If you love great drama, you just had to love the Salt Lake City Winter Olynpic Games.
The world's greatest playwrights, put together, couldn't have conjured up a more irresistible combination of victory and defeat, treachery and intrigue, thrills and spills, honor and humiliation, laughter and heartache, nobility and idiocy.
There was even romance, as all America continued its unconditional love affair with skater Michelle Kwan and started new ones with Sara Hughes and a pair of certifiable dudes with the unlikely names of Bode Miller and Apolo Anton Ohno.
For inspiration, has there been any post-9/11 sight more uplifting than that of real-life firefighter Lee Ann Parsley winning a silver?
The games, too, were rife with educational value. Nineteen days ago, did you know that a skeleton was anything more than the thing that keeps our bodies from sagging to the floor? Or why the, ahem, sport of curling is considered an Olympian endeavor?
Oh, all right, so that last question was never answered. You can't have everything. But who needed everything when you had a truly hiss-worthy villain like pairs figure skating judge from France, Marie-Reine Le Gougne who's still changing her scoring story every time she opens her mouth?
Don't forget the comic relief courtesy of the kind of belly-aching and finger-pointing one rarely hears outside of a pre-school playground. And it didn't just emanate from those sore-loser Russians, who kept threatening to pull out of the games because ... because ... well, because the judges weren't blind. Belarus a nation no one ever heard of, where the cuisine of choice is likely roast gopher complained about the food.
These subplots served a much higher purpose than entertainment, though. They helped prove, once again, that nothing can upstage the dramatic thread which, every four years, weaves the world audience into one:
The triumph of the human spirit over all.