March 10, 2006

Quizes: the new cheap form of therapy.

You hate smug people!

Smugness is your biggest pet peeve. What with all their thinking they’re so good. They are so self-absorbed, they won’t acknowledge anyone but themselves. Arg.
Take this quiz at

March 03, 2006

In closing.....

Hello, my name is Jon Doe and I'm an Olympic Games junkie.

So, after 5 days, a decent meal, and an extra couple hours of sleep, I have pulled myself out the Olympic fog I was in. Not that I mind the self-induced stupor brought on by watching 2 weeks of Olympic competitions. I've always loved watching the games. The winter games especially. Maybe it’s the combination of ability with simple machines on a smooth surface at high speeds.

Whatever the allure is, the torch has already been snuffed and I've yet to lodge my complaint.

Certain reporters seem to emphasize that first place is the only result acceptable for American athletes, unless of course, we’ve never medalled in that particular event before. Why does it always sound like it’s 'all or nothing' for the USA. Why do reporters express such dissatisfaction if our athletes are not in first place at the Olympics. Do our athletes have to be perfect? Why do some reporters have the self-appointed task of expressing our country’s collective disappointment in being second or third? Hello? Last I checked, the Olympic committee handed out real medals with glory and honor for second and third place. IMHO some reporters just don't comprehend the Olympic spirit.

Now Turino wasn't the first time I encountered this attitude problem in the media, but Steve Politi of The Star Ledger certainly put a name and face to this problem. Maybe Steve was having a bad day, but his sports column on 2/18/06, A Little Flash, Then Crash, really annoyed me.

"Lindsey Jacobellis had gold in her reach. Then she reached for her snowboard instead. She had a chance to step on top of the medal stand, wrap herself in an American flag and hear The Star-Spangled Banner. Then she went for one last roar from the crowd, trying a flashy trick when all she needed to do was slide down the hill. Jacobellis went for style. She ended up with silver. The real sad part? She doesn't get it. Even hours after her race, as she faced an uncomfortable grilling on a teleconference about her ill-timed showboating, she didn't see a problem with what she had done."

He goes on to write,

"This is what happened: Jacobellis embarrassed herself on the biggest stage in sports. . .But this new breed of athletes has to understand there is a time and a place for showing off. What might be good for most snowboarding events is not good when wearing a Team USA uniform, with a gold medal at stake and a life-changing moment at the bottom of a hill."

I'd guess that Lindsey Jacobellis knew exactly what was at stake. And as a snowboarder, she probably felt that style and how she would try to win the event were as important as winning. Her execution of a backside grab during competition is part of who she is as a snowboarder. Some people don't understand that.

For the most part, the athletes demonstrate dedication to their chosen sport and a competitiveness that compels them to put it all on the line for chance at a few moments of joy. Those moments of joy are not necessarily when they’re holding a medal and their country’s flag is hoisted. Rather it is the joy of crossing the finish line and seeing their speed time and rank flash on the board or knowing it was their slapshot that put the puck over the crease. They strive for that indelible moment.

Mr. Politi also wrote a piece for last Monday's sports section (2/27/06) where he compared and highlighted the 'good' and the 'bad' of these games. Under the heading of bad, Steve again complained about Lindsey’s snowboarding accident, the women's hockey team having to settle for bronze, and that Sasha Cohen was lucky to even get a medal. . .but that shouldn't have come as such a surprise.

Hmmm. Maybe he should've called his article "The good, the bad, and the ugly opinion."