Monday, February 22, 2010

All I am saying is, give curling a chance

I was all ready to share at considerable length the story of one man's struggle to survive sports purgatory for yet another year. You may recall sports purgatory is the barren wasteland of the sports year, lasting from the end of college football until the beginning of fantasy baseball, with a couple of oases included in the form of National Signing Day and March Madness.

Highlights were to include, and pretty much be limited to, iTunes adding Eddie Murphy's Party All The Time at long last! Though I know by mentioning that, I risk you rushing to the iTunes store immediately and never coming back.

But something happened on the way to that blog post. A new oasis emerged from the British Columbian countryside. And that something was the Olympics. Perhaps you've heard of them.

Oh, twas a shrewd move by Bob Costas to schedule the Winter Olympics right in the midst of this yearly sports abyss. It's like a get-out-of-purgatory-free card. And more thankful I could not be, as I've been able to add three hours of curling viewing and google-imaging Julia Mancuso to my daily routine of Wii and... breathing.

What? Let he who has never clicked to enlarge an image of Lindsey Vonn throw the first stone.

Speaking of throwing stones, is it just me or does curling seem to be on like five times as much as any other sport? I've watched so much curling that now when I close my eyes, all I can see are those curling rings -- green outer circle, white middle circle, and blue inner circle. They're etched in my brain.

I'm learning curling terms -- the button, the hack, in-turn, out-turn, guard, draw, freeze, peel, biter, in the house, and my favorite: shot-rock. One thing I really like about curling is that it's one of the few Olympic sports I could still possibly medal in at my age. Think about it, if I devoted my entire life to curling for the next four years... who knows? Although I tried playing a curling game I found online last week to help me learn the rules. Didn't help.

I actually had a 45-minute conversation about curling with Axl last night. I'm not sure I've ever had a 45-minute conversation about a single topic other than Alabama football in my entire life. Actually, scratch that. I just remembered my sometimes rather intense discussions about General Hospital with the Darryls.

Something I'm always curious about during the Olympics is where they find some of these announcers. They're experts on all these rather obscure sports, and fairly competent broadcasters as well. My question is, what do they do the other three years and fifty weeks between Olympics? I mean, is curling televised somewhere in the world year-round? And if so, how do I get that channel?

I prefer the sports where there is a tangible way of keeping score or time rather than the sports based on judging. I especially enjoy watching the splits as a skier or luger makes their way down the course, just a few hundredths of a second ahead or behind the leader. But while I enjoy watching the luge, I have no idea what makes one luger better than another. The luge announcer the other night was like, "Oh, he lifted his arm slightly in that turn. That's gonna cost him." What?

Another of the more interesting comments I've heard this Olympics was, "He started luging when he was ten." How does that even happen? Do they luge in gym class? Was the kid outside sledding with his friends one day when the Bela Karolyi of luge was driving by, saw the kid and spotted something special? Or is it like piano lessons, where the parents push the kid to luge even though he doesn't want to? "No, Ma. I don't wanna go down the icy track at eighty miles an hour." (For some reason, I just said that in an Eric Cartman voice.) "You'll luge and you'll like it! Now get in there!" Actually, that might make a good Lifetime movie, or ABC Afterschool Special. That is, if they had made ABC Afterschool Specials after 1996.

Finally, there is ice hockey. For reasons I'm not entirely sure of, ice hockey in the Olympics is the sport that makes me feel the most proud and patriotic. Maybe it's because we're never one of the favorites. And I'm sure it has something to do with the Miracle On Ice. Whatever it is, I was cheering and chanting as the United States skated to a 5-3 upset of Canada last night. "U-S-A! U-S-A!"

But the most inspirational story of these games had to be Wednesday night when Carrot Top -- who after a failed career as an aging comedian decided to take up snowboarding -- brought home gold in the half pipe.

Anyway, just a few more days until the games come to an end. At that point, it'll only be a month or so until baseball, which doesn't do a lot for me except that it also means fantasy baseball. Then at least I'll have my spreadsheets to keep me busy.

"My girl wants to party all the time, party all the time, party all the time..."


  1. Don't forget the Hog Line!! That's the best name for a literal line on the ice.

    A quick search on Wikipedia shows that there are also mixed curling clubs, which means men and women on the same team. Perhaps that's where you'll meet the future Mrs. Bone. Oh my god. I was just imagining how your kids, Bone Jr. and GirlBone, will go on to be the Skips on the Olympic Curling Teams in the future.

    Also, I hate to burst your sports purgatory bubble but what will you do next year when there's no Olympics?

  2. I've thought that the women's alpine team wears skin tight latex less for wind resistance than to attract the male audience to their sport.

    Have you seen Carrot Top lately? I think he is more into steroids and body building than snowboarding.

  3. Us Southerners don't know nothin' about no winter olympics! the most snow and ice we saw was the light dusting a few weeks ago.
    I am amazed too by the commentary, but without it - I would be at a loss. I've been doing a little sports writing and it is difficult- to say the least- when you don't know anything about it. I talk and look as if I know it all - but I'm clueless and no one has figured it out yet...maybe they have and just don't have the heart to tell me. (shaking my head)

    Spectator loving the winter Olympics!

  4. I think the Olympics should be a yearly event. Then again, they wouldn't be as big of a deal if they were.

    I love hockey, but especially Olympic hockey. I didn't watch the game though; I listened to it. It's kinda fun to hear how excited the announcers get. Good stuff. Although, most of this year's team wasn't born until like five years or more after the MOI.

    Funny post. Have you tried googling "curling events in your area?" :) Maybe you and Axl can form a team together?

  5. What is it with men and curling? It's like the new national preoccupation

  6. From what I've been hearing from the announcers, these athletes are in competitions all the time, not just every 4 years. There is something call "Worlds" that they are in where some of them recycle the same routine (talking about ice dancers here)! So I'm wondering, why we don't get to see these? Why not show us all these competitions? Why must we wait every 4 years to see the great luge? hummm?

  7. Xinh - Oh yes, the hog line. And the hammer!

    I was just imagining how your kids, Bone Jr. and GirlBone, will go on to be the Skips on the Olympic Curling Teams in the future.

    Yes! That's it. I know now what I must do. I will push my kids into curling. Their destiny has been decided.

    Well hopefully by next winter, I'll be so involved with curling myself that I won't notice? :)

    Ed - Well, I can't attest to the wind resistance, but it definitely serves its other purpose well.

    No, I don't think I've seen him since those long distance commercials. I'll take your word for it.

    Daily Panic - Yeah, I think the female commentator on the men's curling last night knew more about the sport than our team did.

    Sports writing? I'm jealous! I think I could always write about sports.

    TC - Yes, but did you know the son of one of the 1980 hockey team members is on this year's team?

    No, but I do want to curl at least once before I die. I'm bucket-listing it.

    Pia Savage - I think we like watching sports that make us think, "You know, if I applied myself, I could do that." Of course, we like watching other sports, too, so who knows?

    Also, some of the female curlers are pretty cute.

    Renee - I'm with you. I was just thinking last night there should be an all-curling channel. But maybe it could just be an all winter sports channel.

  8. I did know that. You should look up WI's hockey programs: see what you can find about MOI.

    Also, have you seen the movie? It's great. (I'm guessing you have not.)

    Luging's scary. I think I would do my best to dissuade anyone from that! :shudder:

  9. I volunteered for the Olympics when I lived in Utah and I was put in the female ice hockey section. Basically I had to keep the work out room stocked with energy bars, oatmeal, and water. I even got to watch a game - kind of - from the side. Anyway, one of my buddies got to be with the curling athletes. I was so jealous. He tried to tell me it was lame since he was on the ice all day carrying around the wires for the tv crew...but seriously, he was ON the ice with the curling team.

    ...that's my claim to fame.

  10. You want to borrow my "Curling for Dummies" book? It's still in the bag from the bookstore.

  11. Forget curling- the best sport ever is a winter sport... That is folk style wresting (otherwise known as high school or college wrestling). I love wrestling season. My son wrestled the last two winters, but then unfortunately due to budget cuts, they cut the wrestling program at his high school. Luckily for me I found BIG TEN wrestling on cable the other night- so I am pretty much set for the season.

    Curling is okay- but wrestling is better. I see you took the name and url of your blog comments. I wouldn't be able to comment on here anymore, if it wasn't for the fact I have a very old blogger account. :o(

  12. Does this mean we may see you rolling those stones on ice in Sochi, Krasnodar Krai
    Russia, in 2014 Bone?

    Alabama could use a curling team don't ya think? It's help ease your "in between" boredom.

    You are going to help me get surfing into the next summer Olympics aren't you?

  13. I've been watching them too, but I just don't get into curling! I've tried, but I'm still a skiing, iceskating, snowboarding, and hockey girl.

    And beating Canada at hockey? Top Olympic moment for me so far. Although I do love me some Shaun White!

  14. TC - No, I haven't. I've seen some documentaries and such on it, but not the movie.

    That's why I've chosen curling for my children.

    Charlotta-love - Oh, that would be cool! To be right there as Allison Pottinger or Nicole Joraanstad throws a stone. Be still my fluttering heart.

    J-Mo - Yes! Wait... are you joking? I can't tell.

    Michelle - That stinks when a school has to cut out activities like that. I know it happens a lot now, but still, one can't help but wonder where I might be now had our school had a bowling team.

    Yeah, I was getting a ton of anonymous spam comments. I didn't know some people wouldn't be able to comment, so I've changed it back. Maybe I'll go to word verification or something.

    Cooper - Well, if the US team can't do any better than this, then basic national pride may compel me to get invovled.

    I'll see what I can do, although I'm not sure how the IOC is going to view these back room blog deals.

    Cami - All I'm asking is, give curling a chance.

    Ooo, that should have been the title of my post! I'm changing it.

  15. I find that the higher the risk of bodily harm, the more I enjoy the event.

  16. SO funny story about me and curling!I watched Curling live at the last Winter Olympics. When I purchased the tickets had no idea what curling even was. But, thankfully while we were watching the event Canada's coach sat behind us and explained the whole game. It was a great moment.

  17. So I wrote a really great comment yesterday and then my computer decided to freeze so it didn't post. Of course I forgot what I said.

    So...I guess I can tell you I laughed so hard water snorted out of my nose.

    And yea you like olympic hockey. Like to TC I listen more than I watch. In fact I'm listening to Russia and Canada while I type this.

  18. If she can play in the Olympics on a curling team, I figure you've got a shot at Russia in 2014.

    I'm sure your blog readers will all fly over to cheer you on :-)

  19. Curling, isn't that what hair stylists are for?

    I stick to things i can understand like skiing (but i also like bobsledding)

  20. Bone, if Carrot Top can do it with snowboarding, you can certainly do it with curling...just saying. Hop to it! That four years will be here fast. :~)

    "You'll luge and you'll like it! Now get in there!" LOL...loved that line. Thanks for making me smile today...I needed that. Have a great weekend~~

  21. You know how when you hear a new word you suddenly start hearing it all over the place? That's what curling has done to me since I read this post! I'd heard of it before but I'd never really thought about what it was... now everywhere I turn someone seems to be talking about curling. This is bizarre.

  22. Around here luge is just like skiing, figure skating or hockey. It's just part of living in a place where it snows 6-9 months out of the year.

  23. Susan - You want bodily harm, just let one of those stones fall on your toe. I mean, I've never seen it, but I'm sure in the five-hundred-year history of curling, it's happened.

    OKChick - I do remember you saying curling was the event you attended. However, I find it odd that the curling tickets weren't sold out first thing :)

    PennyCandy - I hate it when that happens. The computer freezing, that is, not snorting water out of your nose :)

    TC - That's right. I also saw where the Swedish women's team skip was 41. So that puts me right on pace for 2014.

    Sage - Eh, skiing, bobsledding, curling -- they're all things done on ice in places like Michigan.

    Sweetest In The Gale - Well, you're most welcome. I appreciate the vote of confidence :)

    J Adamthwaite - It has really taken off this Olympics for some reason. I'm just glad to be part of the curling explosion :)

    Jen - Are there luge leagues, or high school luge teams?

  24. Just can't get into the Olympics. Bring on the March Madness!