Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Just 13 More Days...

Little kids began the countdown to Christmas at least two weeks ago. I've been in a similar mode, waiting for the arrival of January. That's when my two favorite sports start up again--golf and tennis. The boys will tee it up in Hawaii a few days after New Year's and the Australian Open will see my man Roger Federer win yet another Grand Slam. I knew it was going to be a long, grueling fall the moment the Mets imploded back in September. And although it looks like the Giants will make it to the playoffs, in my heart I've always been a Buffalo Bills fan. I guess I become something of a figure skating aficionado this time of year, but that's only because there isn't much else on the telly. Congratulations do go out to my compatriot Yuna Kim for taking the gold medal in Torino, Italy at the season ending ISU Grand Prix Final. But it's another skater who's been on my mind lately--Tara Lipinski. While for many I'm sure she's already melted away into the icy landscape, I've never forgotten how she outperformed her chief rival Michelle Kwan at the 1998 Winter Games in Nagano, Japan to skate away with the gold medal. Kwan, of course, had been widely tipped to take the gold. When she didn't, she came back in 2002 to try again, only to secure bronze. Four years later in 2006 saw her sad withdrawal from the Olympics before the competition had even started. Why is this piece of skating history doing figure-eights in my mind as of late? Because it's echoing what Barack Obama is about to do to Hilary Clinton--snatch away the nomination that everyone just a few months ago had already hung around Hilary's neck. When two individuals both demonstrate technical brilliance, the judges always go with the one who shows more "heart." That's why Nancy Kerrigan (dressed in Vera Wang) lost out to Oksana Baiul in Norway in 1994. And that's why Hilary is doomed to take silver. And why Huckabee is following suit next November. God, there really must be nothing else on TV. Oh yes, did I mention that I finally learned the rules of snooker?

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