So, Vancouver needs snow ... Uh, wanna trade?

February 11, 2010|By Kevin Cowherd

Hey, Vancouver, looking for a little snow for your Winter Olympics?

Getting a little worried that things are too green and brown up there with the Opening Ceremony just one day away?

Take some of our snow. Please. We've got so much snow in Baltimore, maybe we should be hosting these Olympics.

Even as I type this, I'm looking out my window and the snow is falling and the wind is blowing and we've got a gen-u-ine whiteout raging.

It's like the Swiss Alps out there. Well, it's like the Swiss Alps only if you can imagine Tom Tasselmyer on local TV giving weather updates every five minutes. And Rob Roblin standing in the middle of a snowbank with a yardstick to measure the latest accumulations.

The truth is, Baltimore is not exactly a hotbed of Winter Olympics fever. We tend to focus on the Ravens and the Orioles and Maryland Terrapins basketball.

But luge and speedskating and the Nordic combined? No, not so much.

Not unless we could watch Ray Lewis slap on a pair of skates and blast one of those sleazy-looking ice dancers. (More on them later.)

On the other hand, now that we've been hit by our second huge snowstorm in four days and we're turning into Lake Placid South, maybe we should focus on these Games if only to have something to watch while we're trapped at home.

But my problem with the Winter Olympics is that so many of these sports don't really seem like, well, sports.

Take, for instance, ski-cross, which is brand new to the Olympics. If you're one of these ghouls who likes NASCAR for the crashes, you'll probably love ski-cross.

Four skiers shoot downhill at the same time and go very fast (up to 65 mph) on a course tricked out with jumps and turns and moguls. (What, they couldn't throw a few boulders and broken beer bottles out there?)

You want spills? You want crashes? You want competitors taken away on stretchers and doomed to a lifetime of reconstructive surgery?

Think roller derby on the north face of the Matterhorn and you have some idea of what we're talking about.

For thrills and spills, maybe the polar opposite of ski-cross is curling, where they slide a big stone across the ice and two people with brooms sweep furiously like they're vying for the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval.

A confession: I have seen curling close up. (In fact, I'll be seeing it again next week when I visit an area curling club. Yes, there is such a thing.)

And I can tell you this: The biggest danger in curling is that a spectator might die laughing while watching it.

The last time I saw anyone sweep that furiously was right after my wife and I were married and my mother-in-law called to say she'd be over in five minutes.

Then there is the Olympic sport - I'll use the term loosely - of ice dancing.

Apparently, in order to be an ice dancer these days, you have to look vaguely seedy, like you either work in or manage a strip club.

The guys all seem to have long, stringy, Kid Rock-ish hair and sequined wardrobes right out of the Siegfried & Roy collection.

And the women seem to take their makeup cues from Dolly Parton, troweling on the mascara and lipstick and eyeliner like there's no tomorrow.

Apparently, the Russian team of Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin are the favorites for ice-dancing gold in Vancouver. And their big routine is a dance tribute to Australian Aborigines that is controversial because:

a) Aborigines don't like it and say it has nothing to do with their culture

b) The music that accompanies them sounds nothing like Aboriginal music

c) Their feathered costumes looked weird, and their body paint, as some critics noted, looked like it had been drawn by a third-grader.

See, there you go. That's what I'm talking about.

How can it be a sport if people judge you by your costume and body paint?

I'm sorry, but that sort of thing is not going to go over big in this town.

We might be snowed under. We might be out of our minds with cabin fever and crave entertainment big time.

But, by God, we are not going to work hard all day and then sit down at night and watch people in feathered costumes and body paint gyrating on ice skates.

No, sir, that's simply not going to happen, not unless the other 699 channels on our high-def TVs blow out from all this snow.

On the other hand, maybe I shouldn't talk. After all, I'm going curling next week.

Please, no laughing. It can really be distracting.

Listen to Kevin Cowherd from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays with Jerry Coleman on Fox 1370 AM Sports.

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