Tuesday, February 14, 2006

NBC Ya Later 

Sigh. 'Tis that time, once again, when NBC turns its late-night attention to naught but the Olympics, meaning that anything they show is pointless and sucky. And, dammit, just when Conan O'Brien is heading to Finland to meet with President Tarja Halonen. Now that's the international event I want to see. Fuck Torino (aka Turin -- did they change the name to avoid tainting The (fake) Shroud?) -- give me Conan's comedy gold any day.

In other news, I guess some ice skater who duped the USOC into thinking she was healthy enough to compete re-injured herself, simultaneously blowing her Gold Medal Chances and making the high school hopeful who got dumped so the USOC could whore out to past fame think, "WTF?" Just proving that the Olympics really aren't about sports. Oh, of course they're not. They're just rah-rah bullshit. Otherwise, you'd think you'd be hearing about all the winners, and not just the ones from the US of fucking A. Michelle who? Honey, every mall in America with an indoor rink is full of dozens of girls just as good or better than you, but without the same PR flaks. And you've made an idiot of yourself forever with that second groin pull. Welcome to footnote land, your fifteen minutes are up, ta-ta.

Harsh? Maybe. But, as any good coach would scream at her, suck it up and take it. You took your chances and you fucked up big time. C'est la vie.

And, just before the Olympics started, a bunch of althletes were suspended for having hemoglobin levels that were too high. To which I say, "Okay. When the hell are we going to stop this obsession with thinking that athletes shouldn't try to do what they can to do their best?" Hey, if a baseball player takes steroids, I could give two warm shits. And it's even more ridiculous when athletes are suspended for having too much of a natural substance in their blood. Okay, maybe they shot up with hemo. Maybe they practiced at high altitude. Maybe they gave blood. Maybe they're just freaks. But, Jeebus, the hypocrisy. On the one hand, all sports seem to be concerned with is the next record, the next better performance. On the other hand, humans can only go so far naturally. Who in their right mind wouldn't have expected all athletes to have hit the plateau somewhere around 1990?

Or are you expecting a two minute mile from somebody who hasn't had some serious medical assistance?

But, anyway -- I've made my opinion on professional sports clear here many times before. The phrase is an oxymoron. Sports are a game. A hobby. Not a worthy profession. If anything is worthy of minimum wage without benefits, well, sports are it. And the sooner the feelgood clusterfuck called the Olympics, summer or winter, is over, the better.

When they tried to make Ballroom Dancing an Olympic Sport, the game was up. And do they still have ski shooting on the list?

Hm. Maybe Dick Cheney should have been on that team. Or not... although, if Ann Coulter were one of his teammates... now, that I would have paid money for.

Memo to Ann Coulter: that's called humor. You know. A joke. Like all those jokes you made about killing liberals. So if you run across this and take offense... tough shit, babe. Or, as noted above, suck it up and take it. I'm sure you're not unfamiliar with either of those things... Adam's Apple or not.

Forgive me if I'm wrong, but isn't high hemoglobin levels and indication of blood injections, aka blood doping? Problem with "blood doping" is that the blood normalizes after a while, the effect is there only so long. So why would anyone do this at such a long time before the competition?

Now, there is another interesting tidbit about hemoglobin; when you change to a higher altitude, there's less oxygen, and the body naturally produces more hemoglobin to compensate. Hence, everyone's hemoglobin levels should be raised when they arrive in Turin. And quite a few arrived only a day or two before the opening.

And it doesn't get any better, when a lot of the competitions are happening even further up in the mountains. Unless the athletes arrive a couple of days ahead of time, you're pretty much making sure every single one of them has raised hemoglobin levels.

And if the don't, there's something wrong. Their body is not responsing to the altitude change as expected. Most likely culprit; HES injection - a substance that pulls more water into the bloodstream, thinning out the blood, but keeping the total hemoglobin count, thus faking a low hemoglobin/ml count. And the only reason you would want to use HES is to hide the fact that you're blood doping.

So I think we can be pretty sure that the ones being kicked out of the Olympics based on hemoglobin levels are the ones playing fair, and everyone else are doping themselves on blood.
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