A fine triple something

Wayne MitchellIt’s that time again. No, I’m not thinking of Valentine’s Day.

Valentine’s Day hasn’t been a big thing at our house since the time I sent flowers to Jenny’s school in Oxford and the vase tipped over on the way home, soaking the carpet in her car.

After I used a half roll of paper towels to soak up the water, I tried to remind her that it was the thought that counted.

She said her thought was the 30-mile trip home from Oxford was not conducive to keeping a vase upright. Her other thought was that I should not do it again, or words to that effect.

Anyhow, I was thinking of the Winter Olympics. It’s the time when our family spends hours in front of the television, watching sports in which we have little interest and even less knowledge.

But, somehow, because it is the Olympics, we find ourselves taken in by the spectacle. There we were over the weekend – Jenny, Joe and I – watching TV and discussing the fine points of whether one skater’s triple something-or-other was better than another’s. The reality is all I know about judging figure skating is the skater either fell or didn’t fall.

And none of us have ever had on a pair of skis, but that doesn’t prevent us from commenting on how the jumper should extend his arms to “catch the most air.” Or suggesting a skier needs a “little straighter lay out.”

Well, you get the point. At least during the Winter Olympics, most of the sports have rules I can figure out.

Except, maybe curling. Curling looks a little like playing shuffleboard, but isn’t as interesting.

It consists of shoving round slabs of marble called “stones” down an ice-covered playing surface, trying to land the stones within some sort of circle.

But along the way, a couple of people with brooms sweep them back and forth on the ice trying to influence the path of the stones. Looks like cheating to me, but what do I know?

The sport supposedly dates to the early 1500s in Scotland, although today it is most popular in Canada. An estimated 1,500,000 people are registered players, so I guess there must be more to it than I’ve seen on NBC.

All of the sports in the Winter Oympics are more entertaining to me than something called racewalking in the Summer Olympics. Racewalking looks like nothing more than walking fast and getting a medal for it. Oh, well.

One of Jenny’s favorite parts of the Olympics so far was the opening ceremony, which she said had a lot of beauty and grandeur. I wouldn’t know, because shortly after seeing the U.S. team enter wearing gaudy “Polo” logo sweaters, I fell asleep on the couch.

An Olympics nap is similar to a football nap to me. Both are better than a basketball nap.


Because the broadcasts last longer.

T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by email at wayne.mitchell@journalinc.com.

About Wayne Mitchell

Publisher of the New Albany Gazette