Winter Doldrums



I don’t know about you, but I have a really hard time getting into the Winter Olympics.

My problem is not with Sochi or Vladimir Putin or Bob Costas’ eye, it is, in fact with the alleged sports we are supposed to be watching and enjoying every night. With the grand exception of hockey, I really don’t find many of these ice/snow sports particularly compelling. With that fact and that fact alone, I find myself turning the channel more often than sticking around to watch what amounts to little more than the glorified X-Games.

I think my biggest problem with most of the winter games is that, for the most part, the events are all judged and I don’t think judging leads to real athletic competition. Imagine if you watched a football game and the only point was for the teams to run plays and then a panel of judges (who you know have their own agendas) gave the teams scores based on how well they ran their plays. Well, that’s how I feel when I watch things like figure skating or snowboarding or freestyle skiing (or gymnastics for that matter, but I’ll save that one for another day). Sure, it’s all pretty and amazing. Sometimes I even go “whoa” when the performers do whatever it is they’re doing. The fact of the matter is I have no idea if what they did was really as awesome as I think it is. I’m left waiting for the judge to give the person a score. When that happens I have to either be happy with the score or scratch my head thinking that somehow the judge cheated the person out of a better score. Hopefully maybe you see what I’m getting at. Sports should have a definite winner. They should not be judged like a dog show.

My second issue with the Winter Olympics has to do with the television schedule. First off, I often find it hard to find the things I am most interested in watching – like say the bobsled, luge or biathlon. This year in particular is no good for us in the USA as things like hockey start at 7 a.m. (earlier if you’re on the west coast), while other games are on live at 3 a.m. It’s like you have to take two weeks off from your normal life if you want to watch these things when they actually happen and if you don’t and try to catch the highlights in prime time you very often run into the sad fact that you already know who won. And you know the only thing worse than watching a sporting event that is judged? Yes, you guessed it, watching a sporting even where you already know the winner.

I think I will stop my angry ramble now. For a minute there I was feeling a bit like Andy Rooney at the end of 60 Minutes. I sincerely hope you are getting more out of the Winter Olympics than I am, but if that’s not the case, there’s plenty of good programming on HGTV every night. At least that’s what my wife tells me.