I know that curling is the punch line of Olympic sports, second only to synchronized swimming, but last week I was at the gym while women’s curling was on the TV, and I found myself really getting into it.
My enjoyment was enhanced, I’m sure, by the fact that the TV’s volume was turned down and I was listening to my iPod, meaning that although I’ve watched a fair bit of curling, I’ve yet to hear a single syllable of Olympic curling color commentary.
Instead, I was forced to make up my own:
Announcer 1: Hello, and welcome back to the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, and to what I’m pretty sure is curling. Any idea why they call it curling?
Announcer 2: None whatsoever. I do, however, notice that the women on the Swedish team are particularly cute.
Announcer 1: They sure are. Too bad they’re in those frumpy uniforms. Aren’t the Scandinavians into that whole polar bear thing, where they jump into slushy, icy lakes? Seems like the Swedes could lose a layer or two if they’re just standing around on a sheet of ice, don’t you think?
Announcer 2: Well, there’s always the 2010 games, Jim.
Announcer 1: How did you know my name was Jim? I didn’t tell you that.
Announcer 2: You’re an imaginary sports commentator, so it’s either Jim or Howard. And since I’m Howard, well …
JIM: Good point. Well, it looks like the U.S. team is about to bowl, or roll, or whatever you call it when they slide the big rock across the ice, so maybe we should speak in hushed tones for a second.
HOWARD: Yes, let’s …
JIM: Oh no! It hit one of the other big rocks! That’s bad, right? Or is it supposed to do that?
HOWARD: I have no idea. I’m still thinking about the sweeping.
JIM: The sweeping? That is kinda cute, isn’t it? Especially that one girl they just showed a close-up of.
HOWARD: Apparently they have men’s curling, too.
JIM: I’d prefer not to think about that, thanks. So … any idea why they do all that sweeping?
HOWARD: Not a clue.
JIM: Hey, you know what would be totally cool? If they used axes instead of brooms. Just chopped the hell out of the ice while the big rock slid over it.
HOWARD: No, you know what would be really cool? If one of those big sliding rocks was filled with nitroglycerine and it exploded on contact.
JIM: And none of the team members knew which one was the exploding one!
HOWARD: Yes! [Sound of high-fiving.]
JIM: OK, the Swedish team is sliding now. Man, she’s hot.
HOWARD: They’re sweeping. They’re sweeping. Still sweeping …
JIM: Aaaaaaand … yes, it hit another one of the rocks again. Pretty exciting. The crowd here in Turin is going … well, it looks like they may all be going to the snack bar. Hey, any idea what those red circles on the ice are for?
JIM: Know how the scoring of this game works?
JIM: The history of curling?
HOWARD: That I do know, Jim. Curling dates back to 1000 A.D., when the Vikings would slide the severed heads of their conquered enemies across frozen lakes as part of a victory celebration.
JIM: Really? That’s pretty cool!
HOWARD: No, not really. I just made that up. But you know what WOULD be really cool? If they held curling at the same time as speed skating, and on the same track! Or on the bobsled course!
JIM: No, you know what would be cool? If they held it at the bottom of the halfpipe!
HOWARD: Yes! They’d be like, sweep, sweep, whoa! Look out! Here comes Shaun White!
JIM: OK, it looks like the U.S. team is up again …
HOWARD: Yeah, whatever. OK, how about this – you combine it with the biathlon.
JIM: Right! While they’re furiously sweeping there are people on skis shooting at them! Awesome!
HOWARD: And maybe the curlers could have guns, too. And bikinis.
JIM: And those rocks could be bigger, like big enough to hide behind, and they could slide them down the ice and lob grenades from behind them.
HOWARD: Curling is so cool. Let’s take a quick commercial break before we check in on figure skating.
Barry Smith can be reached for comment through vailtrail.com or read more Barry Smith at irrelativity.com
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