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Day One

by Anthony Oliva / New Jersey Devils
2010 Winter Olympics: Day One
It's almost 11:00 PM Pacific (1:30 AM on the east coast) and I'm exhausted.  The day began at 4:30 AM Eastern with a rude wake-up call from my alarm, a clock shaped like a Detroit Red Wings goalie mask.  I don't even know why I would have a Wings goalie clock in the first place, but it's been a trusty time-keeper since seventh grade.

I got to Newark's airport 90 minutes early and STILL managed to almost miss my flight.  Apparently, while I attained the 411,605th best ever score in Brick Breaker, the rest of the Vancouver-bound had boarded and were watching safety videos.  If the Air Canada crew hadn't kindly extended a personal invitation and announced my name over the PA, I'd still be fidgeting with my BlackBerry in Terminal 14A.

Six-plus hours on an airplane can get you thinking some crazy things:

• Maybe I'm a little too easily impressed, but the TV monitors on the back of every seat are amazing, especially Air Canada's "map" feature.  Directions, current location, distance traveled, ETA.  I half-expected to stumble across a menu asking if I wanted bacon and extra meat for an additional $1.50 on my toasted Wawa hoagie.

• Why do they still build planes with "no smoking" signs?  And why can't they line up every window with the seat rows?  The windows are separated just far enough that I'm either slouching forward like the Hunchback of Notre Dame or craning my neck backwards uncomfortably.  While they're at it, how about some stadium seating?

I finally landed in Vancouver around 10:30 AM (Pacific), dropped my bags off at the condo, picked up accreditation forms (credentials) and proceeded to watch the Canadian women throttle their Slovakian counterparts in their first hockey game of the tournament, 18-0.

That brings me to our lagtest poll: should there be a mercy rule in Olympic hockey?  Currently, goal differential plays an integral role as tie-breaker, so running up the score is actually beneficial in the long. (For the record, I'm not insinuating the Canadians ran up the score.  The other option was to never shoot the puck.)

Day one was a whirlwind... More tomorrow.

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