Archive for the ‘Hump Day Report’ Category

Hump Day Report: News and Notes

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

Finding enough money to go to college is a difficult undertaking these days so every little bit helps. RE/MAX of New Jersey has decided to help out a deserving student by launching a new scholarship opportunity for high school and university students from around the country who are in pursuit of a college degree. RE/MAX of New Jersey is sponsoring the I Heart My Hometown Scholarship awarding one worthy candidate $1,000 to help cover costs during the 2014/2015 academic year.

hearthometown_blogStudents are asked to write in 500 words anything from favorite memories, values or places that put the “home” into hometown for them. The entry deadline for the scholarship is Wednesday, April 30. To apply students need to go to this website and fill in the application.

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Now let’s see, what was I saying last week about winter finally being over . . . We woke up this morning and had to clean ice off our windshields, WTF. This global cooling is getting on my last nerve, not to mention making my arthritis hurt even more.

Still, having lived in this region all my life, I know that a bad winter equals a great summer. If the weekend weather is good this late spring and summer, people will be flocking to the shore to enjoy the cool breezes, the beautiful ocean and, when the sun goes down, all the fabulous dining and nightlife that Atlantic City and the surrounding area offers. People from Philadelphia, Cherry Hill and northern New Jersey can gamble closer to home but after the worst snow levels in history for some areas, the lure of gaming by the ocean in the summertime is an intoxicating alternative.

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acw_blakeshelton_200Kudos to the Atlantic City Alliance and their DO AC campaign for arranging to have country superstar Blake Shelton, star of The Voice, come to Atlantic City this summer on July 31 for a free concert on the beach. That is all we know so far with no start time or specific beach revealed yet.

However, based on how Wildwood handled the free Kenny Chesney concert two years ago, the event will require tickets in order to control the safety issues involved. And, going by previous free concerts in town, my guess is that the beach will be the one in front of Caesars by the Pier Shops. This is merely an educated guess; I don’t have any inside knowledge but when we do know more, AC Weekly will pass along the details.

FYI: The Voice Tour starring Tessanne Chin and the top three from the current season will beat Blake to town, performing at the Trump Taj Mahal July 5.

Hump Day Report: Doo Dah, Woofin’ Paws

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

After enjoying a few days with sunny skies and temperatures in the sixties I’m ready to finally declare that winter is done, just in time to make sure one of my favorite events goes smoothly.

When I moved to Ocean City 20 years ago I enjoyed the second and third weekends in April for two reasons. The fun-filled Doo Dah Parade, which takes place this Saturday, April 12, at noon, was designed to celebrate the end of tax season. Seeing 500 Basset walking almost in unison will certainly make you forget your taxes.

My other favorite spring event in O.C. takes place the following Saturday, on April 19, the annual Woofin’ Paws Pet Fashion Show at Carey Stadium (6th St. and the Boardwalk) starting at 11am.

The Doo Dah Parade begins at 6th and Asbury Ave, turns to the boardwalk at 12th St. and ends at the Music Pier, featuring fun brigades, costumed characters, bands, individual entries and of course those waddling hounds. Go here for pictures by Don Kravitz.

Peter Funt, son of Allen Funt of Candid Camera fame, is the Grand Marshall. Following in his dad’s footsteps, he hosted Candid Camera for 15 years and has gone on to be guest op-ed columnist for The Wall Street Journal and New York Times as well as his weekly column, distributed by Cagle Syndicate.

A Pie In the Face “PieAsco” takes place next to the reviewing stand in front of the Music Pier after the Parade. It’s free and starts at noon. For information or to enter the parade, call 525-9300.

The bride and groom. (Photo by Don Kravitz)

The bride and groom. (Photo by Don Kravitz)

The Woofin’ Paws Fashion Show also features a Best Tricks division. Ocean City’s Pied Piper of fun, public relations guru Mark Soifer, coined this hilarious phrase about the event: “It is for any pet that will not eat another pet.”

Mostly you will see dogs dressed in their finery, with the occasional rabbit, turtle and laid-back cat that can tolerate being surrounded by dogs. There is no advanced registration. Just show up a few minutes ahead of time. Pets compete in various categories including Best Dressed, Best Bonnet, Best Tail Wagger, Best Bathing Suit, Most Patriotic, Pet-owner Look-Alike and Intelligent Pet Tricks.

There is a $5 entry fee for each category that benefits the Ocean City Humane Society. You may enter as many categories as you wish. It’s free for spectators, but please make a donation to benefit one of the best no-kill shelters in the region. Check out more pictures by Don Kravitz.

Hump Day Report: Hope Springs Eternal

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

Well, I believe it is safe now to say that we have seen the last of the snow. Thank goodness for that. I was never so happy to see a rain-filled Saturday and Sunday last weekend, just because it wasn’t snow. Now we just have to get the temperatures up to seasonal. Of course right at the moment I’m happy if it is hovering around 50 degrees. After that horrible winter, 50 degrees feels like 68 degrees to me.

Spring also means the beginning of the baseball season, and things are so bad that when I mentioned the Phillies to my Mom, she starting ranting about the fact that they weren’t worth the trouble and she is not going to watch the games this year. Since she now lives in Mets country in Cranford, she would have to pay for the baseball package, so I can’t blame her.

However, since I only have to pay with my emotional life, I am giving the team the benefit of the doubt to start the season. That worked out well in the first game with the Phillies scoring 14 runs on 17 hits. Cliff Lee gave up eight earned runs and got the win.

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro's beard ...

Honest Abe.

Honest Abe's beard ...

Of course in game two of the season, the newest Phillie, A.J. Burnett, pitched six scoreless innings which eared him a no decision as the bullpen blew a 2-0 lead and the Rangers got the walk-off win. Is it just me or is Rangers’ Elvis Andrus rocking that no lip-hair beard as a tribute to Fidel Castro? Well it turns out Fidel does have lip hair and the Rangers are calling it his Abraham Lincoln beard since he didn’t have lip hair. Honest Abe’s beard was never that long, but Castro’s is so let’s call it a Lincoln-Castro hybrid.

Somewhere inbetween, Elvis Andrus' beard.

And somewhere in between, Elvis Andrus' beard.

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The NCAA March Madness is coming to an end and this might be my worst bracket year ever once the tourney hit the Sweet Sixteen. In my defense nobody predicted that UConn would go on such an impressive run but I am delighted for former 76er guard and now Huskies coach Kevin Ollie for such a poised team in the clutch.

Will the slipper fall off against Florida? Probably, but this might be the best guard showdown in the tournament with UConn’s Shabazz Napier facing off against Florida’s Scottie Wilbekin. In the Wisconsin-Kentucky game I’m back and forth but I just have a feeling that this is coach Bo Ryan’s year so I’ll go with the Badgers.

In the championship I’m picking Florida over Wisconsin.

Hump Day Report: Claridge, Women’s Hall of Fame

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

The Claridge Hotel was once a stand along casino-hotel and later was sold in 2002 and became part of Bally’s Atlantic City and the home of the Legends in Concert Theater.  For decades before that it was part of the distinction skyline of the classic Atlantic City. Built in 1930, the Claridge was a successful hotel during the 1930s, 1940s, and 1950s. Marilyn Monroe was a special guest there in the 1950s when she was a judge of the Miss America Pageant.

The Claridge Hotel.

The Claridge Hotel.

Last year the property was acquired by TJM Properties of Clearwater, Fla., with plans to return it to its earlier glory as a hotel. The sale was made official in February of this year and it has just been announced that the Claridge is now officially accepting room reservations for occupation beginning Memorial Day weekend.

According to the press release, “The 500 room hotel will welcome hotel guest to experience a new standard in customer service while enjoying the world famous Atlantic City boardwalk, beach, restaurants, entertainment attractions and activities.

“Interested visitors can now make reservations on The Claridge Hotel’s web site, claridge.com or by calling the reservation number at 844-AC-IS-FUN. Accommodations include the choice of various room types featuring spectacular oceanfront views and spacious connector suites with Jacuzzis. Hotel guests will also enjoy free Wi-Fi, parking, swimming pool/spa privileges and complimentary coffee service each morning in the newly renovated hotel lobby.”

The release also noted that additional property venues would be announced in the near future as they become finalized.

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The Atlantic County Women’s Hall of Fame recognizes and honors local women who have made outstanding achievements and significant contributions in their professions or in their communities. In keeping with this mission, the Board of Trustees of the Atlantic County Women’s Hall of Fame has announced it will award a $1,000 scholarship to a graduating female from an Atlantic County high school. The scholarship applicant must demonstrate excellence in academic achievement, leadership and community involvement.

Applications are available through Atlantic County high schools guidance offices or by calling 927-7549 or (609) 484-8044.  You may also print it off their website, www.acwhf.org by clicking on SCHOLARSHIP APPLICATION LINK on the home page. All applications must be received by May 10, 2014.

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marhcMadnessAll my NCAA March Madness brackets have been shattered, although I still have a chance to have a correct winner since Florida and Michigan State are still in the running. A double-digit seed will make it into the Elite 8 since Dayton (11 seed) plays Stanford (10 seed). I’m rooting for Dayton, since it is in the Atlantic 10, which I had the pleasure of covering when the A-10 Tournament took place in Atlantic City.

It isn’t likely, but there is still a mathematical chance that Archie Miller, coach of Dayton, could play against his brother Sean Miller, coach of Arizona, in the National Championship game.

Here is my new 16-game bracket: Florida over UCLA, Dayton over Stanford, Arizona over San Diego State, Wisconsin over Baylor, Michigan St. over Virginia, Iowa St. over UConn, Michigan over Tennessee and Louisville over Kentucky. The latter should be an amazing game.

In the next round, Florida beats Dayton, Michigan St. beats Iowa St., Louisville beats Michigan, and Arizona beats Wisconsin.

Final Four: Michigan State defeats Florida and Louisville defeats Arizona.
Championship: Michigan St, beats Louisville 84-81.

Hump Day Report: March Madness Begins

Wednesday, March 19th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

March Madness officially began last evening with the first “field of 68” play-in games. Throw in the opening round of the NIT and it was quite an evening of hoops action last night. NC State and star TJ Warren showed why they deserved a place in the field of 64 by dominating Xavier in the second half of their victory. As I’ve been going through my brackets, I have had NC State in one of my brackets beating Louisville on the way to the Sweet 16. However, that is just one of my brackets. Most of the time I’ve got Louisville winning.

No wonder the oddsmakers in Vegas are angry about the brackets. I’m still trying to figure out how Louisville is a 4th seed and UMass is a 6th seed when St. Joe’s beat VCU, ranked 23rd in the country at the time, to take the A10 tournament and was given a 10th seed.

The selection committee also seems annoyed that Wichita St. didn’t play enough name teams on the way to its 34-0 record. They were in the final four last year thanks to several shocking upsets. This year they are the team that has the hardest road to six more wins, potentially facing Kentucky, Louisville and Michigan to make it to the final four, where a likely opponent is Arizona.

The biggest star from St. Joseph’s at the moment is 4-year-old Phillip Stephen Martelli, grandson of coach Phil Martelli. He dress like grandpa and imitates him complete with one of granddad’s ties and the CBS video of his antics has gone viral. St. Joe’s has a tough road. If they manage to beat UConn, they are likely to face Villanova in the second round.

As I’ve been playing with my brackets I find myself picking Michigan St. to go all the way, as well as Florida, Arizona and even Villanova in one whimsical bracket.

Here are some of my upset picks: Harvard over Cincinnati, Stephen F. Austin over VCU, NC State over St. Louis, and Creighton over Wisconsin in the Sweet 16 Round.

The one thing that most hoops heads agree about this year’s field is that there are no overwhelming dominant teams, which is when a lower seed can dream about one than one upset on the way to a Sweet 16 berth. However once we get down to the final 16 teams, the talent factor crushes the hoop dreams of the underdogs, even without a dominant team.

BTW, I’ve been having a heck of a time trying to make my picks for the billion-dollar bracket from Yahoo/Quicken Loans. Seems not having a cell phone is a major hurdle to signing up but I’m still trying.

Hump Day Report: March Madness

Wednesday, March 12th, 2014

billion-bracket-logo

Rants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

Hump Day LogoThis is the time of the year when my fellow college basketball fans start binge watching college hoops, trying to earn a master’s degree in Bracketology.

March Madness is upon us with selection Sunday coming up this weekend, when the brackets will be set for the NCAA Mens’ Division One Basketball Championship.

Making the bracket-picking all the more fun in 2014 is the announcement about the Quicken Loans Billion Bracket Challenge. Detroit-based Quicken Loans, the nation’s fourth largest mortgage lender, has joined forces with Warren Buffett and Berkshire Hathaway to offer a chance at a $1 billion prize for completing the perfect bracket in this March’s men’s college basketball championship tournament.

Any qualified entrant who correctly enters the contest and predicts the winners of every game in the tournament will share the total $1 billion prize paid in 40 annual installments of $25 million.

Alternatively, the winner may elect to receive an immediate $500 million lump sum payment or share in that lump sum payment if there is more than one perfect bracket submitted. Free registration for the Quicken Loans Billion Dollar Bracket began on Monday, March 3 and runs until Wednesday, March 19.

In conjunction with the Billion Dollar Bracket Challenge, Quicken Loans will also be directly donating $1 million to inner city Detroit and Cleveland non-profit organizations that are dedicated to improving the education of young Detroit and Cleveland residents.

Will I try to create the perfect bracket? You bet, but just the fact that Quicken Loans has announced this prize lets you know how remote the possibility of a perfect bracket really is.

Still it is nice to dream about the possibility of basketball prediction perfection, and yes I will still try for some of the more mundane prizes that are offered by other bracket challenges.

And, despite dreaming about winning all that money, my favorite part of March Madness is still watching great college basketball, which includes unexpected upsets, which makes winning the money nearly impossible.

Hump Day Report: Snow Be Gone

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

Although the South Jersey shore region never really got a massive, crippling snowstorm this winter, the constant bombardment of 1-6” storms has been even worse. As a lifelong local, the years when we had big storms always seemed to have breaks with warmer temperatures and we normally only had one big storm a season. Snow is usually rare by the ocean (since the water cools slowly) but I feel like I’m living in Buffalo, NY this winter and it sucks.

I hate being a curmudgeon, bitching about how bad my arthritis has been for three months, but damn it, all this damp weather and constant chill has made me feel awful.

Throw in the normal course of moviegoing this time of year, when we are bombarded by the mediocre movies that follow the Oscar season and I’ve been feeling like Oscar the Grouch.


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Caleb Johnson.

Caleb Johnson.

Maybe I’m just in a grouchy mood but despite liking the judges this year on American Idol — Jennifer Lopez, Keith Urban and newcomer Harry Connick, Jr. — this is without question the worst group of contestants in the history of the show. It is so bad that this group might finally kill off American Idol and at this point I don’t think it will be missed.

Certainly I have to give the judges, who seem excited about the performers they selected, a healthy hunk of the blame for this debacle.

Look, we know that the producers were forcing the judges into selecting weak male contestants last year because they wanted a girl to win and she did. I loved Candice Glover but have you thought about her at all since the last season’s finale?

Me either.

This year is seems like they don’t want anybody to win, except maybe blues rocker Caleb Johnson who does have talent. The rest of the Idols are consistently mediocre and none of them are strikingly attractive either. Being good looking has nothing to do with talent, but it does have a lot to do with being a musical star down the road, and this show is supposed to be about finding someone who has the potential to be a star.

I will check in on the show occasionally, but my weekly blogs on the series are finished. They just aren’t worth the time and effort.

Gee, I wonder if the weather has contributed to my rant against the 2014 Idols?

I don’t think so because the audience comments on the Entertainment Weekly recaps have reflected a similar point of view.

Hump Day Report: Restaurant Week

Wednesday, February 26th, 2014

Hump Day LogoRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

Atlantic City Restaurant Week is almost here, taking place March 2-8. Restaurant Week is that tasty time of the year when you can dine at some of the finest culinary establishments in the region offering special menus at amazing prix fixe prices for a meal that includes appetizer, entrée and dessert, just $15.14 for lunch and $33.14 for dinner (beverage, tax and tip not included).

If you think the prices mean the ingredients won’t be topnotch, think again. In the past I’ve had a surf and turf meal, salmon stuffed with brie and shrimp, crab cakes and more. Some restaurants provide a wider selection than others but they all understand that this is a golden opportunity to introduce their skills to a wider audience than usual and often means repeat customers when Restaurant Week is over.

crab-chowder-perfectionMy usual RW companion is my friend Sally, but this year my mom Barbara will join us since she is visiting at just the right time for a girls’ night out. With mom involved in the process of picking a restaurant, I was not surprised by our final decision. But first, here are some of the choices we had from the list of more than 80 dining establishments.

The Back Bay Ale House at Gardner’s Basin has a nice lunch selection. You can start with Jerk wings or cream of crab soup, then any sandwich on their regular lunch menu (including ribeye steak or crab cake po’boy) and finish with key lime pie. The Blue Water Grille on Maine Ave. has lobster mac and cheese as a lunch entrée and 20 oz. Delmonico steak or surf & turf (6 oz filet mignon, 6oz broiled lobster) as dinner selections.

The Grill Room at Seaview has Seaview clam chowder as an appy for both lunch and dinner and their dinner selections include Seaview scallops or a 16oz ribeye steak.

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Hump Day Report: Traitorous Lily-livered Jolthead

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014

Hump Day LogoLeftRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

As an editor and writer for Atlantic City Weekly, my desk becomes the depository for numerous unsolicited music CDs, books and occasionally even a DVD. Most of these items are looking for free publicity and are usually either tossed in the round filing cabinet, passed along to a colleague or wind up making my cubicle look worthy of an episode of Hoarders.

ShakespearebookHowever when something does seem useful or entertaining I will give it a plug, which brings us to Thou Spleeny Swag-Bellied Miscreant: Create Your Own Shakespearean Insults by Sarah Royal & Jillian, released by Running Press of Philadelphia this month. This unique side-by-side flippable book in three sections allows you to mix and match the worst digs from Shakespeare’s plays to create your own Shakespearean slander in three parts.

It is quite useful if you are vexed by the actions of someone and say to yourself, “What would Shakespeare say to stick in the knife using word craft?” Now you have a whole book of mix & match creative insults that aren’t technically swear words but sure sound like they should be considered obscene.

Here are some of my favorites:
• Churlish Sodden-witted Hugger-mugger
• Ruttish Puppy-headed Prig
• Fawning Shag-haired Dotard
• Beastly Pigeon-livered Pizzle
• Goatish Shrill-gorged Flirtgill
• Barbarous Bacon-fed Bloodsucker
• Wayward Unwashed Whore-son
• Sheep-biting Feeble Maggot

I could go on but you get the picture. This book could be the center of a terrific party game with blindfolded guests asked to select a combo and then deliver the results to their significant other. Of course, then the game must be reversed and revenge delivered by the insulted party.

Thou Spleeny Swag-Bellied Miscreant is available from most on-line book sites. The list price is a mere $12.95.
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So what can we expect from the Phillies this year? With spring training just under way and two bad seasons in the books, our wonderful expectations from just a few years ago have crashed and burned. To quote the Bard (see above) this team is filled with “Mouldy Tottering Dotards.”

I hope coach Ryne Sandberg has something to smile about this year.

I hope coach Ryne Sandberg has something to smile about this year.

In modern English that means older players who have been living with nagging injuries. Supremely talented in their prime, how can we expect this over-the-hill gang to stay healthy over 162 games? And what about the younger players like Domonic Brown and Darin Ruf. Are they ready to break out and deliver in 2014?

It isn’t a good sign when your top pitcher, Cole Hamels, arrives in spring training with a tendonitis issue in his throwing shoulder.

And how should we have reacted to the news that Bobby Abreu had been signed, hoping to make the team as a left-handed bat off the bench? Personally, it made me want to call GM Ruben Amaro, Jr. a “Pernicious Foolhardy Clod.”

Despite my lack of faith, I will be hoping that my point of view is not correct. After all, my favorite seasons beyond 1980 and 2008 featured that scrappy, aging bunch of mutts that came together in 1993 and got to the World Series with the swagger that comes from being “Saucy Scurvy Miscreants.”

When your expectations are low, the positives that could come out of this season would be all the sweeter.

Hump Day Report: Winter Olympics Arrive

Wednesday, February 12th, 2014

Hump Day LogoLeftRants and raves about burning topics that have caught my attention midweek, be it greedy corporate shenanigans, frustration or joy in regards to the Philly sports teams, a movie, show or DVD that has fired up my imagination, an intriguing personality, or what’s happening in the region. — Lori Hoffman, Associate Editor, Atlantic City Weekly.

The Winter Olympics are in full swing and there has been a ton of excitement as well as the usual disappointments. My favorite action so far has been on the hockey rink where the women have been playing exceptionally. This was especially true this morning (Feb. 12) when the sports’ top rivals, USA and Canada, had a thrilling throwdown with the Canadians taking the preliminary contest 3-2, after the American squad broke the tie with the first goal of the contest.

The skill level seems to have grown incredibly since the 2010 Vancouver Olympics. These ladies are so fast and so talented with the puck, and the goaltending has been fantastic. I sure hope the gold medal game is a repeat of the USA-Canada action.

Erin Hamlin zips along on her luge.

Erin Hamlin zips along on her luge.

Moving onto the X-Games sports, I’ve never been a fan of skateboarding competitions but put these same skills on ice and snow with snowboarding and I’m all in.

Despite the disappointment of Shaun White failing to medal for a third time in the halfpipe, and the American team also missing the podium all together, it was a fantastic competition that went to a Switzerland’s Iouri Podladtchikov, a Russian born competitor who thankfully has a cool nickname, I-Pod.

I-Pod did his signature move the YOLO (You only live once) and nailed it for the victory. Earning the silver was the talented 15-year-old from Japan Ayumu Hirano and third place went to his teammate Taku Hiraoka.

In the singles luge competition, with single riders gunning down a course at speeds over 80mph, the United States won its first medal in the event’s history and this is a sport that has been in the Olympics for 50 years. America’s latest hero is Erin Hamlin, who earned a bronze medal behind Germans Natalie Geisenberger, won earned the gold and silver medalist Tatjana Huefner.

Would I watch these events if it was not an Olympic year? Hockey, yes, but the rest? Probably not. However, it is the thrill of watching prime athletes competing for their country that makes the Olympic Games such a treat.