Thursday, February 16, 2006

A Reason to Care About the Winter Olympics!

Normally, I don't care much about most of the events in the Winter Olympics, for reasons you can read about here and, to a lesser extent, here. The hockey is always good, as any hockey is. The problem is that most of the "sports" aren't sports, but contests; sports have objective outcomes, contests have judges deciding who wins. The winner of the men's half pipe is no more objectively the best men's half pipe snowboarder in the world that the winner of the Best Actor Oscar is objectively the world's best actor. Plus, most of those sports are just horrible to watch; Salon.com's King Kaufman made the excellent point that moguls skiing "makes luge look like naked supermodel flamethrower fighting."

Even the sports that are actual sports, and are somewhat exciting to watch, are less so because of the fact that nobody actually does them. That's the problem with your speedskating and your luge; the Summer Olympics are still interesting in the sense that the guy who wins the 100 meters? In all likelihood, he's the fastest man on the planet. I mean, we've all run in races as kids; if you're the fastest kid in your school, you're obviously going to run on the track team (conscientious objectors like Jerry Seinfeld notwithstanding), win some races, move up in your level of competition, and if you're still beating everybody you run against, the national team will eventually notice you. There's not a great deal of undiscovered running talent, is what I'm saying. But the winner of the luge could easily be the 312,469th best luger in the world; it's just that the 312,468 top guys never even had the opportunity to get on a sled.

So anyway. The Winter Olympics aren't that big of a deal to people.

But now, at least, we've got Bode Miller to root against. I think every time that blowhard misses out on an Olympic medal he was favored to win, an angel gets his wings. I love all the "fame is a poison" stuff; do you know how doggedly you need to self-promote to get noticed in this country if you're a fringe sport athlete? Miller's done pretty much everything short of getting testicular cancer and leaving his wife and kids for Sheryl Crow.

"I lived better when I was a nobody," Miller is quoted as saying.

Bode, we can't miss you if you won't go away!

Comments:
Ha ha! Another fumble tonight! I've taken Anti-Bode up as my pet cause, and it is making the Olympics bearable!
 
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