- 1681 - Early Dutch settlers from New Amsterdam defeated a group of Quebecois from Lower Canada in a match of shooting frozen apples through a netted basket using brooms in what many historians consider the First Hockey Game.
- 1775 - The year before the American Revolution, George Washington and several cousins from Virginia traveled to Yorktown (now Toronto) and were challenged to a game of "shinny" by a group of Fenians. It is believed that Washington took the loss hard and was his inspiration to fight the British so hard starting in 1776.
- 1874 - William Howard Taft was offered a scholarship to play hockey at McGill University in Montreal. The broke his leg the fall of his freshman year and was cut from the squad. Taft turned his back on hockey and put all his efforts into become America's 27th president. Unfortunately, Taft also turned his back on all forms of physical activity and became America's heaviest president too.
- 1944 - American and Canadian soldiers stationed near the Arctic Circle on radar alert watch for German rockets played a "friendly" series to combat boredom. The matches took on such a preoccupation with both groups that they entirely missed a sneak attack by Japanese pearl divers in the Bering Strait. It was not until the late 1990's that the Alaskan oyster beds began to recover.
Saturday, February 27, 2010
Friday, February 26, 2010
Long time readers of Dogs & Jeans know I'm crazy about televised sports and the Olympics, Winter and Summer, over some of the best ball, stick, puck, jumping and running around action there is. But as I look at today's line up, I'm thinking it's all just a little too much:
- Snowboard Giant Slalom qualifying round
- Alpine Skiing Slalom heats
- Biathlon relay
- Short Track Speed Skating Team Pursuit
- 4-Man Bobsleigh
- Short Track Speed Skating 500m & 1000m
Last week I suggested combining some of the events to make them more interesting (plus saving some valuable viewing time). Upon reflection, I have a couple more suggestions to increase interest in the games, especially in the last few days when I am no longer awed and amazed by the speeds achieved on the icy surfaces.
Idea One: Synchronize That Sucker. The Summer Games seems to have caught the synchro bug with swimming and diving. Why not the Winter Games? Synchro Skeleton, Synchro Aerial Skiing and Synchro Speed Skating. It's fast and precise.
Idea Two: Make More Events Equestrian. That's right, horses. Nothing would keep the audience glued to their sofas for hours than watching skiing and skating events performed on horseback. Equestrian luge, equestrian snowboard-cross, even equestrian curling.
Idea Three: Random Cargo Nets. If you ever watched American Gladiators, you know what I'm talking about.
Thursday, February 25, 2010
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
There comes a time in each man’s days
When he must give up dreams
Of sporting glory, wealth and fame,
Assume more humble ways.
At twenty, he is now to old
To put on figure skates
And learn to axle, loop and lutze
With muscles stiff from weights.
At thirty years the time has past
To try and learn to slide
On skis, or snowboard, even luge
And earn Olympic pride.
Why can’t Olympic sports be such
That folks advanced in years
Can train for Winter Games abroad
And still have chips and beers?
“But wait!” you say. “Have you not seen
A curling match at all?
You never sweat, you never strain,
You never trip and fall.”
“You push the rock, but rarely lift
To side it down the ice
The sweeping’s brief, no body-checks
For teams are always nice.”
So when a man exceeds an age
Of forty years and some,
‘Tis true that curling is the sport
Designed for everyone.
There is still hope that I could be
Olympic champ someday
To wear a medal made of gold
And still be old and grey.
Be sure to catch up on all the previous Olympic posts.
Tuesday, February 23, 2010
Scotty Lago’s unfortunate set of pictures taken with a female fan “admiring” his Olympic medal has pushed the US Olympic Committee to implement a “ethics” test to ensure athlete’s named to the team not only have exceptional athletic abilities, but also the kind of moral fibre with would not lead to scandal.
Dogs & Jeans has obtained a copy of the quiz.
If you are reading this, you have been provisionally named to the US Olympic Team. Congratulations. But before you “party on dude”, please take a few moments to answer the following questions:
- An attractive female admirer wants to touch your medal. Where is it not okay to let her?
a) A restaurant
b) A sports venue
c) Your pants
- Your team mates want to celebrate a hard fought victory. Which of the following is not a appropriate festivity?
a) A couple of beers and a steak dinner
b) Dancing at a club and home by 10
c) Cocaine, hookers and an underground cock fight
- A wealthy supporter want to reward you for your victory. What would you consider a suitable gratitude?:
a) A round of drinks and a pat on the back
b) A week in the Caribbean on a private yacht
c) One of Regis Philbin’s kidneys
- You decide to get a tattoo to commemorate your victory. Which of the following would be considered “too much”?:
a) A gold medal on your shoulder
b) The Stars & Stripes on you bicep
c) “Suck It Ukraine!” across your forehead
- We all know the Olympic Village is a hotbed of post competition sexual activity, and we are “down with that” too. What is the best way to protect yourself from unwanted consequences?:
a) Oral only
b) Using of a condom
c) Sunglasses, a wig and the ID from a wallet you found behind the arena.
Monday, February 22, 2010
- while sweeping, vacuuming or other household chores you spontaneously begin shouting "Hurry! Hard!"
- your hands are only warm when wearing red maple leaf mittens
- periodically speaking with a Scandinavian accent
- persistent ringing in your ears that sounds distinctly like the clang of cowbells
- you have broken out in a facial rash that resembles the Swiss flag
- you got into a shoving match with the guys in your office football pool over a disagreement about figure skating marks
- when relaxing at home, you are only comfortable wearing a skin-tight speed skating suit.
If you have experienced any of these symptoms, doctors recommend you immediately switch over to the NFL channel and watch some classic divisional playoff games until the preoccupation with watching snow sports subsides.
Sunday, February 21, 2010
Saturday, February 20, 2010
Friday, February 19, 2010
After a week of Olympic coverage in which some broadcasters have a looser grip on English than the Parole Board has on a repeat offender, we long to hear the literary giants.
Jack Kerouac on Snowboard-Cross:
A mad dog dash off the line in whale spout sprays of steam as boards thrash the snow surface like migrant children chasing pennies, four riders lunge toward the finish line, each man throwing elbows like Kansas windmills, swapping positions, first, second, third, last, second, last, third and first in unison as though their souls are joined by gossamer threads, driving and releasing, driving and releasing until the unquenchable desire of tumbling boards push across the line and are silenced.
Breaking News! Tiger Woods is so Sorry!!
Margaret Atwood on Women’s Figure Skating:These female athletes compete in an event designed to demonstrate their suitability as mates in this showcase of feminine grace and flexibility. But these miniature dynamos have usurped the bonds of their overseers and exerted control in an event replete with jumps most men fear to attempt. Where there is delicacy expected, they show power; where docile instead they are bold. The indomitable spirit of woman lifts each higher than a triple toe loop. Medals were awarded to only three nations, but the true winner is each little girl who can see in herself the steely strength to forge her own dream.
Breaking News! Tiger Woods is "the only person to blame"!
Ernest Hemingway on Long Track Speed Skating:
The two men enter the oval. The Belarusian a rhinoceros, the Dutchman a tiger. Like boxers, they circle the ring, looking for a weakness. The Dutchman drives. The Belarusian response. The switch lanes, inside for out. The Dutchman responds with another drive, surging ahead. With blows, there might be blood. The Belarusian is stung like a bull tormented by the banderillas but he makes a desperate attack. His both arms drop to wing in tempo and the Dutchman senses his fatigue. He holds off on the kill shot. But from behind comes the Belarusian legs pumping. The effect is like a body shot. The Dutchman is stunned. He cannot react. Pumping his arms, he looses his balance on burning legs. The Dutchman goes down. He is still. Above him stands the Belarusian who lives to fight another round.
Be sure to catch up on Dogs & Jeans coverage of:
The Opening Ceremonies
Women's Ski Jumping
Know Your Olympic Curling!
Signs Your Olympic Judge is not Qualified
How to Improve Olympic Winter Sports
Thursday, February 18, 2010
As expected the TV ratings for most of these Winter Olympics has been tepid at best. Despite tremendous gold medal performances by America’s skiers, skaters and snowboarders, the TV audience remains more interested in American Idol and the NBA. Heck, re-broadcasts of ‘Who’s the Boss?” gets a better market share in some regions.
Everybody likes combos: 2 for 1 sales, Denny’s breakfast platters, twins. The Winter Olympics has stepped in the water a little with the idea but too little success. The Nordic Combined mixed together two sports, one exciting (ski jumping) and one unwatchable (x-country skiing) but they are really just back to back events with one winner. Biathalon is a better example, but that is just adding shooting (exciting) to x-country skiing (dull). The result is less than spectacular.
Let’s go all out and combine sports in a way that people cannot look away, like the Super Bowl or a warehouse fire.
All the power of speed skating with the youthful rebellion of the snowboard half pipe. On a well iced course skaters race one another up and down the sides while performing flips over the edge. The first skater to the bottom who hasn’t lost any more that one half his or her blood volume is the winner.
Event 2: Figure LugeJust like it sounds. Competitors must navigate the luge course in an artistic manner while incorporating the technical jumping elements of figure skating. Points will be deducted for not remaining on your luge for the duration of the run.
The two guys in the middle of the bobsled who don’t do anything after the first 4 seconds will be required to use brooms to try and interfere with the other sleds since it will take place with a mass start at the top of the course.
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
After the 2002 Games, the International Skating Federation overhauled the judging system to prevent mark fixing. The fraudulent marks were so blatant when the Russian pair was awarded the gold over Canada's Salé and Pelletier, days later a second gold was given to the Canadians; the first Olympic figure skating "tie".
However, we are still seeing inexplicable marks posted which rank poor performances over strong ones. The only explanation being that despite the rules change, some judges are still incompetent. As part of Dogs & Jeans ongoing effort to improve the Olympic experience, here are some signs an Olympic Figure Skating Judge might be a bumbling nincompoop:
- Each time the bell sounds for the next flight of skaters she shouts, “Another Round on the House!”
- She keeps trying to "pick up" Johnny Weir.
- The IOC employs a special assistant to prevent the judge from removing her pants.
- Refers to the rink as the ‘frozen pond'.
- Cackles uncontrollably when non-European skaters fall.
- Her seeing eye dog is actually a raccoon.
- Keeps arguing with her imaginary friend about setting fire to the zamboni.
- Applauds each performance saying "Great luging! Wonderful luge!"
- Shows of her double lutze skills in the ladies washroom.
- Refuses to take off her flamboyant hat because “pirates always keep their heads covered. Arrrr!”
- Has two marking books: “Chinese” and “Everyone Else”
Be sure to catch up on Dogs & Jeans coverage of:
Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Outside of Canada (and to a lesser extend Scotland and Sweden) the sport of curling has very little profile. How it ever qualified to be an Olympic sport is a mystery, considering that women cannot get ski jumping sanctioned. The curling competition begins today and Dogs & Jeans would like to cast off the collective ignorance with some interesting facts about the sport, which will enhance everyone’s viewing pleasure:
- Curling stones, or rocks, weigh 44 lbs and must contain the ashes of the throwers deceased family member. Some stones are handed down through generations with ancestors remains added upon one another.
- Modified “brooms” are used to sweep the ice and affect the movement of the stones by keeping the surface free of debris and melted ice. Ironically, the locker rooms at curing rinks are the untidiest of the winter sports community.
- When throwing, the rock must be release before it passes the “hog” line. It used to be called the “Democrat” line, but that was deemed to be too partisan.
- Canada’s prairie provinces host a Full Contact Curling League where opponents are allowed to use their brooms to prevent or obstruct rocks and other players in anyway possible. The wearing of helmets is still optional.
- It was traditional for women to wear kilts while playing, however, pants became the norm after the 2002 Colleen Jones Incident.
- Curling has the lowest incident of injury of the Olympic Games, but this may change if Gin Rummy is granted full medal status in 2014.
- Notable great curlers in history include Sir Isaac Newton, Queen Victoria, Dwight D. Eisenhower and Cambodian leader Pol Pot.
- Each team has three 30 second “time-outs” which may be used at anytime. Topics of discussion are not restricted to curling strategy, but players are forbidden to talk about religion or American Idol.
The Bleacher Report has it's Top 5 Reasons to Watch too.
Be sure to catch up on Dogs & Jeans coverage of:
Monday, February 15, 2010
Sunday, February 14, 2010
On Saturday, the first day of competition in ski Jumping stood as a cruel reminder to the US and Canadian Women’s teams that the IOC has continued their anachronistic restrictions. Despite the women fighting their exclusion from competition all the way to Canada’s Supreme Court, only men will be allowed to vie for ski jumping (and Nordic Combined) medals, at least for another Olympic Games.
When the IOC contends that women could be damaged more than men, they often cite an old study conducted by Nazi scientists in the 1930’s that suggested there was a definite possibility for “ladies to experience dislodging of the uterus and rupture of the ovaries” due to sudden exposure to altitude at take-off and impact of landing. The studies were actually conducted using inflated pig carcasses that were catapulted across a canal in Dusseldorf. Much of the “dislodging” of the sow’s reproductive organs occurred during contact with a concrete wall. The study has since been discredited but the belief continues on.
This belief is a holdover from the early days of ski jumping when women wore costumes so confining, including over-tight corsets, that any exertion frequently led to “swooning, consumption or the vapors”. Considering that the lack of oxygen such attire contributed to would have caused a person to faint while doing nothing more than eating a cheese sandwich, it is ridiculous to think that if women wore the same outfits as men, they would not be sufficiently hardy to jump 90 metres.
In desperation, opponents to women’s ski jumping will sometimes refer to a little know passage of Deuteronomy where low level prophet, and well known Hebrew malcontent, Manasseh declared, “Do not let the women of Israel ascend to the mount where they will then descend and take flight. To do so is an affront to the Lord. Only the descendents of Abraham, the male descendents, may soar and land in a lunge position and accept points for style.”
Saturday, February 13, 2010
- Since the fall of the Soviet Empire in 1989 and the subsequent break-up of Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia, the Parade of Nations has taken 11 minutes longer. If new European nations continue to seek representation at the present rate, the Opening Ceremonies will take 22 and a half weeks to complete by the the 2022 Games.
- The Native Canadian dancers required enough chemical stimulation to keep up they gyrations for the duration of the event, they would not have passed the IOC's strict anti-doping policy.
- Singer k.d. lang has nearly completed her transition into becoming Star Trek's George Takei.
- Lichtenstein has won more medals per capita than any other nation. The smug bastards.
- There were enough "single competitor" delegations from small nations to field an entire baseball team at the 2012 Summer Olympics.
- During the festivities, 14 athletes from China defected. No Chinese official could actually remember which ones they were specifically from the 800 plus delegation.
Friday, February 12, 2010
To kick off the celebration, here are some Winter Sports Demotivational Posters.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Rumors have been swirling for months as to which Canadian musicians would be performing and who will light the flame (Betty Fox, the mother of marathoner and cancer hero Terry Fox would be the best choice). The theme of the ceremonies has been a closely guarded secret, but some of the Rejected Themes have been less well kept:
- Hooray For Winter!
- The IOC Hates Women Ski Jumpers
- A Celebration of Pudding
- Al Waxman: CBC's Tribute to the King of Kensington
- We Apologize For Celine Dion
- Canada: Like America But Without the South
- The Clothing Optional Olympics
- Curling is Exciting!
- It's Called a "Toque"
- There's French on Everything You Buy Here
- Mounties Have Tasers Now
- Canada: And You Thought Your Government Was Big!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
- Have you heard of this “Twilight” thing? Maybe read a copy and see what all the fuss is about.
- Examine the 2010 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition looking for evidence of PhotoShopping (look really, really closely, but not so closely that someone might think you are a pervert if they happened to walk in on you).
- Figure out who “un-friended” you on Facebook.
- Since everyone has a ribbon drawer, you can make your own personal Valentine’s Day cards. What do you mean you don’t have a ribbon drawer?
- Catch up on missed episodes of Coronation Street.
- Write letters for Amnesty International, just make sure you are not supporting the unlawful imprisonment of political dissidents.
- Find the source of that funny smell in the basement.
- Start that P90X fitness program you received for Christmas. Break up with the person that gave it to you.
- Research all the events at the 2010 Winter Olympics so you can win money from your friends over the next two weeks betting on events like Skeleton, Ice Dance and Nordic Combined.
- Bake muffins. Lots and lots of muffins.
- Remember that screen play you started about three friends from Beverly Hills who go to Africa to build schools for nomadic tribes people? Finish it. Paris Hilton, Jessica Simpson and Heidi Montag are waiting for that Oscar role.
- Nap. Urinate. Repeat.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
What? That is exactly what happens! And they smell each other’s hair while they talk about being so mad at their boyfriends. Please don’t take this fantasy away from me; I have so little in life.
Anyway, this year’s lucky Cover Model is Brooklyn Decker. Many would think the lovely wife of tennis star Andy Roddick was a lock, but Dogs & Jeans has revealed the list of other potential contenders. Judging by the stiff competition, by no means did Ms. Decker have it in the bag:
- Betty White
- Gene Hackman (because he’s in everything)
- Mrs. Butterworth
- Winnie Cooper from Wonder Years
- Fran Drescher
- Madeline Albright
- Paul Pfeiffer from Wonder Years
- All of Tiger’s mistresses
- The blue chick from Avatar