Friday, February 19, 2010
(Honest reaction to that outfit? That snake scares me. I'm feeling uncomfortable.)
Sometime early this week, I realized that my basketball league would eat up the hours between 7-11:30 on Thursday night, depriving me of the chance to watch the men's figure skating long program. I cannot say that this made me happy. I cannot say that I'm comfortable, overall, with the fact that this did not make me happy. But I can say this; I love olympic figure skating. If you combine sport, comedy, grace, high drama, wipe-outs, and nationalism into a single event, I'm sold. There's no keeping me away.
But by the time I got home, I only got to watch Johnny Weir and the Russian Plushenko skate. I was still thrilled that Lysacek won, but seriously, this is like the only event that NBC doesn't fuck up in its coverage, and I had to miss it. Not cool at all. Brief thoughts on the matter:
*One of the female announcers, either Sandra Bezic or Tracy Wilson (I think the latter) was almost getting hysterical after Plushenko's performance. "Lysacek was just better!" she kept repeating, in louder and more urgent tones. I think she would have had a nervous breakdown if he'd lost. Even the normally-excitable Scott Hamilton was trying to calm her down, and to give Plushenko credit for his routine.
*Look, I dig Johnny Weir. I think he's hilarious, and interesting, and he skated his ass off in both routines. But to the people saying he got screwed- did you even watch it? He doesn't do anything. His jumps are all easy, and his dance moves aren't anything to get excited about. And he screwed up on a spin, too, which you almost never see at this level. He did an admirable job under pressure, but let's not get carried away and say he deserved a medal. I could have done that routine. (Not really, just felt like being an asshole for a second.)
*I'm no expert, but aside from doing a quad jump, didn't Plushenko's routine kinda suck? It seemed like he was always on the verge of falling, and his dance stuff seemed like a parody of figure skating moves done by Chris Lilley. I wasn't quite at Tracy Wilson levels, but I would've been pissed if he'd won. I'm still kinda pissed that he knocked my boy Lambiel out of the bronze medal spot. (Reminder: be careful using the colloquial term "my boy" when referring to figure skaters.)
Other Olympic stuff...
*It's just not happening for my hometown cohort Tim Burke in biathlon. The Norwegian scourge took the gold and silver in the men's 20km. He's got one more chance in the 15km mass start, but it seems kinda like momentum and confidence are working against him. The medal prospects aren't looking good. Let's face it: Americans can't ski and shoot. We can shoot and run. I think we lead the world in that. But add skis to the equation, and we're totally out of our league.
*Lindsey Vonn took a spill in the slalom part of the super-combined, ending her chance to win 5 gold medals. But Julie Mancuso, another American, took the silver. I also felt good for the German gold medalist, Marie Reisch, who made up for a scaredy-cat run in yesterday's downhill with some ballsy skiing. Fearless Germans: sixty years later, it's probably okay to admire them.
*US Curling is 0-8 combined. WHAT THE FUCK GUYS? THIS IS FUCKING EMBARRASSING! THE WHOLE WORLD IS WATCHING, AND YOU PULL THIS SHIT? THERE HAVE BEEN SOME DARK TIMES IN THIS COUNTRY, BUT NEVER BEFORE HAVE I FELT SO COMPELLED TO UTTER THE FOLLOWING WORDS: I'M ASHAMED TO BE AN AMERICAN. FUCKING ASHAMED. YOU'RE ALL PIECES OF SHIT. EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. IF IT WERE UP TO ME, THEY'D SHIP YOUR ASSES OUT TO IRAQ AND LET YOU CURL IN THE DESERT. SEE HOW WELL YOUR STONES SLIDE ON SAND! WE CODDLE YOU FOR 4 YEARS, LETTING YOU WALK AROUND LIKE YOU OWN THE PLACE, AND NOW THIS?
THIS IS A DISGRACE!
Thanks for letting me get that out of my system, gang. I get so furious about lazy curling.
Last thing, non-Olympic: Syracuse beats Georgetown in DC. Very, very impressive. G-Town wiped their home floor with Duke and Villanova earlier this year, and have basically looked unbeatable in the District (except they lost to Old Dominion, somehow). Granted, they're on a bit of a downslide, but it's still a great win for Syracuse. Which leads me to...
Controversial Statement Time:
Syracuse is the best team in the country.
I'm calling it. Hands-down. Not just because of this win, but because of their overall resume. Kentucky is a paper tiger. Duke has all kinds of lingering questions about how they deal with very athletic teams. Nova and Purdue are better, but not great. And Kansas, with their plethora of narrow road wins, is not up to the Cuse's caliber.
The Orange Crush have dropped only two games, against Pitt and Nova in uninspired home performances. They have not yet lost on the road, which is an extremely good sign for their tourney chances. Plus, that zone just confounds the shit out of teams when the pressure's on. We'll learn a lot about them in the next couple weeks, when they face Nova at home and have a chance for revenge at Lousville. But for now, this is the team to beat.
More entries to come later today about hockey, weekend basketball, and other olympic stuff.