If it’s winter time and Friday night, that can only mean one thing. No, I’m not talking about high school basketball or date night, or even the weekly happy hour gathering with co-workers. I’m talking about Curling Night in America. For the second consecutive year, NBCSN has televised this round-robin competition, thus providing me with a curling fix during years when there are no Winter Olympics. You may wonder why on earth I would be so excited about curling. Meanwhile, I am wondering why you aren’t.
I admit, I was not always obsessed with the sport of curling. When it first appeared in the Winter Olympics in 1998, I was less than impressed. That’s understandable, especially when you compared curling to the “marquee” events that were featured in the television broadcasts. Ice hockey, figure skating, bobsled, ski jumping and luge were what brought ratings. Compare the action of those events to the action in curling: 4 athletes calmly walking on ice, carrying brooms. Snooze-fest, right?
Then a funny thing happened during the 2006 Torino games. One night, unable to fall asleep, I turned on the late night broadcast of the games and discovered curling was the featured event that evening. I thought this was perfect; such a boring event would lull me to sleep in no time. Instead, I suddenly found myself getting drawn into the action. I needed to understand about the house, the hack and the hammer. I wanted to know more about the shooter, the sweepers and the stones. But before I knew it, the 2006 Games were over and curling was but a memory.
By the 2010 Games, I was ready for the return of this quirky sport. As it turned out, Team Norway was ready for this Olympiad as well. After having team uniform pants designed by Loudmouth, Norway’s curlers made quite the splash and were the talk of the 2010 games.
Now it was cool to follow curling, provided you used the excuse that you just had to see what wild pants the Norwegians would model next. Besides that, we also learned in 2010 that a woman can be 5 months pregnant and still be an active Olympian if her sport of choice is curling:
By the 2014 Winter Olympiad, I found company on Twitter as there were more than a few folks I interact with regularly that were tweeting their thoughts on the sport. I wasn’t alone in setting my alarm for 4:45 am so I could catch a live match and not view it on DVR later. I no longer had to keep my obsession private — there were other people just as obsessed as I was. I find that strangely comforting.
I could bore you by explaining all the rules and nuances of curling, or I could just recommend you visit the World Curling Federation’s website and you can peruse them at your leisure. What I will say is, you really should give curling a try. Need more convincing? Here are 5 good reasons you should watch more curling:
The remaining season’s schedule can be found on NBC Sports’ website.
Follow me on Twitter @ForeverBigBlue