Captain Caveman

Just this evening I watched what’s likely my first and last episode of the new ABC program The Cavemen. I can’t even recall what transpired due to a prolonged episode of shock from the opening credits. Reminiscent of Zelig or Forrest Gump, random scenes throughout history had a Caveman inserted into the images to show (according to the narrarator) how they’ve “always been where the action’s at”. So, as one can imagine, you see a Caveman in an Egyptian frieze…crossing the Delaware with George Washington…as a Union soldier conversing with Abe Lincoln…bustin’ a move in a 1950s sockhop…part of a Space Shuttle astronaut crew…a member of a metal band, likely Twisted Sister…on stage with Al Gore and Bill Clinton…and finally–at the finish line of the 2004 Verona world championships (?!?!?). That’s right, the final image in the opening montage is a heavily doctored image of Oscar Freire winning his 3rd world title, flanked by Erik Zabel (who now has a Caveman head spliced to his body) and Allan Davis.

Exhibit A: Oscar Freire winning his 3rd world title
Oscar Freire victorious in 2004 world championships...Verona, Italy
Image courtesy of cyclingnews.com | Photographer: Mitch Friedman

Exhibit B: Oscar Freire vanquishes Caveman in The Cavemen opening credits
Screen capture of ABC's The Cavemen opening credits

There are plenty of photos which are much closer to the action at the finish line, but the one I used from cyclingnews.com is the only image I’ve found which has Freire’s arms exactly right. Here’s a photo with a closer view a microsecond after. Whoever took the photo ABC used must have been zoomed in about that much. It’s kind of bizarre what the creative team at ABC have done in their version of Verona. Firstly, of course, is Caveman Zabel. I’m not sure if there’s a cyclist on staff trying to put in a surreptitious dig at Zabel, or if this is just some totally random selection. And who knows why the finish of the Verona worlds. Probably if Lance was involved there’d be some high powered lawyers and right of publicity at stake. Lance and Nike could probably extract enough money to double the show’s budget. Hence, some random Euros on bikes instead. I wonder if Freire, Zabel, and Davis even know they’re on American television. And it’s also odd to me how the photo was edited…Zabel is now on the opposite side of Freire, and the rest of the peloton has been put further arear. It even looks like Davis appears again in the background. And what’s up with Davis’s hand and the missing handlebar. The advertising on Freire’s chest has been Photoshopped out. Questions, questions.

Comments (4) to “Captain Caveman”

  1. That has to be the strangest Photoshop job I’ve ever seen. The extra Davis in the background is most likely Stuart O’Grady, but the rest of the peloton looks pasted out of other race pictures. Davis’ right hand is a copy of Freire’s. It seems like an awful lot of shoddy work just to get caveman Zabel into the center of of the frame.

  2. Normally I’d just chalk the selection of Zabel up to some clueless graphics guy randomly selecting a photo and picking second place, but given his EPO confession and the hatred of some for him now, you’re right, it could well be someone taking a shot at him. This is going to keep me up at night.

    For how long was this picture shown? It’s a really low quality photoshop job, looks like something people used to pass off to their friends a decade ago. Or were all of them poor quality jobs, and that’s part of the joke or something? What the deuce is this show about anyway?

  3. That was weird. I had to watch the beginning on abc.com (cos I had avoided that dud on tv). I have to agree that one of the writers has to be a cyclist that doesn’t like Zabel or a cyclist that does like another cyclist that likes Zabel.
    The whole montage was done pretty badly. Oh well, another show I’ll never watch.

  4. I am happy to see a caveman with shaved legs!

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