Saturday, March 14, 2015

Speed Globes 2015

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

The end of the World Cup season is fast approaching. It's time to figure out who will win the Crystal Globes. In the speed disciplines Kjetil Jansrud has clinched the Super-G globe, but the other three globes are still up for grabs. Here to help our readers make sense of the globe races is our Special Analyst, who is really one of our intrepid researchers. As you can see, the people on our research team wear many hats. The Special Analyst is a different researcher than our Answer Man. Without further ado, let's find out what our Special Analyst has to say.

BB: Let's start with the ladies and the downhill globe. Lindsey Vonn leads Anna Fenninger by 35 points. What does Anna have to do to win the globe?
SA: If Anna wins and Lindsey is 3rd or worse, then she wins the globe. But Tina Maze also has a mathematical chance of taking the globe if she wins and Anna and Lindsey both fail to finish.
BB: What are the odds of Tina taking the downhill globe?
SA: About the same as the moon being in the seventh house, Jupiter aligning with Mars, peace guiding the planets, and love steering the stars. It does look like Tina has a solid third place. But the real battle is for the 4th place tin medal. With Vicky Rebensburg out with an injury, the competition for 4th place is between Lara Gut (260 points), Elisabeth Goergl (257 points), Elena Fanchini (246 points), and Tina Weirather (243 points).
BB: Come on! Do the fans really care about who ends up in 4th place when the two leaders are very close? The 4th place finisher doesn't get to be up on the award stand.
SA: Everyone has a soft spot for the tin medalist. If Lindsey ends up winning the downhill globe again, the fans will yawn and say, "Ho-hum, she got another one." But they will feel sorry for the one who came so close to the podium yet so far. Lara, Lizz, Elena, or Tina W. will be the ones competing for the "won our hearts award."
BB: Now for the women's Super-G globe, which is very close. The lead kept changing between Anna and Lindsey. Who will end up with it?
SA: Lindsey could have the advantage because he trainer will set the Super-G course in Meribel. I'm sure that Famous Ski Blogger George N. would agree. But if the course is too easy, Anna could have the advantage.
BB: Wouldn't it be a US conspiracy if Lindsey won with her trainer setting the course?
SA: Technically yes. But there is the revenge factor for all of those Austrians and Slovenians who did multiple course settings this season. This is the USA's only chance to set a Super-G course and they intend to make the most of it. 
BB: What about third place?
SA: It looks like Tina Maze has that locked up, though either Lara Gut and Cornelia Huetter could sneak in there if Tina fails to finish and they finish first or second.
BB: What happens if Anna and Lindsey are tied?
SA: Then it goes to our tie breakers. (see this story) This year the language on the spelling test is Hmong. Neither Anna nor Lindsey knew this until they took the test. That way they couldn't have cheated on the test by trying to study for it.
BB: Did they also have to write using Hmong characters or were they allowed to write a transliterated version with the Latin alphabet?
SA: Of course they had to use the Hmong alphabet. How else would the test graders know if the words have been spelled correctly? But they got a special paper with the Hmong alphabet on it to help them. Our test graders are native speakers.
BB: Good point. What about when the test is in Klingon? There are no native speakers of Klingon on Earth. 
SA: There are enough nerds who attend Star Trek conventions who qualify as near-native Klingon speakers.
BB: Let's move on to the men now. Hannes Reichelt is only 20 points behind Kjetil Jansrud in the downhill standings. Did they also have to take their language test in Hmong?
SA: Yes, the men and women get the same language on their tests each season.
BB: Do the men and women take their language tests at the same time to prevent cheating?
SA: Yes. They are in different locations when they take their tests, but Test Day is the same for both the men and women. To prevent cheating, their phones, iPads, and laptops are also confiscated until they finish the test. The tests are strictly done with pencil and paper. Everyone also sits at a separate desk to prevent cheating.
BB: It looks like Kjetil Jansrud and Hannes Reichelt will be the top two downhillers, though we don't yet know in which order. 
SA: Right. But the interesting battle will be the competition for 3rd place. Dominik Paris (386 points), Matthias Mayer (368 points), and Guillermo Fayed (344 points) all have a good chance of getting into 3rd position in Meribel. Dominik has a mathematical chance of 2nd place, but Hannes has to really screw up big time and Dominik must win for that to happen. The odds of that happening are about the same as a meteor hitting Meribel on race day.
BB: Now for the last globe, the men's Super-G, which Kjetil Jansrud has already wrapped up.
SA: Right. It also looks like Dominik Paris has second place, though if he messes up and Matthias Mayer wins, then Mayer could take second place. Both Hannes Reichelt and Vincent Kriechmayr have a mathematical chance of taking third place, but the odds of that are about the same as a Vail awards announcer being able to find Liechtenstein on a map.
BB: Now let's say that something happens to Kjetil Jansrud and he dies. Would he still get the globe posthumously, or would Dominik Paris get it?
SA: What a morbid question! Why do you want Kjetil to die?
BB: I'm the one asking the questions here, not you. But to answer your question, of course I don't want Kjetil to die. He is a very nice guy and has a great sense of humor. It's a hypothetical question that none of the others have dared to ask. At the Blickbild we ask the questions that everyone else is afraid to ask.
SA: I would imagine that one of his heirs would get the globe for him.
BB: Would it really make a difference if Dominik got the globe instead? After all, Kjetil will be dead and he wouldn't know if he or Dominik got it.
SA: This is getting absurd, even by the Blickbild's low journalistic standards. Yes, Kjetil would still get the globe because he earned the most Super-G points. Dominik would get the 2nd place medal.
BB: Who would then make ojlmsfjaegger* for the Norwegian team if Kjetil dies? Would his grandmother carry on making them?
SA: We would have to ask her. She might want to do it to keep his memory alive with Team Norway. But Kjetil is going to live to collect his globe.
BB: Of course he will. This is a hypothetical situation that could happen to another racer in the future. If Grandma Jansrud is too grief stricken to carry on making ojlmsfjaegger for the team, who would make them?
SA: I suppose that the athletes and trainers would ask their wives, mothers, grandmothers, or other female relatives to supply the team with ojlmsfjaegger. There may even be a call spread through all of Norway for its women to do their patriotic duty and make ojlmsfjaegger for the racers.
BB: It's reassuring to know that the Attacking Vikings will have their favorite birthday treat no matter what happens to its racers. Well, it looks like we are just about out of time. I want to thank you for this interview and your insight into the speed discipline globe races. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Are we really being absurd because we ask what others think about asking but are too scared to?

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* Ojlmsfjaegger are cubes of pickled reindeer heart in a special smoked salmon and chocolate sauce. They are eaten on birthdays in Norway. 

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