The first time I watched an Olympic curling match on television, I entertained a thought that is surely said that he shared all persons who find the sport for the first time: What the hell am I looking at?
It was during the 2002 Games in Salt Lake City, Utah, and I tuned in to the live feed at the very beginning of a women’s medal match. I was intrigued by the grace of the players and how they could effortlessly slide those huge, bulb-like stones down the ice. But everything else about it was confusing. It appeared kind of like shuffleboard, but with more yell. And lots of weird material. The rules, the lingo, they way they used brooms–brooms !– to make the stones slide around. And it just seemed so carrying. How could anyone stand watching a sport with such a lack of obvious athleticism, such inscrutable gameplay, and such a lethargic speed?
By the two hour recognize, I was riveted. I still didn’t understand what the brooms were for, but I was beginning to figure out the relevant rules. The lingo was beginning to make sense. And I was utterly consumed by the drama. When the match ended, I speedily set my DVR to record every curling broadcast for the rest of the Olympics, including reruns. I was hooked. What had started as a chance encounter with an esoteric athletic had ended in an insatiable thirst for more, immediately.
Curl You Know It’s True
Curling is absolutely the best athletic to watch on television, particularly for onlookers looking for an escape from the frenzied “more, faster, bigger, higher” grind of most televised games. Watching basketball or hockey can get you so hyped up, you feel like boozing a Red Bull and doing jumping jacks. Watching curling stimulates you wishes to drink a glass of red wine and lie down on the shag carpet. Curling is deliberate. Thoughtful, even. The plays move very slowly. The musicians expend a lot of hour talking strategy. There are nods and quiet terms of encouragement; rarely are there conflicts. When “were coming” time for a squad member to play their become by sliding a stone down the ice, the moves are elegant. There’s a wind up, a push-off, a slip, and a gentle release. Such poise and finesse!