Sure, the Olympics are slathered in corporate sponsorship, the athletes are in the sights of the Stasi -like World Anti-Doping Agency (see the January/February issue of Outside magazine on this organization) and the whole cabal is under the most (apparently) corrupt organization since Enron, the International Olympic Committee. Still, there are some valid and in fact fantastic reasons to tune into the games of the 21st Olympics.
1. Curling. This is not a stand up and cheer while athletes are separated by thousandths of a second speed demon sport. This is baseball. On ice. A pitcher’s duel. Plus, I love sports that I could play (but not well) and anything that lends itself to drinking while doing so (which I would).
2. Pot. Our neighbors in Vancouver can smoke pot…legally. I guess someone realized that in a society that parcels out prescription pain meds like candy on Halloween, maybe a few stoners around the park really isn’t that bad. (Someone I work with had a bad back and came back from the doctor’s with a fifth of vicodin, about a half gallon of 800mg ibuprofen and thermos of flexeril and all for less than a deli sandwich.)
3. X-Game Sports. So maybe the snowboard half-pipe doesn’t have the historical chops of the slalom but it’s great that slackers can take their anti-establishment hordes and piss off the purists.
5. Hockey. I will watch this for two reasons. 1) Players I know compete…I mean, players I know of. 2) If the 1980 Olympic Hockey team is not engrained in your memory…shame on you. (At the bottom of the “sports moments I will never forget” list was watching Bream round third to knock the Bucs out of the Series. I could literally choreograph that entire play.) Plus, I am secretly hoping Orpik lays Ovechkin the fuck out.
So, I will watch the opening ceremonies as the athletes engage in camcorder duels with the spectators. I will be pulling for Kwame Nkrumah-Acheampong of Ghana in the Men’s Giant Slalom. Maybe I will be ringing a cowbell. Are cowbells rung during the slalom or is that the bobsled event? Not sure, but I know during one of them you hear lots of cowbells and people yelling “woo woo woo woo.” Oh, and I will try to convince my wife that I really enjoy grace and elegance of Ice Dancing.