Monday, February 13, 2006

I want to smack some sense into these Olympic freaks, those people with nothing better to think about than the medal count, who find the time to paint their faces the national colors and dance in the street and light off fireworks whenever one of their countrymen takes the gold. Like, I'm a big fan of curling, probably because it combines the tactical strategizing of the Olympic games with the edge-of-your-seat intensity of geometry. What, you wanna make something of it? What's your favorite event? Long-track speed skating? Dude, they're going like ten miles an hour — I think they're taking a leisurely stroll around the rink instead of racing. Two-man luge? I think I saw that on Jackass once. Biathalon? Come on, that's just a made-up sport. I could make up a winter sport too, if I wanted. Here, just off the top of my head: You cross-country ski for two kilometers, then you jump on a sled a. nd go downhill for, let's say, five-hundred meters, then you get off and build a snowman, and finally you grab yourself a washed-up celebrity trying to make a comeback and the two of you go ice dancing. Best time wins.

You know what would make a great winter Olympic sport? Motorcycle ice racing. The IOC is clearly trying to get more young viewers, adding all those Winter X-Games sports like snowboarding and skeleton to their roster. Why not combine the youth demographic with the people-who-like-to-watch-incredibly-bad-ideas-materialize demographic? They wouldn't even have to limit themselves to motorcycles; NASCAR on ice would be awesome. Really, just about any non-ice event — football, basketball, marching band — immediately becomes more interesting when traction is taken away.

But back to my point, I'm watching curling, U.S. versus Finland just when Fenson's rock curved and missed his stone and some uber-patriot in the audience screams like he's three seconds away from being trampled by a water buffalo. I'm not sure if it was an American sharing the agony of defeat or a Finn embracing the thrill of victory (although I'm thinking it's the latter since there's only five Americans who give a crap about curling and four of them are on the Olympic curling team), but either way, shut up, ass! Let's reserve the sports celebration for the people actually playing the damn game. Everybody else can applaud politely, because the fact that you happen to pay taxes to the same government as the guy who actually competed doesn't mean you get to take credit for the victory.

Also, winning a gold medal doesn't make your country cool. I guess this isn't such a big deal for the winter games, but what I'm thinking of specifically is Romania. Yes, you have a winning gymnastics team, but you have no government, no infrastructure, and no economy, so how about getting your damn priorities straight?