Friday, February 19, 2010

There Was a Little Girl...

...and she had a little curl....

While all you guys are thrilling to the aerial acrobatics of Sean White or worrying about the aches and pains of Lindsey Vonn and wondering if Anton Ono is going to become the Michael Phelps of the winter Olympics, I've been finding my sport. Finally.

Yesterday I was working at my computer and decided to turn on the olympics to see what they were broadcasting. As it turned out, it was curling. Everybody jokes about curling. But I kept it on as background nose and darn it if I didn't get kind of drawn up into it.

It was the United States vs. Switzerland in the men's curling and I was first drawn in by the fact that the guy rolling the stone, John Shuster, looked like McGee from NCIS, if McGee was younger and had taken a few too many trips to McDonald's for Big Macs. How can you not like a sport with McGee as the hero?

JohnShuster.jpg (34364 bytes)

Besides, Curling originated in ancient Scotland. Obviously it was my people who brought it to world prominence, so I should be supportive just for the sake of national pride!

curling.jpg (34820 bytes)
A curling match at Eglinton Castle, Ayrshire, Scotland in 1860.

I actually ended up getting up from my computer and moving to the family room where I could sit and just watch, without my attention being drawn away by something more important, like a game of Free Cell or the latest status update on Facebook.

Walt came home and he joined me in front of the TV. I was starting to understand the basics of the sport. I knew about stones, and the house, and the hog line and counting the "ends" until the finish. It was like speaking a new language. As the game progressed I found I was almost yelling (as much as I ever "yell") as a stone was thrown and guided so carefully that it slipped around and settled behind two other opposing stones to settle near the "button," or target.

And then there were the commentators. I haven't actually see the start of a broadcast, or the end of a broadcast, so I don't know who they are and haven't been able to find their names on the Internet. But one of the guys may be Canadian. He sounds like he is a refugee from the cast of Fargo.*

It occurs to me that I wonder if anybody who is native to North Dakota has ever been a serial killer. They all sound so nice that thinking in terms of someone from North Dakota going postal and flying a plane into an IRS building is as unimaginable as picturing Garrison Keillor replacing Jack Nicholson in The Shining.

I am enjoying learning to appreciate an obscure sport. It seems to me that this is the sort of sport that Says You fans would enjoy as well. God help me, I even recognized John Shuster when he was being interviewed this afternoon!

Of course, I couldn't actually PLAY the game, you know. It involves "sweeping" and I don't want to blemish an otherwise perfect record of not sweeping. But I got a look at the shooter for the Danish team and lemme tell you, she's no 98 lb weakling. There's some heft in that buxom beauty so I might be welcomed to the team with open arms anyway.

Unfortunately, in an almost identical heartbreaker to yesterday's men's team loss to Switzerland, the women today lost to Sweden. I hope they aren't completely out of the running before I really learn the game!

*I discovered the commentator is Canadian champion curler, Don Duguid, born in Winnipeg, Manitoba. But that doesn't change my opinion about people from North Dakota.


Sunny said...

Curling is the only thing worth watching on the Olympics.

Mary Z said...

Curling is definitely a favorite in this house! And has been for years.

golfwidow said...

Movie you should see:

"Men With Brooms."

Anonymous said...

I grew up outside of Detroit and we received Canadian TV from Windsor. Saturdays they often had curling matches. I watched enough to understand the rules but have not watched in years until this Olympics.
It is definitely an underrated sport.