Weblog: Sports editor's view
I've seen the future. And it's Snowboard Cross.
What a refreshing change the Winter Olympics have been.
We're not yet a week into the fun-filled festivities in Vancouver but already I've seen enough to declare it a massive success, a snowy celebration of pointlessness.
In a way it's the very fact that the vast amjority of the events are so contrived that makes them brilliant.
Hmm, we're going to need something to pad out the day four schedule... can we think of a new way of sliding down that icy tube? The skeleton again? Yeah definitely. Doubles? But of course. Mixed doubles? Even better. Relay? Probably pushing it there. With rifles? Done that one already...
So none of it matters, but does that stop it being unmissable viewing? It does not.
Cricket and golf club membership secretaries up and down the country must be pondering their resignations tonight because the numbers of Britain's youth participating in traditional sports are set to plummet. There's only one sport in town these days and everyone knows it's Snowboard Cross.
If you've missed this modern genius of a sport, it's basically dog racing, but down a mountain using humans on snowboards. The potential for carnage at every corner is enormous and if a replacement for afternoon greyhounds is ever required then I can guarantee that the BASCS (British Afternoon Snowboard Cross Service) would have the bookmakers' tills ringing.
Figure skating? Too boring, but anything that goes down the tunnel on a tea tray is well worth watching, the cross country skiing is surprisingly entertaining (it's supposed to be a professional discipline but they still all look like they're wearing clown shoes), the ligament-ripping spectacle of the mogul sprinters is hard to turn away from, and while I'm fairly sure the long-track speed skaters really are going a sensible pace for the trip, it's hard not to yell at them to put some effort in as they look like they're out for a Sunday afternoon stroll with their hands clasped behind their backs.
The explosion of made-up events has stretched the BBC commentary team to the limits, to the extent that they use one chap who invented the expression "too little, too early, too soon" while the lady snowboard cross commentator at one point exclaimed "Wow! Did you see that?" as an innocuous-looking replay was showing, only to follow it up with "Oh, sorry I was looking out of the window here."
I seem to recall the Winter Olympics of 1984 marked my first venture into sports journalism, a lovingly crafted project for school including a piece explaining that Torvill and Dean shouldn't have got more than 5.9s for their Bolero as Jayne's hand hit the floor at one point (if you want jingoistic reporting, please go elsewhere) and this week's Canadian capers have restored plenty of that youthful enthusiasm for sport.
And the brilliant bobsleigh hasn't even started yet? Ambassador, you are spoiling us.