Valentine’s Day has arrived and I’m back in the saddle again as far as writing for the Record is concerned. I’ve been absent from these pages for quite some time for various reasons. I wrote an article last spring that was deemed too offensive for publication ( perhaps the suggestion of underage drinking and rampant fun was a little too much) and an article I wrote this fall wasn’t published because the editors wanted to check with a lawyer first. All that aside â€” let’s talk Winter Olympics.
We all know the Olympics are taking place in Japan. ‘Nuff said, let’s talk about underage drinking some more. All right, now really, drinking is a big deal… um I mean the Olympics are a big deal. Unfortunately the Winter Olympics get about as much attention as the snow sculpture building winter carnival crud. I guess that would be cool if a) there were any snow, or b) it was at all cool, but instead there ain’t any and it isn’t. Instead of the celebration of a glorious international competition between 70 plus nations participating in a myriad (that means “a whole freakin’ lot” for laymen or non-journalism types) of sports, the Winter Olympics has been reduced to a Brian Boitano Fire on Ice special. All this figure skating has got to go. It is not a sport, nor is it even a game like pool or golf (admit it, this is definitely not a sport in even the loosest sense of the word, what with wacky pants and guys who carry your equipment around so you the “athlete” won’t be burdened by it!) Figure skating is a hobby, a pastime. There’s also the challenging event of ice-dancing. What is up with that? I went to the library and looked up the Greeks and found some pretty interesting stuff, and aside from all the legends of people killing each other (now that’s a real sport, war!) there was no mention of any kind of dancing as an event in the first Olympics. Absolutely not.
Other than the complete lack of redeeming features as far as the ice skating/dancing goes there are a few other problems at Nagano. First off, CBS, what’s the deal, who let the network that brought us Murder She Wrote and a show starring Randy Travis (are you kidding me? If Elvis never got to have a TV show, then Randy Travis doesn’t deserve one either) broadcast the Olympics? No one would even bother to bomb an Olympics shown on CBS ‘cause they know that no one is watching. Oh, and good job on that absolute huge monstrous fake Buddhist temple for a studio. I mean it blends right in, all 14 stories of it. You can tell it isn’t comfortable either ‘cause all the anchors look like they just chugged after eating at the Dog House for a few hours.
And now here’s some free advice for the Olympic planners themselves and it has to do with all the downhill snow events and all the crashing. I was watching some highlights and I noticed a disturbing trend; everyone was crashing. Not just the Polish dog sled team and the Cayman Island ski team either, we’re talking Austrians and Swiss and Europeans and Americans, people who are supposed to be good at skiing and ‘boarding. For women’s snowboarding six or so Olympic caliber snowboarders (yeah, I know snowboarding isn’t exactly an event established by Greek tradition either) wiped out on the same turn. The commentators from CBS using both of their brain cells simply labeled it a repeated case of tragedy. Sure, if my uncoordinated self wipes only six times when I snowboard, it’s cause for celebration, but this should not be happening in the Olympics. Perhaps, now I’m just tossing this out there, there’s a problem with the course. Shock! Surprise! For some reason these were supposed to be the best Winter games ever. But once CBS got involved you knew it was gonna be a rough ride. Furthermore, the same thing was happening in the Men’s downhill skiing competition. Four or so skiers wiped out in the exact same spot. One of them was the race favorite, Hermann Maier. And he didn’t just go down, the kid flew out sideways and landed on his head. At least his crash was money. Hey, if you’re the favorite and you’re gonna bite it, you might as well have some style. All style aside, the guy landed on his head from a height of a lot of feet, which isn’t good. Seriously, the courses for the downhill events work about as well as the hand marking policy does to keep underage people from drinking. Which is good, ‘cause it was about time we got back to that subject. Some genius with a framing square and a handle of grain alcohol could have made a better course, one that doesn’t combine freestyle aerials with downhill skiers going over a hundred miles per hour. CBS is lucky somebody hasn’t landed on top of their studio temple at this point.
In parting I’ll leave you with my tips for a more exciting and entertaining Olympics. Ice Hockey needs more coverage, a lot more. After all, hockey, freestyle moguls and aerials are pretty much the only real events in the Olympic tradition of risking life and limb in a competition of brutality and staggering stupidity. We all know hockey is a sweet sport played by hearty Olympians and of course who could deny the audacious mental vapidity (meaning something along the lines of “stupid stuff”; it’s French so don’t worry about it) of the guys who flip themselves all over the place over a soft landing surface of packed snow. And finally, ban Michelle Kwan from competition. That’s right, who cares about her? Just exactly why is it that she is on the cover of SI and Newsweek being touted as America’s best hope for gold and the USA’s Olympic representative? She missed the opening ceremonies with a sore foot! Half the hockey players don’t have teeth and all the freestyle guys have to be led around like school children but they made it to the ceremonies. So forget that figure skating imp, she can twirl all over the place for all I care. To finish up I’ll quote the late, great, Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes who said with regards to the keys in determining decisions of Constitutional interpretation: “What it comes down to is, does it make you want to vomit?” And in the case of Michelle Kwan, CBS, and ice dancing, my only answer can be…. BLEEEAAAAARRGGH. Oh yeah, any of you doubting my research credibility or are thinking to yourselves, “hey, the Greeks didn’t invent the Winter Olympics” (shows what you know) I refer you to the obscure, yet very important case of US v. Fishbine which states in short that I’m right and you’re wrong.