Olympocalypse! The word that rhymes with “Rick”!

– Boardercross is way more exciting than I thought.

– Curling don’t get no TV love in the opening matches.

– The UK press really, really, really wants us to be embarrassed about our Olympics, but it’s pretty apparent it’s mostly collective nervousness they’ll be embarrassed of their own. British pals and pals of pals seem pretty supportive however and have carefully explained the press there is rarely indicative of the people. Fair enough.

– On Monday, ESPN columnist Rick Reilly was backhandedly complimentary of Canada for US readers. Met with huffy, Canadian indignation, Reilly open hand slaps Canada, then half-apologizes, asking, “Baby, why ya make me hit ya like that?”

I realize, slightly patronizing as it is, Reilly’s original blog was intended to be comedy. Cutting, condescending, stereotype-laden comedy, but comedy nonetheless. His response to Canadian offense however… well, to put it in Canadian terms Rick will think he understands; take off, eh?

Let’s take a look inside Rick’s tickle-trunk of loathing and see what’s inside, shall we?

• Do not talk about hockey. A Canadian team has not won the Stanley Cup in 17 years. This is possibly because there are no more Canadian hockey teams left. OK, that’s not true. Still, if Canada doesn’t win the gold in men’s hockey this time — something it’s only done once since 1952 — fans here might all throw themselves under stampeding moose

Rick apparently doesn’t realize how many Canadians cheer American teams – not because they don’t have a home team to cheer for, but because the home team isn’t their team, per se. And once the playoffs drop, Canadian team or no, we’re watching. Because we love hockey.

Also, we won gold in ’52 and ’02. You won gold in ’60 and ’80. In between, we have one more medal than you. And let’s not forget the Women – if medals were Pokemon, you’d win, because you caught them all – a gold, a medal, and a silver. We opted to win more gold however.

• Newfoundlanders are “Newfies.”

Yes. Yes, absolutely. Find a Newfie, Rick, and call him that. Please.

My other line was “You don’t get to use the N word, Rick. That’s THEIR word.”, but I went with the one that might result in a fist-fight for Rick. Plus, being Canadian, I was slightly uncomfortable with the joke I myself wrote. No matter how true it is.

• Call Vancouver “Van City” or even “The Van” but do not call it the name it hates: “No Fun City.”

I don’t know that we hate it, so much as it makes us mad that it’s true.

• And it apparently NEVER STOPS RAINING.

Rick doesn’t understand “temperate”, which is surprising in a writer.

• Use abbreviated words whenever possible. For instance, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police becomes the “RCMP,” which becomes “the Armsee”.

You ever hear the story about the Sub Pop receptionist that fed The New York Times a fake glossary of Grunge terms. I think someone pulled the same scam on Rick.
In Canada, we shorten it to “Mounties”… or “Hello, Officer. How fast was I going?”

• Compliment their national anthem. It’s way better than ours.

It’s hard to convey sarcasm in text… nope, I can’t tell for sure. We’d better take it at face value.

• Vancouver’s opening ceremonies were so boring that I wanted to jam my official Olympic drumstick into my brain and stir. Of course, Vancouver had to follow the greatest spectacle in theatrical history — the opening ceremonies of the Summer Games in Beijing in 2008.

Well, sometimes the opening ceremony isn’t FOR you, Rick. Plus, can anybody remember anything about Salt Lake or Atlanta’s opening ceremonies? Didn’t think so. Goth-fiddlers… that’s etched in there.

• Vancouver officials tried to tell people that “3 billion people” watched the opening ceremonies. Three billion? No. Not possible, no way, no how. Consider: There are around 6.8 billion people on Earth. Three billion is 44 percent of the world’s population. Really? Forty-four percent of the world’s population watched, when approximately 1.5 billion people live without electricity? When nearly 2.2 billion are children? No.

Or, maybe, Yes.
From the LA Times, February 9th, 2002, following the Salt Lake City Olympic opening ceremonies;
“An estimated 3 billion more people around the world watched the ceremony on television.”
It’s possible that 3 billion people didn’t watch the Vancouver opening ceremonies. The Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Winter Games Global Television Report certainly makes it sound not-impossible. But even if it is just a boast… glass houses, dude.

• The Canadian team’s promise to “own the podium” has not exactly come true yet. After the first weekend of competition, 30 medals were handed out, and only three went to Canadians. Perhaps Canada is leasing the podium out?

It wasn’t a promise or even a boast we made to the world – it’s a goal we set for ourselves. Calm down, Alpha Male.

Anyway, my apologies, Canada. You are a very kind people living in a beautiful country that has given the world many kinds of bacon. As soon as it stops raining, I would like to make up for it by awarding the following Canadian citizens gold in other disciplines:

He then goes on for another few paragraphs which are actually more stabs at the city. I can only speak for myself, Mr. Reilly, but apology accepted. You’re a funny guy and I’m sure you’re not as big a jerk as people on Twitter think you are. Your commitment to the Nothing But Nets charity organization is a credit to the comically handicapped.

Did I do that right? This whole backhanded compliment thing is tougher than it looks, eh?

2 Comments so far

  1. Susan (unregistered) on February 17th, 2010 @ 11:51 am

    What’s up with the “Flame?”

  2. Susan (unregistered) on February 21st, 2010 @ 12:26 pm

    The press always complains. The games are wonderful and Vancouver looks great. When all the tourists come to visit, you will be the ones complaining. But in a good way.

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