Monday, March 1, 2010

The Winter Olympics are over and I am sad.  Gone are the drama, the personal vignettes, the spirit of competition and the mind-numbing commentary.  I enjoy the Olympics, and since my wife is Canadian, I enjoyed them doubly this year. 

My favorite part of the Olympics?  Sid the Kid scoring the Gold Medal-winning goal in overtime.  What a finish!  I was torn, since I bleed red, white and blue, but my solace is that the Kid was vindicated and my wife was overjoyed.  That, to me, is priceless.

My second favorite moment at the Olympics?  Watching Shawn White do his thing.  He is a marvel to watch.  The distance between his ability and the competitors' is intimidating. 

My favorite Pre/Post Olympics moment?  It's a toss-up between the whales seeming to pop out of the ground at Olympic Stadium and the 60+ Folk/Rock legend, Neil Young singing "Long May You Run."  It was wonderful to hear him sing so clearly.  His voice is classic.  I loved the beat-up acoustic/electric guitar and his casual dress.  It was like he was singing to us in his den or on his back porch.  I will probably have to say, Neil, if you twisted my arm.

My least favorite part of the Olympics?  The announcers.  Most were doing their best, I know, but it was a disaster in general.  The hockey announcers did fine until you got to studio and they were like school kids with Nintendos.  I know the hockey was out-of-this-world good, but crank back on the sugar, boys.  The rest of the announcers (especially the figure skating) were atrocious.  And someone tell Chris Collinsworth to go back to football.  Even there, he is annoying, but sheesh!  He's a cliche-machine.  The one bright light?:  the announcers at speed skating--good on ya, Dan Jansen.  For a former athlete, he kept the commentary to the simple and the expedient and gave us insight that even laymen could comprehend. 

So, did you watch the Olympics?  What interested you?  What made you laugh?  My biggest laugh came as the American bobsled team was preparing to go, the lead pusher (who looks like Jack Black's older brother) and his teammates were referred to as athletes.  In those spandex, skin-tight uniforms, with no room for the imagination, it would be difficult to look at the specimens to which the announcers referred and tag them with the term "athlete."  Before anyone responds to that, let me say two things: 1)I am rotund as well.  I would never put on spandex (without monetary reimbursement for mental and physical damage) let alone expect for others who gaze at me to consider my form to be athletic; and 2) I recognize that their sport takes immense stamina, strength, courage and determination.  My comments do not in any way disparage their sport, but only the notion of recognizing them as athletes.  In my mind, an athlete is svelt, muscular of form, without excess stores of fat, and shuns the buffet at Big Ed's Pork Palace.  That's all I'm sayin'.