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Accident on the backstreets

By Brian Williams, Anchor and managing editor

So I'm sitting in the NBC Sports studio on the night when Michael Phelps won his eighth gold medal, and Bob Costas, who had just completed his own interview, tells me in front of a studio full of people that the one element he didn't have time to mention was the fact that Bruce Springsteen, at a concert in Jacksonville, had announced to the crowd that Phelps had just won his seventh gold medal. Bob went on to say that Bruce had dedicated "Born in the U.S.A." to Phelps.

Forced to ignore the journalist's creed, "If your Mother tells you she loves you, check it out," and one minute away from starting the interview, lights on, mics on, cameras rolling, I mentioned the Springsteen story to Phelps in a question that has already aired.

Then the posts started coming in to our blog. A quick check of Backstreets, the leading website of our community of E Street fans, indicates that those who wrote us are right: no such thing apparently happened. It's especially embarassing given my status as an E Street fan in good standing (I've attended an embarassing number of concerts on the current tour, foreign and domestic, including at the Meadowlands just before leaving on this trip), and I'm working on finding out how this happened.

Because it was so entirely plausible, (Bruce has been doing quite a number of dedications during this tour, and it sounded so much like something he would do), and because there was no time to research it to confirm it or knock it down, it made it on the air. And because I often rely on Backstreets for set lists and news and concert reviews (and they've never steered me wrong before), I'm left to apologize for our good-natured, well-intentioned flub. I feel badly for Michael and his Mom, who were pretty psyched to hear the news from the Springsteen tour!

On the pleasant surprise front: I stopped by Canada House here at the Games yesterday. Thankfully I was with two of our resident Canadians, Kevin Tibbles and Subrata De, so I was a "sponsored" guest -- and we had a great time. It's a fabulous facility (many nations have a "house" at the Olympics to sell merchandise and provide a haven for visitors from back home -- we visited USA House earlier this week) designed to give visiting Canadians a place to go and watch the coverage and cheer on their team, while enjoying a meal and a drink. Our hosts were some of the nicest, kindest people we've met on this trip. My thanks to them for their hospitality, and my family members will no doubt be thrilled with their forthcoming Canada t-shirts!