The Family (Or most of them)

The Family (Or most of them)
The Family

February 10, 2007

I'VE BEEN WATCHING CURLING

YES, INDEED IT'S TRUE.
ALL WEEKEND, I'VE BEEN WATCHING CURLING.
I SO have to get a life, you say...
But what kind of curling have I been watching? It could be this kind...


But it's not.

***

It could be this kind...





Not that kind either, although I should probably be doing both those kinds of curls. My hair has been losing its curl with all this cold weather and my body tone has flown south for the winter.


No, it's the middle of winter, and up here in the Great White North, we play a game called curling. The Scots say they invented it but there's no doubt, it IS our game.

We call it the Roaring Game.

Yes, it is a lot like bowling on ice or shuffleboard or even darts, on ice. Essentially, I've been watching grown men throw 40-pound chunks of granites down thin sheets of ice all weekend.

The object is to get as many of those chunks of granites -- called rocks, or stones -- as close as you can to a concentric circle painted on either end of that sheet of ice.
Nobody's better at it on the planet than we are, although it's safe to say most people on the planet don't even know it exists, likely, or at the very least know little about it.

In fact, Canada's men's team won the gold medal at the 2006 Olympics in Turin, Italy. That's them to the right. They're from Newfoundland.

America's Peter Fenson, from nearby Bemidji, Minn., won the bronze medal.










Nobody in Canada is better at curling than we in the province of Manitoba are. We can make this boast because no province has won more men's championships than we have in Canada.

And right now, this weekend, the provincial men's curling championship is being held in a place called Dauphin, about three hours from here.

The winner, to be decided Sunday, will play in the national championship in Alberta later this month.

The winner of that title will play in the world championship in April against Sweden, Norway, Scotland, the U.S., Japan, Russia and other countries that have taken up the game.











I curled as a teenager and we won the fourth tier of the provincial high school championships.

I covered curling when it was a demonstration sport at the 1988 Winter Olympics in Calgary. I've covered national and world curling championships, both men's and women's.

So I have an interest...and so does a whole country.

I wonder if the rest of the world thinks we've got rocks for brains...

27 comments:

  1. You definitely DO need to get a Life!
    I have no idea why they call it the Roaring Game instead of the Snoring or Boring Game!?
    It is basically giant shuffleboard and is popular in Manitoba because Farmers had nothing to do all Winter. Decades ago when I curled about 4 nights a week you could still smoke and drink out on the Ice and it was FUN.

    It is hard for people around the world to understand the regional interest in Darts or Bull Fighting and I think that only Prisoners of Northern Climates who are forced to endure half of the year encased in a deep freeze could see anything remotely interesting about Curling.

    It is now a wussy non aerobic game (not a sport) that fat middle aged men on their fourth or fifth heart transplant can easily handle. It has become popular because of demographics..in the 70s Canadians were enthralled with Hockey, Downhill Skiing and Tennis..activities that a younger bunch of Baby Boomers were still able to perform..now however with the leading edge of the Boomers in their 60s slower geriatric snail paced snorefests are all the rage.

    HURRY HARD ALL THE WAY to find something more interesting to do with your time.

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  2. Ha...I have always wanted to curl my very straight hair. As my hair is very long...I have just given up on it...:D

    That was an aside...

    I wish you best of luck for your team....curl away....

    (*<*)

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  3. There's more than one way to sweep a woman off her feet. Men With Brooms.

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  4. Sorry this is one game even sports mad Australians will never understand. Sliding heavy rocks and cleaning???!?!?!

    If an aussie man picks up a broom he is either a janitor or in trouble with the missus.

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  5. I always thought curling looked like fun. Sadly we don't have enough ice in Melbourne.

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  6. Why do you call it the Roaring Game?

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  7. HE:

    And it's getting colder again this week. I think I'll just go ice-fishing. Yeah, that's what I'm going to do.

    Gautami:

    No, now that I think about it, I think I WILL just curl my hair...

    MJ:

    That was SUCH a terrible movie, with Mr. Mountie, what's his name?

    Aidan:

    I know there was at least ONE team here recently from New Zealand, but must admit, never heard of an Aussie team...although my brother-in-law did play ice hockey there for a year...

    Stace:

    I bet there might be a little group of Canadians there that somehow curl...

    Laurie:

    Not really sure about that...might be because the players always yell out (roar!) to each other about whether the rock needs to be swept as it's going down the ice.

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  8. Well, that should be interesting to watch. Do women play?

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  9. Great game if you can keep your slider sliding and not gripping, and then landing up kissing the ice. Ouch. Blood on the ice.

    Great sidebar song by the way. I thought I had heard all of Bruce's tunes...but that one is new to me.

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  10. Menchie:

    Yep, tons of women play. And they're very good. One of the best women in the world is Jennifer Jones from right here in Winterpeg.

    The Japanese and Chinese women are getting very good at the game, but the best still come from Canada and Sweden, primarily.

    Brian:

    Yep, face on the ice is not fun...

    I'm crazy about Bruce but every time he's come here, I've not been able to go.

    I like his old stuff...and hope to play more of it this week, unless I decide to go ice-fishing...

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  11. I like ice fishing, but never know what to do with the ice after I've caught it. ;-)

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  12. Laurie:

    You bring it home, fillet it and use it for ice in drinks when you throw the cocktail fishfood party in July.

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  13. I think I fell asleep while reading that.

    Kidding. Kind of. I've seen Curling on tv and it never caught my interest in the least. I can't imagine 'playing' that game.

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  14. Pam:

    Oooh, that hurt! I'm sure most people have fallen asleep reading my blog, but you're the first to admit it...

    I can understand, believe me. It can get boring (like HE said). But if you get an appreciation for the game, it can be interesting...

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  15. I actually enjoy ice fishing. Must have something to do with being Norwegian...

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  16. Laurie:

    It's too cold up here to ice-fish...at least for me! Unless you buy a hut and all the equipment.

    But I might do it anyway. If you can't beat the winter, might as well join it (or die from it).

    If I was Norwegian, I'd just want to travel through all those fee-jords.

    Do you find yourself talking and spelling with far too many silent j's for your liking?

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  17. I think you are better off staying off the ice if it's that cold. It's certainly not worth dying over!

    Now let's see, my mom's maiden name was Bjorndal (Pronounced Byorndal) and my uncle's name was Bjarne (pronounced Byarne)...Bjarne Bjorndal, now that's a mouthful.

    Bjy golly, you might be right.

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  18. my hair is wavy..sometimes straight..sometimes super curly..hehe guess Im just lucky :)

    Keshi.

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  19. ww, i've seen curling on the olympics. i know it's a skill, but i had to laugh at he's wussy descriptions. i wonder what he thinks of candlepin bowling?

    i can't believe your weather. i have been complaining all week about my 5-15 degrees. it's been too cold to walk that 1.25 miles with stella. i am rain-dancing for spring...

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  20. Oh bugger the curling! What about some more nice pics of John Mayer? Please give all details of the concert after you go - the songs,silly comments that he made, what he was wearing and all that, if you will be so kind? ).

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  21. Curling!? ha awesome.

    I don't understand the game but I always watch when it's on during olympics in hopes someone will fall and make an idiot out of themself

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  22. I wonder if John Mayer likes curling? ;).

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  23. Laurie:

    By and By, Baby, that's a lot of B's and J's...

    Keshi:

    What...without curling it or straightening it? Must be that Down Under gravity or sumthin...

    KJ:

    HE's about as athletic as a 2 x 4. So I take his comments with that in mind...

    Keep up that rain-dancing, girl. We all need it. But I should let you know, it's all about what you're used to.

    People up here have been taking their dogs out for walks in this -35C crap. Add a windchill. And people jog in this stuff.

    I guess you develop a thick skin and an attitude that you just can't let it defeat you.

    But when you're not accustomed to it, that's another story, admittedly...and this is too much even for us.

    Lee:

    Geez, maybe I should fly YOU up to Canada to be my date for this concert! I'll wine and dine you, then we'll walk to the concert...and I'll leave so you and John can be alone.

    Ya think?

    "Oh bugger the curling." Excellent!!!

    Maybe I can arrange a back-stage meeting between you two...and I'll bring former world curling champions Jeff Stoughton and Kerry Burtnyk along too. K?

    Phats:

    NOW you're getting the idea...

    Lee:

    I dunno, we can ask him (I mean, you can ask him). The new arena he'll be playing in is often used as a venue for big curling events...

    :-)

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  24. B's and J's huh? ;-)

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  25. Laurie:

    D-bj-oh! Have I offended you? Sorry, it's Monday...couldn't come up with anything more imaginative...

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  26. i think its a cool sport- i saw the contestants on "the amazing race" take part in a game or two as part of a challenge once!
    so did you "cover" any of the other types of curling...

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  27. Angel:

    Nope. Doing the weightlifting curls hasn't been adopted as an Olympic sport yet, and hair curling...well, not a lot of athletic prowess required there...

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