s Water Polo — U.S. vs. Hungary — NBC
The undefeated defending Olympic champs roll on.
2:30 p.m. — Shooting — Men’s Skeet Finals — Computer
2:42 p.m. — Trampoline — Men’s Finals — NBC
Watch this event, and you’ll be simultaneously impressed and convinced that at least one competitor will die.
4:00 p.m. — Men’s Volleyball — U.S. vs. France — NBC
After a weak start, the U.S. shocked Brazil on Thursday, and hope to turn the momentum around with two group stage matches left. They’ll likely need both wins to make the quarterfinals.
4:07 p.m. — Cycling (Track) — Women’s Team Pursuit Finals — NBCSN
Have your computer handy if you really want to see this live, just in case.
4:30 p.m. — Wrestling — Men’s Greco-Roman 59kg Finals — Computer
4:33 p.m. — Cycling (Track) — Women’s Keirin Finals — NBCSN
5:00 p.m. — Women’s Field Hockey — U.S. vs. Great Britain — CNBC
The last two undefeated teams in the Olympics square off. I’m actually going to watch this one!
5:15 p.m. — Fencing — Women’s Team Sabre Finals — MSNBC
5:30 p.m. — Wrestling — Men’s Greco-Roman 75kg Finals — Computer
6:00 p.m. — Weightlifting — Men’s 94kg Finals — Computer
7:50 p.m. — Field — Men’s Long Jump Finals — NBC
8:25 p.m. — Track — Men’s 10,000m Finals — NBC
9:03 p.m. — Swimming — Women’s 50m Freestyle Finals — NBC
I like this event because in most events, the swimmers look graceful and fluid, but in this one they look they’re trying to escape a shark.
9:11 p.m. — Swimming — Men’s 1500m Freestyle Finals — NBC
9:35 p.m. — Track — Women’s 100m Finals — NBC
Who is the world’s fastest woman? I don’t know, but we can be almost certain she’s either from the U.S. or Jamaica. This should be great.
9:53 p.m. — Track — Women’s Heptathlon Finals — NBC
9:49 p.m. — Swimming — Women’s 4×100m Medley Relay Finals — NBC
The surprise success of these Olympics has been Maya Dirado, and she’ll likely have a chance to get another gold here, swimming the backstroke leg.
10:04 p.m. — Swimming — Men’s 4×100m Medley Relay Finals — NBC
Yes, Phelps is racing, and this is probably his last Olympic race ever. There are not enough words to describe his greatness. This is also a sad goodbye to the pool, always one of the best parts of the summer Olympics. Goodbye, sweet chlorine.
10:59 p.m. — Men’s Beach Volleyball — Dalhausser/Lucena vs. Austria (Round of 16) — NBC
These guys have looked incredible so far, but they did in 2012 too before bowing out early in the knockout rounds. The real tournament begins now.
7:00 a.m. — Golf — Men’s Final Round — Golf Channel
I’m a little down on Olympic golf—it’s a weak field, and a boring format—but I can’t pretend I won’t watch the end, if only to see what a bronze medal playoff would look like.
8:30 a.m. — Track — Women’s Marathon — NBC
Kenya is the Chinese diving of long distance running—weird stuff will happen once in a blue moon, but for the most part, you know how this is going.
10:00 a.m. — Synchronized Swimming — Duets Free Routine — Computer
This is so silly, but hard not to watch. The ultimate Olympic guilty pleasure.
11:00 a.m. — Tennis — Men’s Singles, Women’s Doubles, Mixed Doubles Finals — Bravo
There’s a potential for an all-U.S. mixed doubles final, and it might feature Venus Williams.
11:15 a.m. — Women’s Basketball — U.S. vs. China — NBC
Don’t hold your breath for anything remotely interesting.
12:00 p.m. — Shooting — Men’s 50m Rifle, 3 Positions Finals — Computer
12:05 p.m. — Sailing — Men’s RS:X Finals — Computer
1:00 p.m. — Gymnastics — Men’s Floor Final — Computer
Here, the American men actually have a shot at glory. Sam Mikulak and Jacob Dalton qualified higher than Kohei Uchimura (the all-around champ), and it’s their chance to prove they deserve anything but near (or total) misses.
1:05 p.m. — Sailing — Women’s RS:X Finals — Computer
1:15 p.m. — Men’s Basketball — U.S. vs. France — NBCSN
The only thing worse than a boring, dominant performance by U.S. basketball, a lackluster performance where they dog it for an entire game before pulling out a close, unsatisfying win. Turn this into U-23/amateur basketball, or get rid of it.
1:15 p.m. — Boxing — Men’s Light Flyweight Finals — Computer
1:46 p.m. — Gymnastics — Women’s Vault Final — Computer
Simone time! Basically, if she lands her vault, she wins the gold. The difficulty is so much higher than her closest competition that anything short of a major error puts her at the top of the podium.
2:30 p.m. — Men’s Water Polo — U.S. vs. Italy — NBC
A must-win, though unfortunately even if the U.S. makes the quarterfinals, they’re going to get a heavyweight like Serbia.
2:33 p.m. — Gymnastics — Men’s Pommel Horse Final — Computer
There’s one American here, Alexander Naddour, and he’s almost certain to fall. Our gymnastics team needs a full makeover after two straight Olympics of choke city.
3:00 p.m. — Diving — Women’s 3m Springboard Finals — Computer
3:20 p.m. — Gymnastics — Women’s Uneven Bars Finals — Computer
This is the one individual event that Simone Biles isn’t favored to win. Watch out for Madison Kocian of the U.S., who was put on the team specifically for this event, and put up the highest score in qualification. Gabby Douglas could medal too.
4:00 p.m. — Women’s Volleyball — U.S. vs. China — NBC
4:04 p.m. — Cycling (Track) — Men’s Sprint Finals — Computer
5:30 p.m. — Fencing — Men’s Team Epee Finals — Computer
Just an FYI, fencing team finals are ENDLESS. Kind of fun, eventually dramatic, but super, super long. You’ve been warned.
6:00 p.m. — Weightlifting — Women’s 75kg+ Finals — Computer
7:55 p.m. — Field — Women’s Triple Jump Finals —
9:00 p.m. — Track — Men’s 400m Finals — NBC
9:25 p.m. — Track — Men’s 100m Finals — NBC
Usain! I love how people are doubting that he’ll win. I don’t care if he has a minor injury, or eats 16 full pizzas an hour before the race—the lighting bolt is the fastest man alive, and that’s not going to change.
10:00 p.m. — Women’s Beach Volleyball — Walsh-Jennings/Ross vs. Australia (QF) — NBC
It was an easy round-of-16 for America’s top squad, but it’s not going to stay easy. If they do make it through, it would be an unprecedented fourth gold medal in beach volleyball for Walsh-Jennings.
You made it! But there’s still another week, so grab 40 winks and gather yourself for the closing stretch. Check back tomorrow morning for the Monday guide.