Tag: Hockey

I Didn’t Watch The Olympics

I didn’t watch any of this year’s winter Olympics. I take that back, I watched the final few minutes of Jessie Diggins winning a Silver medal in the 30 km cross country event on a YouTube recap. I am in awe of the physical effort cross country takes. She crossed the finish line and collapsed in a heap, saliva and vomit dripping out of her mouth as she gasped for air. She had to be lifted up by two people and carried to a medical tent. I can’t fathom pushing the limits of endurance like that. I get winded just walking up the stairs. But I digress… I didn’t watch any of the summer Olympics either. Actually, I’m not sure the last time I really watched any of the summer or winter games.

I don’t know why. It became too polished and commercial. Non-stop slickly produced pieces of fluff about a figure skater whose one-armed grandfather sold the family farm to hire coaches and personally drove her 300 miles each day to practice. NBC became so focused on producing human interest stories, they forgot to cover the actual events.

And now, it’s a professional sport. It’s no longer a starving college kid, sacrificing everything to make the Olympic team. It’s sponsored athletes who, at times, appear to be more focused on future endorsement deals than representing their country. It’s professional athletes who calculate if they can take time out of their pro season to snag a medal before returning to their team. It’s athletes who live, train, and exploit everything this country offers, then go off and represent another country.

The Olympic games used to be a moment in time where you could be enthusiastically patriotic. To feel proud and root for your country. Patriotism is largely gone. Both in sport and in everyday life. To declare, display, or in any way indicate that you feel patriotic will get you branded as a nationalist. I drive a pickup truck. If I were to place a large American flag sticker on my back window, I guarantee a large percentage of people would have a knee-jerk reaction when seeing it. In their head they’d think, at best, redneck. More likely, gun-loving white nationalist (well, supremacist but we don’t say that part out loud. It’s rude).

How did we get to this point? How did we arrive at a place where proclaiming national pride is a bad thing? You know it’s true, don’t lie. If you see an American flag on someone’s t-shirt, hat, or vehicle, your first thought probably won’t be “I bet they’re a democrat”. How did that happen? We cheer the proud Ukrainians as they bravely fight the nasty ‘ol Russkies and support their defiance as a nation. Everyone on the social medias is busy posting their “I stand with Ukraine” virtue signaling. But say “America first” and instantly you’re branded an isolationist who hates diversity. How did get to this place?

The 1980 miracle on ice was one of the greatest sporting/Olympic moments ever. The United States underdog men’s hockey team, defeating the four-time gold medal Russian team in a thrilling finish. Man, as a teenager I was so proud to be an American that day. I was so proud of my country. Today, I need to be careful what I say otherwise the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion police will put me on a watch list.

A country that has no national pride ceases to be a country. That’s rapidly what we’re becoming. No longer a country, but instead a collection of independent global citizens. Unless we find a way to reignite that spark of national pride, we’ll soon be Europe. The North American equivalent of the EU. No northern or southern borders. Maybe it’s inevitable. The natural progression of societies.

The thought of it makes me a little sad. I miss the old Olympic spirit.

Alex, I’ll Take Irony For $500 Please

  • Several things caught my eye yesterday that made me hum “isn’t it ironic…” The first was a Seattle councilwoman who voted to defund the police, wait for it, called 911 when someone threw a rock through her window. The other was Biden’s deputy chief of staff in a Glamour Magazine article talking about compassion, compromise, and unity and then says republican lawmakers are a bunch of fuckers and Mitch McConnell is terrible. Then it suddenly dawned on me… I’ve been down this road before. I’m not certain I actually know the definition of irony. I think I know it when I see it, but I really can’t tell you the definition. I already know I’m punctuation challenged, why does the rest of the English language have to be so hard as well? I find a certain level of irony in writing a blurb about ironic without actually knowing if it is or not. I suspect poor Alanis was unjustly criticized for her song.
  • Impressive puck handling skills with this hockey training treadmill.
  • Following along with Mayor Pete, Biden has nominated Deb Haaland for secretary of the interior. I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but has zero qualifications for the post. She has a degree in English and went to law school but didn’t take the bar exam. How could that not qualify her to manage our extensive public lands? At least Trumps guy had a degree in Geology, an MBA, and Masters of Science in global leadership. Oh, and he was a Navy SEAL officer. Doesn’t mean he did a good job, just that he at least had qualifications. The lead for most news articles explain clearly why she was picked: “Biden picks Rep. Haaland to be first Native American Interior secretary“. Symbolism over substance. As a blue check on twitter said, “Vaginas and skin color are more important than actually getting things done”.
  • Today will be my first downhill ski day of the season. For the first time ever, I’m actually nervous. I’m legitimately worried about hurting myself. I’ve never felt that before. I was skate skiing yesterday and my balance and coordination were terrible. Age is catching up with me. I think I’ll stick to the funny bunny and magic carpet runs today.
  • Speaking of age, I saw something yesterday that spawned a funny memory. One of my favorite cartoons as a kid was Speed Racer. Looking at it now I realize just how bad it was. How in the world did a Japanese cartoon, dubbed over with English get so popular?
  • I think one of the greatest sayings is (paraphrased) who you are as a person is defined by what you do when nobody’s looking. And there’s no better measure of that than what you do with returning a shopping cart. Someone took the time to write an entire article on this. Are you an always returner? A never returner? A convenience returner? Or perhaps a pressure returner – only when someone is watching? Hmmm. Does this translate to the rest of your life? Very deep grasshopper.

Song of the day: Alanis Morissette – You oughta know [Live Hyde Park 1996]