Monday, February 22, 2010

Mr. Plushenko, Meet Mr. Pronger

I was watching the Olympics the other night, listening to commentator Dick Button analyze Evgeni Plushenko's performance in the Men's Figure Skating, and I couldn't help but wonder, "How the hell do you end up with a name like Dick Button?"  It sounds like a something you'd find on a pair of boxer shorts.  And it's not like the guy didn't have options.  Assuming his given name is "Richard," what's wrong with "Rick Button?"  "Ricky Button," "Little Richie Button," or even "Chip Button" would be much more dignified.  So anyway, Dick was going on and on about how critical it was for Plushenko to nail his double-axels and triple toe loops to stay in contention for a medal. Being the consummate sports fan that I am, with a lifelong appreciation for the spirit of athletic competition, I was of course rooting for Plushenko to fall flat on his ass.  Because that is what figure skating is all about.

Frankly, I'm surprised that they even allow figure skating in the Olympics. It's not like it's actually a sport.  You might be thinking, "Of course it's a sport, because the skaters are finely tuned athletes competing against each other" and if you're thinking that, you are, with all due respect, stupid.  Marching bands compete against each other, too, but no one is saying that the Proviso East High School Marching Band (nickname: "The Marching Musical Machine of the Mid-West") should be in the Olympics.  You also might be thinking, "Oh yeah, well, you only hate figure skating because you can't do it," but that doesn't hold water either.  What, all of a sudden I'm the measuring stick?  If I can't do something, that automatically makes it a sport?  I can't fix a car to save my life, but I don't think we'll be seeing a team of Norwegians going for the gold in the Men's 1500-meter Downhill Transmission Flush in 2012.

Also, figure skating isn't a sport because the winner is chosen by a panel of judges, just like American Idol, Dancing With the Stars, and the Great Southwestern Texas Chili Cookoff.  In real sports, the winner is immediately obvious, like the team with the most points, the sprinter that finished first, or the boxer who is not lying on the floor unconscious.

So now you're probably thinking, "Ah ha!  But wait!  Boxing has judges too!"  And if that's what you're thinking, you have fallen right into my trap.  Because that brings us to my point, which is this:  Let's combine the scoring system of figure skating with that of boxing.  Here's how it would look:

Evgeni Plushenko, for example, begins his long program as usual.  Thirty seconds into his routine, however, the officials let loose Canadian hockey player Chris Pronger whose sole purpose is to kick the living crap out of Evgeni Plushenko (when it's a Canadian figure skater's turn, Pronger would be replaced by Russian defenseman Anton Volchenkov).  If Plushenko can complete his routine without being splattered across the sideboards, the judges give him his score just as they always have.

But let's suppose that right in the middle of a flawless triple-salchow, Pronger barrels into Plushenko from behind, depositing the figure skater in the seventh row where he curls up into a ball crying for his Babushka.  This is scored a "knockout," Plushenko receives no score and spends the rest of the Olympiad wandering the streets of Vancouver looking for his spleen.

Now, what happens if all the figure skaters are knocked out, and no one receives an actual score?  Simple.  NBC packs up its equipment, leaves the skating venue and goes to cover a real sport, like bobsledding.

And Dick Button could go petition his local court for a legal name change.


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CatLadyLarew said...

Makes sense to me. I happened to win the Silver in the Super D Pairs Sledless Descent... new this year.

Far more athletic than figure skating.

Jeff said...

I was having a discussion with someone on Friday regarding the hilarity of Dick Button's name and discovered something very important. If you're wondering what Dick Button looks like, do NOT under ANY circumstances go to Google Image Search and type in his name. I don't think I need to explain why....

GregoryJ said...

Dick Butthead is why my wife and I don't watch skating anymore.
Well, one of the reasons.
I never liked it anyway. The girls' costumes were not skimpy enough.

Your version is much more interesting.

Another think about the olympics, especially with that guy getting so many medals for speed skating. I mean that's all he does, speed skate. Why so many medals. One for going this far. One for going that far, one for being on a team.

Just like swimming. A whole bunch of medals for swimming. Just swimming.

And the the decathlon guy only get s one medal???????

I didn't make this rant up. I heard it somewhere, maybe George Carlin

Homemaker Man said...

That's how you spell "salchow?" huh.

My favorite sports announcer name is Peter Dangle.

The Good Cook said...

Dick Button is an arse... how did he become the expert on all things olympic anyway?

I like your version of figure skating olympics. Tell me when it's on so I can TiVo it.

Beth said...

I will lose sleep for boxing. Skating? Meh... it doesn't do so much for me.

Apparently, I like blood.

Paula said...

I laughed, I cried. I want to petition the Olympic Committee, pronto. Let the games begin! said...


Dude - I came home from vacation thursday night & plop on the the Olympics since i havnt seen any yet.
I actually saw both of the two high flying flamers go for the gold. You know what? Putin has a gripe. Their dude pulls of 4 spins in the air which all previous skaters have done. Our US dude (who has a wedding band on???), skates nicely with the 3 spin jump. No how much harder it is to spin another time???? The other dude was better. I said it and bring on Dick Buttons if you have a problem with it.

- Go Flyers and USA

MikeWJ at Too Many Mornings said...

I think the Proviso East High School Marching Band should be in the Olympics along with all the other marching bands in the world. There. I said it.

P.S. -- I'd truly love to see a match between Pronger and Plushenko. Which one washes his hair less often, I wonder?

Reputation@Stake said...

Full contact figure skating? Okay, but then we should give the skater some weapons. Something to defend themselves against the oncoming hockey players. And if it's pairs figure skating, then one skater should be allowed to throw the other at any oncoming hockey guy. This might be worth submitting to the Olympic committee. If you do, see if they'll add a bullfighting element to it too. That would be great. Skaters, hockey players, and bulls. That's good TV. (I'd especially like to see the bulls try and run on ice.) Thanks Chris!

Tgoette said...

Your argument makes perfect sense. But instead of having the skaters tackled by hockey players, I was thinking that maybe it might be interesting if the competitors sat on the sidelines and shot at him with paintball guns.

The paint would, of course, have to coordinate with the skater's costume. We're not savages after all.

K a b l o o e y said...

Yeah, Peter Dangle. Like Peter O'Toole, your classic double-phallic name. I know a lovely man who goes by Dick Weiner. Me, I'd be Rich or Richard. ah, good times. But Dick Button sounds like the "before" in an ad for penis enlargement, no?

Mariann Simms said...

Dammit, I wanted Plushenko to win.

And the American ice dancers tonite got robbed out of a gold medal.

I think any name that starts with "Dick" is pretty funny.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

You can't place bets on figure skating and then cheer in a Vegas sports book. Not without looking silly.

Moooooog35 said...

Dick Button was my nickname in college.

Actually, it was 'button dick' but that's just plain hurtful.

Unfinished Rambler said...

Personally, I saw both performances and was bored to tears by both of them. I thought the performance of the American (whatever his freaking name is) was lackluster...and yeah, the Russian dude might have pulled off a quadruple, but he looked tentative otherwise. I think like you suggested, it would have been better if some hockey had been inflicted on both of their figure skating asses. ;) said...

your name here: __________ Button alternatives:

-Velcro (not invented then, but still...)

just sayin'

Ziva said...

I actually think hockey players could make pretty decent figure skaters if they tried. Just think about it for a second. They do quite elaborate pirouettes, albeit often aided by an opposing player's elbow to the head... But still, they could probably throw each other pretty far over the ice. I hear that's big in figure skating.

But I do like your idea. It would definitely be worth watching.

Candy's daily Dandy said...

While I love to watch figure skating, I cannot diagree with your logic here.

It's like a pretty popularity contest....that Dick still won with a name like "Dick Button".

Go figure

Suldog said...

You have the right idea, but I think it would be more fun if we just sent all of the figure skaters onto the ice at once. They all do the routines they have planned. As soon as someone falls, he's out. Last one standing wins.

If two or more skaters get through their routines without having fallen, then it can be decided by a shootout. Of course, any skater who unholsters his weapon before the shootout is disqualified.

Ivan Toblog said...

How much money could be saved if the figure skating and hockey were conducted at the same time? I wonder if the figure skaters would even make it out of the locker room.

Anonymous said...

You are hilarious! I smile whenever I see your magnet on my fridge. What a hoot!

Fragrant Liar said...

One sweet sport is enough.

As for the definition of a sport, I take issue and think it's less of how long, far, or fast and more of how much physical endurance and strength is at stake and calculable via some scoring mechanism.

Incredibly, curling is a sport, for god's sake. How would you equate that with boxing, my man?

screwdestiny said...

Yeah, I gotta say of all the sports in the Winter Olympics you could've picked on, curling seems the most obvious target.

Eddie Bluelights said...

I think you have a great idea there. Why not write to the Olympic Committee and suggest it?
Also I would be interested to see what you think they should do about Syncomised Swimming! LOL but maybe you could give us a treat in 2012. Hilarious!

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Cagey said...

I agree - figure skating is not a sport. It's just complicated exercise. Still, between all the IP laws the IOC had flaunted/circumvented so they could control common words and ideas and the hundreds of millions of dollars NBC paid to show people what happened long after it did using a proprietary video format that only Bill Gates could love, I thought maybe I should watch some of it. But, I needed to clean the toilet, which was much more fun so I missed it again.

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