Hearsay Hobbies: Curling

Curling gets a lot of flack for being an Olympic sport. With the Olympics in full swing in the beautiful town of Sochi (please read sarcastically), I figured there’d be no better time than the present to examine curling as a Millennial Man Hearsay Hobby.

The Norway curling team, ladies and gentlemen.

The Norway curling team, ladies and gentlemen.

Here’s the quick Wikipedia definition of curling that probably won’t help in any of our understanding of the sport:

Curling is a sport in which players slide stones across a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric rings. It is related to bowls, boule and shuffleboard. Two teams, each of four players, take turns sliding heavy, polished granite stones, also called rocks, across the ice curling sheet towards the house, a circular target marked on the ice.[2] Each team has eight stones. The purpose is to accumulate the highest score for a game; points are scored for the stones resting closest to the centre of the house at the conclusion of each end, which is completed when both teams have thrown all of their stones. A game may consist of ten or eight ends.

So, basically a bunch of people in weird uniforms slide these stone-like things toward a target and try to get it to stay in the circles. If that sounds like a bar game to you, we’re on the same page. It becomes even more entertaining when the sweeper people try to slow down or speed up the gliding stone. Everyone starts yelling and the crowd oos and ahhs when a stone bumps another stone out of the circle.

Here is one of the most Midwest 90s videos on how to curl:

I’m officially confused. To me, curling seems to be some combination of pub shuffleboard and hockey. Does this scream “I need a beer to play this!” to anyone else? It has to. I doubt the Scots who invented the game back in the 1500s ever played sober.

Curling really does sound like a game that a bunch of friends sitting around drinking outside on the ice thought of. One guy just went, “Oh hey, there are some rocks over there. It’d be kind of sweet if we made a target and slid them toward it. But if I bump yours off, you don’t get points. Kind of like bags, or cornhole, you know?”

Then guy two went, “Any way we can use these brooms?”

Guy one said, “You’re a goddamn genius. Let’s use them to sweep some ice and slow down the rocks.”

Guy two just smiled and said, “Let’s fucking do it. This is going to be an Olympic sport one day.”

Guy one yelled, “FREEDOM!” Because he was Scottish, you know?

Well, anyway, I think I’m going to give this curling thing a try after watching it so much in the Olympics. Freezing my driveway will be the tricky part, so please leave any and all suggestions in the comments section.

Here’s how I picture my curling experience will go:

Happy curling!

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