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Olympics Warm-Up (Stretching and Pizza)

By RD Heldenfels Published: February 10, 2006

Here's how this thing is going to work: I am at home, with a laptop in front of the big TV, and I will be posting from time to time during the Olympics. The posts will be listed in reverse chronological order, with my earliest post at the bottom of the list -- much the way it worked with the Super Bowl.

Although the coverage of the opening ceremonies does not begin for about 80 minutes, I already have my game face on, and my TV talking Olympics. This is the ''Olympic Ice'' special on USA Network. It is, in one way, an exercise in nostalgia, because Dick Button is on the air.

The first Olympics I wrote about  were the '80 games in Lake Placid, with Button on the scene and -- if memory serves -- complaining about Soviet bloc judges. Those were the days when the Soviets were the grand villains of the games -- making the Miracle on Ice all the more significant and exciting. And for TV purposes, it was good to have villains because it gave the audience a clear story to follow. One commentator spoke later of the need for ''black hats'' at the Olympics; you can figure out which country wore the white hats in his opinion.

Anyway, the coverage is going along and I've already heard one OK line -- a reference to a figure-skating pair as ''meat and potatoes but no parsley.'' Even more surprising to me, I am getting psyched for the games to begin. I want to see some top-shelf competition.

I also want curling, the greatest sport of the Winter Olympics. An acquired taste, perhaps, by my taste nonetheless. To me, ''Men With Brooms'' is up there with ''Rocky'' and the original ''Bad News Bears.''

OK, I overstate a little there. ''Men WIth Brooms'' is probably closer to ''Bad News Bears in Breaking Training'' and ''Rocky IV.'' Still, my excitement is building. And I know I am not alone in my hunger for the games -- and other things. The line was longer than usual at the pizza place tonight,

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