You may recall that in my Olympics preview, I mentioned seven members of the American team by name. Three of those seven have absolutely flamed out so far. Michelle Kwan withdrew because of injury, Bode Miller finished fifth in his first event and was disqualified in his second, and Apolo Ohno (yes I have learned to spell his name correctly) lived up to his surname and not his first name when he fell in the semifinals of the 1500 meter short track as he tried to pass the leader even though he would have qualified for the final if he finished second. These people were not close seconds, they have not even gotten a whiff of a medal. The jinx would be more formidable if I had featured Lindsey Kildow, but I still wouldn't bet the house on the other four athletes I noted. For the record, they are Sasha Cohen, Kimmie Meissner, Emily Hughes and Jeremy Bloom. You might say that this means nothing other than the fact that I know nothing about the Olympics and am a terrible handicapper, but let me point out that I did not predict success for them, only that they were recognizable.
Now, what is the deal with those medals? Did they punch the middle out as a cost-cutting gesture? Are they leftover washers from some huge European hydroelectric plant that we would never build here in the United States? Are they compatible on DVD players and PSP? If you play them backwards, do they say, "Snowboarding is not an Olympic sport?" Are you supposed to mount them in a glass case or just hang them from your rearview mirror?
Speaking of snowboarding, are the women also stoners or is it just the men? After they won gold and silver, did Hannah Teter and Gretchen Bleiler break out the ponchos and patchouli oil? The real issue for snowboarding is the future supply of television commentators. If the networks are looking for any of these guys to provide coherent analysis after they retire, then they haven't seen enough of those Partnership for a Drug-Free America commercials.
And when is the United States going to get serious about the moguls competition and allow professionals to compete? Jeremy Bloom is a nice story, but you put Bill Gates, Warren Buffett, and Donald Trump on the moguls team, and it will be like USA Basketball Dream Team in Barcelona.
Finally, there is no truth to the rumor that NBC has threatened to cancel the rest of the Olympics unless the IOC replaces biathlon with four more snowboarding events to keep the U.S. competitive in the medal count.