Monday, March 1, 2010

Olympic Ramblings

Another Olympics has taken a bow and headed to the kiss and cry area to await judgment. So, like a short track speed skating official, I will dispense rulings and opinions which only occasionally make sense.


· Canadians are the nicest people on the planet. You cannot convince me otherwise. There is a video on Youtube posted by some Canadians that found some tourist’s video camera. They took a clip of the video and posted it with a note telling the owner how to get in touch with them so they can return the lost item. Mull that for a second. Picture a random anyone, anywhere else doing that.

· Canada is beautiful. I loved it when I went, I loved watching it on TV. Especially since they didn’t have much snow. Haha.

· Their attempt at national pride was so cute. All the flags and maple leaves. Bursting into O’ Canada (which is a great song, I want to learn it). They should watch Americans closer if they really want to get the annoying home-field nationalism going. The Olympic fail to start the games, and then coming back huge at the end. The Great One.


· I don’t like Lindsey Vonn. She’s my least favorite winter athlete. She’s annoying. I like it when these athletes cry (more on that later), but she had tears going every single time they stuck a mic in her face. And she was always hurt! Always fighting through something. Or tumbling down the mountain. (And don’t come back at me with, “Let’s see you do what she does.” I’m not in the Olympics. It’s not my job. I wasn’t on the cover of SI twice.)

· Mancuso couldn’t hate Vonn more if she caught Vonn buggering her father with a ski pole. I hate the fake teammate thing. Look in Mancuso’s eyes every time some interviewer asks her about Vonn. You see flames.

· On that note, am I the only one who got a Very Brady Vibe from the two of them? I imagine Mansuco flouncing down on her bed back in the village after the Downhill crying, “Marsha, Marsha, Marsha!” Think about it. I’m right, you know it.

Ohno/Speed Skating

· Let’s make this clear right now: Apolo Ohno is not the greatest Winter Olympian ever. Bonnie Blair is. He is simply the most decorated. And he has the best name.

· I have reasons. Short track is stupid. How many races ended with a crash or disqualification affecting the outcome? How many medals would he have if the judging of the sport made any sense at all? I watched a ton of these races. What kind of touch equals a DQ?

· Even he admits his sport doesn’t make any sense. When his response to questions about the sport are, “Well, that’s short track,” that’s like saying, “It’s just Manny being Manny.” It means I have no good answer and this is dumb.

· I feel so bad for the Dutch kid who lost his gold because of his coach. That’s one of the worst thing I’ve ever seen in sport. But the kid didn’t fire his coach. He said, I’ve got this many world championships with this guy, this many records. I’m staying with him. It’s a massive mistake, but I can’t leave my coach. That’s awesome. And it makes me hate Brett Farve even more.

Sean White

· I’m on the bandwagon. Like 90% of Americans, White is my favorite Winter Olympian. He’s charismatic, quick, talented, and funny. Plus he throws some of the coolest stuff I’ve ever seen.

· He was my favorite interview of the Games. Colbert interviewed him and compared his sport being judged to figure skating, and why didn’t snow boarders cry while they were waiting? White’s response? (I paraphrase) “They’re probably upset they got all dressed up like that and they might not even win.” Classic! Watch it here:


· Deep breaths. Wow. What a game. Gold medal games should feature a goal scored in the final 23 seconds and an overtime five-hole for the win. It reminded me what a great sport hockey is and how much I miss it.

· How cool is the NHL that they let their players off for two weeks to play in the Games? How cool are NHL players that they would do that? More hockey coverage!

· I only want to say that anyone making a fuss over the women’s hockey team celebration is an icehole.


· Needs to happen more than once every four years. I don’t have a good reason why I like this sport so much. I started watching this year as a joke and got sucked in. These people are intense.

· Plus, how can you not love steel-eyed women shouting, “Hurry! Hard!” at each other?

· I would go to a rink and play this. I would watch it. We need an ACL (American Curling League) like, now. They couldn’t do any worse than the NHL for a TV deal.

· It took me about 15 ends to get the game pretty much figured out. Longer than baseball (which is the simplest game on the planet), not as long as football (where the refs need to look up rules mid-game). That makes me kind of proud. I’m smart enough to figure out Curling. I need a t-shirt.

· The G.L.O.C. (Gorgeous Ladies Of Curling). Don’t deny the hotness. Speaking of which…

Bobsled Hot

· Women Bobsledders are hot. No, I don’t have a good reason for this. No it’s not the lying on top on one another in the sled thing. It’s just something about super-intense, super-strong women getting all geeked up like they do right before the start. It’s hot. Leave me alone.


· Olympic announcers are quality. Better than most other sports. They give good, relevant information on sports I don’t know. Mostly.

· Except for when they have Announcer Fail. AF is one of my favorite things. It’s when the announcer says, “She’s really on her game today,” as the skier pinwheels into the netting. When they praise the figure skater’s poise for 45 straight seconds and then the poor little thing wobbles and slide across the ice. It’s hilarious.

· Two words: Scott Hamilton. Favorite announcer not named Bob. He cried at least twice during the ice skating competitions. Once when Lysacek finished his short program and once when Joannie Rochette finished hers. There may have been more. This was different than Vonn’s crying. He was truly touched by what he saw on the ice. He was one of the best and they moved him to tears, one because of his skill and passion and the other because of what she had to fight through to make that skate. He’s a classic. I want him to announce more things.

- When an athlete is not American we should get to listen to the feed from the athlete’s country of origin with subtitles. It would be awesome to hear other languages getting so home-team excited. I’m going to make my point with having you imagine some guy screaming German during a bobsled, or Korean during short track. It would be awesome.

Figure skating costumes

· One quick thing I stole from They should have a national identifier on their costumes somewhere. Johnny Weir can be as floofy as he wants, as pink and lacey and tassled. But there should be a flag on the shoulder. Every other athlete has something that tells you at first glance who they compete for. The Olympics is a global competition. You represent your country, you should be identified. Otherwise every one is some Asian something or some European looking something. Give me a flag. Or national colors only.

True Joy

· I love the Olympics. I get so caught up in it. The biggest reason is not the American pride. It’s the athletes. They are different from the guys I watch play baseball or football. Yeah, when they win the championship it’s a big thing (see Orleans, New), but they’re getting paid win or lose. This is their job. But most Winter Olympians have a real job. They work around it. They train and work and train some more. They pay their own way. No one knows you if you’re a bobsled driver, a ski jumper, a figure skater. We don’t care. Except once every four years. Then you get to be Drew Bries. You get to be Kobe.

· And that’s why I love their celebrations. I love watching them sing the national anthem when the flag is raised during the medal ceremony. I love seeing them cry when they look at the scoreboard and realize Holy Crap, I’m still first!!! It’s not their job. They do it for the love. I realize Sean White isn’t one of those people. He’s an X-Games star and huge rich. But he threw down the run of the Games when he could have ridden right down the middle of the half-pipe for the gold. That’s the Love of the Sport.


  1. There is an AMerican Curling Association. My friend interviewed its president on his podcast this past week. :)

  2. This is probably the last Olympics the NHL is going to allow a 2 week break for, so I'm glad they made it a good one. Its really rough on the NHL to take a 2 week hiatus in the middle of the season, even though this gold medal game is the best thing that has happened to the sport since Gretzky....