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Documentary about curling
January 7, 2011 5:29 AM   Subscribe

Yes, it's Canadian, of course. I like the way the promo overreacts to the possibility that some people might find the sport a little slow, or, perhaps not a sport at all. Snazzy music. Shots of the guys horsing around. Black and white and slo-mo. Killer, eh.
posted by anothermug (31 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Better [warning, Phil Collins], and even better [warning, bagpipes].
posted by chavenet at 5:40 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fuck yeah curling! That's either really funny or really something else that is like funny but a little off to the side of funny.
posted by From Bklyn at 6:05 AM on January 7, 2011


What's the name for the thing they do to make the thing go faster? That would really piss me off. I bowled it: let it go. If you do all that stuff and it goes farther than I meant it to; well I won't be happy.

Unless of course it works out better.

(Yes, I'm a lowlander. What of it?).

P.S. If you can't smoke a pipe while winning an Olympic medal, you're not really an athlete.
posted by GeckoDundee at 6:12 AM on January 7, 2011


I curl twice a week. One of the things that makes the sport great is that there are no short cuts. There are so many elements to master (being able to slide without falling down, being able to hit a target the width of mobile phone 200 feet away, being able to judge just how much energy you have to put into your slide for the rock to land where you want it to), that the only way to master it is time and tons and tons of practice. And every last second of it is fun.

Oh, and there's beer. Always beer.
posted by dry white toast at 6:29 AM on January 7, 2011 [4 favorites]


So bowling is like beer-league softball? You can't fake the funk there either.
posted by oddman at 6:55 AM on January 7, 2011


As a Canadian, allow me to apologize for that.
posted by davebush at 7:10 AM on January 7, 2011


Please leave the epic gladiator music and primal man fist-pumping to promos for cage fighting. Curling (at least in limited personal experience) is far to gracious a sport to deserve this treatment.
posted by usonian at 7:23 AM on January 7, 2011


My roller derby league is doing a team-building event with the local curling league in a few weeks. It will be an explosion of AWESOME SPORTSNESS.
posted by Lucinda at 7:24 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I really really love curling.

And am very disappointed to see that this is just a promo for a documentary which won't be out for at least 9 months.

And I would lay money that it will never been seen in the US.

*sigh*
posted by hippybear at 7:40 AM on January 7, 2011


Curling is one of those sports... well no, it's like ALL sports where once you understand what the hell is going on, it can really offer edge-of-seat excitement. It has its stars (Russ Howard -- q.e.d.) and it has some almost unbelievable complexibility in the physics required to execute a triple take-out, roll and stick. The variables that can affect an otherwise great shot are legion and it has a whole arena full of people prepared to after-the-fact cheer or second-guess a skip's called shot, or a lowly lead's blown execution of same.

Slow? No way. You might as well call baseball slow because of the often vast amount of time that passes between one play and next while the entire team waits for the pitcher to throw the ball; or North American football slow because of the huge gaps between plays that typically take four to ten seconds to execute and often several minutes to discuss.

It's a great sport and it takes no small amount of skill to remain a top player.

(And don't get me going on the loss of watching a well-honed sweeping team hammering a path with matched corn broom strokes as the curling world cedes the sheet to the Euro push brooms.)
posted by Mike D at 8:05 AM on January 7, 2011


Oh, and there's beer. Always beer.

Well, they seem to have that covered, but where's the smoking? Call me old fashioned but it's not really curling if half the team isn't hacking a butt between throws. And where's the special ashtrays? Kind of like this, but as I remember them, they actually used re-purposed curling stones for their bases, so they could easily slide them along as required.
posted by philip-random at 8:33 AM on January 7, 2011


When I start to smirk watching that video and thinking of curling as a pro sport, I remember that my dad used frozen cow patties for curling rocks in Saskatchewan during the depression. That makes curling seems a lot cooler than the other bullshit paycheck supposedly "real" pro sports on the TV.
posted by acheekymonkey at 9:02 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


One other great thing about curling: It's a fantastic television sport, because they mic the players. You get to listen to all the discussions about strategy. It's the ultimate armchair quarterback sport.
posted by dry white toast at 9:39 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


Next up: ULTIMATE CROQUET!
posted by binturong at 9:40 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember that my dad used frozen cow patties for curling rocks in Saskatchewan during the depression.

Curling is the thing on the Praries. The reliable marker that we were coming into a town or any size on our Sunday drives in rural Alberta was the Quonset hut that had the standard pair of curling sheets in it. Hockey and skating could have an outdoor rink, but curling sheets need to be indoors to get the right kind of pebble on the ice. And to have a liquor licence.

Curling was what you moved on to you were done with hockey or ringette at 15. It's the game you can play with your spouse and friends over beers (and, yes, smokes). The only hard rule was no drinks on the ice. Alcohol messes with that so-carefully prepared ice surface.

Dad and mom both played for years, but stopped soon after we moved to Ontario. We used to count on him winning the local University tournament each year for our Christmas turkey. Curling is strong in Ontario too, but that intense social focus on curling wasn't there and they both moved on to other interests. But we got a few good dinners out of curling, I tell you.
posted by bonehead at 9:41 AM on January 7, 2011 [2 favorites]


There's a great curling podcast at The Curling Show.
posted by sonascope at 9:55 AM on January 7, 2011


Between the ridiculous over-dramatic effects (seriously, curling is a gentleman's sport), and the wacky hijinx, this seems the epitome of lameness. If you want dramatic video effects and Glenn Howard, this TSN promo at least has the benefit of actual curling occurring. Or, you may prefer curling as a romantic comedy. (RIP Leslie Nielsen.)
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 10:17 AM on January 7, 2011


I recall hearing that the sweeping doesn't actually do anything; I'd be interested to hear about this from someone who has actually curled.
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 10:42 AM on January 7, 2011


One other great thing about curling: It's a fantastic television sport, because they mic the players. You get to listen to all the discussions about strategy. It's the ultimate armchair quarterback sport.

This is one of the things I love about watching curling. And oddly enough, when I spent a few days at the Road to the Roar last year, one of the things I found disconcerting about watching curling live and in person. Fortunately, the arena was pretty empty, so I could move down close to the ice where I could hear the players talk to each other, because I really, really missed that when I was sitting up higher, even if I could see better.
posted by jacquilynne at 10:56 AM on January 7, 2011


I recall hearing that the sweeping doesn't actually do anything; I'd be interested to hear about this from someone who has actually curled.

You heard wrong. There's a good overview of the science of sweeping in this article.

Many amateur curlers aren't actually good enough at sweeping to do much, but that doesn't mean sweeping in general isn't useful.
posted by jacquilynne at 11:00 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


That is one thorough response, jacquilynne. Thanks!
posted by not_that_epiphanius at 11:36 AM on January 7, 2011


When I start to smirk watching that video and thinking of curling as a pro sport, I remember that my dad used frozen cow patties for curling rocks in Saskatchewan during the depression.

You know things are rough when you can't even afford rocks.
posted by jimmythefish at 11:41 AM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


I remember that my dad used frozen cow patties for curling rocks in Saskatchewan during the depression.

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky to have a lake! There were a hundred and fifty of us living in t' shoebox in t' middle o' road.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
Cardboard box?

THIRD YORKSHIREMAN:
Aye.

FIRST YORKSHIREMAN:
You were lucky. *
posted by hippybear at 11:53 AM on January 7, 2011


My father curls, or used to. I've seen the trophy. I'll have to tell him about this when it's released.

What's next? A documentary on Premiere League Darts and the awful Nascar like designs they have for the players' nicknames?
posted by juiceCake at 1:07 PM on January 7, 2011


Explaining curling to the To Tell the Truth panel
posted by evilcolonel at 1:08 PM on January 7, 2011


There will be more info coming out about the science of sweeping after the confidentiality requirements of the research the Canadians did pre-2010 Winter Olympics comes out. A preview here. As jacquilynne said, it's unlikely that regular club curlers are affecting things too much but I like to pretend all that work isn't for nothing. Plus, I think sweeping is fun because I like to think I'm a jedi ice-mind reader.

I took up curling last year here in California, even though I've been a fan since I was a kid in Canada. It is an incredibly fun sport to play with some of the nicest people I've ever met. It is both really easy and very hard. Super easy to pick up the basics (I teach it and people tend to pick it up very quickly) but mastering it - getting to the level the pros are at - is mind-bogglingly difficult because of the precision required. Still, even when you lose you win since the first rule of curling we were taught was that the winning team buys the beers.

As the least sporty-person EVER I can't believe how much I look forward to getting on the ice for the new league next week. In the video Team Howard is sporting their trademark white belts. I see lots of great outfits on the ice and would love to get a curling kilt. For this league I outfitted my shoes with skull and crossbone laces which I'm sure will make my game more fearsome.
posted by marylynn at 1:22 PM on January 7, 2011 [1 favorite]


favorited for the phrase "jedi ice-mind reader"
posted by hippybear at 1:53 PM on January 7, 2011


Also of note is Jam-Pail curling, the curling equivalent of sandlot baseball. The rocks are cement-filled coffee cans with a bent piece of rebar stuck in. We used to play it in gym class at my school in northern Manitoba, on the giant rink that they made by flooding the playground.
posted by CaseyB at 8:28 PM on January 7, 2011


you know things are rough when you can't even afford rocks.

Actually, real curling rocks are quite expensive. Like $15,000 for a set of sixteen. This has been one of the biggest hurdles to the growth of the sport in the US.
posted by dry white toast at 9:16 PM on January 7, 2011


There's a set of paint buckets filled with cement and bent rebar handles at my work, one of them was spray-painted gold and is now the trophy at our annual bonspiel. After curling two or three times this year I joined a team in the men's league and I love it, like a combination of pool and darts and semi-indirect artillery fire, but with more strategy.
posted by furtive at 11:04 PM on January 7, 2011


Sports like curling are useful, if for no other reason, than that they teach us all that our passionate interests are but a curiosity to others. I'll confess that I've smirked at curling. It is hard to watch people passionate about something you regard with the seriousness of badminton*. When I go home to ride my custom fitted road bike on the indoor trainer and watch a stage of the Tour de France tonight I'll be reminded that to someone else I am just as crazy. That is a good thing, I think.

* yes, I know there are people who take badminton very seriously too
posted by dgran at 10:59 AM on January 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


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