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Sunday, February 14, 2010

The Obligatory Olympics Post

I'm going to be honest, I don't catch the fever of the Olympics as much as other people do.  In general, I come to respect players and team styles so much my allegiances get absolutely discombobulated when they are on teams I'm not or not supposed to root for.  I think the dilemma is clear in my case, as I like my New York Rangers...

...okay, okay, let me defend that quickly.  I love hockey, first and foremost, and my liking of the Rangers is not so fierce so that I'd say ridiculous things like "Henrik Lundqvist is the best goalie in the NHL" or "My life began in 1994."  To be honest, my Rangers fan-dom began with the decision to make Mike Richter their starting goalie.  My parents and I were huge fans of Richter from his Badger days (parents are both alum; I bleed Badger cardinal*), and so the Rangers became my team.  It became much easier after the Cup.

Now that I'm off the tangent, nowadays while I'm supposed to cheer the US team I can't help but root for Sweden because of Lundqvist.  And then I see Tomas Holmstrom and decide I want them to lose.  Badly.

Anyways, long story short I just watch hockey straight-up and can hardly decide whether I'm happy or unhappy with the results.  A lot of times, I'll just try to catch highlights, because they're pretty.

This doesn't make me cold-hearted or unpatriotic (is not liking the Olympics unpatriotic?).  I kind of liked it more when it was mostly amateurs; you had more unlikely heroes, prospects you might have never seen, and interesting goalie equipment (see cards above).  To tell the truth, the biggest kick I receive out of the "professional" Olympics hockey today is identical to the kick I get out of the old ones: highlights and goalie equipment.  For instance, the wonderful array of goalie masks these days:

Henrik Lundqvist - Sweden 

Martin Brodeur - Canada

Ryan Miller - USA

Evgeni Nabokov - Russia

Tomas Vokoun - Czech Republic

Marc-Andre Fleury - Canada

Now this screws my allegiances completely, because Vokoun and Nabokov's masks would get me rooting for the Czechs and the Motherland.

So this is my post recognizing that I cannot avoid comment on the Olympics (because everybody else seems to be on-board for it), but also explaining my lack of animated banter and witticism.  It's also my opportunity to put up a card of The Net Detective (didn't think I'd let the Jim Carey opportunity slip away, did you?), who like Mikey also played on the Badgers.  In the end, I'm just so meh about the Olympics that I'm more inclined to leave it to a different, more enthusiastic member of the crew (here's looking at you, Weagz!) to take the reins.

In the meantime, I'll be cheering for everyone, Latvia and Norway included.  On Girts, on Per-Age, on Martins, Morten, and Jakobsen!

P.S. Norway features one of the best names in hockey history, Tore Vikingstad.  It's almost as good as Petr Pohl and would look awesome on a Norwegian national team jersey.

P.P.S.  Sorry to any speakers of Latvian or Norwegian that I couldn't find proper accent marks.  I know some of these are technically spelled wrong.  Same to French and Russian speakers.
P.P.P.S.  Happy Valentine's Day!  That was also obligatory.
P.P.P.P.S.  Found a picture of Vikingstad.  Woof.
When brows unite.

*True story: my mother went to Skate with the Badgers, a promo event where you skate...well, you get the idea.  Anyway, she got a picture with Mikey where she's pinching his cheek.


  1. A lack of witticism could also be attributed to not being witty in the first place.

  2. I definitely agree that the Olympics were better when it was all amateurs, as nature intended. However, the hockey itself is just flat out more entertaining with the best in the world on the ice with the hopes of their nations riding on their shoulders.

    I also like Olympic hockey because there are no fights, yet they somehow manage to skate around, putting pucks on net, striving for victory. Its one of the great mysteries of the multiverse how they accomplish all that without beating each other up like schoolchildren at recess (that was sarcasm, because I am quite witty).

  3. Here's why you are wrong, Wendorf. A) You suck B) You are unpatriotic C) Other than 1980, the Olympics with Amateurs was completely overlooked. I have watched the movie "Miracle" at least forty times and I will tell you the reason that movie was made had nothing to do with "amateur hockey being better than professional hockey." D) You hate America E) Why don't you just move to Canada?

  4. If I got a hard time for not being uber-supportive of the U.S. team, imagine what'd happen to me in Canada.

    P.S. I actually have considered moving to Canada. I don't think I'm special enough to be accepted yet.

  5. Boy, Emrick's just a playing buzz kill on Mssr. Vee-keeng-schtad, eh?

  6. To be completely honest, I am not patriotic, and therefore feel great saying Go Canada!. And I too can't help but root for all the teams, especially Switzerland as the Ducks' Hiller and Isles' Streit play for them.

    My view of the olympics however is why bother taking the NHLers away for it. It's basically an extended All-Star Game, which I like more because it comes with the skill competition.

  7. Oh, and Tomas Holmstrom is a ho,... for show.


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