No Winter Olympics coverage would be complete without at least one story on curling.
I admit my Olympics coverage to date has been somewhat lacking, though not without reason. The tragic death of the Georgian luger on the day of the Opening Ceremonies pretty much put the finish on the four entries I had planned about the Antarctic Federation protests of the luge event – somehow, they didn’t seem appropriate. Some things deserve respect, and a series of borderline-inappropriate (but admittedly rather amusing) posts about naked luge just didn’t work for me any more. My plans to liveblog the opening ceremonies ran into a scheduling conflict, and although I’ve watched my share of the competition – and enjoyed most of it – there really hasn’t been much to snark about. (Men’s figure skating aside, and quite frankly those jokes write themselves.)
Besides, I thought…I still have curling. And if I can’t find something entertaining to say about the winter version of Olympic lawn bowling, I might as well hang up my keyboard.
So I watched, and I waited.
I thought I had the story last night, when Bob Costas actually managed to describe curling as “One of the most popular Olympic sports” without even cracking a smile. To the extent he ever sounds sincere, he even seemed to mean it. (As an aside, this comment met with literal howls of laughter in my living room. Who says Bob Costas isn’t funny?)
But this morning I learned about something even better. Or worse.
It appears one of the Olympic curling teams is engaging in some very unsportsmanlike conduct. Unsportsmanlike even for curling, which everyone knows is a bastion of ill-concealed rivalry filled with showboating prima-donnas who will do just about anything to get the attention of the media. It’s true. Beneath that silent, broom-wielding facade, curlers crave the spotlight. I’ve said for years that they’re a dangerous bunch. And now I have proof.
Not content with defeating their opponents by traditional means, the Norwegian men’s curling team has resorted to dastardly gamesmanship. Specifically, they’re trying to blind their opponents with their pants. Now I admit, I could have misunderstood the purpose of the colorful couture. The idea might have been to cripple opposing teams with laughter, rendering them incapable of brushing the ice or aiming the stone. Or they might be going for the pity vote. (Hey guys, let’s let them win. After all, they’ve already lost their self-respect.)
Then again, the whole thing might just be a tragic mistake. Perhaps someone accidentally swapped the curling team uniforms with a box intended for Ringling Brothers. (Which also means that somewhere there’s a group of clowns without any pants on.)
Either way, the Norwegian men are appearing in public wearing checkered pants. Red, White, Blue and Grey checkered pants. I’ve always said Norse people are brave, but this takes it to astonishing heights. They still better win a medal, though. Because if they don’t, I suspect the other teams will catch them in the locker room and steal their lunch money. That’s what happens to the funny-looking kids.
On the positive side, I doubt anyone will steal their pants.
Tip of the horns, John Scalzi (at Whatever) for searing my eyeballs enough to get me to post.