How To Watch the Winter Olympics

A Mega Sno-Bo-Cross Spoiler!
Scenes from the Olympics.
Feb. 17 2006 4:48 PM

How To Watch the Winter Olympics

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Julia,

"Sno-bo-cross" is an inspired coinage. May Safire someday cite you.

Troy Patterson Troy Patterson

Troy Patterson is Slate's writer at large and writes the Gentleman Scholar column.

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To "speed check" is "to slide sideways in order to quickly slow down before a jump." Come to think of it, it would have been brilliant for NBC to convene a couple of language mavens for a panel on the etymology of snowboarding—a quick history of "camber" and "chatter" and "duckfoot." Perhaps in Vancouver.

There still remains your fundamental charge. I'm too flustered and hurt by this attack on my newfound love to compose much of a response. I will grant that we ought to have learned more about where the line between "incidental contact" and "third-degree assault" gets drawn. I will respectfully disagree about the utility of the replays; these offered clarity and have made me a more discerning connoisseur of the awesome, which, like the sublime, transcends human reason. If you had paid closer attention and developed your own powers of discernment, you would understand that. 

Good night, and good riddance,

Fondly,
Troy

All:

First off, let me say that there is a MEGA SNO-BO-CROSS SPOILER a few paragraphs down. Be warned!

As Seth pointed out, the ratings have been unimpressive. I had been about to suggest that if NBC wants to beat tonight's two-hour Trading Spouses special, it ought to use the next four hours or so to blitz the republic with hype about Lindsey Jacobellis, America's foremost women's sno-bo-crosser and a young Vermonter who makes Hannah Teter look like an Alabama debutante. Look at this tangle of hair! Here is a new breed of sports starlet—an antidote to prissy figure skaters and media-coached downhill skiers and exhibitionist curlers!

Then she blew it. With a big lead in today's final, she came hot-dogging down the home stretch, celebrating her victory rather too soon. She fell. She had to settle for silver.

If the network tries to sell the evening's programming by highlighting the comeuppance of an angel-faced 20-year-old, it will be lucky to beat the Weather Channel.

Thus, it is onward to ice dancing. Seth, is there a silver lining here?

Thanks for playing,
T.