Rich Galen

I want to like the Winter Olympics. I want to be excited about the athletes. I want to not know who won what until I can watch the events on tape delay.

But I don't, I'm not, and I do.

There are a couple of problems with the Winter Olympics. The biggest one is these are not sports most of us have played with any regularity - or ever.

Luge (pronounced "Loo-zh") is a good example. Most of us have been on a sled at one time or another. And many of us have slid down a snowy hillside on one of those aluminum disks like the one Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn) used to wear over his head on Saturday Night Live.

But very few of us have participated in Luge Doubles - which has one guy on his back with another guy on lying top of him also in the supine position. It is just as creepy as it sounds.

I always get this wrong, so I assume everyone does. "Prone" is lying face-down. "Supine" is lying face-up.

You're welcome

Those who participate in Luge are called - and this is true - Lugers (pronounced "LOO-zhers").

Curling is a sport that is popular during the Winter Olympics every four years and then disappears from American consciousness again.

Except for South Florida.

Curling is essentially shuffleboard played on ice with brooms and a big stone.

In South Florida, shuffleboard is essentially curling played on asphalt painted a crusty green with plastic disks and what are known as "shuffleboard cues." Now that I know what they're called, I'm checking Amazon.com to see how much they cost.

I think, you go down to Florida, you walk onto the court with your own shuffleboard cue, and you are treated with respect.

You are the Fast Eddy Goldberg of La Boca Vista (Phase III).

If you've watched any of the 291 hours of Curling that have been available on one of the NBC feeds, you know that it is strangely hypnotic. Not only that, but I suspect some of the announcers have taken their medically necessary doses of weed just before the match so, as far as they're concerned, the Curlers are hurtling down the ice like Lugers standing on their sleds.

Another problem with the Winter Olympics is that so many of the events have only one or two competitors on the course at the same time. I understand they are racing against the clock, but think about the difference watching 10-or-so horses heading down the stretch at the Kentucky Derby and watching one horse at a time work its way around the track.

See?


Rich Galen

Rich Galen has been a press secretary to Dan Quayle and Newt Gingrich. Rich Galen currently works as a journalist and writes at Mullings.com.