Sunday, February 21, 2010

A fiendish thingy!

Contrary to what you read in the newspaper or see on TV, there are a lot of different sports being played at the winter Olympics. It's more than just skiing, speed skating, hockey and figure skating. Those are the sports that get the prime time air, but there are others being broadcast on MSNBC and CNBC during the "off hours" that are kind of cool too.
One of them is curling. Yes, curling. The game the Beatles played in "Help" has been an Olympic sport since 1998, and I remember that I enjoyed watching it four years ago and I'm enjoying watching it now. I'll admit to not knowing the nuances and intricacies of the sport, but watching it helps me learn. Strange, but true.

The game has come a long way since Foot and Algernon and The Beatles played the game in 1965. It's played on fancy ice sheets with modern brooms and stones now, and almost none of them explode. Although, if they had a chance of an explosion it might get the games in prime time.
The American women's team has been losing more than they have been winning, but the commentators (two of them Canadian) say that they have a good chance of being in the playoffs regardless. So, check your local TV listings to find a curling match on TV. Chances are, you'll have to record it to watch later, since most of them are on in the wee hours or when you're at work. If you like strategic games like chess and you enjoy the thought that goes into baseball, you'll like curling - which, come to think of it, is probably why most Americans find it boring. It involves thought and a certain amount of mathematics, and that frightens some people. Don't be scared because it isn't popular.
Granted, there aren't any gay men in flouncy costumes, skiers complaining about sore legs that aren't sore, skaters who compete in dancing shows or games that aren't played in big arenas in America. The curlers are going back to their day jobs when the Olympics are over, which is kind of like what the Olympics used to be. Only lately did it become a giant marketing tool for professional athletes. Sometimes, the sports are played by people who love the sport. That's part of the charm.
Even though I don't know a lot about the game (yet) I'm enjoying the strategy and skill involved in curling. I probably know as much about curling as most people know about figure skating and its nuances, so I don't feel badly about being a newcomer to the sport.
Now, if I can only find a place to play.


Rich said...

Philadelphia Curling Club in Paoli. Open House next Saturday...I'll bet they are mobbed.

I'd be going, but I'm outta town...

Handsome B. Wonderful said...

I dig curling too. GO USA!! GO CANADA!!

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