Now that we find ourselves at the start of the 30th Olympiad, it is time for us to perform another public service by giving you a quick rundown on things you need to know about each event of the Winter Olympic Games. Let’s be honest, this is where you can learn a lot more about the Olympics than those moulyaks at NBC are going to tell you.
There’s two main disciplines here. Going down a mountain at freeway speeds (downhill), and going down a mountain at freeway speed while letting a bunch of flags bust you in the face (slalom). If we need to explain why travelling 85 miles per hour on what’s basically ice which slopes downward steeper than Obama’s approval ratings can end in massive hilarity, you’re not going to get the joke that this sentence could have ended on anyway. If we really want to test the balance of these lunatics, we should take their ski poles away, and force them to make jazz hands all the whole down the damn mountain. If you can get to the end without giving yourself a pine-tree suppository, you win. If not…well, you don’t always need a street to have street justice.
The biggest hit to Alpine skiing is that Lindsey Vonn will not be competing in the 2014 games due to a knee injury suffered in December. Naturally, this is a tragic turn of events that we’re sure no starving African children are currently losing sleep over. We also think it’s a bullshit story, as she probably injured it roundhouse-kicking her current boyfriend Tiger Woods in the throat when she caught him texting whichever Hooters waitress was swallowing his 9-iron that week.
According to the purists, Biathlon is a “demanding combination of exertion and precision, the biathlon combines cross-country skiing and riflery.”
It is essentially the winter games’ version of Modern Pentahlon, meaning it roots stem from the military. It seems the Norwegians thought guys on skis with rifles was a great tactic for defending the nation’s borders. That was until 1940, when the Norweigians learned the hard way that small-caliber and skis waxed with reindeer grease were no match for the Luftwaffe.
We’re not sure why, but this event is at the same weirdly cool and difficult to watch. Let’s not bullshit here, the cool part is the rifles. But you have to endure a whole lot of cross-country skiing to get to the things that go bang. But there’s also a ton of growth potential here. All we have to do is combine the shooting part of this event with the flying snowboarders (as targets of course). There’s no way the fucktards at the X Games could top Scandinavian sharpshooters taking out a bunch of stoned snowboarders.
The first thing that comes to mind when they hear the word “bobsledding” is the 1993 John Candy vehicle “Cool Runnings.” We can’t decide which is the bigger tragedy in all of this, the fact that John Candy died right after making this movie, the fact that is arguably launched what Doug E. Doug calls a career, or that it failed to popularize driving a Volkswagen on skates down a frozen rain gutter. We figure it is the latter, because it didn’t eliminate the three biggest problems bobsled has.
First, nobody knows any bobsledders; just try to name one. Secondly, it never capitalized on the thing is it shares with NASCAR, which is the chance you might see a horrible wreck. Let’s face it, if you die from a bobsledding accident, we all get to see your lifeless corpse slide for several hundred feet, bouncing around like some sort of macabre marionette, and that makes for even better television than the fiery deaths of hillbillies who race cars powered with jet engines on tracks covered in petroleum jelly. But most importantly, as ironic as it is, if “Cool Runnings” is the first thing people think of when they hear about your sport, people don’t think much of your sport in the first place.
Curling can be best described as what you would get if you told Canadians to invent bowling. In actuality, curling was invented by the Scots, largely because they needed an outdoor drinking game to replace their first one, which was comprised mostly of being slaughtered by the English.
There’s no denying it’s resemblance to frozen bowling, and they’ve got the beer to prove it. But instead of hurling a ball at some pins, curling is bout heaving a heavy rock into other heavy rocks, while trying to get your heavy rock closets to the center of a target painted on the ice. But unlike bowling, it is also full of hot chicks. The one great thing about curling is if you live in a cold weather area and have a back-yard you don’t mind turning into a frozen pond, you can easily set up your own curling rink for almost no money. To start, you’ll need:
- Eight coffee pots (which you can either buy used from Goodwill, or steal from work if you really hate your job)
- A bag of Quikrete concrete mixing powder (which you can either get at Home Depot, or steal from work if you happen to work at Home Depot and really hate your job)
- A garden hose and two brooms (we’re not going to explain how you can acquire these two, because if you need an explanation at this point then you should head back to Home Depot, purchase a gallon of paint thinner and chug it in the parking lot)
Use the garden hose to flood your backyard, and while it’s freezing, mix up the Quikrete and fill the coffee pots with it. Once the water is frozen and the Quikrete is set, have three of your buddies come over with a case of beer each, and say goodbye to your dignity. You’ve just started your own curling league.
Like bowling, curling is only fun if you are doing it. Watching it on television is like tuning into an on-ice version of shuffleboard in an arena full of people who have no fucking clue what the rules of this game are. The only way it is tolerable is if you happen to be watching the version that includes the hot chicks. Even then, this sports is really only popular in places like Manitoba, where you can find hundreds of wannabe curling announcers who can bombard you with tales of curling all the way back to the 1970s. This only gets us closer to answering a question which nobody ever asks, which is how the fuck does one become a curling announcer anyway?
Figure skating had it’s most exciting moment 20 years ago (let’s see if we remember this correctly) when Mary Lou Retton hired some Costa Rican asshole to poison Florence Griffith-Joyner. Obviously, our recollection may not be spot on, but the fact remains that Florence Griffith-Joyner is dead and Tonya Harding sure as shit isn’t on all of those TruTV shows with some of the comedians Meehan interviews because of her monstrous comedic talents. UFC commentator Joe Rogan had the best assessment of our nation’s obsession with loathing Tonya Harding when he said “She smokes, she drives a pickup truck, and she’s got a big ass. And that’s why we fuckin’ hate her…because that’s us.”
Now, there might be a ton of truth in that statement, but Rogan’s missing several important points here, not the least of which is that both America and figure-skating owe Tony Harding a debt of gratitude. First of all, let’s just call a spade a spade here. You didn’t give a fuck who Nancy Kerrigan was before she got knee-capped, but once you did, but once you discovered what she was really all about, you knew even Gandhi would have parted her hair with a crow-bar.
Second of all, it is twenty years later, and Tonya Harding is still the name that moves the needle when it comes to figure skating. If that sport doesn’t come with another star soon, knee-clubbing may soon become an integral part of the routines, and there will be Russian judges deducting tenths of points for not having a high enough backswing.
Time for even more honesty. When we say this sport needs a star, we mean it needs an AMERICAN star. Americans don’t give a frog’s fat ass about anything they aren’t good at, and they sure as hell don’t care about some Chinese girl who if she doesn’t win will be forced into a short life of being an organ donor. That’s why in the grand scheme of things, all the hate we heap on Tonya Harding for having some walking bag of cold cuts take a lugwrench to the knee of some horse-toothed whiner show a complete lack of perspective when you stop to consider if Nancy Kerrigan were Chinese, Magic Johnson would be snorting her powdered pancreas as the latest bizarre treatment in his eternal struggle with HIV.
Now for the part where we are going to get hate mail, but it isn’t our problem if you can’t handle the truth. All stereotypes evolve from at least a kernel of truth, and the biggest stereotype about the men who participate in this event is that…wait for it…they’re gay. What we really don’t understand is why people are so shocked when we mention this. These guys dress up tight, frilly costumes and spin around in a tightly choreographed fashion to a big-budget soundtrack. In other works, they are the musical theater on ice, and yet nobody recoils in horror if you tell them Tommy Tune is a homosexual. But for some reason, there are a whole lot of people in this country who simply cannot bring themselves to admit that Johnny Weir, Scott Hamilton, and almost every other male figure skater going all the way back to Dick Button and beyond was gay.
Oddly enough, the whole idea of the sexuality in this event defies why men won’t watch it. You would think gay or straight, men would be all over this because which ever way your wand points means figure skating is chock full of people in skin-tight outfits striking poses seen most often on poles at strip clubs. Not being ones, we can’t speak to the appeal for the gay male, but as a straight guys, we sure as shit know many of the women in these events give us ideas that would land us in the HR office were we to vocalize them at work. The only problem is that some of these “women” are 15 years old, and we live in a country where “fifteen will get you twenty.” Not the mention, all of us non-pervos get a but squeamish when we realize the firm buttocks we’ve been ogling belong to an eighth-grader.
To make a long story short, despite it’s penchant for violence and scantily-clad women, two things Americans love, most American males would only watch figure skating if they were strapped to a chair with their eyes stapled open.
One would think this event is truly American because it combines so many completely “invented while high” activities, which is the American skiing community’s raison d’être. In reality, this stupid shit was cooked up by the Norweigians who realized that Biathlon was never going to save the country, and so they guzzled vodka and launched themselves off rooftops in an attempt to distract themselves from the impending Nazi occupation. No matter its roots, this is an event which consists of aerials, moguls, ski cross, ski half-pipe and slopestyle.
The first problem is that without looking, nobody really knows what those disciplines are. Secondly, this event once included something called ski ballet, and event which has the term “Ballet’ even remotely attached to it needs to have its “sport” status revoked. Regardless of the discipline, this is really just flying figure skating. Not to mention, this event is a great example of how throwing the word “freestyle” in front of anything gives it the illusion of being fun to watch. We probably wouldn’t have had to listen to such a ridiculous debate about the merits of torture had we simply called it “freestyle waterboarding.”
Hockey really is the only reason to watch the Winter Olympics, other than the non-jailbait hot chicks in curling. Hockey is the purest example of a sport on this list, and not just because it passes J-Dubs’ test for what is and isn’t a sport. Hockey is not only one of the four major-league American sports, it is also a world sport as well. That’s important because it’s status as a world sport means it isn’t something that we Americans forced down the Olympic committee’s throat, like all that snowboarding bullshit. J-Dub is one of the few black guys who loves hockey, and Meehan is one of millions of white guys afraid to admit they love it, so we really can’t savage it here.
Besides, how many people in the prosthetic teeth/dentistry industry live financially secure lives thanks to hockey players?
Not to mention, there will be an exhaustive Olympic Hockey preview coming soon on Sports Blog Movement.
Riding a 30-pound sled down a laundry chute feet first is different than bobsledding for what reason exactly? Impact. Think about it; a bobsled is basically a car, it could have airbags and seatbelts, and if you are the guy in the back, you have as many as three other people to soak up the impact. But in luge, when you hit the wall, you are taking the full force of that impact right in the ankles, which means you are going to snap your leg bones like you were Joe Theismann at a log-bone snapping contest. The best analogy here for the effect the potential of impact has on this sport is pogo sticking. When done it is proper and intended “up and down” fashion, it’s simply a goofy activity that isn’t a whole lot of fun to watch. But when it gets off the vertical plane, and you get a guy careening into a brick wall through nobody doing but his own, you’ve got what made Rob Dyrdek a millionaire.
According to Wikipedia, “Lugers compete against a timer and are timed to a thousandth of a second, making luge one of the most precisely timed sports in the world.” According to Sports Blog Movement, most sports which are precisely timed to such a razor-sharp margin use the clock to leech the excitement right out of them. Doubt that? Think about track and field and wonder why we give a shit about the 100m dash now. It is because Usain Bolt is so much faster than all of the other guys; he could have run this race carrying an anchor and still won handily. Like it or not, Americans’ love dominance.
For those of you who aren’t familiar with what this event is, it’s the combination of both cross-country skiing and ski-jumping. If you’ve read this far, then you really shouldn’t have take a problem guessing who invented yet another goofy combination sport. Yep, it was the goddamn Norwegians. Who else would take of the most boring events and combine it with what could easily be one of the best? to be fair, this inability to combine things successfully is not limited to Norway, it is a Scandinavia-wide problem. The best example of this is Sweden, who managed to combine large-breasted blondes with nymphomania, and still ended up with a country with one of the world’s highest suicide rates.
That’s why as we break down what Nordic combined actually is, we going to propose a few changes that could actually make at least part of this interesting. For example, we could have the winners of those two events try to outrun a snowplow? The last guy to get run over wins. But, there’s more…
- Cross-Country Skiing:
The same people who find this an exciting event are the same one s who like watching people use the NordicTrack at the gym. You likely aren’t one of those people because you are reading this, which in most states means you are not legally blind. It’s the gym connection which makes cross-country skiing the true “hipster” winter activity because the people into it are the ones who say shit like “life’s a journey, not a destination” and deflect the fact this event is crushingly boring by telling you in a sniffing, condescending manner that it is “so much cooler than you’ll ever understand.”
Now, before you punch one of these quinoa-eating weasels in the throat with a ski pole, stop and think how fucking dumb they are. Consider this for a moment…Supposing that life is a journey and not a destination, and you’re supposed to enjoy the first as opposed to the latter, does that mean when you step in water, your socks get soaked and you have to tolerate that until you get a chance to change them, which part of that situation do you enjoy more: A) the part where while getting to the change of socks, you feel like you have trenchfoot and are hoping to God you don’t have to get one of your toes amputated (the journey), or B) the part where you’re sitting in front of your heater while your socks thaw in the dryer (the destination)? If your answer was A, you are a moron.
- Ski Jumping:
I bet Sally Field as the Flying Nun would have kicked ass in this event. Or Pink, since she seems to like to do weird shit in the air and is probably a lesbian. In a nutshell, here’s the problem ski jumping has. We love to see people doing things that people aren’t meant to do, like flying off a mountain. We also love to see people on the verge of a spectacular death, like when they are flying off a mountain. But this is another example where the fact this sport has been fined down to fractions of an inch takes all the fun out of it. It’s supposed to look modern and cool, yet it still appears cornier than J-Dubs’ stool the morning after he went on one of his belt-busting load-up jobs at Golden Corral. Face it, surgical precision is boring.
Give these guys a Red Bull loaded with vodka and a hot dose of heroin as a reward for enduring the cross-country skiing, then send their asses down the ramp. Tell us how a bunch of dudes with impaired vision and slowed reaction times trying to “stick the landing” wouldn’t make for the best second-and-a-half in sports.
Even though Meehan is big into inline skating (which is weird, because he’s the one who wrote the fun little bits about tolerance in the figure skating piece), he still thinks speed skating needs to be called what it is: Rollerblading on Ice. If you think about, he’s got a point. Look at the motion involved in speed skating. It’s exactly the same as you see soccer moms in floral-print spandex shorts doing around suburban parks. If that were qualification alone to be an Olympic event, then they would be handing out medals for picking up dogshit with a plastic bag on your hand.
Again, this is an event in which the athletes involved have some serious ability, but the fact it is all about one motion means watching speed skating is like watching the Weather Channel for three hours. To do that, you either have to be really stoned or recovering from a stroke. The athletes in this sport are incredible, but realistically the motion consists of only one movement. If we know anything, it’s that being a “one-trick” pony really limits your interest level. Just look at Pauly Shore, who happens to be the living proof that America gets tired of watching the same thing quicker than Oprah Winfrey’s weight oscillates. That whole “Weasel” schtick expired faster than discount-priced milk, and the fact there was no “Son-In-Law 2” ought to tell you that we will be growing hydroponic tomatoes on Mars before speed skating will catch on in this country.
Speed Skating (Short Track):
As we learned in the Luge segment, when it comes to efficiency, the Olympic Committee will never be very good at ensuring variety in these events. For example, short track speed skating is all about who can go around a hockey rink the fastest. That means for distances as short as 1000 meters, skaters have to make 200 laps. We would say they were literally skating inside a phone booth, but nobody under the age of 40 except 1990’s crack dealers even know what those were.
The reason why that matters is there is no reason why we should have multiple short track speed skating events. Just make every body skate the longest event, and then use available technology to determine winners for everything else. In other words, everybody skates the eleventy bazillion-meter event, then we use cameras and digital timers to determine all the winners. The guy who is leading a 100 meters wins that medal, the guy who is leading a 500 meters wins that event and so on.
The other advantage this format would present is it would increase the chances for us to see gruesome injuries. Just like those NASCAR races on the ridiculously small tracks, getting all those racers crowded into a small space only ups the odds that one wipes out in a fashion that takes them all out. Let’s be even more honest, this event has all the possibility of serious injury. In a pile up of speed skaters, coming into contact with those foot-and-a-half-long blades you could speed-shave a Bigfoot with could leave you looking like the main course at a Benihana. That means being the first guy into one of those piles in the corner could easily end up withyour family making closed-casket funeral arrangements. That makes for even better television than the bobsledders can.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, skeleton is essentially the same as luge; you’re riding a 30-pound sled down a laundry chute, except you are doing it head first. Think about what we said about the impact in luge. Now change that to head first. It’s one thing to shatter your ankles; it entirely another to break open your skull like an over-ripe melon. Even the worst shattered ankles can allow you to heal and walk again, but busting your brain into a wall of ice at 85 miles per hour means you are going to end up in a home wearing a hockey helmet and voting straight Democrat.
So, the potential for life-altering injuries aside, the question is how did this get the name “skeleton” anyway? Like most things, chicks love guys who do dangerous stuff, which ironically is why chicks love married guys. That notwithstanding, we think the reason this event was given the name “skeleton” had everything to do with giving the participants a chance to pick up chicks in the Olympic Village. Which sounds better? “I’m on the U.S. Skeleton team” or “I dive head first onto a sled?”
If the beer drinkers get Curling, then it’s only fair the stoners get an event. Instead of medals, in snowboarding the winners get microwave burritos. The fact that snowboarding is an Olympic event might be the best reason why we hate the International Olympic Committee.
First of all, why did anybody think that an event borne of stoners who took the wheels of their skateboards so they could spend their winters harassing the sled kids at the local park could possibly deserve such elevated status? That’s what bullshit like the X Games is for. That’s where snowboarding belongs, in a world where Carrot Top’s twin brother Shaun White spends his peak years selling Monster energy drinks to pimply-faced teenagers, and everybody else spends years trying to be the next twin brother to Carrot Top, only to blow out their ankles a week before the Games, after which they get to spend their peak years being the guy at the Kwik-Mart who sells the microwave burritos to the next generation of future ankle-snappers. How’s that for a “circle of life?”
While the Olympics are a collection of events that most of us could never actually do (with the sole exception of Curling), that still doesn’t mean anybody really cares. The perfect analogy comes from an event which takes place across the river from Meehan’s domicile.
In Iowa, they have an event every year called RAGBRAI, which is essentially a big bicycle ride across the state. Grated, there a ton of athletic prowess involved in doing that; Lord knows our booze-bloated asses couldn’t do it. But that’s not the point. The point is why the fuck would we want to? If we suddenly have a need to be in Omaha, that’s why they have roads, cars, buses, trains, planes, sled dogs, mule teams, and various other options which don’t entail dying of a heart-attack along the side of Interstate 80.
Now, if you wouldn’t want to actually do something, why the fuck would you want to watch other people doing it? That’s the question the Winter Olympics can’t really answer, and it really needs to before it starts featuring events like driveway shoveling and snowman building.