I never really understood the pull of the Winter Olympics. I mean, yes, they are the Olympics, but in mid to late February, the last thing I want to see is snow. Still, Vancouver somehow managed to top American Idol in ratings, at least according to the segment Jimmy Fallon did last night with Bob Costas.
I did watch the end of the hockey game today, enough to see Team USA celebrate when they tied the game with 24 seconds to go and then to see Canada top that in overtime. I saw Yu-Na Kim and Joannie Rochette perform their own miracles on ice. I even followed Apolo Ohno's chase "to be to frozen water what Michael Phelps is to regular water." (Thank You, Jimmy Fallon, for making this witty comparison.) So I guess I shouldn't be surprised that the Winter Olympics are popular--I got sucked in by the human interest stories, the sibling and friend/rival dramas and the painful injuries.
Maybe it's not the snow and ice, the reminder of cold weather that I absolutely don't need, maybe my indifference or ambivalence towards the 2010 Winter Olympics comes from my relative lack of team spirit. I found myself cheering for underdogs, which generally meant not Americans. I cheered for the Italians, feeling a sense of weird camaraderie with them. I also found myself in several situations just not wanting the Americans to win...just because.
Even so, with the closing ceremonies underway, I do feel patriotic. It's hard not to with the emotional montages and music. I'm also feeling a little Green Knight pride with the triple victories of men's hockey and men's and women's basketball this weekend. I had nothing to do with those victories, but we all know what that's like--claiming teams as our own, saying things like "we won!" when really someone else owns them and the athletes and coaches did all the winning.
And speaking of sports pride, we all know we'll be tuning to Jay Leno this week to see our favorite Olympic stars, along with Brett Favre, whom some will claim with pride and others not so much.
There's probably a joke about the parallels between Leno and Favre lurking around here somewhere.