Thursday, February 16, 2006

More curling

I just watched the Japan-Norway women's curling match. (Is it called a match?) It is the first curling I have ever watched, and thanks to Puppy Curling I sort of understood what was happening. I've been watching for nearly three hours, and that was a videotaped game so I suppose the real thing was longer. Gawd, how long IS a curling game? They must go on forever!

Curling shoes are magic. One minute a player will be sliding like they're on skates, and the next they are walking normally. How do they DO that?

But quite aside from the magical shoes, it's a FASCINATING game, absurd and compelling all at once. I did not expect to get excited watching a curling match, and particularly one that was so uneven (the Japanese were terribly outclassed), but ... well, it was so DRAMATIC. I love the intensity of the players, and how when they let the stone go they start chasing it and yelping and carrying on, and doing the frantic sweeping thing. I love the way the camera stays on the thrower's face after the stone starts sliding so you can see them WILLING the stone to go where they want it to go, and then the stone slides so slooooowly you think it will never get there but then it does and even goes too far sometimes, and suddenly a new pattern emerges in the stones. I got all tense watching. I didn't know you could get tense watching curling, but you can. Easily.

Also, it's a mean sort of game, I discovered. One side will make a really great shot and then the other side will DESTROY it - and then look all smug. It's not nearly as civilized as I'd thought. They're just pretending to be polite. Actually they are plotting the other team's TOTAL DESTRUCTION (well, of course they are!), and getting all gleeful when they succeed.

I want the Japanese team to win a medal, although it's not looking good. Japan has no medals so far, and everybody is terribly disappointed. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the only Japanese national sporting heroes this Olympics turned out to be the women's curling team? Curling could become the new national obsession - the new glamour sport! I know that sounds unlikely, but this is Japan. Anything can happen here, and frequently does.

The Kiwis lost again today. Zannen deshita.


BobCiz said...

So it appears that women can curl something other than their hair. I've also heard talk of some new kind of high tech broom with speciallly designed bristles that will revolutionize the game (is it a game or a match?). When curling goes high tech we know we're in a brave new world.

She Weevil said...

I got transfixed by Curling at the last games when the Scottish, I mean British, ladies team won gold, watching the final with matches propping my eyelids open.

I'd quite like to take it up but for some reason it's not that big in England.

Don said...

Hi, visiting here from Radioactive Jam, and like yourself, I have found myself watching curling for the first time as well. I've been a closet watcher but your post has given me the reassurance to let my curling freak flag fly. So I posted a small confession on my blog and added a link to your site and article as well. I tried to send you a trackback but, no luck.

Anyway, I enjoyed the post and the blog very much.