How Curling Ruined the Olympics

Kyle Reed // @kylereed

Curling, has ruined the olympics. Now you might have already figured out this truth, if so you can just move about your day in an orderly fashion, but if you are still confused continue reading on. But, if you read the rest of this and come away enlightened you have to make a promise that you will share this on twitter with a retweet saying

@kylelreed just dropped some serious wisdom on me and now I know how curling ruined the olympics: http://ow.ly/1aUSJ

Curling has ruined the Olympics. I am not the Dalai Lama of Olympic games but I do claim to be somewhat “enlightened” on all things sports (that was for effect, I am really not this vein). Here is my theory. 4 years ago curling burst onto the scene. People where going about their day and noticed this odd sport that resembled the game their grandparents play on the weekends at the senior community center, shuffle board. Add the element of being able to skate on ice and you had a recipe for a takeover. Most of us might have watched a game here or there, but we probably did not give it much time because it was confusing and to be honest a little boring. But others decided to make it their sport. They dove in, or in the spirit of winter olympics…skied into this sport head on.

You have to understand something about this aforementioned group, the ones that decided to make this their sport. These are the people that seem to like things that you have never heard or nor do you want to be apart of. Remember that kid in high school or college that seemed to like bands that you had never even heard of? You know bands that names don’t even make sense (like spit fire or zombie dancers) much less the music. Or maybe they kicked it old school and talked about how they felt alive listening to classical music. Those kids that just seemed to like the weirdest stuff because no one else liked it so it made them “unique”? Well that “group” found an winter Olympic sport that no one had really heard of, curling. Out of no where we stared to hear people talk about how much they loved the sport, how much they knew about the sport, and how they were in four curling leagues that would play on the weekends. We had a bunch of “expert” curling watchers running around and NBC was paying attention.

It is a given that we are going to be subjected to figure skating thanks to the women of this world. I really do not blame you for the downfall of the winter Olympic games. I understand that is all you have to watch and you enjoy the element of dancing with the danger of ice skates. So inevitable NBC is going to put this on in prime time for all to watch, but curling has some how leaped past all relevant winter Olympic sports. Mainly because NBC has paid attention. They paid attention to the moms of this world and to the people who like things because no one else does (ironic twist: when is it not cool to like something that others are liking? Seeing how a large amount of people have adapted curling as their sport, does that mean that there will be a revolt and it will be cool to like hockey again?), the ones that thought it would be cool to tell us how much they love curling and how much they know about curling. When deep down you and I both know no one can love a sport like that. Some would even argue its existence of being a sport seeing how a 5 month pregnant women is competing (side note: a friend of mine had a girl at his church who was 9 months pregnant and was playing drums for the church two days before she had her baby, wow). Because of this new found “love” of curling NBC decided to have this as a main feature of the Olympic games neglecting all relevant Olympic sporting events like Hockey or Skiing.

Therefore, curling has ruined the Winter Olympics.

Agree or Disagree?

*kyle

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Kyle Reed

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Kyle Reed is a connector looking to connect with others. A 20 Something that is blogging his way through life and looking to connect through community. Also a team member of the 8BIT Network and brand evangelist. Find me on twitter: @kylelreed, lets chat.
  • http://www.jaybrams.com/ Jeremy Wheeler

    um… there are a few important things you're missing:

    1) they bury it on MSNBC or CNBC and skiing and hockey can be seen all the time. Yes, it's getting more air than you remember, but i think part of that is time zones. Since i used to barely sleep, i'd stay up and watch it live at like 3 AM on obscure channels like MSNBC or whatever secondary network was showing it then… So they really haven't changed how they roll it out.

    2) It was just reintroduced 12 years ago as an official sport. So, it takes some time for people to realize a) what is it? and b) is it worth watching? Maybe the answer to B is “no” but, again, the network really hasn't changed anything.

    3) You are right, it's getting more pub this year, but it's also the first year that the US team was supposed to be one of the favorites (*CHOKE CITY*).

    4) some of my fav. bands are Mogwai, Godspeed You! The Black Emporor, The Red Sparowes, and Mono (Japan). 8-)

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      You are right, they put it on MSNBC and CNBC, but it is on every single day. I wish they would show the live events like skiing etc…instead of saving them for later that night and showing about 15 minutes of them.

      And yes, USA did definitely choke

    • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

      All of those bands you mentioned are awesome!

  • http://twitter.com/austinklee Austin Lee

    Disagree. Hockey isn't fun to watch on TV…check the Nielsen ratings. Americans as a whole could care less about hockey. We get into curling not because its cool…but because its different, and accessible.

    We could imagine ourselves wanting to play curling with our friends…much like football, basketball, and skiing. Hockey isn't a game you call up a bunch of guys to go play. You can't find a good place to do it.

    So, hockey languishes.

    Long live the accessible sports!

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      I disagree, watching the hockey game between USA and Canada was one of the best games I have ever seen and ranks up there with the superbowl. I would watch that over NBA finals, and if the Cardinals where not in the World Series I would rate it over the World series as well.

      But you do have a good point about playability, that I will agree with. But where can you go and play curling?

      • http://www.jaybrams.com/ Jeremy Wheeler

        the ratings for the USA v Canada game were the highest on MSNBC since the historic election night a couple of years ago. I agree with you here… that was an exciting game.

        We found one place in the Dallas area that you can curl… like twice they offer it for cheap… but to play regularly, you have to join a league and the low end buy in is $200 per person. I'm guessing it's about the same in the ATL considering there is no such thing as winter there either. But i think up north it's more accessible.

        • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

          I seriously would play if I could. it would be awesome if I could slide across ice on my shoes and shoot a rock at a bunch of other rocks with a broom, but it is hard to find you are right.
          Not hating on the sport, I just don't want to watch.

  • dannyjbixby

    Holy angry wall of text, Batman.

    How do you really feel? ;)

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Exactly, how do you feel though??

      • dannyjbixby

        I don't watch the olympics…so it doesn't matter to me ;)

  • http://www.benlemery.com/ Ben

    Disagree. I could watch curling for 8 hours straight. It's all about strategy, like chess. Plus, watching the US completely choke this year was shocking.

    Only other thing I have to say is: buffaloes are not blue.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Your Buffaloes might not be blue by mine are, at least in my head.

      Honestly could not do it, I could not watch curling for 8 hours straight, nor could I watch chess for 8 hours straight. I actually like playing chess. It is just is boring to watch.

      • Krystal

        It’s alot more interesting when you are the one playing, I don’t always enjoy watching curling and I’m a curler. But put me on the ice and I could be there for hours.

  • http://davidgoodwin.com David

    I was surprised that curling had only been back as a Winter Olympics sport since 1998, because it is easily one of the most popular events down here – mainly because it is weird.

    Meanwhile…hockey…not so much. Though that's likely because Australia is one of the world's best summer hockey nations, so if you mention hockey, no-one thinks you're talking ice hockey.

    Aside from all that, from what I've heard, NBC manage to ruin every Olympics anyway…especially getting events rescheduled to stupid times of the day when the games are in different hemispheres, purely to be in US prime time. Doesn't apply quite as much for Vancouver, but there has been sufficient talk of the timezone painfulness that I think it might.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      Ya that would be annoying if you lived outside the United States.

      • http://davidgoodwin.com David

        Best example of this was trying to get the marathon at the Sydney Olympics rescheduled to be on at the most convenient time for US east coast viewers. This translated to the hottest time of the day, and the medical advisers eventually got their way…the athletes won, not the TV networks.

        It happens with swimming events all the time though…making US networks very unpopular around the world. Sure, they pay hundreds of millions of dollars for the rights, but ultimately it's got to be what's best for the athletes and not the viewers.

  • dannyjbixby

    I don't watch the olympics…so it doesn't matter to me ;)

  • http://twitter.com/Zacinator Zac Cross

    These are the people that seem to like things that you have never heard or nor do you want to be apart of. Remember that kid in high school or college that seemed to like bands that you had never even heard of? You know bands that names don’t even make sense (like spit fire or zombie dancers) much less the music.

    *rant* First of all, with this statement you are implying that people who don't like what's popular are somehow weird. I listen to a lot of bands you never heard of and they blow a ton of crappy popular stuff out of the water, and yes, most definitely yes, way better than U2 which like I said is hugely overrated. Just the other day, I found this awesome band from Scotland called We Were Promised Jetpacks. Check out their album These Four Walls. U2 has never made songs that good, period. Of course, I am not trying to belittle you or your taste in music. Music is subject to each persons taste. I am just pointing out that this was a ridiculous generality. One mans trash is another mans treasure. */rant*

    Sorry for that, I just hate when people judge things because they are uncommon. Curling, go ahead, I don't mind it, but my wife finds it boring and says to change the channel. Music, you can not insult someone else's taste in music with a ridiculous generality.

    Anyways, I don't think Curling alone ruined the Olympics. NBC did. There is no way that Canada-USA hockey game shouldn't have been on NBC. Burying it on a channel that most people have to subscribe to the digital package is ridiculous. Of course, I live near Pittsburgh where we clearly have become Hockeytahn (sic)! Look at this:

    Overnight television ratings of the Americans' 5-3 Olympic upset of Canada Sunday night, aired on MSNBC, were higher in Pittsburgh than in any U.S. market, according to an industry source. The 13.0 rating in Pittsburgh was more than double the national average for the game.

    Overall, MSNBC drew 8.2 million viewers for the second-highest rated show in the cable network's history. It also was the highest-rated hockey game shown in the U.S. in 37 years.

    Imagine if that game had been on NBC. Ice dancing is lamer than lame. No offense to the female demographic, but they could have watched it on MSNBC if they wanted to watch it. Other hockey games were preempted by Curling and we had to wait until the match was over so they could cut to the game with only 2 minutes left in the first. Mistakes like these is why the Olympics have overall been lame besides for a few bright moments.

    • http://thoughtsaboutnothing.com @kylelreed

      That first part was really not trying to judge. Actually when I was talking about that I had a specific friend in mind. To some point I am that guy.
      So I wasn't judging. Really just talking about the person who seems to like all the things that no one has ever heard of and trying to connect it to curling some how (obviously not working).

      The olympics have been pretty lame. I am finding it very hard to keep up with what is going on.

      • http://www.jaybrams.com/ Jeremy Wheeler

        This has been one of the worst olympics i've watched, and like i said, i stay up all weird hours of the night to watch olympics (both summer and winter). A lot of it has been odd coverage choices, and alot of it has been just the poor choice of Vancouver. What's lamest of all lame is that this weather, which is causing all sorts of problems, is typical weather this time of year in Vancouver. You'd think the OC would've looked at that…

  • http://twitter.com/stephanienels Stephanie Nelson

    Though no comment in the world could ever beat dannyjbixby'c comment on this post, I will say this:

    Really? Does curling have that much power to actually *ruin* a world-wide tradition that began before Jesus was born?

    You might be over-stating. Just a tad.

  • guesty

    It’s the lamest sport in town unless you consider other non-sports like golf, bowling and pool as “sports”

  • Brendan

    Here’s an interesting article

    For those who equate the athleticism of curling with that of, say, walking, do you have a surprise coming. According to Harvard University, curling burns 149 calories per 30 minutes of play. Walking, on the other hand, burns… 149 calories per 30 minutes of activity.

    Okay, fine. So, curling doesn’t involve an extreme amount of aerobic exertion (meaning curlers don’t find themselves out of breath with elevated heart rates very often), but that doesn’t mean it’s not a sport worthy of Olympic competition.

    “Curling is one of the most highly rated anaerobic sports,” former Olympic curler John Benton told The Blaze, meaning the sport requires short bursts of extreme exertion. Another popular anerobic Olympic sport? Downhill skiing.

    “The other piece that people don’t realize is that competitions are about two hours long. In the Olympics, they won’t play more than two games a day, but that’s still five hours,” he said, adding Olympic sweepers will typically end up walking about five miles a day up and down the ice sheet.

    But more than its physicality, curling requires other feats of athleticism that may not be immediately apparent to those who’ve never partook in a bonspiel (that’s curling lingo for a match).

    For one, curlers need to perfect his or her balance skills before they can even think about playing a decent round, let alone making it to a competition like the Olympics. Curlers deliver those 40-plus-pound stones by lunging on one leg and sliding down the ice. “If you find yourself wobbly and unstable during your delivery, it’s time to go back to building your balance skills,” Kim Perkins of the Canadian Curling Association prescribes.

    Coordination is another skill any curler worth his or her weight in granite needs to perfect. In a single play, sweepers will have to shuffle down a slippery sheet of ice at the same speed as the stone, while listening keenly to the skip who’s yelling out instructions regarding when and how vigorously to sweep, while engaging or disengaging in said sweeping, while relaying their own assessments to the skip about the way the stone is moving, while making sure they don’t accidentally nudge another stone in their path, while also not touching their brooms to their own stone. Honestly, if that was as exhausting to read as it was to type, then just imagine what it’s like to actually be doing it.

    Curling also takes an incredibly sharp and strong mind capable of strategic thinking and mental toughness. While the end goal is simple (to get more of your stones closer to the center target, or “button” in the house than your opponent), the means by which this is achieved vary widely, and a team’s strategy will depend on their ability to not just react to their opponent but to hopefully anticipate what their opponent might do next.

    Finally, curling requires extensive team work. If curlers can’t communicate with the rest of their team and execute their parts as one, then they’ll never land the stone where they want it. As Canada’s former National Training Center coach Bill Tschirhart once said, “Curling is a unique sport. Each member of the team contributes 25 percent of the effort but does so 100 percent of the time.”

  • Jenny Amazing (The Amazing Jen

    winter olimpics is a joke…