Monday, February 27, 2006


Some have chided me recently for taking such a negative view of the Winter Olympics. Let me assure you that I have nothing but respect for almost all of the Olympic athletes; almost all of them embody the Olympic ideals of excellence, dedication and team spirit. Having said that, I think it's fair to criticize the athletes who do not meet that standard, I think it's fair to criticize an event because, even though it involves highly polished athletic maneuvers, it still doesn't quite seem to be a sport, and finally, I think it is more than fair to criticize NBC for the relentless hype and coverage that generated historically low ratings.

I was also told that I should be watching the Olympics because these people are risking their lives to compete for the glory of their nation. Sorry, but until they let ravenous polar bears into the curling arena, I am going to have a hard time swallowing that notion. Furthermore, risk of death or significant injury qualifies an event for MTV's "Jackass," not the Olympics. Maybe this is why I am not a big NASCAR fan; I was very impressed that Lindsey Kildow competed after her horrific crash, but seeing it over and over again didn't raise my level of respect for her, it just diminished my level of respect for NBC.

So while I am not sure they should be Olympic sports, the freestyle skiing and snowboarding events are pretty cool, but watching the moguls made me say, "Ouch, ouch, ouch, ouch..." until the guy finished. My favorite skier was the Chinese competitor who screamed as he took off from the aerial ramp. I have no idea what he said, maybe the Chinese equivalent of "Banzai!" but I think we all could identify with his sentiment. I am sure there were many great moments I missed, even in the opening and closing ceremonies, but I just couldn't sit through all the mediocre monotony to see them.

Since I began my Olympic preview with a brief verse, I find it fitting to close in the same. This is not set to any particular tune, but go ahead and make up your own.

So Michelle joins Belle in the Disney parade
Denied gold again, but at least she'll get paid

And Bode was grody, his sponsors' dismayed
Could Nike be seeking to make a trade?

Lindsey Kildow, big spill, OW! How'd she ever survive?
And skied two days later! Bode, take notes, that's called competitive drive.

Jacobellis could tell us why she pulled that last trick
It cost her the gold, she had to be sick.

Johnny Weir, have a beer, so your bus was late?
It's okay, Tom Cruise called, he wants a date

Chad wasn't bad, got the first US gold
But trashing his teammate? That got old.

Shaun White took flight, his halfpipe's a great show
And the world learned the name of the Flying Tomato

Joey Cheek reached his peak, made his sprint with a burst
Nobody was close when he crossed the line first

Hannah Teter, who beat her? No one, that's who.
What's a McTwisty, you say? Dude, I have no clue

Ted Ligety got jigety, won gold on the slope
That's the way it's done, Bode, you dope

Seth Wescott, his best got an Olympic gold medal
A storybook ending like Hansel and Gretel

Shani Davis, he gave us historic achievement
But his post-race interview was the face of bereavement

Mancuso like Clousseau was right on the case
Schussing and sliding in the giant slalom race

Apolo could follow, he just couldn't lead
'Til the last day, then showtime for Ohno, indeed

Torino, now we know was all these and more
Get ready Vancouver, we'll see you in four


Mimi Fitzgerald said...

Great poem!! you are not exactly Chaucer, but it's fun!!

Abris said...

Very funny! Doggerel at its finest.

Bill Fitzgerald said...

Thanks abris (what happened to andrew from mandrew?) I was beginning to worry this was a poem only a mother could love. I don't need to be Chaucer; I'll settle for Ogden Nash.