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Bad sports, good sports: The Olympics are finally over

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The Olympics are over. To me, that is Good Sports at its best. Not the games…the fact that they are over. I’ll admit it. I don’t like the Olympics. There was a time, back when I was in college, that I liked the Winter Olympics, I suppose, but that was a long time ago. I just don’t enjoy the whole thing. I have reported on good and bad sports involving the Olympics over the past few weeks, as the sports world certainly includes these games, and I figure it is my job to talk about them. I just don’t enjoy them.

I am not in any way discounting the incredible athletic skill on display in British Columbia. The people competing have dedicated their lives to being the best at their particular events, and it is something that must be respected and admired. My issue is with the nature of the events themselves. Am I supposed to be enthralled by curling? Isn’t that shuffleboard on ice? Have you ever known anyone in your life who participated in this “sport?” How about the ridiculous event that combines cross-country skiing with shooting? I’d love to know who came up with that one. I think they should let the ski jumpers shoot too. Have them fire at a target while in mid-air. Now that would make for some exciting times, particularly for the spectators. Also, what the hell is skeleton? Based on the images the name calls to mind, I am pretty sure it is something I would not want to do. Or watch.

I have had friends tell me it is un-American to dislike the Olympics. I disagree. I am rooting for the Americans to win. That doesn’t mean I have to enjoy watching what they are playing. I would enjoy it if I could. As a sports fan, it is hard to deal with the wall-to-wall coverage that happens during the Olympics when it is not something that interests me. Fortunately, there has been plenty of college basketball and NASCAR to watch these last 2 weeks. I even watched an hour of the NFL Scouting Combine Sunday morning. I liked it when both the Winter and Summer Games were in the same year, so that there would be nearly 4 years with no Olympics at all. No such luck these days, but at least we have two years until the next onslaught of events no one would watch any other time outside of the Olympics.

Good sports, continued:

2) What a great weekend for college basketball. The top three teams in the rankings all lost, with Kansas losing to Oklahoma State, Kentucky losing to Tennessee, and Purdue losing to Michigan State. I call this Good Sports because it shows how wide open things are heading into the upcoming NCAA tournament. Oklahoma State was even unranked coming into its game with Kansas. Should be a great tournament.

3) I am a big Jeff Gordon fan, so it was great to see him dominate the Shelby American at Las Vegas on Sunday, even though he gave way to Jimmie Johnson late and eventually finished third. He and the rest of the 24 team showed that they can still do it. Now they just need to finish.

Bad sports:

1) What is the NFL thinking? A spokesman for the league has stated that there will be discussions on changing the overtime rules for the playoffs. Not for the regular season…just for the playoffs. This sounds like one of the worst ideas I have heard in a while. If you are going to change the rule, change the rule. Don’t have the games played by one set of rules in the playoffs after playing by a different set of rules throughout the regular season. Ridiculous.

2) Speaking of ridiculous, the NFL players Association is stating opposition to proposed testing for Human Growth Hormone. I understand the need to be sure that new tests are fully reliable so that false positives are not occurring, but being against testing for performance enhancing drugs is not going to be a popular choice. If we can stop the cheating, let’s stop the cheating.

3) C.R. Johnson, a professional free skier, was killed last week while skiing in the Lake Tahoe area. A bad fall took the life of the 26-year old.

Bad Sports, Good Sports appears every Monday

Alan Spoll is a software quality assurance director from the suburbs of Philadelphia where he lives with his wonderful wife and children. He has spent his entire life as a passionate fan of the Eagles, Phillies, Sixers, Flyers, and Penn State. Recent Phillies success aside, you will understand his natural negativity. Follow me on Twitter - @DocAlan02
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3 Responses to “Bad sports, good sports: The Olympics are finally over”

  1. Alan, re: “Have you ever known anyone in your life who participated in this ‘sport?’” … raising my hand at the back of the romm, “well, yeah, me for one.”

    Our was the ‘sandlot’ version of the game, played on the frozen surface of Harvey’s Lake, or the duck pond of the golf course at the Irem Shriners’ country club (all in northeastern Pennsylvana).

    Of course, we used specially-selected stones from the creek bed, and actual brooms. There was no way any of us could afford the ‘real thing.’

    It gave me a great appreciation for the skill demonstrated by the teams in this past week’s competition in Vancouver.

    We played ice hockey, too, while our dads went ice fishing. Oh, yeah … and whenever said dads took us along to the local tavern, we played shuffleboard, too.

    Good post, Alan … brought back some great memories.

  2. Thanks Jeff. So you’re a real live curler, huh? Interesting. I am certainly not saying it wouldn’t be fun to play. I am just not sure why a whole lot of people are watching it on television during the Olympics when you likely couldn’t pay most of them to watch it any other time. Bowling is fun too, but I certainly don’t watch it on TV.

    Hockey is a different story. I don’t watch it much anymore, but I don’t find it odd that people watch. That said, as great as the final game may have been, it was a game full of NHL players, not amateurs. And if those exact same players were playing in a game against each other but representing two NHL teams rather than two countries, no one would have been watching.

  3. Alan, very good point about the hockey game. As exciting as it was, still it WAS something like an NHL all-star game. Good game, nonetheless – and I’m glad I watched.

    Looking back thirty years, one of the things that made the US vs. USSR game the ‘Miracle on Ice,’ was that America fielded a team of amateurs against what was, for all intents and purposes, a professional team.

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