Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Even More Questions and Answers

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Every day we get lots of letters, e-mails, and tweets from our loyal fans. We consider it our duty to answer all of the questions that our readers send us. This time we have two people to help answer your questions. The first is our Answer Man, who is really one of our intrepid researchers. The second is the Famous Ski Blogger known as George N. Some of you may be thinking, "Hey wait a minute! I thought you would never interview him again!" (see this story) But we believe in second chances and we will give him another opportunity. If he flubs up again, then he'll never darken our door. Anyway, let's find out what our readers have been asking us. 

BB: Our first question...what did Marcel Hirscher eat for breakfast before the GS race in Garmisch?
Answer Man: He ate the normal Austrian breakfast of rolls, some meat, cheese, and fruit.
George N: He should have eaten a proper American breakfast of eggs, bacon, sausage, pancakes, and toast.
Answer Man: If he had that for breakfast, he would have lost by 3.28 seconds.
George N: Then Ted Ligety would have won the race. He is Mr. GS after all and he doesn't eat any of that funny foreign food for breakfast.
Answer Man: Uh...Ted was 4th, with Felix Neureuther and Benni Raich ahead of him. Felix and Benni also eat a typical European breakfast.
George N: They really need to start eating American style breakfasts. Ted eats them and he has been the best in GS for the past five years.

BB: Next question...Is the Austrian men's speed team really washed up?
George N: If you look at the results from the Vail World Championship downhill race, there were no Austrians on the podium. The older racers are obviously past their prime and the younger ones still need more experience. They showed in Vail that they are really no threat to win races.
Answer Man: Not at all. So they didn't get into the medals in Vail. But in Saalbach and Garmisch the Austrians swept the podium. In Saalbach there were 5 Austrians in the top 10 and in Garmisch six. But some old school traditionalists could say that the Austrian speed team is washed up because they didn't sweep  the first 10 places.
George N: Saalbach and Garmisch are anomalies. The Austrians had an unfair home snow advantage in Saalbach and also in Garmisch. Garmisch is on the Austrian border.
Answer Man: They may have had home advantage, but they still needed to perform on race day, which they did. The short answer is that Austria is still as strong as ever in the men's speed events, even if they didn't sweep all of the top 10 places.

BB: Question three is a two part question. Was the Super-G course for the Alpine combined race in Bansko really unsafe? What is the difference between Bansko being unsafe and Lake Louise in 2012 being perfectly safe?
George N: Of course Bansko was unsafe. Lindsey said so and she is always right because she is the world's best skier.
Answer Man: The FIS jury declared it safe, so therefore it was. The FIS is always right. Kathrin Zettel did her Super-G run in identical conditions as Lindsey and she had no complaints.
George N: As to Lake Louise, it was perfectly safe because the right racer won.
Answer Man: Lake Louise was just as bad, if not worse, than Bansko with the fog, delays, and even Lara Gut being yellow flagged because of the fog. Lindsey didn't seem to complain about Lake Louise being unsafe.
George N:  If it were unsafe, she would have said something. But she didn't. So there!

BB: Our next question also relates to Bansko. Was there a special Bulgarian fog monster who set out to ruin the races there?
George N: There was something that was making the fog stay and causing the first two races to be cancelled. I will go with fog monster. Something certainly made Lindsey lose her way in the fog in the Super-G part of the Alpine combined race. Maybe she was temporarily abducted by a fog monster.
Answer Man: There is no such thing as a fog monster. Ski racing is an outdoor sport and fog happens. But there really are Yetis and Oetzi the Iceman has been known to come to life. The most reasonable explanation for not being able to see either Kathrin Zettel or Lindsey during their Super-G runs in the combined race was that they were temporarily sucked into a vortex. Kathrin lost less time in the fog because she is smaller and lighter than Lindsey. The vortex monsters were able to push Kathrin out more easily.
George N: Hold on there! You said that there are no such things as fog monsters, but that Kathrin and Lindsey got sucked into a vortex with monsters. I never heard of vortex monsters before.
Answer Man: You never  heard of vortex monsters? I suppose you also believe that Freedonia is a real country.
BB: Let's move on to our next question. 

BB: Question number five. What is your opinion of racers who only do one run of a super-combination or Alpine combination race?
George N: I have no problem with it because it gives the athlete an extra training run. Some of the racers are, shall we say, slower learners and need more time to get familiar with a course. They require more than the alloted one course inspection that the FIS gives them.
Answer Man: If a racer gets injured or becomes ill in the first run, or if there is a situation like Kitzbuehel with big delays, then he has a good excuse not to do the second run. But otherwise it shows a distinct lack of commitment, which can hinder a racer getting a good job in the future. Who wants a ski instructor who commits to teaching an all-day class but then decides not to teach the afternoon session? Or what about a father who takes his kid to a football match and leaves at halftime? If I were a supervisor, I would not want an employee who only works for the first half of his shift. If the Blickbild had to choose between two former racers for a job, we would take the one who did both runs in a combined race.

BB: Given Austria's success without a team witch doctor, are other teams starting to fire their witch doctors?
Answer Man: That is a rumor. So far no witch doctors have been fired, though Norway was close to firing Dr. Mwafume because of the team's numerous injuries this season. It looks like German witch doctor Dr. Mabongo and France's Dr. Djibuku will stay on for at least one more season.
George N: Like Austria, the US doesn't have a team witch doctor. We don't believe in voodoo or having foreigners on the team.
Answer Man: What about all of the Austrian trainers and former Swiss trainer Abplanalp?
George N: In order to be the best, we must have the best trainers. That's why our team has foreign trainers. But once we develop our own, then those foreign ones will be gone.

BB: Now for our last question. Will Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovelli be fired by Red Bull because he failed to prevent the Stone of Doom  (see this story) from coming to Vail?
Answer Man: No. In fact, Vinnie had nothing to do with the camouflaged Stone of Doom that Lindsey Vonn ran over in the downhill race. He was given the day off on downhill race day. I don't think that anyone could have prevented that naughty Ninja stone from coming onto the course. It was so stealthy that day that Lindsey could neither see nor feel it.
George N: He should be fired! First he failed to protect Lindsey from a knee injury in Schladming, then he took the day off instead of inspecting the Vail downhill course for that stone. I say shoot him in the kneecaps!
Answer Man: Vinnie was not even the head of security for Vail. If anyone should be fired, it would be the security chief. Vinnie may not have been able to compete in Vail along with the rest of the Freedonians, but he did a good job confiscating voodoo dolls from fans. In fact, he got a commendation for his work in Vail. As you recall, Vinnie was also absolved of any wrongdoing in Schladming.
George N: Vinnie was in an asylum for the criminally insane. Yet he is allowed near a race course. Something is definitely wrong.
Answer Man: He was cured of his temporary insanity, unlike some other people here.
George N: Yeah, it takes one to know one.
Answer Man: I think someone has stopped taking his medication.
George N: I don't take medication. I would not be allowed to write my blogs if I were on medication.
BB: Whoa! You're supposed to be answering our readers' questions, not attacking each other. You should be ashamed of yourselves! (short pause) Well, it looks like we are just about out of time and questions. I want to thank both of you for answering our readers' questions. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive story.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: The Answer Man is right. We will only hire former racers who didn't skip out on the second run of a combined race.

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