The Olympics continue to blow my mind. First there was the amazing drone light show during the Opening Ceremony that I’m still trying to wrap my head around, and now curling just dropped another bomb on me. I already have no idea how curling works. I have a tenuous grasp on the overall concept, but as soon as you try and get into the rules and strategies, I’m lost. I know that it looks like something someone like me could do. I also know that, in reality, if i tried curling I’d fall flat on my face and make myself look like an idiot. But one thing I didn’t know, at least until today, is that curling does not have any officials.
Thats right, the sport of curling is self-regulated. If there’s a dispute during the match, the players resolve it themselves. It’s street ball rules: call your own fouls. Crazy. That kind of shit would never work in mainstream sports. Could you imagine two NFL teams trying to come to a mutual agreement on whether or not a wide receiver caught a ball? They have officials and still can’t even figure that out. If it were left up to the teams to decide, blood would be shed. But apparently that’s how it’s done in curling. And apparently they can come to an agreement in a civil manner. Incredible. It just goes to show you that curlers are so much more advanced than the rest of society. It’s a shame more kids don’t look up to curlers as their childhood idols.
For those of you that missed it (and shame on you for doing so), there was a point during a match between China and Norway where one of the members from Team China pushed Norway’s stone out of the field of play with her foot. She either thought the stone had gone out of bounds and bounced back into play, or she was trying to cheat and got busted. Either way, Team Norway was quick to catch it. Play was stopped and the two teams tried to determine what had happened. That’s when one of the Norwegian players turned, seemingly to the crowd, and asked whether or not it was in (TWSS). After a few seconds of no response, he asked the question again. Now you’ll have to excuse me for thinking this was just Team Norway’s way of having a bit of fun with the situation. After all, Norwegian curlers have long been known for their sense of humor. Whether it be hilarious pranks during curling practice or silly responses that they give during the post-match press conferences, Team Norway likes to have a good time.
“LOL! Classic Norway! Asking the audience to assist with a call? That’s hilarious,” I said from my couch. “Magnus, you’re a riot! Now let’s get the official in here and get a ruling. I’ve got dinner reservations and I’m not sure how I’m going to explain to my wife that we have to miss happy hour at Applebees again because another curling match went long.”
And that’s when the TV announcer hit me with it. There are no officials. The sport is self-regulated. Looks like the joke’s on me. The two sides agreed that the stone was actually in play, so they put it back in and went on with the match. No yelling. No fighting. I just can’t fathom it. Even if they did settle the dispute peacefully on the ice, I’m like 90% sure Norway and China are at war now. There’s no way adults can come to an agreement on something without some sort of conflict arising. I hope it was worth it.
While we’re on the subject of curling, I think Matt Hamilton is officially my favorite athlete on Team USA. Check this dude out. He’s like a mix between Andy Reid and Super Mario. That mustache was absolutely made for curling. I’m definitely buying a Matt Hamilton Team USA curling jersey. Oh, and if he can do it, then I can definitely do it…Embed from Getty Images