Hurrying hard* once again

You've waited and waited. The weather got colder. Then warmer. Then colder again. Then slightly warmer, but that didn't last either.

And then it finally came.

No, not spring.

CURLING SEASON!

I'll wait while you stop rolling your eyes.

Done yet? Good.

Admittedly, curling isn't much of a "sport" so much as a skillful pastime. There's very little fast-paced action, and even less body contact. For the most part, it's not really all that sexy (though not without exception). But when you're living in a winter-oriented country (or you're trying to write your masters' thesis), curling is a godsend. Not only do you get to go somewhere comparably warm (hockey and curling rinks are usually warmer than the outdoors in January), but it's actually pretty fun to watch on television. No, seriously. I mean it! In the winter of 99-00, having the Brier, the Scott, and World Championships lined up through February and March nearly saved my bacon (and nearly got me kicked out of school.) Nowadays there are several tours that are televised for the die-hard social drinker curling fan.

And so it was with great elation that I welcomed the curling results following my morning CBC Radio news. It hearkened back to my days in Winnipeg when we used to be able to walk to the local curling club and see folks like Jeff Stoughton's rink (that's the "team" as well as the location, in curling terminology) play. No doubt the million curlers (75% of the world's curlers) in Canada also welcomed the start of curling. On this end of the country, our curlers are celebrities (and sometimes vice versa).

I've posted a little bit about curling before, but what I really neglected to mention is that these people who dedicate so much time to what is essentially their hobby, also have jobs that allow them to pay the bills in the non-icy months (sometimes up to four months of the year!). When watching curling, the typical statistics come up as they discuss the team members: age, years curled, hit and draw accuracy / percentage, and profession. Much like player in the CFL, this profession is usually unrelated to their sport, though some have made a go in equipment, clothing, accessories and so on. It sounds like a pretty good gig, but it can't be an easy thing to find work that allows you to take so much time off in the winter, and I have a feeling the majority of curlers on the tours aren't exactly raking in the winnings.

So get out there and support your curlers. And you Americans, listen up: it pains me to say this, but you guys periodically kick our asses on the sheet (= curling rink), so you should be supporting your own.

And hey, it's better than watching Poker.


UPDATE: Okay, fine. If you have to mock, at least do it in the comments.

*For the uninitiated, "HURRY HARD!" is a commonly screamed mantra in any curling game; it means sweep very, very fast, because the stone is about to either overcurl or stop because it's not got enough weight.

Posted bythemikestand at 1:03 PM  

9 stepped up to the mike:

Sassy said... 2:59 PM, January 29, 2007  

*snore*

*is startled awake*

"Wha..? Is it over?"

Heh. I love ya.

Lesley said... 4:28 PM, January 29, 2007  

While I don't personally "get" curling...my husband enjoys watching it on occasion (and I enjoy a good book while he does). I did date a curler once, ages ago...and I gotta tell ya, they are INTENSE about their sport.

Diva Dee said... 5:06 PM, January 29, 2007  

Interesting blog!

We'd love to have the chance to review it on our new site!

We're looking for bloggers willing to be our first!

Mocha said... 8:57 PM, January 29, 2007  

Oh, God. Where do I begin to comment?

Nope.

Can't do it. Will only come up with nasty references and you'll be mad at me.

Charlatan said... 9:48 PM, January 29, 2007  

I think I broke something while rolling my eyes... and I'm a Canadian.

Christine said... 10:01 PM, January 29, 2007  

okay, mike, i'll stick up for you and curling. i love it. i loved watching brad gushue and the team win gold last year, and it really is an intense sport.

and i'd date a curler. most of them have teeth.

Megan said... 2:53 AM, January 30, 2007  

Wow. That's right on up there with the level of boules.

themikestand said... 8:30 AM, January 30, 2007  

Apparently I've figured out the best way to get people to comment: post emphatically about something potentially embarrassing, and explicitly invite the mockery.

Sweet.

Steph said... 8:58 AM, January 30, 2007  

I spent way too much time at the curling rink when I was a kid. While my mom and her friends curled, a few other kids and I would stay upstairs, playing with Barbies and watching our moms through the windows. After their game, the women would sit around a table, drinking tea, talking and laughing. The club smelled like ice, cigarette smoke, tea and stale beer. A lovely place for a child, I'm sure.

I don't watch curling now, but I've been in the Curling Club a couple of times in the last 10 years. The smell always takes me back to 1980 and the memory of my mom's rink getting ready for provincials.

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