They're Watching

"I kind of liked Joseph and Butler."

She knows nothing about skating. She is American. She was sitting next to me.

This was the ice dance compulsories. One of the most technical parts of a very technical sport. She doesn't know a left edge from a paillette sequin. She looked blankly at me when I tried to explain the technical niceties of the Golden Waltz. Huh? What? I gave up trying to explain and just let her watch. She'd just wanted to see Picabo Street anyway.

I cussed and notated the whole way through the programs. She waved me off with, "Well, I don't know anything about skating," and went back to her homework in between skates.

I crossed my fingers, prayed to the judging gods, and checked my notes again before daring to plop a brand-new couple ahead of the Honchos of Dance.

She just said it without thinking. She figured it might have been their costumes. They looked good, anyway.

Interesting, huh? One stares into the TV obsessively, backed by years of ice dance training and sitting behind the Soviets at competitions, and listening to the gossip. Real hard. One just glances.

Having problems plowing the snow between here and the podium, boys?

In between luge and hockey, I kind of think they're watching. Just a little bit.

And no, I didn't say Punsalan and Swallow. I said Joseph and Butler.