by Rob Boylan
Even though all signs point to the non-sporting side of the Sochi Winter Olympics being a farce -- or worse, a potential terrorist heaven -- to anyone not there enduring the awful accommodations, packs of wild dogs and apparent government surveillance, it should be the sports we're thinking of. The US is sending a huge delegation of atheletes, almost 250 men and women from 38 (mostly Northern) states.
As you might expect, the squad is fairly thin when it comes to Floridians -- in fact, there are only 3.
500m, 1,000m, 1,500m, 5,000m Relay
500m, 1,000m, 1,500m
...and they're all speed skaters. I hope you guys like speed skating. Speed skating.
So, you want to root for something else having to do with Florida, but what are your options?
Well, hockey. Good old hockey.
The Florida Panthers and Tampa Bay Lightning have several players each heading to Sochi to try and win gold.
Aleksander Barkov, Center (UPDATE: injured at tournament)
Tomas Kopecky, Right Wing (UPDATE: injured at tournament, status unknown)
Steven Stamkos, Center (injured, out of tournament)
Martin St. Louis, Right Wing (injury replacement)
Valtteri Filppula, Center (UPDATE: injured, out of tournament)
Sami Salo, Defense
Ondrej Palat, Left Wing
Radko Gudas, Defense
Richard Panik, Right Wing
Kristers Gudlevskis, Goaltender (minor leaguer)
The 2014 Winter Olympics begin tonight on NBC and nbcolympics.com.