Columnist says luge subject to variety of criticism

Saturday afternoon I was sitting around, enjoying my day off from work. Seldom do I get Saturdays off, so needless to say all I wanted to do was relax. Chilling in front of the television, watching some ESPN Classic and flipping the channels between commercials, I was one happy camper.

Something happened, though, that changed this. I jumped up a few channels from my home base, Classic, to the Outdoor Life Network. I dig OLN, but now, after what I saw, I am kind of afraid of it.

OLN, in sticking with the season, I guess, was broadcasting a two-man luge competition from Europe. Yes, two-man luge. Not one-man, normal luge — two-man.

One dude lies on top of the other and the two spandex-adorned maniacs scream down an ice tunnel, aerodynamically tucked as close as lovers.

When I saw this, which I was watching with my roommate, we initially laughed, then we stared with intrigue and complete dumfounded curiosity. Then we questioned it intently.

What are these dudes thinking?

Sure, you’ve got to give the guys credit, but screw credit. I want to know how they decided to pick the two-man luge as their career goal. Was it like one day two washed up high school football stars were sitting around drinking beer and decided they wanted to be back in the action again, and the two-man luge seemed the most appealing?

“One man luge is too simple Steve. Let’s do it together.”

“Yeah, that sounds awesome, Dale, but I definitely get to be the guy on top.”

Really, where does the rationale come from? And how do they decide who gets to go on top? Do they trade before each heat? Do fights break out over who gets to be on top? Too many questions.

As much as I want to sit here and rip on the two manners for the remainder of this column, I do have to give them some props. The guys travel at an extremely high rate of speed in a three-quarter full-ice tunnel — that is crazy.

I could see myself hopping in a bobsled and ripping down a track in one of those burly tanks, but I’ll pass on the two-man luge, thanks.

Even the one-man luge looks intimidating. I couldn’t imagine throwing one of my buddies on top of me simply to up the speed and danger ante.

Another question that came up was the respect card. In the populous luge circles throughout the globe, are two-manners looked down upon by the single-riders? At luge conventions and gatherings, do the single men cluster in the corner and make smug looks at the double dudes? Way too many questions.

It is a sport, nonetheless, and you have to respect that. The athletes train hard and take a risk every time they hop on their sled.

I kind of look at double lugers as the bad stand up comedians of the sporting world. They know they’ll be ridiculed, but they get up on the stage anyway and do their thing.

As awkward as it is, they compete. Though two-man lugers make themselves utterly susceptible to mad amounts of scrutiny from journalism geeks like me all over the world every time they get on their sleds, they do it, and you’ve got to give up a high five to that.