When I was growing up near Chicago, and the White Sox (baseball team) made it to the playoffs—a most unusual happening in those days—someone coined the catch phrase White Sox: Winning UGLY.
I don’t know if “winning ugly” was a term used prior to that, but I know I’ve heard it many times since: football, soccer, basketball… the occasional political race…
But not for figure skating. Not literally, anyway.
This past weekend at GP Paris was a different story, though. Let me relay two separate events (one you probably witnessed, one you might not have) through the mindful eyes of my family members…
ME (to my 7 year old son): Hey, I’ve got something to show you from yesterday’s competition…
SON: Why? What happened? Did someone get hurt?
ME: You’ll see.
SON: (excitedly) Is there blood?
ME: Well, remember when you asked me how sharp skate blades are..?
SON (as the camera zooms in on Craig Buntin’s hand) Yuck!
ME: See, they’ve got to wrap his hand up because they haven’t finished yet—
SON: (panics) I don’t want to see it!
ME: He’s okay, really… they even got a bronze medal…
SON: (leaves room) I don’t want to see it!
ME: He got blood all over his partner’s dress, too…
ME: (more to myself) Well, it’s not like he had a choice.
I must say, the slice’n’dice with Canada’s Duhamel/Buntin was about as grisly an accident as I’ve seen in this sport for quite a while—even if it was, for the most part, a superficial flesh wound. Did you see how bloody the dressings were by the end of the performance? And how his poor paw was re-wrapped, post-performance, in enough bandages to resemble a boxing glove?
And speaking of boxing, here’s the other “event” I mentioned (with the help of another family member) from the men’s short program:
ME: (Talking to computer screen) Don’t do it, Joubert… don’t do it… AAUGH!
HUSBAND: Was there a fall on a quad?
ME: No… Brian Joubert just took a swig of water, swished it around in his mouth, then spit it out right on the ice!
HUSBAND: (unfazed) Uh-huh…
HUSBAND: Maybe he thinks he’s a hockey player.
ME: He’s not a hockey player!
HUSBAND: So… it’ll just freeze up, right?
ME: Not the point!! (Then, as I keep watching) Oh, WOW.
HUSBAND: Now was there a fall on a quad?
ME: Impossible. He was supposed to do it just then, and he missed it completely. Didn’t even try a double.
HUSBAND: Probably because he’s a hockey player now.
ME: I prefer to think of it as SPIT KARMA.
And so it went, at least around these parts.
Till I start making some stabs at Cup of Russia in a couple of days, I leave you with this Clip of the Day of Joubert’s current SP. Can’t find the TEB skate on You Tube right now, so this is taken from the French Masters earlier in the season. Don’t worry—this one is totally spit-free.