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Winter Olympics

Parris and I watched a fair amount of the Winter Olympics. 'twas okay. Some stirring moments, some excitement, drama, grace, all that.

Some of these sports are silly, though. I mean, really. Two man luge? The top guy lying on the bottom guy, both of them flat on their backs, careening down an ice chute? Why not eight-man luge? Just stack 'em up, keeping the stack together would be real exciting.

And really -- this one is going to get me in trouble, I know -- if you don't know who won until some judge holds up a card or enters a number on a computer, it's not a sport. Now listen. I am not saying it doesn't require incredible skill, grace, strength, what have you. I am not saying the participants are not athletes, even. I am certainly not saying this stuff should not exist. But it's not a sport. I mean, really. Ice dancing? Dancing is an art. Has been an art for thousands of years. Doing it on ice doesn't change that. And when it's Russians dressed up as faux Australian aborigines or Americans ice dancing a Moldavian folk dance, it's REALLY not a sport.

All these judged "sports" are too subjective. A real sport may require umps or refs, but you know who won when the contest is over. We didn't have to sit around after the SuperBowl saying, "well, the Saints scored more points, but the Colts attempted more long passes, so their degree of difficulty was harder, and the judges will certainly give Dwight Feeney points for that triple spin move, even though he didn't get the sack. It could be close..."

I propose a new sport for the next Winter Olympics. A REAL sport. Ice football. Played exactly the same way as real (American) football, except everyone is on ice skates. I mean, we have field hockey and ice hockey, why not field football and ice football? Just think of the excitement as Peyton Manning skates backward to get off the pass and those speed skaters on the D-line come flashing after him while his wideouts do spins and triple axels trying to lose the CBs... most exciting sport EVER!!!



( 173 comments — Leave a comment )
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Mar. 1st, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
The sport you propose sounds like a nightmare, George!
Mar. 1st, 2010 10:44 pm (UTC)
Maybe, it was a joke. Tongue-in-cheek and all.
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:11 am (UTC)
You'd cull all the judged sports then? Ski jump, moguls, ski aerials, half pipe? And leave people earning Olympic medals for housework on ice. Oh yes, that's going to improve the event.
Mar. 1st, 2010 03:19 pm (UTC)
ski jump
Does anyone know why ski jump is judged at all? What is the point. See who can jump the farthest. THE END. We don't judge any other jumping events (long jump, high jump, etc.) so why this one?
Re: ski jump - escarboucle - Mar. 1st, 2010 05:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ski jump - slyeagle - Mar. 1st, 2010 05:46 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: ski jump - nycfalcon - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:17 am (UTC)
Real football is what you would call soccer, not American football:)
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:47 am (UTC)
I heartily agree with the sentiment.

And Rugby played in snow is fun, but messy.
(no subject) - thoros_of_myr - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - skellington1 - Mar. 1st, 2010 03:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
Real football - mrspicey - Mar. 1st, 2010 05:07 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Real football - jimmysnow - Mar. 2nd, 2010 12:33 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Real football - proudbronco - Mar. 2nd, 2010 08:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - tmhalladay - Mar. 1st, 2010 11:45 pm (UTC) - Expand
"real" football.... - seidan1 - Mar. 6th, 2010 07:51 am (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:17 am (UTC)
I'm always confused by four man bobsled. I mean, three of those guys run for five seconds, jump in the sled, and then mainly keep their heads down for the next minute.

I also feel that cross country skiing is fairly boring, and should probably have some fencing with ski poles involved at some point, but that's just me.
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:52 am (UTC)
x-country skiing
Personally I think cross country skiing, speed skating, curling and ice hockey are the only thing worth following in the entire event. At least they DO something there. Slalom, Alpine, snowboard, lunges, yes there is skill and a great deal of technique going down a hill, but from there to an Olympic sport? Why not get then skateboarding, pipes, etc in the summer Olympics next? I guess is all about cultures, North Americans are not that great at x-country and Norwegians, we are not really into this Alpine/slalom business. I'll take a long 5-6 hour x-country hike any time over a day spend being pull by a T-bar to only go down for a few minutes at a time :).
(no subject) - rdore - Mar. 1st, 2010 08:31 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kishi - Mar. 2nd, 2010 03:32 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - amiastine - Mar. 1st, 2010 11:22 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thorkell - Mar. 1st, 2010 02:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kishi - Mar. 2nd, 2010 03:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - aulus_poliutos - Mar. 1st, 2010 03:15 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:31 am (UTC)
Olympic Games
I think this is why they're careful to call them the Olympic Games instead of the Olympic Sports. Though technically I agree with you. What about sports like curling? No score cards, but not really a "sport" either.
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:58 am (UTC)
Re: Olympic Games
When curling was still outdoors it was at least an endurance sport with skill needed to cope with wind and other factors. Indoor curling combines the least exciting qualities of bowling, shuffleboard, and the Zamboni run.
Re: Olympic Games - sophia8 - Mar. 1st, 2010 11:38 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: Olympic Games - aaziz - Mar. 1st, 2010 02:21 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Olympic Games - geg - Mar. 1st, 2010 08:20 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Olympic Games - brian_kemp - Mar. 2nd, 2010 12:36 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:33 am (UTC)
Dear Mr. Martin,

Please do not judge me for this, as I am a real fanatic of your work and in case you'd hated me, I'd be heartbroken, but...
...American football isn't a real manly sport. I mean, common, there's teams and they switch them in and out and the game gets stopped so that the respective teams can move into the field and they keep stopping and stopping and stopping. And then, when you're really excited that something is happening, they stop again. And the players are all dressed up in all those protective clothes. No bloody noses, no nothing.
Watch some European football (not soccer). They play in their shorts. And they don't keep switching teams. They just go in and play till the last man stands!!
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
at European Football - think you mean Rugby - they still wear real shorts... not the split kilts they use at Soccer.
I hate those, can still remember the real short shorts used quite some years ago.
(no subject) - nycfalcon - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:51 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - bojojoti - Mar. 1st, 2010 09:37 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - saxster - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:05 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - thoros_of_myr - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:30 am (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - metamorphage - Mar. 1st, 2010 02:23 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - jpashlock - Mar. 1st, 2010 03:18 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - kishi - Mar. 2nd, 2010 03:34 am (UTC) - Expand
not a manly sport? - vieronymous - Mar. 1st, 2010 03:29 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:40 am (UTC)
Gaelic football on ice. That I'd watch!
Mar. 1st, 2010 10:33 am (UTC)
Ice skulley. Now that's a man's sport.
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:43 am (UTC)
I don't think I'll ever forget the Men's Curling final. When the crowd started singing O Canada I got goosebumps.
Mar. 2nd, 2010 07:37 am (UTC)
And I don't think I'll ever forget the women's Curling final ;)
When Canada made that one last final mistake that gave us Swedes the Gold medal... The crowd went mute... :)
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:49 am (UTC)
Purely out of curiosity, where does boxing fit in?
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
//All these judged "sports" are too subjective. A real sport may require umps or refs, but you know who won when the contest is over.

Mar. 1st, 2010 07:54 am (UTC)
Ice rugby! Or real football, not that padded up, learn it from a playbook type :-)
Mar. 1st, 2010 07:55 am (UTC)
8 man luge would be awesome, they'd look like peas in a pod.
The Japanese 2 woman bob was georgeous though
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:17 am (UTC)
American football is not REAL football.

I should have thought it would be obvious from the name that the game which the unenlightened refer to as soccer is real football - which game involves more contact between ball and foot? :p
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:24 am (UTC)
Well, field hockey isn't a violent sport, but doing it on speed on ice makes it violent.
Field footbal IS violent, so if you do it on ice, I think you'd have to include the casualty rate in the scoring somehow :)
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:27 am (UTC)
Now, thats typically American. If you don't really know a sport that aint football, you just call it boring. Know what? I'm glad taht there's no such thing as winter-football.If there was, we would still wait for DANCE till the next millenia... No ofence...
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:35 am (UTC)
You're all sadly mistaken: "real" football is Aussie Rules. (But I would happily watch Gaelic footy on ice.)
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:37 am (UTC)
Gymnastics would also be taken out as would diving amongst others. In fact diving is a good example when they go into the body tuck. they are meant to have the legs together but they have less control that way and since the Judges only see a side on view, they tend to have the legs apart. Judging something is always going to be subjective, even if judging a writing competition.

They could however do all these a bit like weight lifting, by increasing degrees of difficulty until everyone fails but 1 person.
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:43 am (UTC)
Actually, my favorite Olympic events are the judged competitions, probably because I don't really care so much about the winning. I just like watching gymnasts throwing their bodies around the mat, bars, and rings, with skills I can only imagine, or ice skaters dancing at almost super human speeds. You don't have to call them sports, I'm fine calling them physical arts instead, but they are what I watch the Olympics for.

I never understood why people watched team sports on TV. I can understand enjoying playing team sports, I can understand watching if your friends or family are on the field, but I can only assume that caring if your city's pro-team wins or loses must be some sort of side effect of our evolutionary hertiage and I just missed out on a gene. On the other hand, I could tell which sports season it was by how loud my mother yelled at the TV.
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:49 am (UTC)
of course Ice dancing is a sport,
it's the Olympic sport a Dutch woman got Olympic Gold in when I was just old enough to realize there was something as the Winter Olympics, so it's a sport for that reason alone

I see a bit of trouble with Ice Football.
as it would be exclusively be a USA sport as Football - the only sport that was invented to fit between commercial breaks - is, in contrast to Soccer.
Soccer on Ice would be a bit inconvenient, it's hard to kick and not puncture a ball with sharp skates on.

ps. Ithink elundin means Rugby, Football is more related to Rugby then to Soccer.
Mar. 1st, 2010 06:58 pm (UTC)
Ice dancing?
What's with calling it Ice Dancing now? What happened to Figure Skating? It's not some bogus PC thing again, is it?
Re: Ice dancing? - twelfthfantasy - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Ice dancing? - nachtrabe - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: Ice dancing? - brieza - Mar. 1st, 2010 10:43 pm (UTC) - Expand
Mar. 1st, 2010 08:54 am (UTC)
Sounds like a fantastic idea George! Though I'm not sure how well Randy Moss would do attempting a Triple Axel.. would be interesting to say the least!!
Mar. 1st, 2010 09:18 am (UTC)
Or basketball on ice, possibly.

But there are so many sports in both winter and summer Olympics that have subjective judging, I think you'd have to create a lot more events to fill the schedule. That, or take out the subjectivity part - judge ski jump on distance only, possibly diving too, and mark half-pipe, gymnastics, moguls etc. by a much more transparent scoring system - this many points added or taken away for such and such an action... in much the same way as recently happened with figure skating.
Mar. 1st, 2010 09:24 am (UTC)
Ice 'football'?
Can you imagine the lacerations the teams would inflict and endure? Either from the skates or spikes the players would be wearing.

At least then there would be a real reason for play stopping, they'd need to be stitched up, instead of having the usual chat and a soda.

Edited at 2010-03-01 09:26 am (UTC)
Mar. 1st, 2010 09:27 am (UTC)
Ice and Ire
Love the Ideas and would pay to see that. Also some sports could return from the ancient greek winter Olympics.
Ice Tiddlywinks!
Ice Snooker!
Ice Croquet!
Bring it on.
Mar. 1st, 2010 10:03 am (UTC)
There already is a sport like that, it's called hockey, and strangely enough, that most commonly reserved for idiots, too.

Amount is Olympics watched this year: Zero minutes. Score!
Mar. 1st, 2010 10:38 am (UTC)
Ice rugby would be much better -- just imagine a scrum where everybody is on skates. Guaranteed hilarity and pain.
Mar. 1st, 2010 04:54 pm (UTC)
Can we get some sort of rugby-hurling cross? On ice? (And no, I'm not just thinking of ice hockey.)
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George R.R. Martin
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