I am a weirdo. Never is it more apparent than when the "whole world" is doing something and I'm doing something else. The Olympics were a case in point.
While the rest of the world was watching Lindsey Vonn and her broken pinkie finger, Yoko Ono and his speed skating and the hockey; I was over on MSNBC watching curling.
It isn't like you flip this on and watch for a few minutes. Curling matches last 3 hours, and to some are as exciting as watching the clock move. I like the strategy and look of the game. Plus, it isn't like we see curling on TV a lot - which is exactly what I'm getting at here.
I was extremely disappointed (and even a little sad) to watch the Canadian women's team lose their gold medal match to Sweden last night. It came down to an extra end and one stone thrown by skip Cheryl Bernard that narrowly missed giving the Canadians the gold in front of 5,600 home country fans that would have probably cracked the ice with their cheers. It's been a while since I've been this distraught with the outcome of a sporting event and I'm hard pressed to figure out why.
I don't let sports affect my life, but this one really bothered me. Maybe it's because I put so much effort into watching the matches (using the DVR and altering my schedule) and it was over such a short period of time that the intensity got to me.
The announcers told us that the popularity of curling has spiked during the Olympics, and Google searches show that people are curious about the rules and interested in the players like Bernard and Susan O'Connor (above) of the Canadian team. I don't know if there is a marketing arm of the United States Curling Association, but if there isn't they should form one - quickly. They have an opportunity, but it isn't going to last very long. Soon, Americans will be watching baseball and working on their suntans. Keep us interested.
I suppose it is asking a lot in "this economy" to have a new league form and infrastructure spring up, but what's the point of teasing people with it? Aren't there enough vacant shopping centers with buildings big enough to hold a half dozen ice sheets, some seating and a locker room? Surely. You wouldn't even have to pay to heat the place.
If they are at all interested in taking advantage of this spike in interest they should immediately move to do something to keep people interested in something that at least a small number of us are interested in. But something tells me that they like their little niche sport and the privacy it affords them. The curlers will all go back to their day jobs where people will look at them at the shopping mall and wonder, "Gee - you look familiar." Cheryl said that she was amazed to go from having about 50 fans to having 50,000. It's overwhelming in a good way. I suppose she'll go back to something closer to 50 now that the spotlight is off.
What they need is a league, buildings and a TV contract so that those of us who enjoy watching the game can feed our need. Fat chance of that happening though, and I fear that the next time I will watch a curling match is during the 2014 Olympic games, which is why I've tried to temper my enthusiasm for the sport. It's like falling in love with someone three days before they leave to go to college in Europe.
Another unrequited love affair.
A curling haiku (a curliku):
i watched the curling
and thought it was really cool.
see you in four years.