I Like Curling, But I'm Not Canadian. Yet.

So... I think it's progress for the US Curling Federation (is it afederation? coalition?) that after a few games in this year's Olympictournament I'm super annoyed at US skip John Shuster. You know you havebecome a fan of a sport when you are unfairly disgusted at a guy you'venever met doing something very difficult not quite as well as the best peopleon the planet. The internet demonstrates that mocking and disgustare the true hallmarks of fandom.

I watched this guy blow apparently easy shots three times to lose twoof the USA's first three games. And, well, I'm unfairly disgusted. As Itype this, Shuster just whiffed on a Danish rock and allowed them tosteal a point in an end that could have sealed the USA's first victory.(Yes, this is the privilege of the professional blogger.)

I'm finding myself in agreement with the incredibly Canadian colorguy on USA (the network) who's identified the US team's very Americanfatal flaw: they chuck things hard. This is like adding toomuch salt to something. You can always add more salt later; you can'ttake it away. In curling you can always sweep the hell out of aslow-moving rock, which will make it go faster and curl less. You can'tslow a fast one down.

So that's it, then. I am pissed off at the US curling team andstarting to seriously analyze the flaws in their game. The INSis mere minutes from breaking into my home, throwing me in the back of apaddy wagon with Orson Swindle (he's doingit too!), and vigorously deporting me. By this time next week I'llbe living in Edmonton, eating raw salmon and writing HurryHard.com.

Before I go, let me attempt to explain: unlike most of the winterOlympic sports, curling is actually interesting. One luge run isvirtually indistinguishable from any other. Ditto for most of the skiingevents unless someone explodes spectacularly-women's downhill what-andeven things like snowboarding when we're talking about anyone exceptShawn White. Racing of any variety just isn't that interesting unlesssomething is actively exploding, and that goes triple for races againstthe clock. This is why everyone loves short track speed skating andsnowboardcross and why you couldn't pay Americans to watch cross countryskiing.

Curling has many virtues in comparison. After a brief primer on therules, it's pretty clear what's a good shot or a bad shot. Each end isfull of strategic decisions that make the downtime between shots anexercise in problem solving.  When they throw the rocks, thereis often very silly screaming about sweeping and hurrying hard.  Also,women's curling teams are absolutely laden with cute girls. I am at aloss to explain this since curling requires only slightly more fitnessthan poker, but it's true.

Tell it to the deportation judge, the INS says. Yeah, yeah, I'mgoing. 

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This post originally appeared on the Sporting Blog. For more, see The Sporting Blog Archives.

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