POSTED ON MARCH 3, 2010:
Gone But Not Forgotten
The closing of the 2010 Winter Olympics leaves us to look back and forward to the world-wide event. Plus, four words: 2020 Tulsa Summer Olympics
Bronzed Apolo. Apolo Ohno became the most decorated winter athlete in history, but how significant was it really?
So long Vancouver Winter Olympics. For those of you keeping track at home, the 2012 Summer Olympics head to London. The 2014 Winter Olympics descend on Sochi, Russia. And if a proactive local group has their way, hello Tulsa 2020 Summer Games.
"Tulsa 2020 Summer Games." I just had to type it again. Looks strange, does it not? Let's close out the 2010 Olympics with a few additional thoughts. In 2010, everything is over or underrated. For instance...
Overrated: The Lindsey Vonn/Julia Mancuso cat fight. The coverage these two fine ladies were given exceeded all other Olympians combined. This is a prime example of NBC anointing stars before the games. Don't get me wrong, they were part of the most successful U.S. Alpine Ski Team of all time. We just overdosed on the coverage.
Underrated: Bill Demong and Johnny Spillane each double medaling in Nordic events. No offense to snowboarding, speed skating or skiing events, but Nordic medals are much greater achievements.
First of all, the U.S. has never really challenged in these winter endurance races. Second of all, almost every American has skated, skied or watched someone snowboard in the U.S. For Demong and Spillane to take the path less travelled for gold should be revered.
Overrated: Apolo Ohno. We should call him Captain Bronze. Is he the most decorated winter athlete in American history? Sure. Is Eric Heiden's achievement of five gold medals in one Olympiad roughly 20 times more impressive? Absolutely. Add in the negative karma for whining about the Canadian judge disqualifying him in the 500 meters, and he falls short of expectations.
Over/Under: How many people will watch NBC's show about married couples or the one where celebs track their roots? Both shows will be lucky to get renewed for a second season. Neither looks entertaining or appealing.
Tweaks: Here are several ideas, comments and ponders on improving, adjusting or answering questions heading into the next Olympiad.
Figure skaters should be allowed to perform to better music. Would you rather watch Canada's Joannie Rochette skate to pounding piano keystrokes or Celine Dion? In four years when U.S. medal hopeful Mirai Nagasu goes for the gold, hopefully she is accompanied by heartfelt lyrics and not done-to-death pseudo-techo piano sounds.
Ice Dancing is a farce. Eliminate it along with women's hockey from further competition. Need to add another event to replace them? Take the latest X-Games craze, and plug it in.
How did the Night Train bobsled get to Vancouver? Night Train is the bobsled piloted by Steve Holcomb of the U.S.A. Holcomb earned the U.S. a gold medal in the four-man bobsled for the first time since 1948.
Again, how do they transport the sled? Does border patrol inspect the vehicle? Is it loaded in the back of an 18-wheeler with a couple of luge sleds and Bode Miller's skis? What about the German sled? Did Lufthansa charge them for overweight luggage?
Important: Tulsa's 2020 Summer Olympic bid. First of all, I'm shocked and appalled that the committee has not contacted me for ideas and a seat on the board. Terrible.
At first, I chuckled at the idea of the Summer Games in Tulsa. The logistics shatter the realm of possibility. Our porous economy does not brighten the outlook either. Just ask the firemen and policemen in T-Town.
Then, I shifted my view. Obviously, the bid is not serious. A couple of innovative Tulsans see the bid as a publicity stunt. Shift the world's eyes toward Tulsa, even if for a minute. I'm all for this idea.
Then, reality kicked in. All publicity is good publicity, but how much money will this bid cost tax payers? If the answer is greater than .01, then count me out.
What about a more plausible publicity stunt? How about one that does not have Tulsa competing with Tokyo, Istanbul or Minneapolis/St. Paul.
Let's hear some saber rattling this Fourth of July during the hotdog eating contest. Claim Tulsa is in advanced talks with Nathan's concerning relocation for the event to the Brady District.
On April 10, the Women's Professional Soccer league opens its second year with eight teams. Why not build a soccer stadium on the river?
Tulsa's sports ideas are made with good intentions but show lack of creativity. Oklahoma City builds a basketball arena, let's build one, too. Oklahoma City 'relocated' a professional basketball team to their city, let's do the same.
I love the BOK Center. Do not take it the wrong way. The acts continue to impress and pull solid numbers.
A couple of my buddies said a NASCAR themed racetrack is the answer. Stock car racing does nothing for me personally, but it's hard to argue with their think-outside-the-box idea.
Basically, if Tulsa were awarded the 2020 Summer Games (cough, cough) wouldn't the $7 billion make more sense if invested in a race track and soccer stadium?
Speaking of a multiuse facility, how about ONEOK Field? Multiuse might not be the correct adjective in this case, but you get the gist.
Just like old Drillers Stadium, ONEOK Field is set to host Bedlam baseball on Friday, May 7.
The Drillers will also continue to host the annual High School Baseball Showcase at ONEOK Field. This year's showcase will be a three-day event that will run April 14-16. It will feature six games and 12 different high school teams. Sounds like a homerun.
The Tulsa Talons signed standout wide receiver Donovan Morgan to their roster for the upcoming AFL season. Out with the AF1 talk and in with the AFL talk? So confusing. Visit tulsatalons.com for more information.
Hockey fans do not want to hear about Rob Hisey's departure coinciding with the Oilers fall from contention. A long-time season ticket holder even wondered aloud to me why the Oilers couldn't just pay him more money.
When the AHL calls and your dream is to play in the NHL, you have to leave the CHL and Oilers behind. This Friday and Saturday night mark the final two regular season home games for the Oilers. Check out tulsaoilers.com for more information.
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