A few Christmases ago, my wife got me a wide-screen TV on which to watch sports. On a Sunday in early March, this should have been perfect for college basketball, except Big Brother was hogging my TV to binge watch Pokémon cartoons.
I’ll admit, there are many cartoons I enjoy, even at my advanced age, but Pokémon is not among them. I like some humor in cartoons, even if it’s just a little bit around the fringes. Pokémon contains almost as much humor as a Volkswagen repair manual.
There is one thing Pokémon does well. Unfortunately, that one thing is to encourage kids to spend their money on those annoying trading cards. In the ‘70s, Major League Baseball got me to throw my allowance at Topps trading cards, so I guess watching a new generation of waste is payback.
Tiring of the Pokémon marathon, I got my iPad to see if I could find a basketball game to live stream. Browsing the sports listings, I noticed one of the channels I didn’t realize existed was broadcasting a biathlon race. I forgot about basketball and tapped to watch this.
I’ve previously made references to my secret childhood dreams of becoming an Olympic Nordic (cross-country) skier. In case you’re wondering, those dreams did not come to fruition. I was close though. The only thing I lacked was years of sacrifice and training. And perhaps athletic ability.
Nordic skiing is a great sport on its own, but then some nameless hero came along and made it into the absolutely awesome sport of biathlon by putting rifles into the skiers’ hands. Who wouldn’t want to ski and shoot? The only way it could possibly be better is if there were also a knife-throwing component.
Buster climbed onto my lap and watched the race with me. He is not as keen on skiing as I am, but he does like to see a good firearm in action.
The race was almost over. We watched all the Europeans sweat it out for the tops spots, with the traditional 8th place Canadian cracking the top 10 on behalf of North America, and only wild rumors of a United States representative far back among the workers packing up the beginning of the course.
At the end, the German racer broke away. “The German’s gonna win!” I exclaimed.
Buster pointed at the screen. “That guy’s German?”
“That lady’s German,” I corrected as she slid across the finish. “All the people in this race are ladies.”
The other racers came to the line. It was a tight finish for second among four racers.
“Wasn’t that great? Wouldn’t you love to win a race like that?” I asked Buster.
“No!” he said with disdain. “I don’t wanna be a German lady.”
I wonder how many other American boys have rejected the sport for the very same reason.