Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Andreas Evers Hired by Liechtenstein

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Former Austrian and US trainer Andreas Evers has been hired as the new trainer of the Liechtenstein women's speed team. In other words, since Tina Weirather is the Liechtenstein women's speed team, Evers will be her personal coach. But there is more to this story than just a trainer getting a new job. The others have already reported this story and it is ancient history. But, as usual, we have our unique spin on it. One of our intrepid reporters went to Liechtenstein to interview Herr Evers, but he was not available. Yes, our reporter found Liechtenstein on a map and was able get there on his own. So our plucky penner of prose found the next best interview subject--our favorite Mafia enforcer Vinnie "The Shark" Razzovelli." Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: Vinnie, it's nice to see you again. What have you been doing since the Vail world championships?
Vinnie: I have been working in the family business and also doing some consulting work advising Red Bull and Head on how to catch embezzlers and money launderers. 
BB: Interesting. I guess it would take one to know one.
Vinnie: Hold on there! I never embezzled or laundered any money. My family's waste disposal business is 100% legitimate. Anyway, I am strictly a hit man, though I do know plenty of embezzlers and money launderers. 
BB: Speaking of embezzling and money laundering, I'm sure that you heard about Andreas Evers being hired as Liechtenstein's new speed team trainer.
Vinnie: Of course. I'm sure he'll do a great job with Tina. 
BB: What do you think of Andreas Evers getting a job as a trainer?
Vinnie: Why not? He's not a predator who's going to do unspeakable things to Tina Weirather.  
BB: True. He was never convicted of any sort of sex offense.
Vinnie: That's right. He was a good citizen and never even got a parking or jaywalking ticket when he was in the States. He could also be a good citizen in Liechtenstein.
BB: He wasn't such a good citizen in Austria, where his girlfriend embezzled funds and he laundered the money. 
Vinnie: They both also paid their debt to society and the girlfriend is now his ex. He deserves a second chance.
BB: Do you really think that he deserves another chance?
Vinnie: Of course I do. I am the poster child for second chances. As you recall, I was in an asylum for the criminally insane. But I got a second chance in life and ended up on the Freedonian Olympic Ski Team.
BB: But you actually never competed at the Olympics.
Vinnie: That's beside the point. Even though I didn't get to compete, I was a member of the Freedonian Olympic Ski Team. But the Russians were somehow more impressed with my ability as a security man than as a skier. I will also be in Pyeongchang with Freedonia, either as a ski racer or on the security detail. I got a second chance and so should Andreas Evers.
BB: If you really want to get technical, this is Herr Evers' third chance. He got his second chance with the US Ski Team. 
Vinnie: People should have as many chances in life as they need. Cats have nine lives and nobody says that they should have fewer.
BB: Good point. So you don't think that Liechtenstein has to worry about money missing from the national treasury?
Vinnie: Not at all. I expect that he will be a good citizen and help Tina to be the best she can be.
BB: Do you think that all people deserve second chances?
Vinnie: Yes. I would still be in the insane asylum in a straitjacket if nobody believed that I should have a second chance in life.
BB: Let's say that Herr Evers did something worse than money laundering. Should he still get a second chance?
Vinnie: Like what?
BB: Suppose he got drunk, ran a red light, crashed into another car, and killed all of the passengers. Is that deserving of a second chance?
Vinnie: That sounds like something that Stefan Abplanalp would do. He also got second and third chances with both Norway and the USA after he showed up drunk to a race. I'm sure someone will give him a fourth chance somewhere. Who knows, he may even join the Liechtenstein coaching staff.
BB: If Herr Evers murdered someone, shouldn't he be in prison for life?
Vinnie: Why would he kill someone?
BB: Why do Mafia enforcers kill people?
Vinnie: Hey, we only kill as a last resort! We Mafia hit men do everything possible to avoid killing people by using our powers of persuasion. I can be very persuasive because people tend to treasure their kneecaps or prefer their horses' heads to stay attached to their bodies.
BB: Okay, let's change the scenario a bit. If Herr Evers was the mystery man on the grassy knoll in Dallas back in 1963, would he have deserved a second chance?
Vinnie: If he was truly sorry and was egged on to do it by someone else, he should have the chance to move on with his life. I have killed people as part of my job and got second chances in life. I have a proper job with my family firm as well as being employed by Red Bull and Head and am also a ski racer.
BB: One more scenario. Imagine that Herr Evers kidnapped the Lindbergh baby. Wouldn't he deserve to go to prison for that crime?
Vinnie: It's much easier for me to imagine Bode and Morgan Miller kidnapping the Lindbergh baby than Andreas Evers. But in that case there should be no second chances. If Andreas Evers kidnapped the Lindbergh baby, he should be put away for a very long time. They should lock the door and throw away the key!
BB:  I can also imagine Bode and Morgan kidnapping the Lindbergh baby and holding him up for the cameras. On the other hand, there would be a lot of witnesses at a ski race and watching on TV who would report them to to police.
Vinnie: Which is why someone who kidnaps a baby should not get a second chance. But Andreas Evers doesn't have to worry about that because he was a money launderer and not a baby snatcher. Let's see how he does in Liechtenstein with Tina Weirather.
BB: Good idea. Well, it looks like we are out of time. Vinnie, I want to thank you for another interesting interview. Good luck with the consulting. I'm sure we will see you back in a Freedonian speed suit this season. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview. 

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: None of our reporters are embezzlers, money launderers, assassins, or kidnappers. They are upstanding citizens.

The Boston Blickbild is on Facebook. If you enjoy our unique perspective on World Cup Alpine skiing, please like us on Facebook. We are also on Twitter as bostonblickbild.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Lindsey Vonn's New Foundation

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Just after the Vail World Championships, Lindsey Vonn announced that she was starting a foundation to empower girls to make good choices in life and become part of a community. What a worthy cause! We were so impressed by what Ms. Vonn wants to do, we sent one of our intrepid reporters to Vail to interview her. She was not available. Somehow she doesn't like speaking to us anymore. But our heroic reporter didn't give up and was able to score an interview with Lindsey's sister, Laura Kildow, who is also a board member of the Lindsey Vonn Foundation. Let's find out what she has to say.

BB: Hello Laura. It's nice to see you again.
Kildow: It's nice to see you too. I hope that I can help explain all of the good work that Lindsey's foundation is going to do. 
BB: I'm sure you can. I noticed that the foundation's money will go toward girls. 
Kildow: Yes, that's right. We want to empower girls and give them the tools to succeed in life.
BB: That's a very noble cause. Every parent who has daughters wants them to become successful. But don't you think that Lindsey's foundation is sexist and discriminatory?
Kildow: No!  How could you possibly think that?
BB: Well, you are excluding half of the population. Don't you think that boys should also be given the chance to be empowered to make good life choices?
Kildow: I guess so. 
BB: Didn't the men on the foundation's board have anything to say about boys not being included?
Kildow: They did. But Lindsey doesn't want any money going to her future competition.
BB: Future competition?
Kildow: Yes. The FIS may have ruled that Lindsey can't race against men now, but they could change their minds later. If she gives money to boys, they might end up beating her in a ski race. You can't even imagine how that could destroy Lindsey's image. 
BB: I bet I could. Anyway, Lindsey's foundation will help girls make good choices in life. Why don't you give me an example of a wise choice that it will help girls to make.
Kildow: Suppose you're driving from Austria to Slovenia on one of those narrow European roads that doesn't have any signs on it. The road ends and you have to decide to go left or right to get to Slovenia and your GPS doesn't work. What would you do? If you were helped by Lindsey's foundation, you would be able to make the correct turn and thus make a good choice. 
BB: I remember you writing in your blog about how difficult it is to drive in Europe. Do you still feel that way?
Kildow: Yes. I never understood how Europeans can drive on their roads. And they can do it without relying on GPS, which I just don't get at all. I would be totally lost without one.
BB: And yet Napoleon and his troops found their way from France to Russia without a GPS system. (short pause) Do you still aspire to be a writer?
Kildow: I do. I would love to write a book about my experience traveling to World Cup races with my sister. After I write my book, I want to work for a place like the Blickbild. 
BB: Do you know what one of the things is that we at the Blickbild do to test a prospective reporter's intrepidness?
Kildow: No. 
BB: Remember, our reporters are the most intrepid in the business. They went to the Congo even when they knew that four of their colleagues never returned from trying to bring Dr. Mabongo to Germany. They have eaten ojlmsfjaegger and sursrtoemming. They have all passed this one test. Do you want to know what it is?
Kildow: Yes. If I pass it, do you think I could become a Blickbild reporter?
BB: Yes, but this test is a very tough one. We wanted to design our own obstacle course, but the Italians have made a natural one. In order to prove his or her intrepidness, a prospective Blickbild reporter or researcher must start at a beach in Tuscany, drive through a city, and then drive on a narrow mountain road. There will be pedestrians and mopeds to dodge, cyclists to go around while cars and trucks are coming at you from the opposite direction, and people opening their car doors without looking as you pass by. If you can make this drive without flinching, and the car is still in one piece, you will pass that particular test. 
Kildow: Wow! That is a tough test. But aren't the pedestrians in the zebra crossings?
BB: They are. But stopping for pedestrians in a zebra crossing is for wimps. You are judged on your ability to go around them. 
Kildow: That is why driving in Europe is so hard. The other drivers are all crazy!
BB: It doesn't seem like you are Blickbild material at all with thoughts like that. The original test was to drive through Prague in a car that doesn't have Czech license plates. But the only challenge in that was not being stopped by the police. We needed a challenge that would make mere mortals wet their pants and separate the intrepid ones from the sissies. 
Kildow: Maybe I really would not make a good Blickbild reporter now. But I could work for one of the others until I get more experience driving in Europe.
BB: Yes you could. I'm sure that you would make a very able journalist for one of the others. Do you think that Lindsey's  foundation would help any girls who want to come and work for us when they grow up?
Kildow: If that's what they want to do in life, we could empower them to achieve that dream. 
BB: So you would give girls the money to develop their intrepidness?
Kildow: Yes. If that is the life choice that would empower them to succeed, we would support it. By the way, do you think that I could ever work for the Blickbild after I felt better about driving in Europe?
BB: You'd have to pass all of our tests, which are among the most difficult in the business. 
(short pause) Now suppose that the Blickbild wants to start a foundation to help boys and girls develop intrepidness, do you think that it would conflict with Lindsey's foundation?
Kildow: Uh....I don't think so.
BB: What about a foundation to help children learn about geography? Part of being a Blickbild reporter or researcher is knowing geography. We have to know how to get to Slovenia without ending up in South Africa or Slovakia. In other words, kids should be empowered to figure out how to get to where they want to go. Don't you think so?
Kildow: I guess you could start a foundation to teach people about geography. If people make the right choices, then they will end up in the right place. But that is what Lindsey's foundation is all about--empowering girls to make good choices so that they end up in the right place. 
BB: I don't think I could have summed up the purpose of Lindsey's foundation any better than you just did.  Don't worry, we won't be establishing a foundation to teach people to be intrepid or to find places on a map. You either have what it takes to work for the Blickbild or you don't. 
Kildow: Just like you are either a girl who could benefit from Lindsey's foundation or someone who will forever make poor choices in life and end up living in a place that's far from a ski hill. 
BB: I never thought of it that way, but you are right. Well, it looks like we are out of time. I want to thank you for this interview and for the information about Lindsey's foundation. I'm sure that after this story is published, donations to it will soar. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview. 

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: Our reporters made the right choice coming to work for us. And they did it without any foundation money to empower them. Oh, they can also find their way to Slovenia without a GPS system. 

The Boston Blickbild is on Facebook. If you enjoy our unique perspective on World Cup Alpine skiing, please like us on Facebook. We are also on Twitter as bostonblickbild. 

Saturday, April 4, 2015

New Competition Format

A Boston Blickbild Exclusive

Our friends at the International Ski Federation (FIS) are concerned that the true all-around ski racer who can get on the podium in every discipline is a dying breed. Ski racers now are either speed or technical specialists. In order to reverse this trend, the FIS is planning on testing out a new competition format. It will be discussed at the annual summer meeting. Here to talk with one of our intrepid reporters about this exciting new potential change is FIS president GianFranco Kasper. Let's find out what he has to say.

BB: It's nice to see you again Herr Kasper.
Kasper: Likewise
BB: A couple of seasons ago the FIS proposed changing the competition format so that every race is a parallel slalom on a ramp. Whatever happened to that? (see this story)
Kasper: The development of the ramps is not coming along as quickly as we expected it to. We ran into technical problems with the larger ramps for the speed disciplines. There are also logistical difficulties with transporting enough snow to warm weather places like Los Angeles or Las Vegas.
BB: What have you proposed instead?
Kasper: We took our cue from the recent Red Bull Skills event. The racers who participated did all four disciplines, which the fans loved.
BB: I thought that the FIS doesn't care about the fans.
Kasper: Of course we do because fans generate TV ratings. Nothing is more important to the FIS than TV ratings.
BB: Uh...what about safety?
Kasper: Everyone knows that safety is also a priority at the FIS. That goes without saying.
BB: Right. Tell our readers about the next great thing in ski racing.
Kasper: All races will consist of the four disciplines. Racers will do either one or two runs, but all four disciplines will be incorporated into those runs.
BB: What?!?
Kasper: It would be like having super-combined races but all in one. A lot of fans really like the super-combined for some reason which we at the FIS can't understand. Fans are also grumbling because the same people win the technical and speed races and they are switching to sports with more unpredictable outcomes like curling.
BB: Isn't the FIS responsible for the same people winning women's speed races for example? Most of the women's downhill courses are made for larger gliders and the smaller women don't stand a chance.
Kasper: We can't help it if certain racers are popular with the fans. The only way for them to remain popular, and keep our ratings up, is for them to keep winning and setting new records.
BB: Wait a minute! You just contradicted yourself. First you said that fans are getting bored with the same people winning. Then you said that fans like to see the same racers win all the time. Which is it?
Kasper: You have to remember that I'm the head of the FIS, so I'm always right even if it looks like I'm contradicting myself. Of course the fans of the racers who always win want to see them keep on winning. But others, who are old school in their thinking, want to see others on the top step of the podium. At the FIS we have to cater to both sets of fans, because we want ski racing to get more and more popular.
BB: In other words, the FIS is doing its part to ensure that certain athletes win.
Kasper: We would never engage in open collusion. Let's get back to the original topic.
BB: Good idea. You said that there are proposals for races of either one or two runs that incorporate all four disciplines. How would that work? Start with one-run races first.
Kasper: If the one-run proposal goes through, each run will consist of four parts, each of which will be a different discipline. One part of the course will be a downhill, one part a Super-G, one part giant slalom, and the fourth part slalom.
BB: What would the order be? Would they start slowly with the slalom part or quickly with the downhill?
Kasper: It would depend on the hill. For safety reasons, it would probably be best to start with the slalom and finish with either the downhill or Super-G. But a one-run race could also start with a giant slalom.
BB: It seems like each segment would be very short and a bit of a rip-off.
Kasper: True. But if every World Cup racer is participating, that would be over 100 per race instead of the usual 50 to 70. We would have to get everyone through before it got dark.
BB: I'm not so sure that the fans would go for one run with a little bit of each discipline.
Kasper: The other possibility is a 2-run model. Each run would be half speed and half technical, for example, downhill and GS in one run and Super-G and slalom in the other. In order to get everyone through in a timely manner, we could have two separate courses. Half of the racers would race on the first course, then switch to the second and vice versa.
BB: What if a ski area doesn't have two runs that are meet the standards for a World Cup race?
Kasper: Then we would switch to a venue that has two good runs. Or we could use the same course for both runs and just make the race an all-day affair. We could even have one run during the day and the second run under the lights.
BB: I see. Wouldn't that be a bit dangerous to have a nighttime speed race?
Kasper: Another proposal is to have the two speed disciplines in one run and the two technical disciplines in the other. It would be like a super super-combined race! What would be even more fun to watch would be alternating two disciplines within a run, for example starting with slalom, changing to GS, then back to slalom, and then finishing with GS.
BB: I'm sure that you and your colleagues will figure out all of the details in your summer meeting. One thing about these new races with every discipline is that it would require the athletes to do every race. There are about 40 races a season and it gets tiring. Very few now do every race. Did anyone ask the athletes what they thought of this proposal?
Kasper: The ones who participated at the Red Bull event had a great time. I'm sure that all of the athletes would enjoy themselves at every race.
BB: In other words, nobody asked the athletes what they thought of doing 40 races a season.
Kasper: If Tina Maze could do it, the others can too. World Cup racers are supposed to be professional athletes, not couch potatoes.
BB: How would the points work?
Kasper: We will stay with the current system of the top 30 racers earning points.
BB: What about the small globes? Would they be eliminated?
Kasper: Not at all. We will still have the small globes and even bring back the one for the super-combined.
BB: How would you do that if all of the races consist of the four disciplines and there is no more super-combined?
Kasper: Swiss timing of course. We will keep the split times of every race. It will be easy to figure out who had the fastest downhill segment, the fastest slalom segment, etc. in each race. The racers with the fastest average combined times in each discipline will win the globes. The super-combined globe will go to the racers with the fastest average downhilll and slalom times. We will be giving the fans what they want--all-around skiers but also those who are good in a particular discipline.
BB: It sounds very complex.
Kasper: It does at first. But the idea behind this new format is entertainment, pure and simple. When the fans are entertained, they are happy and willing to spend money on race tickets. Our TV ratings will soar, which will make the FIS happy. It's a win-win situation for everyone.
BB: Let's see how this proposal plays out in your summer meeting. Well, it looks like we are out of time. Herr Kasper, I want to thank you for another interesting interview. It is always a pleasure to talk to you. And that concludes another Boston Blickbild exclusive interview.

The Boston Blickbild. Our motto is: We would never change our format for the sake of TV ratings. Oh wait....we're not on TV.

The Boston Blickbild is on Facebook. If you enjoy our unique perspective on World Cup Alpine skiing, please like us on Facebook. We are also on Twitter as bostonblickbild.