I have a breaking news app on my phone which makes an ominous sound when something significant is happening. I heed that sound (because unlike cable news, this app has never confused “significant” with “Bieber”) and I swipe the screen to see if there’s a civilization-ending asteroid, or political party, in my future. This morning I heard the tone of doom, checked the breaking news app, and saw that the US government was warning foreign airlines about a “credible shoe-bomb threat on inbound flights”.
I flipped on the television to see if there was more to this story. Apparently not, as I found myself looking at live coverage of the UK and Sweden men’s teams contesting the Olympic Curling semifinal match. [Spoiler Alert: Sweden, the reigning world champs, were bested by Great Britain which now moves on to Zzzzzzzzzzz]
What I know about the Olympic sport (srsly?) of curling would fit comfortably inside the period at the end of this sentence. (With room left over for what I know about the sport (c’mon!) of luge.)
But it isn’t difficult to figure out. You wear silly clothes and slide very heavy tea kettles down an ice-covered shuffleboard court toward a stylized stove burner. As soon as the tea kettle is on its way to the stove, you must make guttural, ape-like sounds to encourage your teammates in their task – which is to grab brooms and furiously sweep the ice before your tea party guests arrive. (Who knew the Vikings were such neat freaks?) It is also acceptable to knock your opponent’s tea kettles off the stove. The team with the tidiest ice, or the most tea kettles on the stove, wins. Oh, and throughout the match, your face must contort with the intensity of purpose of a tv neurosurgeon who must save the one person with the launch code for the missile that can divert a giant asteroid and save the world. The message is clear: Curling is not silly. Curling is important. Curling – their faces tell us – is life.
Also, the sillier the clothes the better. The Norwegian Men’s Olympic Curling Team has 27 different outfits. (This is an innovation I would like to see adopted by American sports teams. The NFL, for example, would be so much more fun if they ditched those boring two-color duds for plaids! jacquards! polka-dots!) Two weeks from now, only the winning team and their close family members will remember who won the Olympic Gold Medal in Curling. But EVERYONE will remember the Norwegian flair for uniform design. (And if you don’t like my suggestion for the NFL, then tell me this: Who won the Super Bowl two weeks ago?)
There may be people who possess a more sophisticated understanding of curling, who therefore have an appreciation of this ancient and noble sport that obviously eludes me…
Let’s check in with CNN’s Anderson Cooper,
who recently shared his thoughts on
Gerard Depardieu curling:
Curling Nordic sportswear makes me happy.
Day 044 #100happydays