Olympics? Are you kidding me? After last week’s weather, the last thing I want to do is watch more ice and snow on TV. Besides, I’m already maxed out on the spectacle from Sochi — the political intrigue, the dramatic whining on Twitter over hotel conditions, the sad tales of thousands of stray dogs being put to death. (Had the organizers been smart, they’d have had the puppy from Budweiser’s Super Bowl ad carry the torch to the Olympic cauldron during the opening ceremonies.)
Fortunately, I’ve watched enough Olympic games that I can pretty well guess the prime-time TV highlights. So here are my predictions, penned well before things started. Let me know if I was wrong. You’ll find me sitting near my heat lamp, reading magazines.
Following the lead of US snowboarder Shaun White, most athletes pull out of the injury-inducing slopestyle course, leaving one guy from Jamaica, a woman from South Korea, and a trio of stray dogs. A Rottweiler-poodle mix takes the bronze.
Distracted by Mexican skier Hubertus von Hohenlohe’s skin-tight mariachi outfit, skiers from most other countries veer completely off the course, requiring a rematch for the silver and bronze.
Tuesday: Women’s figure skating!
The quintessential Winter Games competition begins, though we only see the Americans. Russian and Canadian skaters’ airtime is taken up, instead, by heartwarming montages about the American skaters’ struggles, set to a song by Imagine Dragons.
Thursday: On a lighter note. . .
Competition grinds to a halt after journalists stage a mass protest, demanding more luxurious accommodations and suitable places to burn their expense accounts. Attempts to ply them with vodka — as Hubertus von Hohenlohe plays ukelele — are unsuccessful.
Therefore, much of the prime-time broadcast is taken up with a hastily assembled package featuring Mary Carillo, who dons a fur hat, learns to love borscht, and attempts a pas de deux with Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Friday: Speed skating!
Breakthrough! The US men’s and women’s speed-skating teams don their black zippered uniforms and stand there looking menacing, causing the journalists to back down. In competition later in the day, the US skaters sweep all medals.
Saturday: Beach volleyball!
You didn’t think NBC would let an Olympics go by without Misty May-Treanor in a tank top, did you? Ignoring such low-ratings sports as skeleton and luge, NBC sets up a sandy court in a mobile trailer, and the American team plays — and handily defeats — various Russians plucked off the street. Meanwhile, in a heartwarming video package, female US figure skaters recount how they bounced back from the early trauma of dodge ball.
Feb. 17: Curling!
Thousands of people call NBC to complain about a test-pattern on their TV screens — but it turns out to be the Norwegian curling team’s pants. Confusion dies down after the curlers break out into a mid-match rendition of “What Does The Fox Say?”
Feb. 19: Snowboarding!
Men’s figure skating finals take place. NBC shows five minutes of highlights. Meanwhile, in a tear-inducing video package, female US figure skaters recount their challenges with fourth-grade long division.
Feb. 22: Hockey!
Shockingly, the US and Canada make it to the finals of men’s and women’s hockey. Canadians in the stands wave their beaver scarves vigorously, but the Americans still prevail. Bob Costas sits down afterward with the women’s figure skaters, to get their tear-filled reaction.
Feb. 23: Closing ceremony!
Back to the arena! In a dramatic display of KGB prowess, Putin himself parachutes out of a helicopter, clinging to a long trail of ticker tape that lists all of the athletes’ texts from the week, along with their credit card data.
In a competing event in New York, Macklemore shares the stage with the freed members of Pussy Riot. Actually, if that one really happens, let me know. I want to watch.