Saturday, February 25, 2006

Are the Olympics still on?

Has anybody been watching the Olympics? Yeah. That's what I thought. NBC sure isn't getting their money's worth this time around. I have watched a few events, though, and I have to say I'm a little confused about some of the scoring systems. I finally figured out the Curling thing. I watched the women's finals, in which the Swedes beat the Swiss in what turned out to be a very close competition. The Swedes were way ahead of the Swiss about three-fourths through the match, and then Grady Little decided to let Pedro...oh, wait, that wasn’t it. But the Swedish coach did make what even I could tell was a bad decision. Anyway, the Swedes pulled it out in the end. The eleventh end, to be exact. End is apparently what they call each round. And ten is the game, but in this case it went into extra ends, or innings.

Anyway, the Curling, once you actually figured out the scoring, was actually pretty interesting. There's a lot of strategy involved. And it’s a lot more fun to watch than ice dancing.

Speaking of ice sports, well, let’s not focus on the hockey too much. Mostly because I didn’t see any of the games. I think skating takes the gold in the bad attitude finals. Shani Davis won a close match against that Italian bi… uhhh…skater who practically melted the ice out from under her partner with her glare. If looks could kill, her partner would be dead for falling on top of her after he dropped her. The Italians, Barbara Fusar Poli and Maurizio Margaglio, made up after their next performance but that first impression really stuck. And Shani Davis (did you see tha look on the interviewer's face when he showed so much emotion after he won a silver medal? Unfortunately that emotion was akin to disdain rather than elation. What's with this guy? Although he was seen cheering on Chad Hedrick during the men’s 15,000 meter finals in which Hedrick got silver. Maybe Davis isn’t such a jerk after all. Well, maybe he is but at least he showed a little team spirit yesterday.

Oh yeah. Back to the scoring confusion. Okay, here’s what’s got me befuddled. (Wow, I finally got to use that word in a sentence!) American Sasha Cohen falls in the free skate finals, not once but two times, and skates away with a silver medal. The German snowboarder crashed and burned during the finals of the women’s parallel giant slalom…and took the silver medal. Lindsay Jacobellis falls near the end of her snowboard finals and slides away with a silver medal. (She had the gold locked up until she started celebrating prematurely and dropped the ball before crossing the goal line.) The Chinese pairs figure skaters fell hard during their finals, and won silver. America’s Jeret Peterson does the most difficult trick ever in men’s aerials finals and dragged his hand on the landing. He didn’t fall, he just dropped his hand a little too low. And he gets…seventh place. Huh? What, no silver? How does that work? Maybe he should have fallen. Oh, yeah, then he got kicked out of the Athletes’ Village and sent packing back to the U.S. for fighting. In hockey he’d only have gotten a five minute time-out. In the summer Olympics he could have gotten the silver for boxing.

I wonder if the athletes are disappointed that they've worked so hard and made so many sacrifices to win an Olympic Medal and all they get is a CD-on-a-rope.

I think the people responsible for Olympic scoring systems are the same folks who set up the college BCS football schedule. And put the Memphis Grizzlies in the NBA’s Southwest division. Or the NFL’s Baltimore Ravens in the AFC North while sticking the Indianapolis Colts in the AFC South. And forget about the folks who assigned Detroit to the NHL’s Western Conference and Dallas to the Pacific. Never mind that Detroit is East of the Mississippi and you have to go through either three states or the whole country of Mexico to get from Dallas to the Pacific coast. I think it’s all a plot by the Bush administration to divert our attention from, well, anything the Bush administration has done. Or not done. I’m surprised GW hasn’t gotten Olympic Silver. Maybe in the 2008 Summer Olympics…..