Sunday, February 14, 2010

Knit One, Curl Two

I think I could handle curling if it weren't for the brooms. If people want to play slow-motion shuffleboard on ice, that's fine. But the brooms have to go. They're what transform this so-called sport from something only slightly silly into an international punch line.

As I've remarked before, the Olympics are strangely compelling. They make us care deeply about sports we'd never even watch any other time -- track and field, swimming, speed skating, cross-country skiing. OK, maybe not cross-country skiing. Even during the Olympics, it's hard to care deeply about that. But at least we don't laugh at it. It looks like a tough, gritty, challenging sport, even if it's not exactly exciting to watch.

But curling is the synchronized swimming of the winter games. I'm sure there's all kinds of skill and subtlety to it that viewers can't appreciate. I'd probably fall down if I tried it. But that doesn't stop me from laughing when I see it presented as a medal sport in the Olympic games.

And the real killer is the brooms. Look, just launch the stones at the target. Then at least the game would be dignified. You could compare it to archery or riflery. It still wouldn't get big ratings, but at least it wouldn't be the butt of so many jokes. But with those brooms in there, you might as well have people blowing on the stones as they go down the ice. While wearing tutus. Lose the brooms, and you'd have something resembling a sport.

1 comment:

Samuel said...

What you don't get from watching Olympic curling is that it's mostly a drinking game. Falling down isn't as much a problem as you'd think, but only because the drinking is done after sliding rocks around and declaring a winner.

http://www.curldc.org/

They teach the basics on Thursday nights.