Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Arm Chair 2 Cents (Because I'm such an expert on winter sports.... or winter... for that matter.. um... yeah)

Okay, so yesterday I mentioned that I haven’t exactly been feeling 100% lately. (Okay, so I moaned and groaned and threw myself an all out pity party. Whatever.) The point is, I’ve been feeling “a little punk”, as my Grandmother Glasgow used to say, for a week and a half now.Because I’ve been feeling “a little punk”, and Hunter has been feeling sympathetically “punk”, we have found ourselves glued to the couch since last Friday taking in every single moment of the 2010 Winter Olympics.

As a child, I always watched the winter Olympics. Actually, that’s not entirely true… my mother and I used to watch the opening ceremony and the figure skating. As any of my aunts or uncles will tell you, my mother’s entire family is genetically required to tune in to every major pop-culture event. As much as I rail against this aspect of my DNA – it has been bred into me to a certain extent as well, though I try very hard to keep it on the periphery. You know, manage my outbreaks with the visits so as to only have one or two outbreaks a year (Golden Globes, Oscars, the occasional fund raiser sponsored by George Clooney) So, as a child, I watched the opening ceremonies because they were essentially like the Super Bowl half-time show minus the football, Budweiser commercials, steroids, and Janet Jackson’s left nip…well you know) and we watched the figure skating because, well, let’s face it Dorothy Hamilll and Scott Hamilton were the 80’s precursor to Dancing With the Stars…. And to carry that analogy further – weren’t Nancy Kerrigan and Tonya Harding the 90’s precursor to Survivor??? (For the record I do not watch either of these shows) I digress… So I was madly in love with Scott Hamilton (and still kind of am) and was going to name my daughter Katarina, after Katarina Witt. Seriously. I was.(Nope, not disclosing any proprietary info here – I outgrew the ‘Katarina’ thing around ’89 and Moon Pie’s name is quintessentially American). Hunter never really watched the Olympics before this year, so this is our first full on exposure to the wonderful world of legitimate athleticism.

I have to say – we’re sucked in.

Part of our motivation for tuning in this year is, it’s an armchair way for us to get involved in the SLC Culture. As you might have noticed, we’re both very excited about finding new ways to immerse ourselves in our new world. Hunter is very much into skiing and I’ve been delving into all sorts of literature, etc. about SLC history, politics, etc. etc. The cool thing about the Olympics is that, not only are most of the sports accessible to us out here, but most of the athletes have some sort of ties to our area.So, when it comes to all of the ski events, the snowboarding, the figure skating (of course) and even the speed skating we’re hanging on every moment. That said, I need to raise some questions about a few things.

Biathlon: So, let me get this straight. You strap sticks to your feet, grab some poles, stuff a large shotgun behind your head and start sprinting through the snow. You sprint until you’re so exhausted you can’t see straight and then you throw yourself on the ground, grab your gun, fire a weapon, stuff your gun back behind your head and start sprinting on sticks through the snow again. I have an open mind. I do but does this seem… at best: antiquated and at worst… dare I say: silly??? I don’t mean to judge… there’s obvious skill involved here – I’m just a little confused as to how this became such a legitimate combo. It just seems like the pickles and ice cream of the Olympics – The Julia Roberts/Lyle Lovett of the Olympics – the Elton John/Lady Gaga of the Olympics (okay, so I watched 5 little teensy minutes of this year’s Grammy’s…. (I was flipping… it was on…)) Its the pairing that just kind of leaves the rest of the world shrugging their shoulders.

Curling: Okay – Seriously? This has to be a joke. I’ll admit; I’m judging here. Are there even enough people in the world who are into curling to justify it being an Olympic sport? I mean, I seriously wonder, if I decided tomorrow I wanted to get into curling (ain’t happenin’) – I bet there’d be a spot open for the 2014 games on Friday.So, my understanding is (and I’ve researched this): one person gets down on all fours, essentially, and shoves a rock (literally – a hunk of granite) across a sheet of ice and a group of other people wearing bowling shoes hustle in front of the rock sweeping a path ahead of said rock in the hopes that it will land in a circle and maybe bump the other team’s rock out of the way in the process. The group of people with the brooms really and truly look like part of the Queen’s Court from Alice In Wonderland, I feel like they should be dressed like playing cards. To me, this ‘sport’ is some sort of bizarre cross between bumper cars, life-sized pin ball and… um… spring cleaning? I know I sound negative here, but really, I fail to see the skill/athletic prowess required to push a rock and then sweep a path. I watched curling for about 45 minutes today… trying… so… hard…. To get it. I don’t get it. I’ll move on now. To you curler’s out there – please forgive the offense – and if you can help me make sense of this absurd phenomenon, please, reach out to me and I’ll give you my undivided attention. I promise, I always welcome a little more logic in my universe.

Figure Skating Scoring: I’m not going to spend too much time one this one, but I’ve noticed a trend in this year’s figure skating scoring – that it’s completely arbitrary. I mean, you can skate a decent run and make a mediocre score, you can fall on your face and be scored into 2nd place…. All I’m saying is Scott Hamilton is a commentator and he seems both confused and annoyed and that is not okay with me.

Conditions: I know nothing about snow sports and the way that different types of snow affect your performance. I’m still getting acquainted with snow period, so I’m staying out of that. I mean, I understand that you can’t control the weather (unless you’re a member of The Cauldron), but if you’re having a tough time with the outdoor sports, you’d think you’d go to great lengths to make sure theindoor sports (like speed skating) are in line. When the ice on your indoor rink looks like the ice covering alley behind my garage… really?

So there you have it – my armchair 2 cents on the Olympics. Again, sincere apologies to any gun-toting cross-country skiers, rock path sweepers, figure skating judges or Canadian Zamboni drivers I might have offended in the writing of this blog.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I just realized that Dr. Best failed to tape last night’s Olympics (HELLO!?!MEN’S FIGURE SKATING SHORT PROGRAM AND SNOWBOARDING!?!?!). I have a scathing phone call to make and a remote control to permanently commandeer. Mutiny of the DVR! WHOO HOO!


KitschenBitsch said...

This was thoroughly hilarious, and if it's any consolation, Mr. B and his best friend are thoroughly obsessed with Johnny Weir after watching a documentary on him and his spectacular friend Paris. Yes, a homosexual figure skater has turned my man into a squealing 8 year old who sashays to the tv saying, "Oooh! Johnny Weir is on!" Great. Now my boyfriend is a faghag. Thanks Olympics.

Anonymous said...

Let's hope Dick Cheney doesn't sponsor the biathlon this year...