The Winter Olympics is basically a bonus for the football fan. Usually when the Super Bowl gets over, in non-Olympic years, a sense of despair sets in during that dead period before the NCAA basketball tournament starts and baseball gets to full speed. But during the Olympics, we get a big red, white, and blue distraction!
While watching the first few days, it’s obvious that while there isn’t much overlap between winter sports and football (amazing how that timing doesn’t work out) certain CFB teams are MADE for certain Olympic sports.
Alpine Skiing – Florida Gators
When it’s all working, it’s beautiful. When it’s not, it’s disaster. All flailing limbs and bouncing off hard surfaces going way too fast. Sometimes the wind blows you off course, like when your coach gets accused of humping a shark naked. Everybody loves to watch a good, fast run, but secretly, we all know we’re just there waiting for the crash.
Biathalon – Alabama Crimson Tide
Bama football is all about the process. So is Biathalon. They have to be fast and powerful but able to control themselves well enough to be sharpshooters. While everything doesn’t always go perfect for the Tide, and sometimes people miss shots or ski slow in the Biathalon, the real contest for them both is their adherence to process in order to obtain the expected result.
Bobsleigh – Georgia Bulldogs
It’s big, it’s fast, its powerful, it’s shiny, it’s fun to watch. GO DAWGS.
Cross Country Skiing – Kansas Jayhawks
I’m bored already, and haven’t even written anything about this yet. Cross country is an amazing sport of human endurance. However, I’m convinced that distance people only put themselves through their sports because deep down they hate what they’ve become. Kansas football seems similar.
Curling – Wisconsin Badgers
There may be nothing more Badgertastic than Curling. Sure, those shining mustachioed and pierced faces at the Olympics are sober and at the pinnacle of athletic achievement in their sport, but out in the world, curling is a contest is about drinking the cold away and having enough heft in the booty to slide a rock a long way. That means beer and ice and arguing over nuance. Like playing for Wisconsin and dealing with that offense.
Figure Skating – Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Did somebody call for the divas? Notre Dame will be there in their glittery gold lids to answer. Sure, you wouldn’t want them in a hockey game, but they look great out on the edges making ridiculous leaps and catches. Also, ever notice how there seems to always be gold helmets on TV in September, and Skating on every damn night during the games? 🧐
Freestyle Skiiing – Nebraska Cornhuskers
Remember when throwing down a badass freestyle run was the edgiest thing an Olympian could do? Before the days of rails and half pipes and 17 year old kids yelling the F word on TV? I do. I also remember when Nebraska was good at football. It seems was around the same time, long ago.
Ice Hockey – Penn State Nittany Lions
Lots of history. Great at their sport. Some questionable shit has happened, but everyone is trying to move forward. (Looking forward to seeing That Team Formerly Known as Russia out on the ice soon, y’all.)
Luge – Oregon Ducks
Being in the Pac 12 north is insanity, rather like the Luge. Great helmets. Plays with gobs of speed. Occasionally ends up bouncing off the wall and slowing themselves down and losing, but still fun to watch every time.
Nordic Combined – Utah Utes
The Nordic Combined event has a long and illustrious Olympic history. It also doesn’t really make sense, because it combines both cross country skiing and ski jumping. It’s a little like watching Utah football, because for as fun as it is watching the Utes pwn the crap out of everyone on defense, their offense is about like watching a 20km race across the flat. You know eventually they’ll get to the finish line/end zone, but it’s gonna take a while.
Short Track Speed Skating – #MACtion
It’s chaotic and fast and loveable AF. Just like pretty much every MAC team. It’s also over quickly, kind of like the country’s interest in mid major football every October.
Skeleton – Boise State Broncos
It’s all about margin of error. For a team that wins a whole bunch, the difference between victory and despair is often minuscule. The rush of being a mid-major climbing the Top 25 is unlike any other – but it’s probably fairly comparable to throwing yourself down an ice track, face first at 80 mph.
Ski Jumping – Ohio State Buckeyes
Old school sports remind me of old school teams. Ski Jumping is like Ohio State football in that it has a million fans during the Olympics, and all of them think they know the exact right way for the athletes to perform to win and are not scared of being vocal about it.
Snowboard – USC Trojans
The Trojans are famous, and everybody is watching to see if they’re overrated. Kinda like the snowboard events. Having eyes on is probably good, because like USC football kicking off at dusk at the Rose Bowl, snowboarding comps are a show. Sure, you’ll see some screw ups, but also some high flying tricks that maybe have never been done before.
Speed Skating – Iowa State Cyclones
People moving very quickly around in a circle. Well, I mean if we wanna get literal about it, yeah. But also, Iowa State seems to be turning a corner and gaining the knowledge of how to win big games and that endurance and power that it takes to do so. It’s the same characteristics speed skaters possess – patience, strength, and vision. Sometimes both races and Clone football games seem to last forever, but they are rarely boring.
Now all that’s left to do is get Johnny Weir and Tara Lipinsky in the booth this fall. The Red River Rivalry should be a good one to send them to, right? We’ll get Tebow on Sideline duty and watch the world burn and the FCC complaints roll in. God bless America.