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The spot for the good news, the good word, the quick reports of the many, many wonderful news items I hear all the time and want to share with the rest of you. Expect to find the good news when you come to check out "what’s the good word?"

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Curling

This week the Canadian Olympic curling trials are on in Edmonton. My grandson, star soccer player and typical teenager just rolls his eyes when I begin to talk about curling. How can I find such fascination in such a boring game? I don’t even try to explain it to him. But maybe you’ll understand. There are just so many reasons to love curling!

It’s slow. There’s no need for video replay (except to appreciate some genius shot). Men and women can and do play equally well, even quite equitably together. The same is true for old and young. A fun fact of these trials is that one of the male skips wasn’t even born when his competitor skipped his first match.

I like that Randy Ferbey chooses not to play the sexy last position because his third is just better at it. And that veteran skip Russ Howard took third place on Brad Gushue’s very young Newfoundland team who went on to win gold in 2006. I like that we get to know the curling families. Russ’ brother Glenn is a fixture in the finals. The Middaughs, husband and wife, are both active in the sport. I don’t think the Jones girls are related, except by curling. Colleen is a Maritimer and Jennifer is from Winnipeg.
I much prefer curling as a life metaphor to the usual sports analogies, baseball or golf, and certainly hockey! In curling, like life, you just have to keep sweeping! There are always rocks in your way and it generally seems that everyone else has a better view of what you need to do. They keep yelling until something crashes. But nobody ever appears to hold your mistakes or misses against you. Your team just goes on from where you landed.

There are no secrets in curling. Teams discuss strategies right out loud for everyone to listen in. And win or lose they all stay friends, ending a match with hugs and handshakes all around. Word has it everyone meets for drinks afterwards, no matter how tense the actual game. Now there’s a lesson we could all learn. No bones get broken; no mean body-checks get thrown; no grudges are held. Friends and foes are likely to turn up on each other’s team next season.

Curling is a nice accessible Canadian sport with real ice and history and tradition, but not so much risk as to send anyone to hospital or to force a retirement if you really want to keep playing. Trades are pretty much voluntary.

Most of the time we don’t know how the match will turn out until the last rock is thrown. Unless you’re a real fanatic you can still enjoy the journey whoever tops the scoreboard at the end of the day.

So there you have some of the reasons I’ll be following the curling. Why not join me?

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