The great curling debate

I know you are as excited as I am for the upcoming Winter Olympics. I’m wearing my USA t-shirt, bought a snow-cone machine and am making some hot cocoa right now. OK, let’s go! USA! USA!

Wait, what? What do you mean they’re already over? Well, yes I saw a bunch of white folks on TV recently, but I thought that was just CPAC. Hmm, in hindsight, I thought Mike Pence looked a little too agile in the half-pipe.

Perhaps I wasn’t paying attention because like so many Americans, I’ve been caught up in a tiring debate where no common ground is ever discovered. That debate, of course is “Curling: A stupid sport or merely ridiculous?”

There are a lot of sports I don’t really enjoy that many other folks do enjoy. Take soccer, for instance. Literally, gazillions of people around the world play the sport. It’s simple. It’s good exercise. You don’t need thousands of dollars’ worth of equipment to play. There’s obviously good reason why it’s so popular. I just don’t particularly enjoy watching it — or any sport where there is a significant chance that the game may end with a score of 0-0, the same score it was when you arrived at the stadium.

I’m also not much for watching people playing poker, throwing darts or playing chess. I enjoy playing chess and I like darts (especially those deadly lawn darts I used to play with my neighbor One-Eyed Brad), but the excitement just doesn’t translate to television. Poker, meanwhile, is equally exciting to watch on TV or in person — right up there with the Grass-Growing Channel, channel 1465 on your Direct TV lineup, I believe.

I prefer the thrill of American football. I shouldn’t, and in a generation or two it’ll be some brain-damaged relic of the past that will be overtaken by soccer and safer sports like bear racing. And, bear racing is only cruel when it’s bear vs. bear. When it’s human vs. bear — and we get to vote on the human — it’s actually quite entertaining and very fair to the bear. That’s channel 1753 on your Dish lineup.

But curling is about as exciting as the Grass-Growing Channel stuck on pause. Perhaps it is fun to slide those thingamajiggies along the ice, but we folks in places like Georgia and Alabama only get ice once every couple of years, and the only things we usually slide on ice are sedans and light pickup trucks.

As I understand curling — and I understand it about as much as I understand nuclear physics or basic math — it’s essentially like shuffleboard without the drunken cruise ship passengers walking by and interrupting your game. Although, if we had some drunken folks trying to walk alongside the ice sheet and yelling at the sweepers.

The sweepers are the folks furiously working their brooms in front of their stones to alter their trajectory. Many of the higher-level curling sweepers spent years on minor-league janitorial teams honing their skills with small clubs like the Buford Bleach and Sandy Springs Sawdust.

I think the person who slides the stone has it too easy. He just lets it go and then yells at the sweepers to guide it correctly. They shouldn’t have to clean up his mess. He should just throw it correctly while they sit on the side and drink a Moosehead Lager.

I’ve tried to recreate the excitement of curling in my own home by yelling at my wife while she was sweeping off the back porch. She doesn’t seem to understand curling, either, or appreciate my encouragement. However, based on her powerful swing, I believe she could have had an outstanding career as a stickball player.

Unfortunately, the broomstick is now broken. If I’m going to keep this curling thing up at home, we’re going to need to get a stronger broomstick or I’m going to need a softer skull.

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