Did you know that the Jordan Palmer of amateur sports, the Winter Olympics, happens this February? It's OK — red-blooded sports fans can't possibly be expected to transition from the rough and tumble to Vancouver's prissy wonderland. Or can they?
If you're looking for uplift and a good old-fashioned cry, the Olympics are right up there with Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. These are real people with real hopes and dreams and goals and successes and heartbreaks and chances for redemption and oh my God that adorable orphan from Estonia just nailed that triple axel and we are the world…
But please, nobody follows professional sports to be happy. (Have you met a Jets fan?) In a given year there are such miniscule odds of any one particular band of brothers ending up on stage in two-toned hats and eye-rapist-designed XXXL t-shirts designed that fans have embraced, out of an almost Darwinian sense of necessity, the seedier side of sports.
Which brings us to the dirty little secret of the 2010 Winter Olympics: they are filled with dirty little secrets! Just as you can mask your musk for less with the help of those Designer Imposters ® scents ("If you like Sean John's Unforgiveable, you'll love our Bring It!"), I have no doubt you can learn to love the Games. Sit back, relax, and just let it happen.
Alcohol and Cars Combined!
If you liked… Carlos Dunlap, who was arrested for passing out in his car at a traffic light in the wee hours and ultimately got suspended for (two whole halves of) a game of minor significance.
Then you'll LOVE… Russian figure skater Andrei Lutai, who boozily lifted a Chevy Impala from a parking garage in Lake Placid after a pre-Olympic trial, blew a .18 when he was pulled over five minutes later, and earned himself a one-year ban from competition, which includes the Games of minor significance. (No word on whether he was still wearing pink gloves.) At any rate, the concept of a "one-year ban" is funny because, like, Vladamir Putin is just going to have him killed anyway.
Fun with Narcotics!
If you liked… Name your poison and your boyz, men. A-Roid? Manny just being Womanny? Darius Miles getting highles? (Sorry, that was bad.)
Then you'll LOVE… Germany's Claudia Pechstein, who recently lost an appeal against a 2-year ban for doping despite never having actually failed a drug test. Authorities suspect that she had a blood transfusion, which is really going above and beyond! But a word of warning to Bro-de Miller: the loophole that allowed snowboarder Ross Rebagliati to earn back his medal despite being caught rocking the ganj has, sadly, been closed. Harsh, dude.
Shitty Expansion City Logos!
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If you liked... ESPN horndoggery
Then you'll LOVE... Trying to guess what kind of creepy things Norway speedskating coach Peter Mueller said to skater Maren Haugli at a team breakfast a month ago. Norway's governing board called the incident "so serious that [they] had no other choice than to cancel our contract with Peter Mueller ... effective immediately". For his part, Mueller admits he made an "untoward remark about her ... as a joke." But like, at a breakfast? What, were they serving lox?
Totalitarian Border Officials!
If you liked... The story of a ranting raving Charles Oakley getting hassled at the Canadian border on his way to meet his new team the Toronto Raptors. ("They search the BMW. Tens of thousands of dollars of suits only Oak and the Ohio Players could wear are being rifled through, and who knows what else.")
Then you'll LOVE... The story of a ranting raving lefty journo getting hassled at the Canadian border on her way to some speaking engagements. ("After much questioning, Goodman said the officials finally asked if she would be speaking about the 2010 Olympics.")
Gruesome Skate-Blade Injuries!
If you liked... Seeing Clint Malarchuk's jugular pump an enormous pool of blood onto the ice; seeing Richard Zednik's carotid pump an enormous pool of blood onto the ice.
Then you'll LOVE... Seeing US speedskating wunderkind J.R. Celski's femoral pump an enormous pool of blood onto the ice at the recent Olympic trials. Okay fine, the wound missed his femoral by an inch, but blood still fucking pumped: "My first reaction was 'What the hell is that?'" said J.R. "It's purple, red, orange, yellow and I can see the bone."
Hot Hunky Homoeroticism!
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This is Katie Baker, btw.