Let's play a game of "What if". Imagine if Leon Lett had run back the fumble against the Buffalo Bills in Super Bowl XXVII with :01 seconds left on the clock. Dallas losing by six points to Buffalo. Touchdown and the extra point wins the game. He starts to showboat before he gets in the endzone and Don Bebe strips the ball at the one yard line and Buffalo wins the Super Bowl. All because Leon Lett celebrated too early. Painful.
It happened today in the Olympics.
Lindsey Jacobellis came into the Olympics as one of the best-known Americans, a poster child for her sport, snowboard cross. It's a mix of snowboarding and roller derby. She was cruising to an easy victory when she decided to get fancy on the next to last jump. As she went up in the air she decided to grab her board, presumably to do a little showboating for the US fans in the stands. When she came down, her board caught an edge, and she fell down. Switzerland's Tanja Frieden sped past and became the first champion in the strange and wild sport of Olympic women's snowboard cross Friday.
Lindsey was comfortably ahead of Tanja and the rest of the field was way behind them because they had crashed earlier. From reports (since the event hasn't been shown yet) she could have crawled to the finish line. That's how far ahead she was of her competition.
She insists she wasn't showing off.
"When you grab in boardercross you're trying to get back on the ground as fast as possible," she said. "You try to be stable in the air."
Considering how far ahead she was, I just don't buy it. Just so you know very few men did that yesterday. The Men's snowboard cross gold medalist, Seth Westcott from the USA, tells the truth.
"Sometimes it's subconscious, but that was putting on a show," Wescott said. "It's one of those things. I did it in my early rides yesterday but you've got to choose your time and make sure you don't miss."
If you have no idea who Lindsey Jacobellis is you probably have seen her before. Remember that VISA check card commercial where the coach is calming down his athlete before a race? He tells her to picture the mountain and imagining herself on the medal stand all to no avail. Then he tells her to imagine her VISA check card just got stolen. She turns on a smile and now she's ready to race.
If this isn't a reason to watch NBC's coverage of the Olympics tonight then I don't know what will. You'll be watching knowing that right at the very last second she's going to bust and lose gold. I'll feel bad for her but I gotta see it unfold from the very beginning.
On her bio, her nickname is "Lucky".
Don't worry Lindsey, Jeremy Shockey thought you had won too.
(update: Saw the race and it's worse than you can imagine. Lindsey clearly was showboating in the air. Clear as day.)
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It was clearly showboating Not rated yet
2006/02/18 at 11:14 am It was clearly showboating. I think by now the whole country knows it. Only Lindsey won’t flat out say it was. The move was a “method”, …
Convinced Lindsay Not rated yet
2006/02/18 at 9:00 am AOL is obviously convinced Lindsay was showboating. NBC commentators weren’t so sure. It was on the third replay that possible showboating …
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