You curl. I curl. Lots of people we know curl. Are you funny? Am I?
(No, actually, I’m not. In fact, I’m a terrible joke teller and often need punch lines explained to me.)
The point is, “curling is funny” leaves me shaking my head. Football is funny (tight pants, crazy moves). Soccer can be pretty darn funny with all that dramatic embellishment going on. Surely it’s all in the eye of the beholder.
And some beholders seem to have goggles on when it comes to curling.
The Curling News blog published a piece about the new CBC comedy, Men With Brooms. I don’t need to give you the drill: same people who did Corner Gas, based on Paul Gross’ affectionate but slightly off-base curling movie of the same name, etc., etc. The post includes links to the usual media outlets giving their reviews of the pilot, reviews that were pretty predictable (“the show is more about the people than it is about curling”). All good.
But then the Canadian Press piece starts: “There is something inherently funny about curling….”
Okay, hold it right there.
Which characteristic of curling makes the sport so funny,exactly?
Is it the balance, flexibility and strength required to float a rock down the ice to the button? Or throw a take-out that gets everything moving and clears the house?
Is it the judgment required to determine – using eyeball or stopwatch, doesn’t matter – when that rock is going to slow down, where it’s going to dig in, how it’s going to finish? And with that goes the power to drive those brushes into the ice without letting up until the rock hits its target or grinds to a halt. Try it – it’s not that funny.
Is it the skips’ hollering that seems funny? Is it the “Hurry hard! Harder!” which has drawn far too many sophomoric innuendos from uninformed non-curlers?
Curling is not “inherently funny”. Just ask Kevin Martin, pictured above at a Grand Slam event in Guelph last January. The Olympics brought curling’s appeal to the front of the sporting stage – it also showed that “funny” and “fun” are not the same thing. Curling – and curling fans – are fun, no doubt about it.
But “funny”? Can we move on, please, people?
(Photo: Jean Mills)