Register Saturday | June 15 | 2019

These Olympians are mercenaries, but don't call their game a cold war

I apologize in advance for this scattershot-like entry.

Wow, you go away for the weekend and hell freezes over. Or, wait, that was just the Canadian men's hockey team losing two games. In any case, as the other Donald S. says: nothing to worry about. Unless there are more hot goalies along the way, in which case it is looking like Slovakia, Finland and Russia, or maybe even Switzerland will have the medals in this event.

I apologize in advance for this scattershot-like entry. I was out hunting all weekend with these Brits who said they wanted to "shoot some birds." I thought maybe they meant ducks or goose or something. Well, maybe they did, but they didn't bring anything to shoot 'em with! 'Cept their cameras. I guess the fellow who does the booking for our lodge got his wires crossed or some such thing. In the end, it worked out, as one of them was so nervous with his camera finger, he might have given someone a face full of birdshot had he got his paws on a real gun. Criminey!

So, not only can the hockey players not skate, but the figure skaters can't skate-sorry, ice dance. What is the difference between skating figures and dancing on the ice? When you use your buttocks for a landing, the answer is: doesn't matter.

What else happened this weekend? Oh, the newest Canadian, Lascelles Brown, won a bobsleigh silver medal with Pierre Lueders. Well, there's nothin' quite like the bob. It's like drivin' a transport downhill on an icy sidewalk and tryin' not to hit any parked cars or take out any store windows. Them sleds are powerful machines. Well, powerful when they have a guy like Lascelles Brown pushin' 'em (or a gal like Heather Moyse-but more on her later).

I love the sledders. I have to wonder though, why it is ok for all the reporters and such to make a big hoo-hah out of Mr. Brown becoming a Canadian, and how great that is, and how he's so proud, blah, blah, blah, but they come down like a ton of bricks on skier Dale Begg-Smith for taking his free-style skiing act to Australia (do they even have snow there?).

I like Lascelles Brown. I do. He seems like a good kid. But I have to wonder why he gets a free pass for jumping ship, when others take a hit? They had a little clip there tonight about the 1972 Games, in Japan, where they were all up in arms about professionalism vs. amateurs. The guy said that being a professional is like being a paid mercenary, while being an amateur is like being a patriot fighting for your nation. Have you ever heard of a patriot fighting for his nation in one battle, then switching sides for the next?

This makes me think two things. First: sports is not like war. I have been through war. People don't die in sports. They die in war. I wish people would remember that before they start with their talkin' 'bout how this game is a "battle" and "cold war" and so on and so forth. Second: where is that amateur ideal now? The hockey players are all millionaires. The skiers and sledders join whatever country will pay them more (Canada pays more to bobsledders than Jamaica does, but less to skiers than Australia does). Sounds like mercenaries to me.