February 14, 2002

Marc It Down: Curling: Olympic Sport or Drinking Game?

What This Sport Needs is a Good Beer Vendor ... Last night, during commercial breaks from NBC’s coverage of alpine combined and short-track speedskating, I surfed over to MSNBC’s coverage of curling. The commentators sounded like they were talking about re-investing fractal dividends of my portfolio or something else equally difficult for me to understand. What the heck is the “tee line”, the “house” and the “hog line”? (This morning, I found the answers.) Well, after the first couple minutes of sliding and sweeping and scowling, I decided to go back to NBC, as the commercials as surely ended by then. Sure enough, Bode Miller was taking his first slalom run in the alpine combined (damn, how did he *not* fall during the downhill, and he almost skied off the slalom course too…he’s fun to watch!). Next commercial break, I surfed back to MSNBC’s curling coverage (side note 2: Do advertisers expect anyone to watch commercials anymore? I love my remote control.). This time, I became enthralled with curling. Maybe the cold beer in my hand helped. See, that’s all it took. I think this sport is similar to bowling; it should not be performed or viewed without an adult beverage. Alcohol makes the commentators inconsequential (mute the TV and put on some Yanni…it’s the same pace). Alcohol also makes the competitors look better. Yes, beergoggling even works for watching curling, but you may need to increase dosage. Note to under-legal-drinking-age readers: don’t watch curling until you’re legal to drink alcohol. It could stunt your growth and dating opportunities. Four, five beers later I was chanting “U-S-A, U-S-A!” and deriding the Norwegian team “skip”. “Your mother wears combat boots and doesn’t shave…her mustache!” Not that it mattered what I said; he couldn’t hear me and might not have understood my slurred English anyway. I was hooked. I even stayed through a commercial break. (ooohh…Ashleigh Banfield. You news vixen, you. I wish I was getting grilled by her, just like Yasser Arafat.) But I did get to wondering, isn’t curling just shuffleboard on ice? And don’t they play shuffleboard on cruise ships? You don’t see cruise ship events in the Olympics. On through the 6th, 7th, 8th ends, the U.S. men held a tenuous 5-4 lead. The Norwegians looked worried. The upset was at hand! So, how’d it finish? (I know, you’re riveted.) The U.S. men lost the match when the Norwegians scored twice in the top of the 10th end. Or so I found out this morning, after sleeping off a Molson Canadian-induced hangover. I didn’t even stay awake to see the finale. Oh well. Maybe in 2006 I’ll try again.

posted by msacheson to commentary at 11:20 AM - 0 comments

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