Saturday, February 20, 2010

Beware, Sports Content!

The time for miracles isn’t over yet. Slovakia beat Russia in ice hockey and Switzerland gave Canada a very hard time in the first rounds. It seems like the two giants are having a hard time. I’m suddenly feeling a lot more confident about Finland’s chances, even though our team is mostly made up of guys who are older than my dad.

And in figure skating, the ultimate diva Plushenko had to submit to the American they call Lysacek. I hear Plushenko was so depressed after the loss that he actually considered cutting his hair.

I realize now that not everyone is watching the Olympic Games, but you really should be. I also realize that if you don’t really watch the Olympics, you don’t really have any sort of idea of what I’m talking about. That’s why I have decided to help you out a little. I am now going to introduce some of the key winter sports that make up the winter Olympics.

Fist off, we have ice hockey. I love ice hockey. There is nothing like grown men beating the crap out of each other and calling it a sport. Here’s how it works. The puck needs to go from the middle of the ice into one of two goals. Preferably the one that’s Swedish. The puck manages this an average of once every 15 minutes. The remaining time is spent fighting. The puck is useful for many things, not only scoring. It could, e.g., be used to help the other team’s players to get rid of their teeth – no-toothiness is very popular on the hockey scene.

I love curling almost as much as I love ice hockey. One player throws a rock on the ice and the others try to steer the rock in the right direction by waving a brush at it and/or screaming at it. For some strange reason, curling players have yet to realize that rocks don’t actually work that way. Newton’s third law of motion states that to every action there is always an equal and opposite reaction. Unless the power of your voice is a force to be reckoned with, I highly doubt it will affect anything at all. (I took physics in college, can you tell?)

People who ski are usually okay. At least when they keep to level ground and don’t break any bones when they crash. Unless you’re Majdic, of course, in which case you’ll break a couple ribs and injure your lung and still go on to win bronze in the women’s sprint. But still, skiers are not always smart. You see, there is this one sport called “Downhill”. Now, the name itself should give you some idea of the sport. It’s downhill. Whoever thought it was a good idea to put on his skis and ski down a mountain at 60mph while trying to avoid colourful flags along the way must have been dropped on his head one too many times as a child. I guess the adrenaline rush is pretty awesome while you’re doing it, but you’d think that the sense of dread when you’re flying through the air to certain death would outweigh the rush.

Downhill skating is pretty similar to downhill skiing. It’s fast and dangerous. I’m pretty sure downhill skating isn’t an Olympic sport, but if it were, I would rename it “Suicide.” In Suicide, you take your ice skates and walk up a mountain. You then put on your skates and, along with three of your fellow Emos, you skate down the mountain while pushing and shoving at your friends. The one who accidentally manages to slit his wrists with the skate blades is the winner.

Bobsleigh is the rich kids sport. Your parents pretty much had to buy you a mountain to enable you to play. You also had to have 3 friends with rich parents and too much time on your hands. You run like hell for a few yards then jump into a nicely lit and pre-heated sled that could fit your team, your family and your local broker, and race down the mountain in a nicely carved track that keeps you on your course.

Skeleton is the poor man’s bobsleigh. It’s called Skeleton because that’s how you’ll end up after you fly off the track, break your neck and never breathe again. You do it alone and you do it by night when the rich kids aren’t using their track. You take your old toboggan, run like hell for a few yards and then race head-first down the icy track of death. Darwinism states that these kids shouldn’t live long enough to reproduce.

Figure skating is where men got it horribly wrong. At one point in time, one man said to another man “Hey Bob, let’s go down to the ice rink and check out those chicks figure skating.” Bob said “Sure, Jack, lemme just get my coat.” Bob got his coat and off they went. When they got there they sat down and watched all the pretty girls doing pretty stuff on the ice, all dance-like. And this is where Jack said something that would doom men for all eternity. “That looks like fun. I’m going to try it.”

Now, Nordic combined, that’s a sport for real men. Living up here in one of the Nordic countries, no one knows the dangers of the North better than me. Almost every single day I am forced into a situation where I quickly have to put on my skis, race down a mountain, take off from said mountain and fly 140 meters through the air, only to set a perfect telemark landing. This is almost always followed by a leisurely 10 kilometer cross country ski. Originally this practice was developed to escape the hungry polar bears roaming the streets, but nowadays we do it just for fun. Actually, it’s even part of my daily job commute. The second part of my commute involves something that doesn’t even have an English name. It consists of a big hole in the ice and a very cold swim. If you add a sauna it also doubles as the national pastime in Finland.

Well there you have it. I hope this will make it easier for you when you tune into Vancouver for a nice evening in front of the TV. Today’s highlights are the ski jumping event and the women’s Super G. Happy Olympic Games, everyone! And whatever you do, don’t forget the hockey with Canada-USA and Finland-Sweden tomorrow; otherwise you’ll miss a ton of really good fights. *


  1. I'm slightly obsessed with the Olympics. I admit it!

  2. Candice - Admitting you have a problem is the first step to recovery. Now, where did I put that remote...?

  3. I hear Plushenko is so depressed he might WASH his hair. Poor guy.

    Anyway, I also love the Olympics. My wife and I stay up all night watching them when we could be cleaning the house or something. Hockey is the best. My son had his first official fight tonight. At just 5' 9'', he took on a 6' 4'' 230-lb., 17-year-old bruiser and got blood all over his jersey. Not his own blood, the big guy's blood. He just about took the guy's nose off. My son's very strong for a 15 year old. Hockey's a great sport -- only for skilled stick handlers. :)

  4. Mike - You must be such a proud father. There's nothing like knowing your son can take care of himself in a good fight.

    The Olympics are definitely worth staying up for. Or in my case, getting up early in the morning for. And I almost never get up early in the morning to clean the house, so I completely get where you're coming from.

  5. Well, I don't know if I'm proud or just violent. But if he's going to have to fight somebody that big (the other guy started it), then I definitely want him to win. And he did.



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