Friday, February 17, 2006

My new favorite winter sport

No, not throttlin' up my snowthrower on a big powder day. Not any more.

We've been watching the Winter Olympic Games every night. We watch at least a little of each event, yes, even Curling. In a masterpiece of timing, they show that at bedtime. I go right to sleep watching that. Better than counting sheep, as that just gets me aroused...

But I digress. Last night was the first-ever Olympic Snowboard Cross. I hadn't seen this before, but now I'm a fan.

Most events are individuals or teams racing the clock one at a time. Snowboard Cross is four competitors racing each other down a 900-yard course with turns, jumps, and beatin' an' bangin'. Sorta like a quiet, dust-free Motocross. It's exciting to watch. The only way they could make it better is if they could figure out a way to get those things to go uphill so they could do ten laps! I'm hooked.

From Slate:

Shortly after the snowboard cross heats began, two different friends got in touch with me, unprovoked, just to say how much they were grooving on this new event. Indeed, it rocks. Close quarters bumping and maneuvering, crazy turns and jumps, and a new heat starting every two minutes or so. It's like roller derby on snow. This is a winter sport I can get stoked about - while luge, bobsleigh, and alpine skiing all suddenly feel outdated and lusterless. No doubt, snowboard cross is the breakout hit of Torino.

My only suggestion is that they should permit not just "incidental" contact, but also "violent, mean-spirited" contact. Also, weapons. Some of the boarders should be issued bicycle chains, while others get two-by-fours with nails sticking out. One guy should get a bazooka. Basically, I want it to look as much as possible like SSX Tricky - one of my all-time favorite video games.

The LATimes has a more newsworthy report on the event including a real good Photo Gallery.

Prior to Snowboard Cross, my all-time favorite, if fictional, event was the "Chinese Downhill" in Hot Dog: The Movie, sort of Porky's in the snow, which was filmed here and used a lot of my friends as extras. Some of 'em even paid me what they owed me for motorcycle repairs!

The women's Snowboard Cross is tonight. Check it out.

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