Emerging from a curling haze…

Aside from their crazy-lame handling of the Closing Ceremonies last night, Christine and I loved everything NBC aired from Vancouver during the 2010 Winter Games, but most of all, we loved the curling. It might not get the prime time coverage it totally deserves, but, trust me, amigos, this was the year that curling finally came into it’s own.

I know that on the surface it looks like kind of a goofy Olympic event — I mean, seriously, aside from Quidditch, what other sport involves prominent broom-usage? — but sit down and watch a match or two, learn the basic rules and the marquee players and I guarantee you, you’ll be hooked.

We’ve been fans since Nagano, but this is the first year we were able to Tivo and watch every match — probably because this was the first year the networks of NBC actually aired EVERY match — played at the Vancouver Olympic Centre. And if you think I’m kidding about the “every” comment, take a look at our poor, battered Tivo next time you come over. I swear, man, that thing was smoking at one point last week…insanity!

Anyway, having watched every match, I can tell you with some authority that this was a hell of a Curling Bonspiel, my friends. I kid you not, those games were dramatic as all get out.

When the American Men’s Team starting losing too many games in a row, their slacker team skip, John Shuster was benched. Benched! Crazy. And guess what happened then? The American Men actually won a game. Even crazier! But instead of sticking to the new lineup for a few games, the men brought Shuster back for the following game and the men ended up losing every other match-up at the Olympics except for one fluke win over Sweden.

In fact, they were such awful curlers (and such bad sports about it!) that Shuster was actually heard uttering the phrase: “Man, I hate this stupid game.” during their last match with Team China. Are you serious, dude? If you hate the game that much, then QUIT! But while you’re wearing a freaking microphone on the world stage…shut the hell up already! Yikes…stuff like that makes us all look bad.

The American Women weren’t much better, but they did seem to have some genuine team spirit and their skip, Debbie McCormick was kind of a cutie, even if she curled for shit. So, after the American teams went down in flames, Christine and I began rooting for some of our other favorites from past Olympics.

The Veterans on the Men’s Team from Great Britain rocked, but the real story from the UK was the 19-year-old Women’s skip, Eve Muirhead, who was not only cute as hell, but she was also a damn fine curler. She was really fun to watch — not to mention listen to, her Scottish accent ruled! — and I’m sure Muirhead and her team will only get better as they gear up for Russia in 2014.

Also very fun to watch was the Japanese Women’s Team, who had more spunk and spirit in their little black brooms than our American Men and Women’s Teams combined. Seriously, these girls rocked it on the ice!

But the biggest story of the Bonspiel were the two Canadian teams. Led by their bad-ass skip, Kevin Martin, the Canadian men took home the Gold for Canada after one of the most exciting Gold Medal matches in history. Wow, their final game with Norway was a real nail-biter…so exciting! And the Norwegian Team’s already-legendary pants made the whole thing even more so. Gotta love those guys too…crazy pants or not, they are some damn fine curlers!

The Canadian Women rocked it too, but ended up taking home a Silver Medal after their shocking last-minute loss to Team Sweden. And though we felt bad for Cheryl Bernard and her girls losing the Gold on home turf, I gotta say, it was really exciting to see our favorite team of all time take home their second straight Olympic Gold Medal.

That’s right, amigos, Team Sweden, led by their epically-talented skip, Anette Norberg, made curling history by winning their second straight Curling Gold. Crazy, huh? I don’t even think any of the men’s teams have done that yet! Awesome. And they thought they were rock stars before…I can only imagine the reception that Norberg and her girls got back home. Wow…go, Sweden!

Oooo…and speaking of Sweden, I gotta give props to the Swedish Men’s team too. All of the dudes on that team are under 25-years-old, which is really young in curling, but those guys kicked butt. Sure, they lost the Bronze to Switzerland, but they played like curling God’s out there. So cool to watch…I can’t wait to see them come back even stronger in Russia when they’ll all still be well under 30-years-old. Wow…wish I could say the same!

Anyway, anyone who has actually bothered to read to the end of this post must be a curling superfan like ourselves, so, feel free to comment away. We’d love to hear what you thought of the games and which teams you were rooting for in Vancouver…even if you don’t agree with us!

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