Friday, February 26, 2010

Biathlon vs. Girlfriend

Lindsey was never under the illusion that just because football was ending meant I'd start going leaner on sports.  Sports-watching doesn’t dissipate, it adapts. 

I just think she figured she'd be competing with college basketball, not mass-start biathlon.

I've always liked the Winter Olympics better than its warm-weathered counterpart, but it's never been like this. With the notable exceptions of human-interest stories and figure skating (unfortunately, Lindsey’s two favorites), I can honestly say I've enjoyed watching every second of this year's Olympic coverage.  And the more obscure the event, the more I like it.

Everyone loves the downhill skiing, but what about the cross-country skiing?  Everyone loves the hockey, but what about the curling, short track speed skating, large hill ski jumping, and 10km nordic combined?  They’re completely random, and no one in our country cares. 

But I think that's why I like them.  Because even though we might not care, somewhere in the world there are people who do.  Somewhere in the world, this is the Super Bowl.  And these events take us to those faraway places.

I picture a small town in Finland, a curling stone’s throw from the Arctic Circle.  I picture the townspeople arriving home from work on a frigid Friday, starting a fire, and pouring themselves a glass of Glögi.  And somewhere in that town, I picture a girlfriend, desperately trying to convince her boyfriend to take her out to dinner.

“You know I love you, honey,” I picture him saying.

“But Nordic Combined’s on tonight.”