EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA


February 8, 2014

Column: Don't nod off, it's time for the Winter Olympics


The sports that make up the Winter Games are also a little suspect. You will note that they tend to be activities most people do for fun in the winter out of a sheer boredom, not a sense of competition. People have skated for centuries, but originally when they leaped about in imaginative ways it was just called showing off, not a perfect 10 on the judges’ scorecards.

Not that figure skating isn’t a beautiful spectacle. It is just that some of us, old-fashioned reactionaries that we are, don’t think outfits and hairdos should play even the tiniest part in influencing who wins an athletic competition. When it comes to such skating, my view is that there’s nothing wrong with it that a puck and a couple of goals couldn’t fix.

For some of us, the bright line between real sports and artistic performances is lit by sequins. To be sure, hockey isn’t the only real sport out there. Those alpine skiers are an intrepid crew and so are the sliders who climb aboard the luge, the bobsled and, worse yet, the skeleton. A normal person could not get on a skeleton without thinking that he might soon become one.

The epitome of made-up sports is curling. Let me just devastatingly observe: They use brooms in curling. Brooms should have no place in sports this side of witch racing. It’s ridiculous. That just goes to show that the origins of that alleged sport were just a bunch of guys playing on a pond when they should have been sweeping rocks out of their kitchens as their wives told them to.

If ordinary winter activities are going to be made Olympic sports, why stop there? How about making sidewalk shoveling an Olympic event? Riding inner tubes down slopes? And, my personal favorite, paddle tennis?

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