Ice Hockey - Men's Gold Medal Game - Day 17

Why I Can’t Give A Shit About The Olympics

Today, the hockey world began to stir anew with Canadian and American orientation camps hilariously practicing without ice due to insurance restrictions. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg (pun fully intended) as to why I really have zero investment Olympic competition.

The first disconnect comes from conflicted rooting interests. Olympic competition seems to bring out the latent jingoism in the hockey world, particularly from our friends to the North, which I find irritating from all parties. While a good deal of it might be in jest, believing that a sporting match is reflective of any country’s superiority over another, in any regard, is patently ludicrous.  I guess by that same token not openly rooting for the American squad somehow makes me less patriotic, but it’s something I’m learning to live with. Truth be told, in watching international competitions, the team whose style I find most enjoyable to watch is the Finnish team’s, but it’s simply not acceptable for an American of Irish and German descent to root for a team with no other stake in. On top of that, it’s more difficult for people to hurl meaningful insults at you when the outcome of the game is of no emotional effect. In fact, during most Olympic competitions, I more often than not have found myself rooting against a particular country whose fanbase’s behavior during a given Games is particularly annoying. And if that’s the case, then clearly I’m better off not watching.

Along those same lines, even if I did have a rooting interest, American, Finnish, or otherwise, it is far superseded by my NHL rooting interests. The very idea of wishing success for Ryan Kesler or David Backes is stomach churning for me. From my vantage point, one that’s probably shared with owners and GMs across the league, the only purpose the Olympics serve is opening a two week window of high-risk, zero-reward games that have no effect on the teams that are paying the players handsome amounts of money.

Even from an aesthetic point of view, the international game bores me as well. The enlarged ice surface creates more space for making plays, but also creates more room for players to hide. Yes, the person who has banged the drum louder than anyone else that hit stats are bullshit (they are) and that NOT BEING PHYSICAL is fine (it is), thinks that the Olympic sheet fosters too floaty of a game. Seeing feats of skill materialize from little to no space to operate is far more impressive. Not to mention that many of the nations involved boast All-Star caliber rosters with no cohesion, and are given the space to freelance and often times look incredibly sloppy and lackadaisical doing it. The expanded square footage dilutes the urgency of every stride, every pass. And on top of all of that, games of consequence can be decided with a shootout.

There’s also the inherent problem with the Olympic machine as a whole, who have a recent track record of leaving host cities completely up to their ass in debt after leaving, despite being promised a full recuperation of costs which the IOC never ever assists with.   The storied history of corruption from the IOC would make Jeremy Jacobs blush and have Bill Wirtz wince from beyond the grave. And on top of all of that, the IOC has basically supported all of Russia’s reprehensible anti-LGBT laws with threats of disqualification for voicing any kind of opinion on it, all for the sake of making themselves money.

None of this is to tell anyone else to not enjoy all of the pageantry and spectacle of the Olympic Games and its hockey tournament with a cornucopia of NHL stars (and Ilya Kovalchuk) come February. But I certainly value my sleep far too much to be getting up at 5AM to watch live games.

  • Andrew Heitman

    The Olympics is fun, but I tend to agree with these comments. The international ice can create some of the most boring hockey out there. If you want to watch a bunch of great skaters just run up and down the wall, then go for it…its not entertaining.

    Now, for those who watch the World Juniors, you get an amazing tournament. So it begs the question, why not go back to amateurs? One country really cares about the WJC, so why not basically put it on a bigger stage? USA Hockey has been bragging about their development success lately, lets get a look at these kids who have a year and a half to train and prepare prior to signing that big NHL contract?

    I will admit still being excited about Parise’s last second goal in 2010 and pissed off at Ryan Miller for sleeping on Sid Crosby…but I think there is a better product for the IOC.

    • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

      I’d love to see the Olympics move back to amateurs, in every sport.

      • Paul the Fossil

        The Olympics as a whole, if I ever became King of the World, would be gone by noon my first day. Into the same trash heap as bigtime college sports.

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          I’d like to see it continue, but only if you could somehow reintroduce egalitarian elements back into it, and remove the money and the nonsense. But I edge in your direction–international and amateur sport is far less fun with those influences. (I’d like bigtime college sports way more as a spectator if I knew the athletes were students … like student-students.)

        • laaarmer

          Before I eliminated the sports I would first tackle larger issues like “last call” and not allowing shorts below the knees.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            This shorts thing … whatever happens from here on out, you got my King vote. Sorry Paul.

          • nextgame

            If these kids today would just pull their pants up their shorts wouldn’t hang below the knees.

            GET OFF MY LAWN!

          • laaarmer

            f you are going to wear shorts that go below your knees, but some fucking pants on. You look like an ass, especially if you then have socks on. Christ I swear people have no idea.

            So now to the sagging. As King, if your crack or underpants are showing above your belt line while standing upright – Death penalty.

          • Accipiter

            So, is this the dress code in your utopia ?

            http://i1247.photobucket.com/albums/gg636/WMJav/Shortshorts.jpg

          • Why

            But he’s also getting rid of last call. I say it’s still worth the trade.

          • laaarmer

            Yes, That is a good look for all of you.

          • DesertHawk

            What’s wrong with shorts below the knees?

      • chidiver

        Amateurism was born of elitism. A way for the rich, European elite to keep the undesirables out of the top levels of sport. No thanks.

        That was before institutions made billions by exploiting the lie of “amateurism”. Let athletes in obscure sports profit from whatever they can during their brief moment in the sun…cause the IOC, NCAA are sure cleaning up on their efforts!

        • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

          I’m the least bit familiar with the history of amateur sport. But I do agree that amateur sport with money tied to it isn’t really amateur.

          I’d also like to see those in obscure sports benefit as much as they can for working their tails off. It’s the larger professional sports I have trouble with. But I’m out of my element. I watch Olympic hockey … and pretty much nothing else with any regularity in the either the winter or summer games. I’ll probably watch golf when it comes (but would prefer amateurs there, too).

          • mightymikeD

            I’m in your camp, Chico, but chidiver does have a valid point: for example, in Cricket up until 1962 you had “Gentlemen” (amateurs) and “Players” (professionals).. they had separate locker rooms (although on the same team) and different ways of being recorded on the scorecard/records.. a “Gentleman” would be known as “Mr RMF Cholmondley-Warner” (for example) whereas a “Player” would be “Platt, Harry”
            Needless to say most of the “Gentlemen” were upper-class Eton/Oxbridge types and the “Players” were the Northern/Midlands working-class who used Cricket to get out of going down the mines

    • 07GreyDigger

      I disagree. Have you seen Olympic Baseball? Woof.

  • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

    Can’t say this hits any false notes, McClure. Re nationalistic jingoism, in particular: It’s thoroughly valid, especially if you’re pointing north. For me, Trudeau summed it up perfectly way back: “Living next to you is in some ways like sleeping with an elephant. No matter how friendly and even-tempered is the beast, if I can call it that, one is affected by every twitch and grunt.”

    I think it’s easier for an American to take an international hockey tournament more lightly. Because in almost every other sport you demonstrate dominance.

    In international hockey tournaments our devotion gets magnified, I think, because it’s the ONLY marquee sport in which we can regularly compete for the win. In every other sphere–and hockey now, too–the US has a legitimate if not sure shot at gold. Up here, next to the elephant, we define ourselves in large part by whatever it is that makes us not American, and so sport events like this become huge. They’re more than the sport. That’s problematic, probably borderline insane, but it’s true. Many of us associate a part of the Canadian character with the game, and it’s too bad the anti-American or anti-Russian idiocy ramps up accordingly. But a loss, even if Luongo is at the helm, is somehow more than a lost hockey game. It’s a lost opportunity to somehow set ourselves apart as our own elephant.

    • nextgame

      I must be incredibly naive, because throughout my entire life I have operated under the impression that the U.S. and Canada, as sovereign states, were close allies, and that U.S. and Canadian citizens, by and large, liked and thought well of each other. I have visited Canada several times over the course of my life and never found its citizens anything less than gracious and friendly.

      Am I mistaken in this impression? Are you solely referring to the sporting arena re: …we define ourselves in large part by whatever it is that makes us not American… and …it’s too bad the anti-American or anti-Russian idiocy ramps up accordingly…

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Oh no, you’re not mistaken. I think there’s a genuine neighbourly feeling, absolutely. But at the same time there is a need up here to define ourselves in contrast to you. There was a brilliant national radio campaign on CBC years ago asking what the Canadian equivalent might be for “as American as apple pie,” and the winner after thousands of entries was “as Canadian as possible, under the circumstances.” The fact that it won–that it even could have been chosen–might tell you a lot about how we perceive ourselves, and how we perceive ourselves with you there underneath us.

        RE the anti-American/anti-Russian thing, though, ya, I meant that mostly in connection with hockey. We have a really really hard time losing to you in hockey. And because elsewhere we’re always the severe underdog, we tend as well to root for the other underdogs in other sports, too, when they play you.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Don’t worry, “Police” has already agreed to be the 51st state. It’s not you guys anymore.

        • cliffkoroll

          You gotta be shitting me. Either Canadians are the drollest people on Earth, or the opposite.

          • Black JEM

            Americans have a bigger than life persona – it is just the American thing – and it ticks other countries off. Just one of the prices of being the big dog. As an American, there is no point in arguing or worrying about it.
            With about 350 million residents and a very high income/capita we can be good at just about anything we decide to be good at. Demographics are a good thing when added with lots of money.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Shitting you about the “as Canadian as possible” part? One hundred percent true. Just google that and Gzowski (a past CBC radio host and cultural icon up here). It’s really pretty perfect. Captures so much in so little; and droll to boot, yep, which it would have needed to be to gain a majority of votes.

      • Why

        I like Americans. I also like watching Canadians beat Americans at stuff.

      • Bannerman

        This is how Canadians really feel?
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ety2FEHQgwM

    • Z-man19

      Be careful, elephants shit A LOT, might want to sleep further away

  • Paul the Fossil

    I agree with a lot of that, though actually not so much the criticism of Olympic play as being basically no-check hockey.

    That certainly used to be the case but in 2010 I was struck by how much physical play there was. The Czechs and Russians for example were banging each other pretty good, as were the USA and Canadian teams at least in the final when the stakes were highest. Also I watched a whole game involving the Swiss team because they were running around trying to hit anything that moved (which was somehow inherently hilarious because they’re, you know, Swiss). They weren’t real good at it but that was their gameplan…of course there were also 2010 Olympic games where the physical play was lacking. But not as much and not as many of them as we used to see.

    During the 90s and early 00s I loved Olympic hockey because NHL play had gotten so stupid and dull. Today though the NHL has gotten much closer to a good balance between speed and strength, the skill game and the physical game, etc. In fact nowadays it’s regularly the best overall hockey that I’ve ever personally seen. So while I still enjoy the Olympic play I’m not feeling drawn to it in desperation like 10 or 15 years ago.

    • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

      Keep in mind the 2010 games were played on an NHL sized sheet in Vancouver.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Ah yes, a good point. Yea we’ll see whether the tourney shifts back towards rat-hockey mode.

  • 07GreyDigger

    I don’t think its fair to hate Olympic hockey because the Olympic committee is corrupt. That’s like hating hockey because Gary Bettman is a douche. Do any of us hate the game because of him?

    I understand the whole possible injury risk and all, but I must say that the only thing worth watching in the Olympics every four years is the hockey. Something about playing for your country gets these guys amped up to another level. Maybe its because the US hasn’t won since 1980, but I thoroughly enjoy it every year. But not enough to buy a jersey or anything or put a flag on my hood if they won…

    • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

      Rec for the Bettman IOC analogy.

  • Fleshrifle

    I might agree if the Olympics were held as an annual tourney, over a month. However, this happens once every 4 years. It’s for only 3 weeks. I get to see how good the Swedes, Finns, Russians, Czech, Slovaks and Slovenians (and even Swiss) and it’s a one and done. Hell it’s a blast. I always find myself amazed about how the Czechs and Slovaks both have amazing teams and for a few games get sad that they still aren’t one country under Tito kicking the shit out of the Soviets. Or that the Swedes are finally the dirty bad guys. It’s a tasty desert from the NHL. Fun to watch, root for teams like Slovenia and Finland and it’s one of two sporting events that I haven’t seen live that I want to live for (the other being a Cubs World Series clincher at Wrigley).

    I ignore the political shit, I ignore the ‘way this country plays the game’ shit..I just get into it for the fact that it’s a wide open affair and most anything can happen (Ray LeBlanc anybody?). A hot goalie is almost all that matters and I love a good goalie game. Perhaps it’s because I still play USA v. USSR bubble hockey but the Olympics are still fun.

    • mightymikeD

      Psst. Tito ran Yugoslavia, not Czechoslovakia

      • Fleshrifle

        Damn…I’m dumb. Yeah…I gotta brush up on Cold War history. But go back through the past 4 Olympics and take the best of the Slovak and Czech teams. Epic stars when you combine those 2.

        • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

          Cold war history is easier if you actually lived through it (e.g were born BEFORE the Berlin wall went up)

          • Fleshrifle

            I was too busy studying the the impact of colonial Latin American history on ongoing proxy wars of Cold War powers to care about the disintegration of the Soviet empire. So the problem is that I really don’t watch much Peruvian hockey and I get confused on Eastern European events. But I love me my Tretiak #20 jersey.

    • cliffkoroll

      I predict that by 2100, this will be in the history books.

      #idiocracy

  • RLWiener

    Is it weird I enjoy watching the womens curling more than I like watching Olympic hockey?

    • mightymikeD

      Curling is bizarrely addicitve, isn’t it?

      • Z-man19

        Concurred

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          Women’s Curling much more so because the ‘athletes’ seem like women normal blokes might have a chance with.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            This normal bloke right here only dates professional women tennis players.

          • Z-man19

            How’s that working for u?

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            So far it’s just at the planning stage, and so far my plans are just a hidden picture folder on my desktop. But I’m getting there.

          • Z-man19

            that’s disturbing

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Nah. It won’t really be disturbing until I start phoning and photoshopping.

          • Z-man19

            I stand corrected

          • Joe Banks

            If only they were wearing French Maid outfits… that would be so hot.

          • Z-man19

            I’m guessing the men are as well, if that’s your thing

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Well, its not in Sochi, that’s for sure.

          • cliffkoroll

            Do you use the word ‘blokes’ in Texas, or just here?

            Also, based on the sordid content of many of your prior posts, you created a disturbing image in my head with the above comment. Maybe my fault, but I’m blaming you.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I do use the word “blokes” in TX. I’m saying it over and over aloud right now in various volumes and pitches and now my dog is hiding from me.

      • happyhuman

        Yes it is.

      • DesertHawk

        Yep

      • Accipiter

        Nope.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Rooting for USA.
    Rooting for Canada when not playing the USA
    Rooting for any other teams with my favorite players (read Blackhawks)
    Rooting for my second favorite team, which would be whoever is playing Russia today.

  • Why

    For all of the outside garbage, you are about to see the highest level of hockey played by anyone. Much of it will be single elimination. If you’d rather spend your time worrying about the ice size or complaining about the gosh darn unfairness of the way it’s set up or who is setting it up, you can go right ahead.

    I’m going to watch very good hockey and root for my team. I hope that’s still cool.

    • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

      I already said that you could in the last paragraph, but I’ve changed my mind and have now decided that you are not allowed to enjoy it, and now nobody is. I hope you’re happy with yourself, you’ve spoiled it for everyone.

      But feel free to keep on thinking the Olympics are so gosh darn awesome and wonderful.

      • Joe Banks

        Wow… I’m so confused now. Perhaps I’ll have a drink…

        • Why

          That’s never a bad move.

      • Why

        Excellent passive aggressive posturing. But if you’re going to pull that off effectively, your going to have to read a little more carefully. I never asked for your permission to watch the Olympics and I’m sure you’re smart enough to figure out why. You wrote an article describing why watching the Olympics was a bad idea. I disagree, and luckily for me, there is a comment section.

        I think you’re holding yourself out as a hockey fan and telling other people to not watch very good hockey. You’ve done that by writing paragraphs that essentially say the following:

        1) You don’t like countries competing at things, particularly because people tend to like their home country and cheer for it. Even worse, they often cheer against other countries and say mean things about them. You do this while writing for a hockey blog that very clearly cheers for the home team and says mean things about other teams.

        2) Professional sports owners pay players a lot of money and therefore it’s bad if the players play for other teams because the Blackhawks are the team that matters the most.

        3) You think players can “hide” on big ice. Honestly, most of this article came across as really clear to me but I have no idea what you’re talking about here. And if you think teams are “lackadaisical” during Olympic play, I question what games you’re watching. Is this your version of “Dat Kane guy doesn’t try?”

        4) The IOC sucks and only exists to make money for themselves.

        I’ve reread the article and if those are the best arguments to ignore high level hockey, I’m more excited than I was before.

        • justforkicks

          Isn’t “I hope that’s still cool.” effectively asking for permission? While the article is telling why McClure has no interest in it but not to sway other people to his side by “None of this is to tell anyone else to not enjoy all of the pageantry and spectacle of the Olympic Games and its hockey tournament with a cornucopia of NHL stars (and Ilya Kovalchuk) come February.”

          • Why

            No. It was meant to be a rhetorical question that would operate as a passive aggressive dig at a position I disagree with. That part might have been unclear.

            And I suppose we read the piece differently. To use a different example (and one I’m assuming more readers here would understand), if I wrote five paragraphs describing why Johnathon Toews was a terrible hockey player and then finished with “but you’re free to think he’s ok if you really like sideburns and Stanley Cups”, it would be pretty clear that my intent wasn’t to say both opinions are equally valid.

          • justforkicks

            I’m sure most people got that actually. I think he wrote an opinion piece, which is of course to put his point of view out there and maybe people will be swayed to his point of view, but at the end of the day, they can and will do what they want, which he knows and stated. McClure can scream it from the rooftops but he only makes his own decisions. I suppose at the end of the day, the fact that I have my opinion and give no fucks about any one else’s intent informs the way I read this article. I banged my head against enough walls during the trade patrick kane the bad teammate days that I just don’t go so deep into motives anymore.

          • Why

            Fair enough. One of the fun parts about blogs for me is that they provide readers with a slightly smaller rooftop from which to “scream” back. I’m not suggesting that McClure doesn’t know that people disagree with him, I’m just telling him (and everyone else that bothers reading what I post) why I do.

            However, I told someone the other day on this board that things they find implicit might not be the same things other people find implicit. Your point above is something that makes a lot of sense to me.

        • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

          Here’s something that’s not so passive aggressive:

          I think the Olympics are fucking stupid and you’re fucking stupid for liking them.

          • Jeff

            Hmm…You know, McClure, I usually have all of the CI writers’ backs as I am a subscriber and big fan of your write ups but I have to say, “Why’s” pretentiousness notwithstanding, he made his points and you’re coming off pretty bad here in the comment section.

            I like all of the staff’s articles, whether I agree with them or not. Personally, I don’t agree with your stance on the Olympics and I don’t think I’m fucking stupid for liking them, either.

            To each their own.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            This sarchasm has turned into a sarcanyon.

          • 1benmenno

            Sargully?

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Sarquagmire apparently

          • Why

            Rereads own comments.

            Pretentious is definitely more than fair.

          • cliffkoroll

            Yeah, I say this is one of Mac’s lamest efforts. Meh- it’s August. Even Toews has an off day, right? In theory anyway.

            I do agree that the jingoism surrounding ALL of the Olympics may more than offset the fun of collecting the world’s top athletes together. It’s always been this way- a far cry from the original vision, but there it is. At bottom, it’s people. Fucking people.

          • http://www.thecommittedindian.com/ Matt McClure

            Stop fucking calling me Mac.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            or people. selling people. to people. Globochem. Take it from me, I love you.

          • DesertHawk

            Thanks for calling me stupid :D or is only Why stupid for liking them?

  • ilikeanactivestick

    Watching NHL vids from USA camp. Is it just me or is Van Riemsdyk big as a horse! I know Kaner was the right draft choice that year, but JVR looks like he could be a late bloomer.

  • https://www.facebook.com/rich.westerman.1 zookarama

    Heh- this comment section is slowly becoming the PD comments section. Well, not That Bad, but you sure can tell its August.

    • Joe Banks

      Ouch. Why can’t we all just get along?

      • Why

        Well….

        (Goes on for eight paragraphs)

        Wait a second, you were asking a rhetorical question weren’t you?

  • red palace

    Yeah, for a sporting event that happens just once every four years, my cheering is very heavily swayed by the loyalties that are forged by the six (better yet eight-plus) months of thrills and agonies that I go through with the Hawks each year.

  • VanDorp’sMullet

    I gotta say that I’ve always enjoyed Olympic hockey… I suppose it goes back to that 1980 US team which, honestly, is where my love of hockey was born. But I totally agree that the IOC is really, really taking the bloom off the rose for me. Their complicity with Russian’s anti-homosexual laws really disgusts me. It makes me think that they would condone racism or other repressive political systems as long as they were able to make a buck off it. These Olympics officially already suck for me and all accomplishments will be met with a sigh of disappoint that slime is dripping from the organization that manages/organizes it and that the country that hosts it is going backwards in the way that it treats its own people.

    • Black JEM

      Russia – love it or leave it – has a demographic timebomb problem. They aren’t re-populating their country and they want their youth to have more babies. The gay lifestyle doesn’t really lend to that result. I’m not really pro or anti gay. I really don’t care much either way.
      But Russia sees it as not a rights issue, but one of survival. I realize our prism views it just one way – they are looking beyond that.

      • Paul the Fossil

        Perhaps, but the primary causes of that demographic problem are (a) the developed world’s only declining life expectancy and (b) young Russians choosing to emigrate to other places to settle and raise families. Trying to stamp out homosexuality does not really address either of those issues.

        • Black JEM

          As I noted up above – I am not suggesting what they are doing will help. I am merely telling you what the political dynamic is in Russia – it is all about birthrates. Rights, somewhat of a foreign concept there already, is not in the picture.

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            The birthrate argument is bunk. It assumes that homosexuals choose to not be straight and procreate. It’s sort of like saying “All tractors are outlawed because they don’t make human babies and we need human babies.”

            And Black JEM–I’m not directing that comment towards you but rather to the logic that the Russian gov’t is applying. It’s a total failure to understand the nature of sexuality as well as the reasons for the demographic problem (see Paul’s post above).

          • Black JEM

            I have no qualms about your bunk argument. Well you could probably come up with a better analogy, LOL! Even if you are gay, biologically speaking, you could have children by engaging in what would be repugnant behavior to you, but nonetheless behavior you are capable of. I’m not sure how a tractor has sex – but I digress!

            I am just saying that in Russia, they consider themselves a great empire and shrinking populations are a threat to that. Russia just doesn’t see it as a rights issue as we do, and so international handwringing over it will go no where.

          • Accipiter

            I got gonorrhea from a tractor.

          • Z-man19

            you are doing something wrong

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Agreed. The worst I’ve ever gotten was HPV.

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            I got pregnant…

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Shit dude. Fuel injection system git ya?

          • VanDorp’sMullet

            Yeah, I totally get that. Russia doesn’t generally give a shit about what the rest of the world thinks and will naturally do whatever they want. But I also think can speak our minds about injustice when we see it even if it doesn’t change a thing.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        I gotta take issue with this, JEM. Whatever you think about the topic, I seriously don’t think that rhetoric holds water, that these laws have come into being because Russia needs more babies. In my mind, virtually every “anti-gay” stance comes down to an infantile “Ewwww.”

        • Black JEM

          I am merely noting the political reasons for the law being passed. Whether it actually does anything or not I am not judging. You can decide it doesn’t hold water. I am merely telling you that in Russia – it isn’t a rights issue, it is a birthrate one. You may not like that, I may not like that. But that is what is going on.

          • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

            Sorry … I understand that’s a claim, but I meant to say that I don’t believe that they truly think those are the reasons for the law. I think the claim is there because they’re digging for something, anything. It doesn’t make any sense, I think they know that, but it’s better than saying “Ewww.”

          • Black JEM

            I get where you are coming from – but in Russia the birthrate issue is pretty large. It is the primary political force behind the law. Sure there can be others, but that is what is driving it. Russia sees itself as a great power. Great powers still need lots of people, and they are shrinking.
            Ewww is one thing. Hell I can get ewww, but no one is asking me to partake so I don’t care.

          • Paul the Fossil

            What’s sad about that as the focus of policy is that Russia’s birth rate, the number of live births per year per 1,000 people, doesn’t explain its shrinking population. As of 2012 Russia had 12.3 births per 1,000 population which was the same as Australia, the UK and China. It is a higher birth rate than Spain, Canada, South Korea, Italy and many other nations. It’s actually only slightly lower than the current U.S. birth rate.

            While most of those nations have stagnant populations or in some cases slightly-shrinking ones, none of them are shrinking anywhere near as fast as Russia is. What’s different about Russia now compared to those other countries is the dropping life expectancy, the absence of any immigration into the country and the steady flow of young adults emigrating away…if they think that boosting their birth rate is the key to turning around the population trend they’re only setting themselves up for more disappointment.

          • mightymikeD

            dingdingding on life expectancy

          • bizarrohairhelmet

            Judging from the viral videos I’ve seen, it’s their driving habits that’s doing them in.

  • Preacher

    Hmm. Someone’s in a bad mood today.

    I like sports and competition. I’d watch checkers if they televised it. The fact that the Olympics is basically an All-Star game except that the players actually try hard is pretty fun to watch. So, I’ll watch.

    And I’m calling BS on all the background noise about the evil IOC. There’s a pretty “storied history of corruption” with the NHL as well, but that doesn’t seem to stop anyone on here from shelling out lots of coin for lots of Hawks’ stuff and game tickets. And the IOC is bad because they do all their dirty deeds for money? Wow, good thing that never happens with the NHL.
    Geez, is it October yet?

    • DesertHawk

      I kinda feel the same. Olympics = opportunity to watch cool sports I rarely see, and an opportunity to feel pride in my country with very little negative side effects. Some people like to grump though.

      • 1benmenno

        I prefer to harrumph.

        • Z-man19

          figures

          • 1benmenno

            harrumph!

      • VanDorp’sMullet

        I agree about the Olympics themselves. I love to watch them, but I just feel like the Games are becoming more tainted.

    • mightymikeD

      I wouldn’t say the NHL is “Corrupt” so much as “venal and incompetent”.. the IOC, on the other hand, are as bent as a three-bob-note

      • Preacher

        I won’t argue with you at all on the IOC, but Alan Eagleson, Bill Wirtz, Colin Campbell–there’s a pretty good history of corruption with the NHL too. (Not on the same level as the IOC, but a far cry from “clean.”)

      • bizarrohairhelmet

        Luckily I’m bathing in four-bob-notes.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      Gotta agree with mightymikeD below. Plus, IMHO, their complicity with Russia’s policy is truly a human rights issue. What if the Olympics had been awarded to South Africa during apartheid and the IOC was like “Well, it’s their country. Sorry. No blacks at these games” (or to be more equivalent “Just don’t act all black and stuff during the Olympics because our hosts don’t like you”)? That’s just background noise? I think they’ve always been icky, but now they are downright fucked up and wrong. They’ve crossed a line.

      • Preacher

        McClure’s conclusion on the IOC being complicit in Russia’s anti-propaganda laws and the IOC’s corrupt behavior, was: ” all for the sake of making themselves money.”

        MY point is that using the “evil money grubber” demonization and the “corrupt” tag as a reason for avoiding Olympic hockey games is crap. One might even say hypocritical, when you consider what your money goes to in the NHL. I’m not commenting on the morality of Russia’s laws, and I’m not suggesting that the NHL is violating human rights. All I’m saying is that McClure’s reasoning is on THIS ONE POINT is bogus.

        Again, is it October yet? Soon? Please?

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Guess I misunderstood your original post then. I thought by “all the background noise” that you meant everyone that was taking issue with the IOC’s position. Apologies.

          And yes, I can’t wait for hockey too.

  • 1benmenno

    Don Cherry wears nutty suits.

    • mightymikeD

      on his nuts

  • rkeign

    Motherfucker (there, that got your attention), I’m also an American of 50% Irish and 50% German/Bohemian descent …..and surprisingly enough I believe with you 100%. Jingoism inducing in its purest hour. What exactly is the logical conclusion to asserting one’s “country’s superiority over another”? Don’t get me wrong. I inevitably find myself rooting for my home team, my lifelong favorite; but I feel somewhat ashamed in doing so, because under different circumstances I know I could be pulling for the other side. They and their fanbases want triumph just as well. Whose to say that one side is right …, is entitled to overcome?

    • raditzzzz

      lets not go over the top about jingoism. there is no reason why one should feel ashamed to root for a team in the olympics. if you don’t want to root for only one particular team, guess what, you can root for as many as you want! thats no different than what people do for the NHL, MLB, NBA, MLS, etc, plenty of people enjoy more than one club, players on other teams that they hate and so on. just because i like seeing (enter country here) do well doesn’t mean i am a staunch nationalistic fascist.

      the issue isn’t about being entitled to overcome, its about watching countries assemble their best sportsmen and letting them duke it out for some medals, something that every sports organization does, whether its a trophy, plaque or pennant. if you have an issue with having to organize by nation, that is its own grievance. but when you think of sports that are not commercially a financial draw, many athletes wouldn’t be able to reach their potential without the support and infrastructure of their national sport governing body. so to me, there isn’t a problem with being able to then compete under their banner.

    • bizarrohairhelmet
      • DesertHawk

        As someone who served… that’s a bit too mocking for me. A rare case of the onion whiffing for me.

        • bizarrohairhelmet

          I’m not sure we are allowed differing opinions around here anymore and because I was first…

          • DesertHawk

            Haha. I’d never tell you, you weren’t allowed to think it was funny. Belief in the tenants of freedom and equality, which our country espouses (but doesn’t always succeed at actually enacting) are the reason this particular jingoistic nationalist joined the military. And having Wings… Wings played a big part of it.

          • 1benmenno

            I hate to be a pendant, er, pedant but the word is tenet, not tenant.

          • DesertHawk

            I have no idea what you’re talking about, but noted, thanks.

      • rkeign

        Thanks for the link bizarrohairhelmet. I loved the irony delineated so well in the article. It expressed my feelings much better than I could myself and actually gave me additional insight into the dilemmas faced by many of my colleagues during the days of the compulsory military draft. Ironically (that word again) my daughter bought a new dinette set that required some assembly and underneath the tabletop was a label that read “Made in the Republic of Vietnam”. WTF!

  • laaarmer

    I think it’s better to not give a fuck that to not give a shit, but you are able to give a shit you just don’t want to, eh?

  • Commit88

    I agree with the bad times of games and the big surface of the ice. I won’t be as into this one as I was for Vancouver or Salt Lake City. Also, I doubt the USA will be a factor this time around with the large ice surface. Not sure why they play on such large ice. Anyone know when/how this started to begin with overseas?