We’ve been enjoying watching bits and pieces of the Winter Olympics in the Wettschreck household, which included seeing Team USA beat Team Canada at hockey last night. The other night we watched Shaun White get wild and crazy during the snowboard competition.
But the strangest thing so far was when my son Matt and I got totally caught up in the women’s curling event on Sunday.
I have never watched curling before, and when I walked into the living room and saw it on TV, I stopped. Matt was looking up something on the Internet, but had one eye on the TV, too.
“Why are you watching this?” I asked.
“I’m not sure,” he replied.
Right around that time, something caught my attention. The lady who had just slid a big old rock down the alley or lane seemed to be floating to the other end.
“How did she do that?” I asked.
“No idea,” Matt replied.
We watched for a few minutes in bafflement as the team members yelled out commands.
“I think she just barked,” Matt said.
“Did someone yelp?” I asked. “I think they’re using dog language.”
But we were caught. Pretty soon we were urging on Team USA against the Canadian team and having a darned good time doing it. We really didn’t have a clue what the rules were or how the game worked, but we sure had fun trying to figure it out.
We worked on trying to come up with a description of the sport. Kind of a cross between slow-motion bowling, shuffleboard and maybe Bocce ball, but toss in the cold and the other people that run in front of the stone and sweep.
Oh, and the funky shoes. One is slick and glides along on the ice, the other is rough to give traction. I am incredibly attracted to the shoes. I liked the gliding part.
Half an hour later we were still watching, still urging our team on and still baffled about the finer points of curling.
“Why are we still watching this?” Matt asked.
“It is strangely compelling,” I answered.
“Yeah,” he admitted. “Must. Watch.Curling.”
We learned words like skip, the person who delivers the stone, and hammer, the last stone. We also learned that Debbie McCormick, the skip for Team USA, was not having a good day.
“Oh, Debbie, come one!” Matt snarled as a stone slid past its target. “This is the Olympics!”
“Defense! Think defense!” I yelled out, hoping she would hear in the same way my husband discusses things with football players through the TV screen.
We had been watching for an hour now, which made us experts, of course. McCormick needed our advice.
Shortly before 1 p.m., Matthew had to leave for work. He was quite annoyed, because Team USA was down by several points and our cheering and helpful comments were all that stood between victory and total loss. It baffles me that McCormick had made it this far without our support.
Right after Matt left, Team Canada called a time out. I sent Matt a text message to let him know, mostly because I was totally shocked that they could call a time out. A few minutes later, Team USA conceded the match. Or game, or whatever they call it.
Matt and I were both a bit downhearted. We had tried to understand the game and be good fans. We had given it our all, and we took the loss pretty hard.
Oh well, Tomorrow is the biathlon, another sport I know virtually nothing about. Guns and skis – I am so there! Go Team USA!