Don't Forget To Tune In For These Olympic-Like Games
The scene: NBC's Winter Olympics TV Studios, several months from now after the Winter Olympics have concluded in Torino, Italy, and the first-ever Credit Union Olympics are taking place. Anchoring the action is Bob CUstas, nephew to the NBC broadcaster and known primarily for the odd spelling of his name and for working cheap.
CUstas: Good evening and welcome everyone to the inaugural Winter Credit Union Games, better known by their acronym, WCUG, and pronounced just as it's spelled. First, let's answer some of your questions. Why a 'Winter Olympics' in what is essentially late Spring? Two words: room discounts. And that appeals to every credit unionists' budget. Yes, a great deal of the snow has melted, but the bobsled run remains icy in many patches and the ice skating events take place at indoor venues, although the credit unions have also added a trade show, which requires the skaters to really keep their eyes open and alter many of their routines. To introduce you to many of the events here at the WCUG, I'm going to be sending you out to the various venues where your hosts will introduce you to their sport. We'll begin out at the bobsled run with three-time champion Bobby Sledd.
Sledd: Thanks, Bob. Hello everyone. Bobsledding at the Credit Union Games is exactly like bobsledding in the Olympics, except for the differences. One of the biggest differences: all of the bobsleds were built by credit union folks as part of team-building exercises during their league annual meetings. Teams could build their sleds out of anything they liked, as long as they didn't go over their budget of $7. And what a collection of sleds we have. Most appear to have been constructed from materials found in a hotel conference facility. I'm not making any accusations, I'm just sayin'...
CUstas: Are there any early favorites?
Sledd: I initially thought the North Dakota team was the one to beat, as they've done a terrific job with an upside-down conference room table and two curtain rods as runners. But they had never practiced on an actual hill before, and many of them fell off the sled on its first run down the mountain. It's getting up into the low-50s during the day, and the Minnesota team, another early favorite, is really having trouble with the heat. So I'm placing my bets on the team from Maine, which has constructed its bobsled completely out of plastic chairs from the Holiday Inn and back-up data tape.
CUstas: We can't actually place bets as it's...
Sledd: Actually, you can. The Nevada league is taking all the action.
CUstas: OK, thanks for that report from the bobsled run. Now let's join Dorothy CAMEL out at the ice arena.
CAMEL: Welcome everyone to the Credit Union Figure Skating Gold Medal Championships, better known as CUFSGM. Who knows figures better than chief financial officers, and credit unions from around the U.S. have sent their CFOs to compete. All know their way around a spreadsheet, but the real advantage goes to those who have actually worn ice skates prior to arriving at these games. Earlier today, in the pairs competition, a team from the CUNA CFO Council was well on its way to winning when they lost sight of where they were and collided with an ALM demo going on at a vendor booth that had been set up on the ice. I guess you could say the result was their assets right on the ice! In the singles, the early favorite was from a credit union heavy on short-term deposits and long-term loans, but they've been disqualified.
CUstas: Why's that, Dorothy?
CAMEL: The judges ruled they were skating on thin ice.
CUstas: Ooooookaaay. Well, thank you. Let's take you out now to the sport of skeleton, where commentator Mary Marrow says credit unions have perhaps misunderstood the sport.
Marrow: That's right, Bob. At these Credit Union Winter Games, the skeleton event is being held inside a closet. Get it? Skeleton in a closet! And what a lot of skeletons some of our CU competitors have in there: hidden loan problems, lack of awareness in some communities, no succession plans, and the early leader in this event, one CU where the chairman has been dead for the past three years, although they've brought him to all the meetings.
CUstas: Sounds like an event we'll want to be joining the regulators in tuning into regularly. Finally, let's take you out to the ski jumping competition and commentator Carl Cramdown.
Cramdown: Thanks, Bob. We've had some strange developments out here at the ski jumping facility. Credit unions from Florida, Alabama and Louisiana had really made a hard push to get into the ski jumping event, but they didn't learn until arriving it was SNOW ski jumping, not water skiing. I've been forced to witness two things you really don't want to see: your average credit union CEO in a Speedo, and a CEO in a Speedo who also frozen into a ski jump position.
CUstas: We should caution viewers to do their due-diligence before tuning in.
Frank J. Diekmann is Editor of The Credit Union Journal.