Within a week, we will be privy to billions of pixels emanating from two of the four most expensive events in the sporting world – The Super Bowl and the Winter Olympics. Between them they will gobble up perhaps $100 million of taxpayer dollars, more if one includes, as one should, the hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars spent by individual national Olympic committees.
Not as much angst with the Super Bowl, which will at least generate some return to taxpayers on the east coast and which is operated by private enterprises who never make any pretense their events are anything but money grabs.
Sochi, however, is a disaster still feted by many around the world as based on, “ideals.” More than $60 billion of Russian taxpayer money has been poured into the attempt to turn Russia’s only warm weather resort into a winter playground, around half of that amount being skimmed as graft or wasted by insider incompetence.
Given that Russia still has copious amounts of poverty, that is simply shameful.
Czar Putin the Great, aided and abetted by the ethically challenged IOC, has built what could be a collosal disaster-in-waiting, with other peoples’ money – a political, sporting and economic disaster. Good old Canada, buttressed by a still prosperous society, is, of course, fully on board with the new dictator.
Of course, you and I will tune in to at least some of both events. The Super bowl because it is such and extravaganza and the Olympics because, well, we have paid for the privilege – and not just in cable fees.
We should keep in mind, however, that what we are funding, and watching, has become a corrupt obscenity mixed in with some amazing sporting events.
I expect Canadians will hear our anthem several times. I don’t expect that to happen after the hockey gold medal games. It has been 60 years since Canada (the team with Louis Secco and Gordie Robertson on the roster) won gold in men’s hockey off this continent and the women’s squad has not looked strong (outside of the scraps) against their only opposition, the Americans.
Meanwhile, the Smokies and their diminishing fan base have an event of their own at Cominco Arena Saturday against Merritt and the Castlegar Rebels need a turnout to their Hockeyville campaign event that same night.
The weather is moderating, and you are going to be couch potatoing it for much of the next two weeks – so get out of the house and attend one of the above. Sporting ideals still exist in those venues.