I was on the telephone with a salesman from the North (Atlanta) the other day, when he mentioned something that caught me off guard, which is where I usually am anyway.
“So, have you guuuys been watching the Winter Olympics?”
“The what?” was my honest reply.
“The Winter Olympics from Sochi,” he responded as if I knew a luge from a loogie.
“Nah, that hasn’t gotten much publicity down here,” I said. “You know, with National Signing Day and all.”
Most people in these parts don’t follow the Winter Olympics. They don’t know where Sochi is. It’s in Russia, by the way. I looked it up.
I haven’t watched any of the Winter Olympics thus far, and the only scuttlebutt I’ve heard about it focused on three questions:
1. Will there be a terroristic attack during the games?
2. What’s the deal with Bob Costas’ eye?
And 3. When will Vladimir Putin take off his shirt?
While indeed compelling questions, they haven’t captured the attention of folks ‘round here.
Part of the reason Southerners don’t cotton to the Winter Olympics is that we can’t partake in many of the games themselves. Our climate minimizes the opportunities for ice skating, ice hockey or any of the skiing events. In South Georgia, we don’t have any formidable hills, which rules out ski jumping, the bobsled or the aforementioned luge.
And to further our confusion, they keep on making up events, like the skeleton and curling. From what I could gather, the skeleton is just like the luge except the expectation for death is greater (hence the name).
Curling is sweeping on ice. On the few occasions I tried sweeping, I never found it to be particularly sporting. I guess adding ice — or for that matter, fire — makes it more exciting.
So while we’re making up games to add to the Winter Olympics, why don’t we create some that give Southerners a decent chance at competing.
That in mind, my suggestions:
Ice stock car racing: Southerners aren’t particularly adept at driving in winter conditions, but we are hell at driving in mud. Mud and ice are about the same, from what I understand. Southerners also love racing. And even more than that, they love crashing. An icy track + speeding stock cars = television ratings gold!
Trash can pull: On the few instances it’s snowed in South Georgia over the years, we weren’t prepared with sleds or skis or coats. We had to “make do.” And that meant getting a rope and tying a trash can lid to the back of a truck and hauling tail down the road.
Think the luge is dangerous? How about trying to stop a trash can lid on a slick road when the truck in front of you brakes at a traffic light?
Hunting: If the Winter Olympics’ biathlon can utilize a rifle (by the way, why is that?), I don’t see why hunting game can’t be an Olympic sport. Southerners would dominate, which, if you haven’t noticed, is the point.
I wonder how big the deer are in Russia?
Len Robbins is editor and publisher of The Clinch County News in Homerville. His column appears weekly.