Thursday, August 14, 2008

AMERICAN AIRLINES FLIGHT 1427, SOMEWHERE OVER EASTERN NEW MEXICO (February 23) -- These days, I tend to watch most televised sporting events in a series of leisurely-spaced casual glances, but I have to admit, since I got home from the West Coast Swing, I've been riveted to the Winter Olympics. So much so that as I write, I'm heading to Winter Park, Colo., with my sons with every intention of falling head-first down a mountain. The school ski-trip needed a chaperone or two and apparently I'm qualified to look after someone else's teenagers. Oh yeah. The fact that I'm the man their parents warned them about is irrelevant. We're supposed to be staying at the Y, but I don't think I can do that. No room service, thin toilet paper, communal TV room, and no bar.

Wait a minute... no bar? Did I really say that?

I did and it has just struck me that it might be true. Other peoples' children and no bar. That does it for me: one of those things isn't going to happen. The minute I get there, I'm finding the nearest Four Seasons, and getting a ground floor room that I can ski out of. That way, I can leave the sliding door open and use the sofa as an airbag when I ski back in. I've mastered every part of this sport except the stopping bit, which is a bit awkward at times, and something I prefer to do in the privacy of my own room.

I was watching the Olympics last night and I have to say I felt a little sorry for the figure skaters. I love watching skating, with all its giggling, squealing, tears, tight buttocks, and sequins. And that's just the men. The ladies are even more fun, especially when someone like Sarah Hughes shows up. She reminded me of Tiger Woods in so many ways. Except of course she's white and a girl.

But when Tiger first appeared he displayed the same mannerisms, had the same unconscious smile and, and played golf the way Hughes skated last night -- with blissed-out, it's-incredible-to-be-here abandon. Golf needed Tiger, and boy, does skating need Sarah Hughes. In fact, Sarah probably isn't enough to save skating, or the Winter Olympics for that matter. It's time for the IOC to get honest about this. I mean, if the judges are getting paid, I think we might as well pay the athletes, too.

Oh yeah, I forgot. They are getting paid.

Now that I come to think of it, the rules of some of these winter pastimes probably should be blended with other sports. For instance, the figure skating pairs could use a little help from ice hockey. There should be fighting for a start. Bitch-slapping on ice would be brilliant to watch. Hell, we had cross-checking in the warm-ups this year, so why not go the whole hog?

Then there's the bobsled. Oh man I love the bobsled, but I would love to see a little NASCAR action thrown in. Make the run four times as wide, and make them qualify for the pole position. Drafting, swappin' paint, and sleds spinning out and hitting the wall because of Red Man loogies on the ice. YEEEEHAA!

Here's a good one for you. Instead of the two-man luge between consenting adults, how about we have two big naked fat guys in an inner-tube?

Hmm... maybe you're right. How would they stop? I can see it now, 600 pounds of quivering, naked skin and black rubber, covered with Sheetrock and splinters in the middle of the Mormon Tabernacle. Play that funky music, white boy. Wait a minute, we're landing here. This'll have to be continued elsewhere.

Later that day, in a heavily disguised Motel 6 which is buried in gray snow. Stopped halfway up the hill to buy fresh habanero beef jerky, most of which was consumed by youngest son...

Now the Russians and the South Koreans are talking about pulling out. Somebody needs to suck it up, get their chin off the ice, loosen the drawstring on their codpiece, or whatever. Although much of this could have been avoided if someone at the IOC had had the brains to invite the 1980 Russian hockey team to join the Americans in the lighting of the flame. The worst that could have happened was a massive fight for the torch might've broken out between a bunch of toothless old guys, which would've been great TV anyway. In these strange days, the recognition that the Russians were part of that magic moment might have gone a long way. We were enemies then, but aren't we friends now?

Like I said, I feel sorry for the figure skaters. How does anyone who ever won a medal know if somebody wasn't leant on? The only thing lacking from the coverage of figure skating was Conan O'Brien's famous guest interviewer at the Westminster Dog Show -- Triumph, the insult dog.

In fact, I think the figure skating judges and the Westminster judges might be the same people. I've never seen them together.

"And now, the winners of the gold medal... for me to poop on!"

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