Mr. Flip is so old that he remembers the discontinued Olympic sport of military patrol, a precursor to biathlon. And he fondly recalls the demonstration sports of bandy (ice hockey with a ball), ice stock sport (a German variant of curling) and skijoring (skiing behind horses).
Alas, Mr. Flip's favorite events are, like compulsory figures, long gone, but he's still exercising his option to watch the Winter Games, which start in earnest today.
Also looking forward to the action is talk-show host David Letterman, who last week offered his "Top Ten Reasons I'm Looking Forward To The Olympics." Here they are, as delivered by U.S. Olympic snowboarder Seth Wescott:
10. I hear Italy has the best Olive Garden restaurant in the world.
9. Olympics are an excellent predictor of who will win the Nobel Prize in snowboarding.
8. I can't wait to spread global harmony through whoops and kickers.
7. I look forward to learning how to say "dude" in Italian.
6. All the people who ever said I'd never make a living as a snowboarder will get to see me on TV, still not making a living as a snowboarder.
5. Provided the perfect excuse to get out of helping my buddy Hank move.
4. The honor of competing with the world's greatest athletes ... and the free tote bags.
3. I could become a household name, just like 1998 snowboarding gold medalist Ross Rebagliati.
2. I can't wait to do a half-flakie reverse wim-wam with a heelback spiral - I have no idea what I'm talking about.
1. Bode Miller offered me a hundred bucks to be his designated driver.
The humor site Sports pickle.com asked its readers whether they'll be tuning in, too.
Some of the multiple choice answers:
Yes. I always make a point to watch sports I have zero interest in.
If Sasha Cohen takes a tire iron to Michelle Kwan's knee, then yes. If not, then no.
Absolutely! Why wouldn't I? (This answer sponsored by NBC.)
Don't expect to see Jon Stewart plugging the Games.
Stewart, the host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, said in 2002 when he was a guest on Bob Costas' HBO show: "The Winter Games are based on drunken dares. 'You go down that.' 'No man, I'm not going down that.' 'You go down that on this.' 'All right.'
"That is the whole thing. You think the luge is a sport? It's not a sport. It's a bet. 'Here, have a beer, lie like this.'"
Compiled from wire and Web reports by Mr. Flip, who on a drunken dare once called Herb Brooks "Dude."