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Monday, February 22, 2010

I've Got Olympic Fever On Ice, BABY!!
or how I gave up my figure skating obsession for men tossing rocks

Okay, so in the past I've been a huge figure skating junky. I mean HUGE. I would live for the singles men's and women's skating competition. I actually used to get bummed out if I missed any of the Olympic coverage.

Not this year.

I'm still about men and women on ice, but this year it is all about the Curling and the Hockey. But mainly the Curling.


Dude, it is AWESOME!!

Yeah, watching guys and gals tossing stones down an icy pitch, sweeping them to their final resting spot sounds dorky and stupid and more like something you'd casually do with friends at your side and a beer in your hand on a Saturday night, but it is a full-on Olympic gold medal sport.

And I gotta tell is EXCITING! No shit!

For those unfamiliar, Curling is a lot like Bocce on ice. Each team throws eight stones per End and there are 10 Ends per game. The skip releases the rock and two teammates guide the stone, curling it into position around the opposing teams rocks by brushing vigorously with a broom. The team closest to the center target or button wins the point(s). Just like in Bocce.

The thing is this game is a thinking man's sport. There's a lot of strategy involved. Much like Chess, each team must think one or two plays ahead. As with Bocce, you could have three stones in scoring position, and then just like that... one well-placed toss can knock all of your men out of contention. If both teams are tied after 10 ends, the game goes into sudden death overtime. I have to tell you, I have seen some real stand-up and shout-out-loud, nail-biting battles in overtime.

Okay. You can quit laughing now.

Sadly the USA men are in a downward spiral and won't make the playoffs, but the women are hanging on. Honestly, it doesn't really matter to me if the USA is in the running or not. The Brits and Canadians are kicking some major ass in these games and are enormous fun to watch. The Brits (a team of handsome Scotsman with their irresistible accents) are running a clinic on the perfect way to curl.

And then there are the Norwegians and their pants:

They've caused quite the stir. Their pants have a Facebook page...with over 250,000 friends.

Yes. You heard me correctly. Their pants have a Facebook page. Team Norway is also heading to the playoffs to add a little color to the proceedings.

My love of all-things-curling has gotten me a lot of ribbing by my friends and coworkers, but there is a growing group of work buds who are becoming Curling enthusiasts. We're seriously considering starting our own group, The KD Kurlers. Of course we'll have to get us some of them fancy pants to wear with our curling hats.

Queen of the Dorks

Even our nephews have caught the fever. They've dug out their own pitch in the snow on their front lawn. And they invited me to join in.

Boys after my own heart.

And then there was the USA vs. Canada hockey match last night.

Holy Crap!! What a game!

From the get-go this game was played with the speed and intensity of Game 7 in the Stanley Cup finals. Both teams were flying from end to end, checking hard and firing blistering slap shots on goal. It was incredible!

The US lead 2-1 going into the 2nd period, but Canada tied it up before Chris Drury rapped a loose puck around Canada's goalie, Marty Brodeur to put the US up 3-2 late in the period. (FYI, beating Brodeur is a special treat for any Pens fan) America scored again seven minutes into the third for a 4-2 lead.

Then Sid, the Kid closed the gap to one point with three minutes to go. Canada pulled their goalie and with roughly 50 seconds on the clock, America's Ryan Kesler, wrapped in a tussle with a Canadian, managed to dive around the outside of his opponent, somehow connect with the puck and shoot it into the empty net. Brilliant! Best empty net... EVAH!

A link to the NBC footage of the empty net goal is here. Hopefully you can watch it because it is soooo worth viewing. The US is now guaranteed a playoff berth thanks in large part to our goalie's performance of a lifetime. Ryan Miller stopped 42 of the 45 shots on goal. Absolutely phenomenal! It is going to be one HELL of a playoff series.

Check it out. Our goalie...R. Miller. Gee, who does that name remind me of? Hmmmm...

Of course!

Oh, come on. Like you didn't know that was coming. It's been a while since I posted his beauteous visage here. Besides, he already looks crazy-hot all sweaty. You know he'd just rule that uniform.


demoncat said...

glad at least the woman seem to be fighting to try and add curling for the u.s though a sport that looks like shuffle board with giant floaters is the one thing i have ignored of the olympics and also props to the u.s giving Canada a run for its money in Hockey for there can only be one team and both want the gold. a battle of champs to be in hockey

Anonymous said...

If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it.............................................