I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve had more fun in the lead-up to this Olympics than I’ve ever had before.
It’s because we, as Americans, love train wrecks: impending trainwrecks, ongoing trainwrecks, pictures of trainwrecks from the 1880s, Wile E. Coyote attempting to blow up a train bridge with malfunctioning ACME dynamite, it doesn’t matter.
There is no trainwreck discrimination, and the Sochi games have provided no shortage of them. Dog-killing squads? Check. Double toilets? Check. Re-entry of the word “cossack” into the American lexicon? Check. It’s all there. But as fun as all this coverage has been, it really is the events that matter.
Everyone’s got a favorite event in the Winter Games, but what does your favorite event say about you?
What it says: As Professor Scott Steiner once famously claimed, “you must be one of them chicks that likes romance.” And really, what’s not romantic about an Estonian couple tandem lutzing to “Unchained Melody” while the Russian judge just sits there and waits to pull a big ol’ 3 out of his bowl of Borscht?
There’s a tension to figure skating that doesn’t exist in many other events; some of these athletes have been training since kindergarten for their one shot at the Olympics. And there’s the underlying possibility that if they fail, there’s some roided-up henchman in the back waiting to deliver a brand of justice that Jeff Gilooly wishes he had thought of.
What it says: You’re a blood-thirsty monster. Let’s cut the bullshit here–nobody watches this event for ANY other reason than to see people wipe out going faster than a Panamera in third gear. Is that fast, even? I’m lazy and have never driven anything that isn’t automatic. Point is that there’s nothing exciting about a graceful landing.
It probably doesn’t bode well for us as a people that we’re not satiated by incredible feats of daring and athleticism, but I’ll be damned if a ski jumper ragdolling like a Grand Theft Auto pedestrian struck by a semi-truck isn’t the sole reason that I’ll be tuning in.
What it says: You love America. For all the hyperbole we spew about loving America, it really does come to fruition during the hockey tournament. It doesn’t matter in the slightest that Patrick Sharp has helped lead your Chicago Blackhawks to a pair of Stanley Cups in the last four years. Now he’s syrup-chugging scum. It doesn’t matter that you bought Washington Capitals season tickets just to watch Alexander Ovechkin light 50 lamps a year–you hope he gets trampled by a rogue brown bear. It doesn’t matter that you have a Henrik Lundqvist bobblehead on your nightstand. Maybe he topple down a fjord.
You’re now rooting for scrappy gym rats like Dustin Brown, T.J. Oshie, and taxi cab superfan Patty Kane. First guy to take a cheap shot on Sidney Crosby get a lifetime supply of Bud heavy and front row tickets to a Springsteen concert. USA! USA!
What it says: You prefer “Cool Runnings” to “The Mighty Ducks”. Please don’t get the wrong idea. John Candy’s magnum opus is a cornerstone of any respectable ’90s upbringing, but the event itself is not interesting. Try to name any of the teams that medaled in 2010 without looking. You can’t. Nobody can. Not even the members of the teams that medaled. It doesn’t have the panache of luge and it doesn’t have the oh-my-god-this-person-is-going-to-die-on-national-television aura of skeleton.
Bobsled is the safety scissors cousin of the aforementioned events, and if you still want to try to cut through that godforsaken construction paper as somebody careens head first down a fiberglass deathrap, more power to you.
What it says: You live in Williamsburg. This event may as well be sponsored by Trader Joe’s and PBR. Are hipsters even still into those things? I have no idea, but far be it for me to let any long-standing stereotypes die.
What I do know is that every time somebody starts extoling the virtues of ice shuffleboard, it’s followed by a lecture on how commercialized the Olympics are, how national pride is the root of war, and a host of other overwrought garbage. Listen Mikey Mustache, let us enjoy this corruption and athletic spectacle from the comfort of our beer-stained couches.
Save the term paper for your Sociology 101 class.
Cross Country Skiing
What it says: You own and operate a store that sells cross-country skiiing equipment.