Aren’t the Winter Olympics great? There’s the bobsledding and alpine skiing and moguls — which is more a test of knee ligament strength than anything else. Don’t forget about figure skating, which is really only amusing if you like flamboyantly ridiculous costumes and watching grown men cry on a regular basis while wearing said costumes.
And of course there’s the flagship sport of ice hockey. Why is it such a big deal? It’s a team sport.
Too many events in the winter games are based on subjective scoring by judges, which doesn’t really do it for me. A goal is a goal, but what’s the real difference between a 73 and a 75 in short program figure skating?
That’s why I propose they include more team sports for the 2014 games. Here’s a short list of hypothetical events they could add that would undoubtedly draw audiences.
Imagine the lovechild of full-contact soccer and rugby, played on a hockey rink. Sure, it’s only a real thing between my high school buddies and myself, but we’re strong advocates of expansion. What’s there not to like about watching people slip on ice — and then get blindsided like a slot receiver tackled by Ed Reed? As I like to say about iceball, “If you don’t have a concussion, you’re not playing it right.”
It’s winter, right? What says winter better than a good old-fashioned snowball fight? I’ll tell you now, the answer is nothing. Standard dodgeball rules would apply and teams could be anywhere from 10 to 100 people. The more the merrier, as we’ve seen time and time again on Bascom Hill.
Nordic ski football
Too often, typical team sports like baseball and soccer are overshadowed in the Olympics because the level of competition is lower. But as hockey proves, people have a hankering for team sports in the Games. Why not freshen up the Olympics with some more outlandish team competitions that have concrete, discernable scores?
We don’t need team sports, Adam. People don’t like them, and that’s the reason why hockey has been relegated to the USA Network rather than receiving premium coverage on NBC.
If I’ve learned anything from Mayne Street on ESPN, it’s that people love individual rags to riches stories like that of the Video Cowboy (no really, check it out).
It’s for that reason the International Olympic Committee should add more individual sports. I’ll give you credit for one thing, though — the sports need to have easily discernable scores. We don’t need any more judges having any unfairly strong influence on the results.
Here are a couple sports worth considering:
Here’s the deal: fishing isn’t exactly what I’d call a sport, but the added elements of cold and drilling through ice could make for excellent competition.
Make it an endurance competition by giving the award to the fisherman who catches the largest amount of fish by pound over the entire course of the competition. Crazy enough to sit in a tiny hut for 16 days? Go for it.
When this becomes an Olympic sport, it will be the can’t miss sport of the Winter Games. First of all, the game has no rules. What better way to see who’s the best in the world than to play a game with absolutely no regulation?
From there, it’s a deadly combination of basketball and hockey. The key to the game is wailing on your opponents with ice skates, lacrosse sticks, basketballs and anything else you can get your hands on. The player with the most “points” at the end of 16 days, or last man standing, wins. Whichever comes first.
The only way to improve the Winter Olympics is to eliminate as many team sports as possible and load up on even more individual events. But what the Games really need are a couple endurance sports like ice fishing and baskiceball. Until then, I’ll be watching skeleton, which is essentially just a deadlier version of luge, as crazy as that may be.