The SI Swimsuit issue is a relic of the past. An ode to a Latvian hockey goalie. And a funny video with balancing goats

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Just a quick and chilling reminder as I, and millions of others, enjoy the spectacle of the Olympic Games from Russia, about just what kind of country these Games are being held in: Wednesday, members of the band Pussy Riot were whipped and beaten in public while trying to hold a protest performance. Watch the video; it’s horrifying.

The Sports Illustrated Swimsuit issue arrived in the mail on Wednesday.

And I shrugged. I’ll probably look through it in a couple of days, ogle a few of the beauties in it (Kate Upton is beyond gorgeous in my book), and then toss it aside, never to be looked at again.

It’s kind of hard to overstate how much teenage boys with raging hormones like me in the 1980s and ’90s loved and looked forward to the SI Swimsuit issue.  We had no Cinemax, no Playboy channel, no Internet porn. We had the occasional pilfered Victoria’s Secret catalog from a friend’s house, and we had the SI swimsuit issue.

My friend Andrew’s dad knew a guy who knew a guy who used to get the covers blown up into posters each year, and we thought that was the greatest thing ever, to have Elle MacPherson and Kathy Ireland staring down at you while you lay in bed.

The Swimsuit issue meant something to us, because it was a little dirty, yeah, but it was Sports Illustrated, which made it OK.

Now any kid with a modem and a free minute of time can see 47 naked women any time he wants.

It’s kind of anachronistic that SI still puts out a swimsuit issue, even one as “classic” as this year’s 50th anniversary (can’t wait to see how well Christie Brinkley and Cheryl Tiegs have aged).

The innocence has been long gone, but SI still trudges along.

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**If you didn’t see the Canadian men’s hockey team’s 2-1 win over Latvia in the quarterfinals of the Olympic tournament in Sochi, I can understand you not caring too much about the game.

Canada is a much, much better team, they were expected to win, and they did, setting up a two-day festival of awesomeness of hockey, with America and our neighbor the north facing off Thursday for the gold medal in women’s hockey (noon on NBC), and the two nations facing off Friday at noon (on NBCSN) in the men’s semis.

But I want to write a few words about Canada’s win because of the amazing play of Latvia’s goalie.  Kristers Gudlevskis (above) is not anyone even hardcore hockey fans had heard of before Thursday, and he may never be heard from again.

But for one remarkable hockey game, he was as good as the best goalie in the world. Latvia had very little chance to win this game; they’re a tiny nation with only a handful of rinks, and it was a small miracle they even got this far.

And Canada pummeled Gudlevskis with 57 shots Thursday. Fifty-seven! That’s an enormous number. The Canadians came in waves, crashing shot after shot at Gudlevskis, but he kept stoning them and keeping the score tied at 1.

You saw Team Canada’s faces, and you saw frustration. Who in the hell was this Latvian goalie to ruin their Olympic dream?

The poor goalie was so exhausted they were giving him ice packs during stoppages of play, and he looked about ready to keel over several times. But he kept making save after save until finally, late in the third period, Canada scored to take the lead.

There are so many heroes who come out of any Olympic Games, and most of them are famous because they achieved glory.

But one of my enduring memories from Sochi is definitely going to be the little goalie for this little country, coming oh-so-close to giving Latvia their own “Miracle on Ice.”

**And finally, some mindless fun: A video of goats on a sort-of balance beam. I totally think this should be an Olympic event someday:

 

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One response to “The SI Swimsuit issue is a relic of the past. An ode to a Latvian hockey goalie. And a funny video with balancing goats

  1. I assume you heard about this. http://www.startribune.com/sports/wild/246331851.html The Islanders can’t be too happy. I didn’t know about the other two players that got hurt. Plus Zetterberg aggravated and injury. Hope no one gets hurt tomorrow especially the Hawk players. It would be cool to see one of them score the winning goal. I was working so I didn’t get to see the women’s game. I knew that the Americans were winning but didn’t know the outcome until I checked my phone. What a gag job.

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