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Are they brave or crazy or both?

By Staff | Feb 18, 2018

You know, I have to admit, I like sports. Well, some of them, anyway.

I used to participate in several sports like golfing, bowling, softball, and others. I still like to shoot a round of golf once in a while.

And then there is watching sports, whether it is on TV or live and in person. High school sports in particular, and some professional Minnesota teams, like the Twins, Lynx, Timberwolves, Wild and those purple heartbreakers.

Now I am nowhere near the sports nuts some of my close buddies are. I watched the Super Bowl with a couple of them and it always amazes me how much they know about all kinds of sports, from Minnesota high school teams to every pro football player in the country. And not just current happenings, but from years ago, as well.

I think they know everything there is to know about sports of all kinds.

Or so it seems.

I guess I just enjoy watching athletes compete and give it their all. And maybe I like it since most of it is live, because either I am right there in person, or I am watching it live on TV.

You don’t have any idea what is going to happen until it actually does. Totally unscripted. And that is why we watch it.

Every two years I tell myself I am not going to watch much of the Olympics, unless I have some spare time. And every single time I start to watch them, I get hooked.

Now, the summer Olympics are exciting to watch, there is no doubt. Seeing the swimmers, tracksters, gymnasts and others compete and win gold medals was incredible.

But I have to admit, the Winter Olympics are better. At least I think so.

Sure, there are incredible athletes doing astounding things at the summer games. I mean, seeing Michael Phelps compete in swimming and blow the competition out of the water (pardon the pun) was truly something historic to see.

And those gymnasts? I mean, really, how do they fly around like that?

But there is a difference and that difference is the danger factor, I believe. I mean, unless Michael Phelps gets a leg cramp and drowns, he probably will survive the competition.

And those gymnasts? Sure there is a danger of injury, as there is in almost every sport.

But these winter games are at such a danger level that it is mind boggling.

I mean, have you watched these snowboarders flying high off the half pipe? Or the downhill skiers going at incredible speeds and somehow not losing control and crashing? Or the crazy people doing the Luge run on some tiny little sled thingie that looks like it could go sailing off the track at any second? Or, the even crazier people who go down head first on an even smaller sled called a Skeleton?

Personally, I think they are all nuts. Especially since they all look like they are enjoying it.

But it is exactly that element of speed and danger that makes it so fascinating to watch, of course.

And it not only looks dangerous, it is dangerous. There have already been a lot of crashes and injuries in this year’s Winter Olympics.

Snowboarding gold medal winner Shaun White sailed high to a come-from-behind victory the other day. And it was just last year that he crashed and ended up getting 62 stitches, some of them in his face.

It sure seems like it would be difficult not to become overly cautious after having crashed hard and been injured. And yet White looks absolutely fearless when he starts each run. As do all the others who are competing at the games.

I guess they have to be. If you have any trepidation at all you just cannot do those kinds of stunts. Although, to be honest, I have no idea how they do it.

I really think these skiers and boarders and lugers and others have to have a lot of skill. And a lot of heart.

And be totally nuts.

I have been thinking about trying out for the Winter Olympics in 2022 myself. But it won’t be snowboarding, skiing, bobsledding or any of that dangerous stuff.

No. I’m thinking about trying out for the curling team. There are a lot of them in Minnesota.

I saw some teams competing in Duluth one time. And it looked a lot like bowling, especially the fact that the competitors seemed to be consuming a lot of beer. Just like bowlers.

Besides, curling should be a bit safer than some of those other Winter Olympic sports. Unless, of course, you drink too much beer and slip on the ice and break your arm or crack your head.

Now all I have to do is brush up on the rules of curling.

Get it? ‘Brush’ up? (Sorry about that.)

OK, maybe I will just stick to golf.