Friday, March 27, 2009

Reflections on Winter's Wake

As March goes out, kicking and screaming like it always does here in New England, it begins to look like Old Man Winter may finally be behind us in earnest. Of course, these thoughts had crossed my mind in the past, only to be sandbagged by a final parting shot in the form of a snowstorm. But, with the last banks of road-darkened snow diminishing daily, and crocuses, (“croci?”) becoming the more common lawn accents, odds are in favor of spring finally establishing its first real toehold.

It is without nostalgia or wistful longing that I reflect on this winter past. The arctic weather and freezing temperatures and driveway covered with snow and ice all too vivid in my recollections, I had a difficult time finding something positive to write about it. It was not too long back, however, on a particularly icy day, that events transpired that transported my mind back to two years ago, and the Winter Olympics Ice Skating events. Now, I’m not saying that I slipped and fell, mind you, nor am I saying that I did so with exaggerated gestures and motions in an enthusiastic, if ill-fated attempt to regain balance, but suffice to say that I sympathized with those skaters who had the world yanked from beneath them and got to taste gravity’s fickle ire.

Had I actually slipped and fallen outside that day, it would have been only shortly afterwards, while nursing a bruised, uh, ego, that I found myself contemplating why it is that most guys don't care so much for figure skating, (although, I have found that it can be kinda humorous with the volume turned off...)


My own biggest problem with skating events is subjectivity. A true sport, especially an Olympic sport, should not hinge on how judges interpret creativity, or artistic expression. In fact, I feel that  “judges” really aren’t needed for true Olympic-caliber sports. Referees, sure. Judges? No. Points are earned, scores are made, and one or another contestant wins, or not. Period. (Many fans of figure skating vehemently disagree with me on this, but I stand by this belief.)


And so, it is with this maxim as my banner that I, (humbly,) suggest the following sports for future events in what I refer to, with all due humility, as My Kick-Ass Winter Olympics...


(Incidentally, I had briefly considered  snow shoveling as an event, but after this winter there could be hundreds of thousands of New England residents acing the qualifying rounds! So the shoveling event was taken out of the running.)

New Event Number 1. SNOWMOBILE RACING!. Yes. Now we’re talking. The age of the Olympic internal combustion engine-powered sport is too long overdue! I suggest a track covering a mile or two, through woods, over a frozen lake, and some neat-o high bank curves. This event would have all those reddened necks of NASCAR fans turned T.V.-ward for certain! 

(Further development of this event may see each machine having a two-man, (or woman,) team. One to drive and one in the back with a long stick... we'll call it a "Pugil Stick." Guess what that's for...)


New Event Number  2. THE BOBSLED RACE. Yes, I know they have Bobsled races already. But I don’t mean competing against the clock, or another team’s time, I mean five bobsleds all at once in a 5-mile downhill rally! C'MON! Excitement enough for Pay-Per-View!


And lastly, New Event Number 3. THE ALL-MODE DOWNHILL. A final event. Skiers, toboggans, snowboarder, those silly "luge" things, all competing against each other in a high speed, downhill event. Only the winners of their respective exclusive competitions can enter; The best of the best! This event makes all the other events seem like qualifying! Hey, even the snowmobilers can compete in this one!


I know, I know. I'm a visionary. Hey! You don't spend 75% of your life in front of a T.V. and not know good watchin'! 


These events have the potential to be great Olympic competitions, (or, at the very least, really interesting television,) and almost guaranteed to do for the Olympic’s ratings what “wardrobe malfunctions” did for the Superbowl’s!

Oh sure, there are those who might well call these ideas the ‘silly rantings of an abnormal mentality’ or dismiss them saying, “He just doesn’t get the spirit of the Olympics” or perhaps disagree with any number of points raised from my ideas. That is fine, and the prerogative of anyone who reads this. But please, don't just judge me on "artistic expression."

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