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Sticking with sports. What impressed me, what didn’t.

On Friday, most of you didn’t know the name Johnny Spillane.  I did, barely.  The only reason that I knew who he was is due to my interest in the real sports in the Winter Olympics and not the crap.

Like Duncan Kennedy in the luge back in Alberville in 1992, Spillane was the best hope for the first American medal in Nordic Combined.

Nordic Combined?  Don’t know it?

Two events.  First, Ski Jumping (off of the Normal hill) and then, cross country skiing (10km/6.1 miles).

Johnny Spillane took silver, the first American medal in Nordic Combined and the first medal in ALL Nordic events since Bill Koch won silver in cross country skiing back in 1976.

Spillane has the opportunity for another medal when the Nordic Combined moves the the larger hill (a K125) on the 25th.  Todd Lodwick and Bill Demong, who finished 4th and 6th respectively, are also looking to medal in this event and they may have a jumping advantage over Spillane.

So, while that impressed me.  Jamie McMurray winning the Daytona 500 didn’t.   NASCAR has this so backwards.  The biggest event kicks off the season…huh?

Oh, and the NBA had their All-Star Game on Sunday.  108,000+ people were silly enough to waste their money to watch this.  I think the East won, but I don’t care.  The NBA is probably the worst professional sports league in existance.

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I did enjoy the short-track speed skating that I watched.  South Korea should have swept the 1500m.  BUT, they screwed up and the guy in second took out the guy in third.  That opened the door for Apolo Ohno and J.R. Celski to collect the silver and bronze.

The spills and recoveries are part of what makes short track exciting the watch.

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Finally, I enjoyed the coverage of the Luge this year.  Duncan Kennedy makes this event for NBC.  And this year, I think they finally got him to really open up.  Unfortunately, I think this increased usage of the 1988, 1992 and 1994 American slider was due to tragedy.

Unless you are one of the slugs who prefers to watch NASCAR or a bad NBA exhibition over the games, you have heard about the death of Georgia slider Nodar Kumaritashvili on Friday during a training run.  Kumaritashvili’s death led many to conclude that the sport is out of control and hyper-dangerous.

Duncan Kennedy helped bring perspective on this.  And he helped explain the problems with this track and the alterations made to it in the aftermath.

Felix Loch of Germany won the singles luge….and he is rather impressive.  2006 Gold medalist Armin Zoeggeler took bronze.

American Tony Benshoof finished eighth.

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I will probably comment a bit on the games over the next two weeks.  I have loved the Winter Games since my parents went to Lake Placid back in 1980.  Be prepared for it.  Other things will be commented on, as I feel the need and interest in doing so.

Meanwhile, a word from my sponsors…..

The North Face

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