Tuesday, February 21, 2006

An Olympic Observation

I love hockey. Love it. Since the Olympics started, I've been TiVoing all of the hockey coverage and watching the two or three games which I think are the most interesting. (#1 choice - USA; #2 - Sweden (4 Red Wings); #3 - Russia (have you seen the talent of these guys?); #4 - Finland or Czech Republic depending on the opponent.) The level of play is unbelievable. You have all of the best players in the world on the ice at the same time playing as though it's game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals every single game. Every moment is filled with magic.

But let's face it, sports are best when you have a horse in the race. I'm a huge Red Wings fan; can't get enough of those guys (I grew up in Detroit). So when a Wings game is on, I'm on the edge of my seat for the entire 2 1/2 hours. With these games, even though I'm enjoying the spectacle of the most talented players in the world facing off against each other, I'm finding myself less interested in the actual outcome of the games. Even during a U.S. game. Why is that? Shouldn't I be as pumped up for the USA as I am for the Wings? Even more so?

I realized what it is. Remember during the 80s, you're rooting against the evil Soviet Union? There is no CCCP anymore. Russia wears red, but it's not the same. Hell, I know all those guys, they work over here - Datsyuk, Ovechkin, Kovalchuk. They're millionaires playing in the United States. So not only is there not an evil empire to root against, the problem - we're the evil empire! The rest of the world is rooting against us, with our illegal wars, imprisoning and torturing "enemy combatants" in secret black prisons. We're the bad guys.

It makes it hard for me to find my sporting patriotism, and for that I blame George W. Bush. Thanks, Georgie, for ruining my hockey pleasure.

My only other Olympic observation is that anything that requires a judge is an exhibition in the same vein as the Westminster dog show or a flower arranging contest - not a sport. (Yes, Gen Y - the half pipe is ice dancing as far as I'm concerned.) Now, before you say, "Hey, mg, what about boxing?" Boxing is stupid too. If you're going to have two men beat the living crap out of each other, fight until you pummel the other guy unconscious and admit that your sport is a barbaric modern version of Christians in the Coliseum, or stop the Dancing with Gloves routine. In fact, boxing champs shouldn't win belts, they should get blue ribbons.

Yeah, I said it.


Matthew Smith said...


Enough of these "figure skating/boxing/half pipe is not a sport" articles. When is someone going to stand up to redneck nation and say the same thing about Nascar? Ooohhhh, I drive in circles - I'm an athlete because it gets really hot in my car and driving is tiring.

emeryroolz said...

Wait, there's an Olympics on right now?