A perfect storm of athletic activity | VailDaily.com

A perfect storm of athletic activity

Don Rogers

Cover stories are devoted to the commercials that will appear during the game, when all stops across the land and a nation focuses on the big question: Raiders or Bucs?

Since my family has arrived at our Brush Creek roost, we’ve spent part of the day cross-country skiing out in the pasture, sometimes missing all or great chunks of the big game. But this year, whatever is piling up at Vail Mountain, there’s more bare ground than snow at our place for the first time in four Super Bowl Sundays. There’ll be no skiing here today.

Fortunately for all of us, the white stuff has kept the slopes covered just enough to keep the skiers coming. Just yesterday, to my amazement, I drove into a flurry to pick up my daughter from Buddy Werner at Golden Peak. There’s still time yet for a new slew of dumps to bail us out of real drought on track for summer, as well as offering more powder days.

If this Super Bowl Sunday highlights a distinct lack of snow down in the valleys, there’s also some relief from considering that war on Iraq, for which our president has yet to make a compelling case that the time is now.

An irony is that this Gulf War is shaping up to prove historically unpopular as a result, notwithstanding the current 57 percent of so support the polls currently show for invading. This Bush could well lose his second term over Iraq while gaining ground with economic stimuli, in contrast to his dad’s fortunes as president back when.

There remains a real question whether attacking Iraq without the traditional provocations – they shoot first, invade another country, leave their fingerprints on terrorist activity – is truly the right thing to do. Never mind fuzzy-headed Europe, which always seems to hope we’ll come bail them out while they sound appropriately – but not too – ungrateful for the help. I don’t think President Bush has yet convinced his own people about our moral clarity of purpose. That ought to be a lesson of Vietnam.

OK, so the Super Bowl hasn’t quite washed all else away. Maybe during other, easier years for America, or when the Broncos reach the apex.

The main thing I think about today, though, is how sports reigns in our country and even more so, our county. Football is the big one, on the spectator side of the equation. Up here, the convergence of participatory sports and the ones we watch makes for a “Perfect Storm” of athletic interest.

The ski hills are just the start, though no doubt the catalyst in attracting a population that endures absurd housing prices, pay that can’t match the cost of living, and careers perhaps not as intellectually challenging as we might otherwise choose so that we may pursue our passions on the slopes, fields, courts and courses.

I favor basketball, along with snowboarding and road running in an earnest if fruitless effort to play and board better. My wife is hot on skiing, with that new pair of Volkl skis and boots that actually fit. For my daughter, it’s snowboarding. And my son is into pure pain, I guess, as he competes in Nordic skiing and cross country running.

There’s more to life, I know, I know, but this is the spice that helps make it worth living. I believe we’re all mentally as well as physically better off for all this activity. Never mind some of our neighbors’ fine mansions; it’s the sports that make time richer in the mountains.

Look at the range up here. You can do the cowboy sports, the extremes, the backcountry, water (even sailing!), aerial, traditionals, european, snow, four-wheeling, two-wheeling, hunting and even some wacky ones like inntertube water polo or broom ball. Take your pick! Or just grab your boots and go for a hike out the back door. About the only thing I can’t go do is surf, though the board hangs ever hopefully in the garage.

All this and tune in, too.

Managing Editor Don Rogers can be reached at 949-0555, ext. 600, or editor@vaildaily.com

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