Let’s hear it for The Curling Dads

by Fausta Rodriguez Wertz | February 28th, 2018

Readability

Let's hear it for The Curling Dads

The Win­ter Olympics came and went, and it was full of ads.

I tried watch­ing, but as far as I could see the cov­er­age was a ratio of 1:1:2. For every minute of actual sports, you were sub­ject to one minute of ath­letes’ sappy per­sonal sto­ries, and two min­utes of commercials.

Then there were the skat­ing com­pe­ti­tions, with com­men­tary from an effem­i­nate young man in a pom­padour wear­ing more sequins than the per­form­ers. I miss Dick But­ton, who is now 89 years old, and miss the Wide World of Sports “thrill of vic­tory, agony of defeat” com­men­ta­tors in logo-​emblazoned blazers.

No won­der Charles Lane wants to Stop the Olympics.

The only ones who caught my atten­tion were The Curl­ing Dads: skip John Shus­ter, lead John Land­steiner, sec­ond Matt Hamil­ton, third Tyler George, and alter­nate Joe Polo. Four guys from Min­nesota and one from Wis­con­sin. The US Men’s Curl­ing Team.

Hav­ing grown up in the trop­ics, curl­ing looks to me like what a bunch of Scots sip­ping whisky on a frozen tun­dra would have come up with if they wanted to play shuf­fle­board. You have rocks, you have ice, you have brooms, and you want some­thing active but not exhaust­ing? Presto! You come up with curling.

Sure enough, curl­ing was invented by Scots, accord­ing to this arti­cle, and “today’s curl­ing stones are made of a spe­cial kind of gran­ite from Scotland.”

Curl­ing is sooth­ing, mild, lack­ing in vio­lence and free of drama. No one crashes down a snow-​covered slope in the agony of defeat. The play­ers don’t get into fist fights like they do in hockey. You won’t see lit­tle girls being flipped in the air like they do in pairs ice skat­ing; heck, no one tries the triple sal­chow, if they know what a sal­chow is.

Enter the Curl­ing Dads of the US Curl­ing Team.

The dads did not wear flashy pants like the Norwegians.

The US team — and I mean this as a com­pli­ment — look like a group of reg­u­lar guys out of cen­tral casting.

https://​plat​form​.twit​ter​.com/​w​i​d​g​e​ts.js

They worked hard.

They don’t scream at each other like a bunch of girls.

They qui­etly over­came hard­ship:

A four-​time Olympian who won bronze in 2006 with Polo — the United States’ only other curl­ing medal — Shus­ter left that team after Turin to form his own four­some and skipped them back to the Win­ter Games in Vancouver.

But he per­formed so badly he was benched, and then fin­ished ninth of 10 teams in Sochi. After fail­ing to make the national train­ing pro­gram the next year, Shus­ter teamed up with two of the oth­ers who were cut (and George, who hadn’t even tried out) and called them­selves “Team Reject.”

And they won.

Let’s hear it for The Curl­ing Dads!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin Amer­ica at Fausta’s Blog.

The Winter Olympics came and went, and it was full of ads.

I tried watching, but as far as I could see the coverage was a ratio of 1:1:2. For every minute of actual sports, you were subject to one minute of athletes’ sappy personal stories, and two minutes of commercials.

Then there were the skating competitions, with commentary from an effeminate young man in a pompadour wearing more sequins than the performers. I miss Dick Button, who is now 89 years old, and miss the Wide World of Sports “thrill of victory, agony of defeat” commentators in logo-emblazoned blazers.

No wonder Charles Lane wants to Stop the Olympics.

The only ones who caught my attention were The Curling Dads: skip John Shuster, lead John Landsteiner, second Matt Hamilton, third Tyler George, and alternate Joe Polo. Four guys from Minnesota and one from Wisconsin. The US Men’s Curling Team.

Having grown up in the tropics, curling looks to me like what a bunch of Scots sipping whisky on a frozen tundra would have come up with if they wanted to play shuffleboard. You have rocks, you have ice, you have brooms, and you want something active but not exhausting? Presto! You come up with curling.

Sure enough, curling was invented by Scots, according to this article, and “today’s curling stones are made of a special kind of granite from Scotland.”

Curling is soothing, mild, lacking in violence and free of drama. No one crashes down a snow-covered slope in the agony of defeat. The players don’t get into fist fights like they do in hockey. You won’t see little girls being flipped in the air like they do in pairs ice skating; heck, no one tries the triple salchow, if they know what a salchow is.

Enter the Curling Dads of the US Curling Team.

The dads did not wear flashy pants like the Norwegians.

The US team – and I mean this as a compliment – look like a group of regular guys out of central casting.

https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

They worked hard.

They don’t scream at each other like a bunch of girls.

They quietly overcame hardship:

A four-time Olympian who won bronze in 2006 with Polo — the United States’ only other curling medal — Shuster left that team after Turin to form his own foursome and skipped them back to the Winter Games in Vancouver.

But he performed so badly he was benched, and then finished ninth of 10 teams in Sochi. After failing to make the national training program the next year, Shuster teamed up with two of the others who were cut (and George, who hadn’t even tried out) and called themselves “Team Reject.”

And they won.

Let’s hear it for The Curling Dads!

Fausta Rodríguez Wertz writes on U.S. and Latin America at Fausta’s Blog.

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