Winter Dull-ympics offer little relief for real sports fans

col-tbuzz (2)I love sports – almost all of them. During my 20-plus year sportswriting career and 40-ahem year life, I’ve either played it, watched it, covered it or gained an appreciation for it even if I’m not a fan.

I’ve seen people play basketball on donkey back; I’ve attended a camel race in the Middle East; and I’ve witnessed a big crowd watch in anticipation while wagering on which yard line a cow would poop.

So let’s just say that I have a nose for what is and isn’t considered a sport. I’ve seen them all, and you can count the ones I don’t understand on one frozen hand – most of them at the Winter Olympics.

Make that the Winter Games, because that’s what the events are – silly little games. From ice dancing to the skeleton and from curling to the luge, it’s all one big frozen field day with better ribbons.

Perhaps the oddest the biathlon, featuring the two totally unrelated events of cross-country skiing and target shooting. Except for Siberian moose hunters, these two skills might never come in handy.

The biathlon must have been invented by a guy who was OK at skiing and a decent shot, but not good enough to win a medal at either. What’s the Summer Games equivalent? Swim 100 meters and stab a guy?

At least the biathlon has one guy doing two sports. The bobsled, as far as I can tell, involves four guys doing nothing, unless you consider the act of sitting as aerodynamically as possible a sport.

I’m down with a sled race if everyone starts at the top of a hill and the first one down wins, but the bobsled follows a carved-out course in single file. In NASCAR terms, the polesitter wins the gold.

The downhill features spandex-clad skiers whizzing down a hilly course and knocking flimsy plastic flagsticks flat. Let’s replace the sticks with trees. That ought to separate the men from the Swedes.

There’s curling, which is like shuffleboard on ice, and figure skating, which is like dancing on ice, and hockey, which is like field hockey on ice – games for folks who live above the Arctic Circle.

But for those of us who prefer our games outdoors and to provide entertainment, the Winter Dull-ympics offer little relief for real sports fans in the fortnight between football season and spring training.

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