The insanity of short track speedskating relays. And the pancake race where you couldn’t run

There are some crazy-ass sports in the Winter Olympics. The luge, for example (Jerry Seinfeld’s great line about the luge: “It’s the only sport where you can have somebody competing in it against their will, and it’s basically the same exact thing.”)

The snowboardcross. The skeleton (basically a man hurtling downhill at 90 miles per hour).

But nothing, nothing compares to the pure madness of short track speedskating relays.

If you didn’t see it Saturday night, I implore you to do everything in your power to watch it on YouTube or (it wasn’t up at the time of this blog).

My mother-in-law, visiting us from New York, watched the first 30 seconds and said “this is the craziest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.”

Hard to argue. It’s five teams of four skaters each, doing a lap around the ice, then, as their teammate skates around the inside of the track, they push the teammate like a relay race, forward into their own lap, and then the whole thing repeats again.

If short track skating in general is roller derby or NASCAR, then the relay is the main event. Man was it fun to watch. The U.S. was trailing most of the race, but somehow got up into third to get a bronze medal. There was bumping, teammates missing the “handoff,” and all kinds of other wild stuff.

Man I wish there was a channel that would show speedskating during non-Olympic years. I’m pissed it’s all over after Saturday.

***Quick hockey update. How ’bout those Americans? SIX goals against Finland in the first period? That’s nuts. And Canada, rolling to a 3-0 lead, then barely hanging on against Slovakia, and winning 3-2.

Man, that is going to be a whale of a hockey game Sunday for the gold medal. Cannot wait.

**OK, as always I try to bring you the extremely serious news of the day here in the Wide World of Stuff. This urgent dispatch from last week says that the organizers of the world-famous St. Albans (England) Pancake Race had to change the rules this year, to disallow running.

When I first heard this story, I naturally assumed the Pancake Race was men, dressed in pancake outfits, running around a field or a track or something.

But no, my friends. The St. Albans Pancake Race involves people running around flipping pancakes and trying to outrun the other teams.

Sadly, it was ruled before this year’s event that running would not be allowed, due to inclement weather. Man that sucks. I thought this guy, David Emery, a captain of one of the teams who was disqualified for getting caught running, said it best.

“This is health and safety gone mad,” said Emery said. “I have been disqualified from a running race for running.”

Get that man a stack fo blueberry flapjacks immediately!

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