Winter Ice Games

Another weekend rolled by but this one is had a different meaning for snowsports fans. The 15th Winter X Games kicked off on Buttermilk Mountain in Aspen, CO last Thursday. 21 different medal events took place over the past four days for skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers. American’s once again swept the board, winning eleven of the 21 gold medals at steak: 9 men’s and 2 women’s. Canada wrapped up second with six golds in skiing and snowboarding.
These Winter X Games were a change from years past. As with every year the best pull out their bag of tricks and steal the show but the finish line looked harder to reach this year. Every event at the X Games sends participants home long faced and bruised but the frequency of wrecks this year was absurd. From the superpipe to skier x the best found themselves struggling on the poor conditions.
Ice was the biggest trouble maker in Aspen. As tracks became wore down through practice and qualifying ice built up. It made jumps slick, ruined the edge of the halfpipe, and turned the race course into a danger zone. With no fresh snow coming down the riders were left to fight it out on their own. The women’s skier x finals saw the top three come crashing through the finish leaving the Canadian gold medalist with a broken nose.
While to the casual viewer it may have looked like competitors were having difficulties staying on their equipment it truly showed who can win under any condition. It takes a high skill level to carve on ice and Shaun White did it, again.

Not So Pro Bowl

After battling my way through deteriorating roads and hellish traffic conditions I found myself in the state capitol for the weekend. Being in Richmond means ESPN all day and party all night, but I’m not getting into the latter. The Pro Bowl is my topic of focus, and if you watched it you might agree that there wasn’t much pro about it.
After the first half of play in Honolulu, HI the American Football Conference was trailing its counterpart 7 - 42. Lead by Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers the AFC managed to throw four interceptions and have a fumble taken back for a touchdown; all in 30 minutes of play.
Philadelphia Eagle Michael Vick and company took the field for the National Football Conference and played a commanding first half. Halftime marked the end of impressive plays from the NFC as they came out from the locker room looking ready to go home. The lack of caring from the NFC players lead to a sloppy comeback from the AFC. All capped off by two laterals and a 67 yard pass that ended in the Cleveland Browns center scoring a touchdown. The NFC may have won 41 - 55 but the game did nothing to boost the fading Pro Bowl image. Why should we watch a game the players don’t even care about. DeAngelo Hall, corner for the Washington Redskins, was one of the few players to put effort into the game, and he was rewarded with MVP and a brand new Cadillac Escalade. As for the other players, everyone playing for the NFC walked away with $40,000 and the AFC players left with $20,000. With an all expense paid trip to Hawaii and a guarantee of at least 20 grand for losing, what’s the point in trying?