Friday, February 17, 2006

You want to save the Olympic movement? Put me in charge...

After being exposed to severe Winter Olympics overload, I had a stunning moment of clarity. I realized that for the Olympics to remain successful in a cable, satellite, and internet porn filled world, they need to evolve. The IOC need only to approve the broadcast a few quality sports, rather than overwhelm us with quanity, weirdness, and chick approved TV spectacle. So in that vein, if I was in charge of the IOC, what Winter Olympics sports would I eliminate and which would I keep? I'm glad you asked...

As I've said in a previous post, I'll never care about the pseudo sports that require artistic judging or are used to keep the female population enthralled. That eliminates the majority of Olympic events right off the bat.

Let's say goodbye to all types of figure skating, which FOX is handling quite well with their "Skating With Celebrities" train wreck. Any activity that cannot be done to one's utmost ability because you missed your bus and had a bad biorhythm day (Just ask USA choke artist Johnny Weir), derserves to stay in the reality TV ghetto.

Good riddance to freestyle sking and snowboarding, as the only people who care are those who think Mountain Dew actually tastes good. They can use their PS2's and watch the X Games to get their fix of the "Flying Tomato."

Unfortunately, ski jumping is gone as well. It can stay only if the winner is the person who flew the farthest while not falling on their ass, not who has the most stylish landing. If I want a stylish landing, I'll head to "The Landing Strip." Remember to bring lots of singles...

Cross country sking is wonderful exercise. But when did watching people exercise become must see TV? Once upon time it was, but it sure wasn't cross country sking. It was the glorious softcore of "The 20 Minute Workout."

Then what do you have when you add the previous two activities together? Some strange ass hybrid called "Nordic Combined." I thought that's was it was called when a Swede and an Finlander hooked up... I might be wrong, as I swear I saw Chuck Norris appearing in an infomercial for "Nordic Combined" fitness equipment.

Biathlon? Cross country sking mixed with target shooting? Sounds to me like something that belongs in another ESPN faux event, "The Great Outdoor Games." Biathlon was more fun to watch when the Nazi's did it in old World War II flicks. The USA always won then, so why in the Hell aren't we competitve now? I blame Bush.

Curling is cool, in that it I could see hanging out with my buddies drinking beer, and throwing stones. But it's as much of a sport as darts, pool, eating pickled eggs, and Golden Tee. Any game that you can play well while boozing isn't so much a sport as a damn cool bar activity. Yet MSNBC and CNBC devote several hours a day to the coverage of curling. Who on earth is watching, other than expat Canucks and Fred Roggin groupies?

Speed skating is up there with cross country sking in its lack of excitement. It's lap after lap after lap of large thighed freaks going really fast and turning left. Wait, isn't that NASCAR? I can't say, as I'm unsure of the size of Dale Earnhardt Jr's thighs.

Now that we've seperated the snow from the slush, let's determine what it'll take for a sport to remain in the Olympics. After much thought, I've come up with four requirements.

1. High odds of severe injury.
2. Athletes must have suicidal tendencies.
3. Helmet required to survive.
4. Most importantly, NO JUDGES.

So that leaves us with, snowboardcross, short track speed skating, alpine sking (especially the downhill), hockey, bobsled, skeleton, and luge. Nothing more.

Snowboardcross is what Rollerball would look like if it was filmed in the winter. Jonathan would have RULED in snowboardcross... Add steel balls and motorcycles, and I'll give you a 30 share.

Short track speed skating is much like watching Figure 8 bus racing. You know there is going to be a crash, the skaters know there's going to be a crash, and we all know it'll be a HUGE damn crash. Plus you have Apolo Anton Ohno to attract chick viewers. You can't watch every event by yourself, that's kinda creepy...

As for the alpine sking events, Bode Miller advcates downhill sking while drunk. That's good enough for me. We just need to add drunk sking as a medal event. Alpine combined requiring Jagerbombs would get at least a 25 share and the comdenation of the conservative right.

Hockey is a no brainer. Literally. Just talk to Gary Bettman for proof.

Bobsledding is NASCAR on ice, as there is always the threat of mass carnage. In a nice bit of synergy, former NASCAR racer Geoff Bodine designed the USA sleds, called the "Bo-dyn." There's been one thing about bobsledding that always bothered me. How on earth in "Cool Runnings" did the filmmakers expect us to buy John Candy as a former champion bobsledder? Please...

The only thing I'd change about skeleton and luge is to eliminate the two man luge event. That's a bit too "Brokeback Mountain" for most men's taste. Just think how uncomfortable you got watching Matt Lauer and Al Roker get their slide on the other day... Otherwise, they are just wonderful sports for those with a death wish. Kurt Cobain would have been a world class luger...

If the IOC followed my suggestions, we'd have the Olympics over and done with in less than a week, and they never would have to worry about losing to "American Idol" in Nielson ratings again. I'll be awaiting their call.


  1. Man, you had to mention that Matt Lauer and Al Roker incident--I had finally gotten that image out of my head!

    Back to therapy...

  2. Can we vote for IOC president? Consider this an official endorsement for Big Al.

    What a great analysis of the Winter Olympics. You took the nagging itch at the back of my head and put it into words. So many of these events don't seem like sports.

    At the risk of losing my Man Card, I'll admit that I watch the figure skating events. And I was mildly interested in ice dancing, until I heard one of the analysts explain important factors such as dance artistry, costuming, following music, etc. Not exactly "throw it farther than the other guy" kind of competition.

  3. Ian,

    I'll gladly accept your IOC nomination, we just need someone to second it!

    As for figure skating, it's athletic, but it's as much a sport as the WWE. When you have a so-called medal "Sport" in which your attire is made primarily of spandex, sequins, and feathers, (Sounnds like wrestling, doesn't it?) it's the Ice Capades, not a sport...