Friday, February 17, 2006

Curling

I never look forward to the Olympics... of any kind, much less the winter Olympics. However, one of the oddest games has peaked my curiosity and I have found myself watching it from start to finish, almost scheduling my time to watch it:

Curling

Certainly not a sport the ancient Greeks performed in the original Olympics, yet a sport that requires great deals of concentration and more accuracy than golf.

It sort of looks like a combonation between bowling, shuffleboard, ice-skating without skates, marbles, and sweeping the kitchen floor.

You are out of luck if you are waiting on me to explain the rules; I dont know what they are and really don't care. It is just a sport that relaxes me to no end. Not boring, but relaxing. I never thought I would be talking about it or loving it... of course the Women’s USA curling team has helped, what with the Johnson sisters being on the team and all! (Blushing).

I liken them to volleyball players; somehow, volleyball players are always cute, despite the roughness of the sport.. unfortunately, this morning, after Women’s curling (USA was playing a Russian team with unusually cute girls for Russians... see the picture to the right), women’s hockey came on... they were kind of like softball players; butch-like and you just know if those masks weren’t on they'd be kissing... It was a harsh transition to say the least.

NBC doesn’t see fit to show curling I guess... so it comes on the USA network in the morning, 7am to 10am-ish... Try to catch it if you can; Cassie and Jamie Johnson are really ...good.


Okay, I had to post more pics of Cassie... I had this same thing happen to me during the 1992 Olympics with the USA gymnastics team... it is a phase.

Larissa will see this and a light bulb will pop up in her head and she will say "So THAT'S why he liked to watch curling so much!!!"

36 comments:

Brewster said...

I love curling. Have for years. 2006 seems to be the year of curling, for everyone is talkign about it. For a fun look at the game go here

Jamison said...

check your link brew....

interesting note about curling;

we go to church with a man from Canada... I was talking to him about the super bowl and asked him if canadian super bowls are like american ones. He said no, he said the big sport in canada that everyone gets into is curling...

Brewster said...

Oops. Try this

Jamison said...

thanks brew! A very good read, and very funny... My wife knew most of these rules already.. she loves it but pays closer attension than I do...

mullinz8 said...

If there is an Olympic seed spitting team populated with really cute girls I think it would get some attention.

Frankly I’m glad to hear that someone is watching the games. I don’t know anyone else to is paying attention to the multimillion dollar programs.

I did however hear of one very lucky girl though. I gathered she’s a communications student at UTK and is working the games.

She is slated to work the opening and closing ceremonies. For this she must be contracted throughout the duration of the games though she’s only working maybe six days total.

She’s getting paid to hang out in Italy until the closing ceremonies when she has to work again.

I guess Brew has inspired another generation of bumming around a foreign countryside watching other people work.

mullinz8 said...

Good link Brew. More than I would have ever thought I would know.

Jamison said...

Mulls, my wife loves the olympics... she loves most sports and ANYTHING involving competition...

ANd the cute girls really dont do it ALL for me... i watched mens curling this morning on USA at 8am...

4pm central time tonight, on CNBC (or MSNBC, cant remember), WOMENS curling (featuring the Johnson sisters!!!) Watch our Yanks kick the Britts butt!

Brewster said...

The curling has gotten a lot more attention this year than in the past. Must be the cute girls. But I agree with Jamison, it is fascinating no matter who is throwing.

Jamison said...

USA chicks didnt do so well last night... oh well. :(

bigsip said...

I'm sorry, I fell asleep...What were y'all talking about again?

Snore...

Jamison said...

I understand Sips wife took a liking to curling as well...

Too bad he doesn't share the love

:(

the olympics got me thinking more about sports and how it has been a huge part of society from the begining of time; how it creates unity and bonding, even between two groups that share nothing with one another... How a sport of any kind can unite a village, a town, a city, state, nation, and planet.

Watch national geographic and the indiginous tribes; they play sports. heck, they invented bungee jumping.
Ill have to blog on that later...

bigsip said...

Yeah, not big on curling...

It's pretty weird, but the weirdness doesn't trump the boredom enough to make me want to waste time watching it.

Sports are good as long as they're being played in a good way.

I don't watch much in the way of sports, but when the olympics are on, I watch a little at least. Seems most people there are humble and just glad to participate.

I'm of the philosophy that sports should be about having fun and staying fit. I'm not into the competition so much.

So, "curl away my friends!"

Jamison said...

Competition is what has driven society for ages, sports encapusulates humanity in so many ways. The greeks didnt participate in sports to "have fun", they did it for the glory. Today, the media and TV has encouraged show boating from American atheletes and this trickles down to little leauge baseball (which I HATE watching, the adults are the worst part.) I think that Sip is looking at sports from an American TV point of view, which to me, is nothing like the Olympics or the true essence of sports. American TV has done to sports what Walmart has done to shopping, so you really cant use what you see on TV as a gauge of what sports really is.

But (From what I hear of you Sippie-pooh) I assume watching some guy saw a block of wood on HGTV is tons more thrilling than watching a guy literally fly the length of two football fields on a pair of skis? Or watching men skate on ice within inches of each other while moving at almost 40 mph? And what about Ice Dancing??? Okay, kidding there...

I must say this too, and no offense to you Mullins, but those home shows are starting to get really stupid (Some of them, and not just the HGTV ones, but some of the other knock-offs)... Half of them have some hot chick showing clevage and her bare back when she bends over, yet she is there lifting heavy furniture and pulling up carpet ... and somehow throughout the show, she doesnt get a drop of paint on her 5th Avenue-esque designer clothing. The others involve an overly excited perky chick that is the human equivilant to scratching a chalk board with your fingernails. She is with big men surrounding her and the most difficult thing they do is glue styrofoam to the walls and paint it with glitter... then the home owners come home and cry tears of joy, only to realize 5 years from now that no one will want to buy a house that looks like a 3rd grade theatrical production...

bigsip said...

I hate the cheesy home shows. I do like the creative ones, though.

I have gotten lots of cool ideas from the goods ones. I weed out the crap and use the good points.

Keeps me educated :)

I think competition is driving society in a bad direction, really. I mean, how many times are we told to be competitive as Christians?

We "run the race" together, picking each other up and not leaving others behind. Competition is every man for himself.

I'm not against sports. I just think the "every man for himself" aspect has become far too pervasive in all areas of society.

I'm all for some fun playing something, but once it starts getting into the winner/loser territory, I lose interest.

As the old adage goes, "...it's how you play the game."

Jamison said...

Competition is bad? Thats what public schools are feeding kids today... competition is actually GOOD! Religion is not what I am talking about, I am talking about the furtherment of capitalism and what America was built on; freedom and the opportuniy to be successful if you are willing to try. Getting rid of competition is what Hitler was all about, Karl Marx, etc. Heck, it is what Walmart is trying to do.

I would submit that sports are so poplar in America because we have gotten competition down to a science, and our economy booms because of it. other countries either want to be like us or hate our guts out of jealousy because of it. If Honda was the only maker of cars in America, $100,000 would probably be the standard price for a car. When companies must complete for your business, good things happen. When children learn that they must learn to read and do math better than others in their class, they will learn in years to come that getting a job to pay the bills and raise a family will be much easier, and, like in sports, theyw ill be rewarded for it.

Unfortunatly, teacher's unions don't like the idea of kids leaving a failing school, getting a voucher, and going elsewhere. They hate the idea of private schools too. Why? Because they create competition. When a teacher has no competition, they teach like crap.

Sorry, a semi-rant on why competition is a GOOD thing in any society... In life, business, education, and ANY aspect of society, there are winners and there are losers... kids NEED to know this. If they are told all their life "That's okay baby, 1 plus 1 CAN equal 4!" then they will be bumbling idiots when they need to open their own checking account. If a child (Or adult) does something wrong or stupid (Is a 'loser') they need to be told and corrected (practice more). If a child or adult does something right and smart (Is the 'winner') they need to be rewarded promptly (Be praised by an audience; get a raise; get a 4.0 in school, etc...)

I am 100% sure Sip didnt MEAN to sound like this, but reading:

"Competition is bad"

and

"I think competition is driving society in a bad direction"

and

"once it starts getting into the winner/loser territory, I lose interest."

...sounded pretty darn close to scary, from a social aspect anyway.

Karl Max said: "Workers of the world unite; you have nothing to lose but your chains." Apparantly, he felt rather than to compete, workers should all be as one equal, happy group of robots...(Gotta love those unions)...

Ironically (And a different post altogether) Capitalistic America is becoming more and more socialistic... Some may even say we are a socialist governement (What with social security, medicare, welfare, FEMA, etc...) But, like I said, a different topic... and one that used to fire me up, but I realize I cant do anything about it... anyone wannt join me to dump some tea in the lake?

bigsip said...

I see what you mean, Jamison.

But, apply the "competition equation" to a discussion we had recently about the church sign controversy.

You can be assured that there are plenty of people feel justified in causing the controversy because they feel like we're in a competition with people.

We're not, we're fighting against Satan.

When you apply such a philosophy to the wolrd as a whole, the same thing comes to the surface. Kids who play sports and are picked last or not rewarded when they lose a little league baseball game are being slighted in the biggest way.

This teaches kids that just because their physical prowess may not be up to the other kids, they are inferior.

The best approach, therefore, is to help each child find his or her strengths and not promote their weaknesses so much as competition so often does.

Education is moving in good directions in this way. They've been using diverse programs to help kids find their strengths for years in Europe. As a result, job satisfaction is high and turnover is very low there.

If we're speaking directly to the aspect of competition in sports, though, I still feel like it's something that should be deemphasized. Encouragement, health, and courtesy should be emphasized.

Competition in the workplace is a whole different thing, too. When people start getting into that, work becomes this all-consuming thing where you're constantly trying to show how important you are to "the company".

I guarantee you that any employee at any business could die today and that business will not fail, go bankrupt, or hurt much at all. They'll just send flowers and hire someone else.

In my view, competition and pride go hand in hand. That's why I'm pretty averse to it.

bigsip said...

It's funny, but we compete with each other on here plenty.

I think "competition" as a word has been given a bad connotation.

I look at it as "winner take all" when competing is really about people just sharing opposing sides in an effort to enjoy doing something and "passing time".

Sports and competition are about being entertained and passing time.

It's the way some folks come through in those competitions that irks me and the idea that if you're not the big winner, you're nothing.

What's the phrase? "He who is last shall be first and he who is first shall be last..."

Does competition instill the virtues of servant leadership? Does it lead one toward humility and kindness? If so, that's great! But, I'm not seeing that in most attitudes out there today.

Jamison said...

If you want to get religious about this non-religious discussion, then I dont think have to quote the Bible verse where Paul sort of eludes to sports A race). Heck, the disiples were fishermen. To make a good living, they probably had to catch more and bigger and better fish than the other fishermen in the area, go capitalism!

The David and Golioth scene was a bit of a competition too: "Bring your best dude out to fight our best dude, we will watch..."

I sense that you are stuck on thinking about "sports in america" too much when you hear the word "Competition". And since you really seem to not like sports, you think negativley about something that is really a very good thing.

If you play a sport and you are not competing in SOME way with someone else, then you are just exercising (And would look a bit silly playing a game of backyard football by yourself). If I play you in pool for example, your objective is to win... I mean, you dont want to beat me and rub my face in it, but the fun part about pool is the fact that I want to win, and you want to win. Both of us can not win, hense the competition makes the game more enjoyable... it would suck if all we wanted to do would be to just hit balls and get them in the hole with no scoring or winning or losing...

"Competition" in a game or sports is not a bad thing to me, it is what makes it "a game". From candyland to football, it makes it more fun. When Larissa and I play tennis, I try so hard to play by the rules. I hate saying "Eh, we are just goofing off, let it go". If I hit a ball the wrong way, I WANT to be penalized for it. If I am gonna play a game and break all the rules, then it is no longer a competitive event.

What makes me so mad is when I am teaching inner city classes. I seperate the kids into two teams and we do class like a "competition". Some of the kids are cool when they lose. But some have been so indoctrinated in that old "there are no winners or losers" junk that when they dont get something right or someone does something better than them, they hit the table, put their head down and say that they arent coming back next week... what did they want me to do? Give them something for nothing? Reward them for the wrong answer? Actually, yes. They apparently are used to that mentality.

Lively discussion here...

bigsip said...

Sorry...

To me, everything relates back to the Bible.

I can't help it.

I agree that we should strive to be better in everything we do. I love to win! I want to "win the prize" and go to Heaven.

But, "winning" for me shouldn't neccesarily mean losing for others.

I just think more attention should be paid to helping everyone succeed. Not everyone is going to know the answers or ring the basket.

But, with more encouragement and support, they can be proud of what they can do.

I just hate to see kids get so discouraged and think they're bad people when they don't do something just right.

Perpetuating this way of looking at life doesn't help at all.

The Platonic method of letting the cream rise to the top and discarding all of the rest as crap is what I disagree with.

I'm afraid that's what's happening all around now, though. It's sad.

Jamison said...

I really dont see that happening, especially in the governmental realm. The rich and successful are punished with higher taxes and simply being called "evil" and the poor, less successful, and less educated are given virtually anything for free. Nothing we would want to live off of, but may are so used to getting it for free, why work?
This is why I see America being a pretty much socialist society; The hard workers work hard for the non-hard workers.

bigsip said...

Yeah, I'm definitely not for socialism.

I believe in the principle that those who work will be given a just wage.

As Paul said, "If a man will not work, neither let him eat."

I'm just for balance all around.

Something I do like is the recent development of "Upwards" sports.

There are several kid at Dalraida who play "Upwards Basketball". They don't keep score in the "Upwards" sports.

They do this so that the kids will just get out there and have fun.

These programs were at their advent when I was a P E major at Faulkner and were touted by early developmentalists as being great for kids.

They found that taking the competitive aspect out of the game actually made things much better.

Since there was no pressure to score, the kids concentrated simply on playing the game and having fun.

Also, the parents didn't get into fights and yell at their kids and coaches because the whole competitive aspect was removed.

I really think games and fitness are awesome! I enjoy playing sports and having fun. But, kids are very sensitive and impressionable.

They already have enough pressure with school work and other life/growing up issues. Adding the extra stress to perform or be seen as a failure can really screw a kid up.

Overall, I think games/sports for fun are great. I just think there's too much pressure and politicism out there to allow kids to really enjoy most of it.

Just have fun! That's all I'm saying.

Jamison said...

Either we are both having very sow days at work or our friends are having very busy ones...

Jamison said...

sow = slow

bigsip said...

haha!

Yeah, kinda slow, here.

I just have the blogger up and keep checking back occasionally.

It's fun to discuss!

Lisa said...

Did you know rock climbing was actually an exhibition sport at this year's Winter Olympics?

If that ever made it into the Olympics as a sport, it would be very cool to watch!

Every time I hear the word curling in respect to sports, I picture women sword fighting with hot curling irons. Must be residual issues I haven't worked out since burning myself as a young teenager trying to rid herself of straight hair.

Rachel said...

My take on it is this:

Adult sports= competition good
Young kids' sports= competition can be bad if taken too far

I like the idea of Upwards sports, too. For young kids, that is. Once you get to high school, though, it's time to face reality a bit more.

Brewster said...

My take. Healthy competition is good. In sports you play to win, this makes you practice/train/play harder. It makes you better. However when that boils over so that you do anything to win, then it is bad. This causes athletes to take drugs to improve their performance, causes ice skaters to break legs.

Same way in business. Healthy competition makes the companies create better products and reduce prices. Unfortunately what happens is this all to often leads to bad business practices. They pay a tiny wage, offer no benefits and work people to death (thank you unions)

From all sides we need to stress that "winning" isn't everything.

DefinitelyI agree that with childrens sports the fitness/fun aspect should be pushed, not the winning. As an adult if I am stressed out because I lose a game, then somethings wrong. If I get stressed out because a team I watch on TV loses a game, then I need help.

Schools seem to have emphasized this idea that kids should always be praised and never punished. Which creates the stupid/sulking kids you are talking about Jamison.

This may not be a "religious" discussion, but everything we do needs to have a flavor of religion.

I don't think socialism is bad, at least ideally. The idea isn't that we sit around and give money to lots of deadbeats. The idea is that we all help each other. Christianity is all about helping those who cannot help themselves. Of course the problem with socialism and even our governmental programs is that people take advantage.

Capitalism taken to the exrreme is everyone for themselves, leaving those who cann't help themselves on the streets starving to death.

Jamison said...

Okay, I see and agree with the little kid sport stuff...

Brew... good point on Socialism and it sort of goes along with what I have felt all along: The socialism is a good thing, when the government isnt involved with it.

People may look at america as a mean, hateful, selfish country, but when bad things happen, we help each other, and other countries.

Look at Katrina... countless churches headed down there ASAP to help, people donated money, clothes, food, diapers, etc. Companies sponcered trips down there to help and offered money... seeing all of that got me to thinking "FEMA is good, but they can take a backseat to good old fashion american heart."

I was watching curling tonight (Again) and another cool aspects of sports hit me:
Think about the olympics; here you have many sports that people from all over the world play. 2 countries that have nothing in common, not even the ability to communicate with each other, and they are able to play a game, whose rules surpasses all obsticals of communication, social, political, and religious. It unites.

Brewster said...

I tend to be a socialist at heart. And it irks me to here capitalists knocking the idea. People are so f'ing greedy that they'll knock down the sick, the poor to get a few more bucks.

But then I look at socialism in action and it sucks. Take a look at France, they have an absolutely huge unemployment rate. Those who do work have half their paycheck taken away from them. They get nearly free medical service, but it sucks because all the good doctors go elsewhere for better pay.

bigsip said...

Yeah, state run health care is bad bad bad...

Lots of my aversion to sports is a knee-jerk reaction because of all the bad things I have seen and researched about it.

I think Rachel and Brew presented it in a good way.

I do, however, think that people put too much emphasis on sports, entertainment, etc. and that takes away from our devotion to God.

I've discussed it before and you all know where I stand. I just see so many people worshiping idols and it bothers me.

I wish people would get that excited or more ecited about God and Jesus and the Word...

But, yes, sports and other stuff are fun. Heck, I'm all about playing music and it excites me!

Diana said...

I'm really not a competitive person by nature. I stink at sports and when I play scrabble my goal is to cover the board with letters, never mind the points. When I was little, I used to like being sent to jail because people would park in the 'just visiting' space.

I've always had the 'everybody wins' mentality and I'm going to implement that into my classroom. NO COLORING CONTESTS!!!!

I've been trying to create some competition at my new job. My old store was all about trying to one up somebody and at my new store, their just sort of apathetic. Right now we're doing a contest to see who can make the most customers try a new lotion, but they're just not getting into it. It’s very disheartening. I’m have a stressful month in general, though. I need hugs and spring break!

bigsip said...

Hugs await!

Sorry things have been stressful, Di. Try to scrape some stuff off your plate.

I think you have the correct "participation" mindset with kids.

In my early-childhood PE classes, participation and no competition were emphasized. The whole point of it is to get the kids moving and active and having fun!

Maybe you and your co workers should make a game of it. Don't make it competitive. Make it about having fun!

Tell them, "Let's play a game! See how many people you can get to try the new hand cream while using the word 'Spaghetti-Os'."

Then watch them...

They'll say things like..."Oh, you'll love this lotion, maam! It feels just like warm Spagheetti-Os!"

Now, that's fun!

Jamison said...

"Let's play a game! See how many people you can get to try the new hand cream while using the word 'Spaghetti-Os'."

whether you like it or not, there is a winner and a loser in this game...

whoever gets the most, wins...

When did that become an evil thing? To win a game? When did it become evil to play hide and seek and find the person who was hiding? When did playing tag become evil? If someone gets tagged, they are it, and in essence, the 'loser'.

if more than one people play a game, and rules are involved, there is a winner and a loser. If you break the rules, you lose.

Im not talking about a salesman stabbing his sales teammate in the back for more commision, and I am not talking about cheating in basketball to win the game. Im talking about simple follow the rules, the winner wins.

Was watching speed skating last night. The cool thing about the olympics is that you have a handful of the BEST in the world... so I think it is cool to see that there is one that is the best/fastest... i mean, they cant all be.

The difference in gold, silver, and bronze was LITERALLY 10ths of a second difference...

Virtual tie of course, but someone had to be faster, so we now know. The winner was happy, the loser was honroed to be there, and hands were shaken. Sportsmenship at its best.

Competition, games, and sports have a bad side. But there is no such thing as bad competition, only bad competitors. No such thing as a bad sport, just bad sportmen. I mean, sports are nothing more than written rules on paper. A winner and a loser are defined in the rules. How the winner wins or how the loser loses is the fault of the individual competitor, not the game/sport itself.

bigsip said...

So true...

It's like the good things God gives us.

We choose to do evil things with those good gifts sometimes. It's not God's fault that happens.

People tend to corrupt so much that I guess it just turns me off to see it.

You're right that competition in and of itself is not bad. It's the envy and jealousy that are so often in people's hearts when faced with winning and losing that's the problem.

We should play tennis sometime. I haven't played in a while.

If you win, I promise to be gracious and say, "Good game." and shake your hand and mean it...

Jamison said...

Speaking of Tennis, Larissa told me she saw Brian W playing Tennis with 2 other guys... I will have to get on to him tonight for not calling me.... I mean, he KNOWS i play and HE KNOWS i live int eh same neighborhood... I think he thinks I stink and doesnt want me to play with them :(

bigsip said...

Nah...he probably just didn't think about it...

We should form a tennis gang and take on his gang...

We can call ourselves "The Princes" or "The Wilsons" or something...