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'Gaga' for the Games? You bet we are

  • Article by: Editorial Board
  • Star Tribune
  • February 11, 2014 - 5:29 PM

“Twin Cities viewers go gaga over the Games,” this newspaper boasted in a headline over a Tuesday story stating that the Twin Cities leads the nation in Olympics TV viewership.

How wonderful. We win the gold medal for sedentariness, edging out silver medalist Salt Lake City and Fort Myers-Naples, which took the bronze. When do we get to sing the anthem?

No surprise that Salt Lake City has high ratings. The city merged with Mitt Romney to host the 2002 Winter Games, and residents are now required to ski or pay income taxes. There’s also not a lot to do at night in Utah once Sundance is over, thanks in part to the healthful habits of the Mormons.

Residents of Fort Myers-Naples could walk the beach or play golf until the sun goes down, but most are retired snowbirds from the Upper Midwest who get their exercise in before noon. After a nap and a 5 p.m. all-you-can-eat ($10 a head with the senior discount), the couch looks pretty good.

Here on the frozen tundra, winter has left us with few alternatives to TV beyond Facebook and Twitter. No Twin Citian wants to be outside any longer than necessary, and nothing brings families together like televised curling.

A number of Sochi subplots are worth following, too. There’s the threat of terrorism, of course, and the even greater threat that Vladimir Putin will appear shirtless. And what will become of the eye infection that has Bob Costas looking like a zombie with a hangover?

Mary Carillo tried, unsuccessfully, to cure Costas with vodka before NBC called Matt Lauer out of the bullpen. (Great segment for the kids at home, by the way! “Why can’t I have vodka for my pinkeye, daddy?”)

Carillo also traveled to Siberia for a segment on mind-numbing cold. Or so we thought. We’re checking into a report that a woman looking a lot like Carillo was spotted on White Bear Lake with a TV crew before the Siberia story aired.

Forty-some days of below-zero temperatures in the Twin Cities? No wonder we’re “gaga” for the Winter Games on TV. Get well soon, Bob Costas, and where’s the remote?

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