OT: Team USA Curling in Win-or-Die Game Tonight

Submitted by gbdub on February 20th, 2018 at 2:47 PM

The US Men's team, with wins over Canada and Switzerland in their last two games, sits 4-4 in the round robin, and must win their next and final game against Great Britain (really Scotland) to have a shot at the 4-team medal playoff.

That game is tonight at 8:05 PM 12:05 AM Eastern. Best bet is to stream on the NBC Sports app.

Team USA controls their own destiny: a loss and they are out but a win secures them at least a tiebreaker game opportunity to make the playoff.

Your rooting interests for this last session:

1) USA beats GBR

2) CAN beats DEN DEN beats CAN (thanks for the correction Alton)

3) KOR beats JPN

4) Whoever in SWE vs. NOR. Sweden has already guaranteed the top seed, and Norway was eliminated with a loss against Italy.

This creates a 4 way tie for 2nd. USA would take the 2nd seed by virtue of their 3-0 record against the other 3. The other 3 are all 1-2 against the 4 tied teams (and 1-1 against each other), so the third seed would be awarded to whoever has the best score from the last stone draws (currently SUI). The final two teams would play for the last spot.

This would put Sweden and Canada in the 1 and 2 spots, with a 3-way tie for 3rd between USA, GBR, and SUI. USA would automatically advance due to their wins over both teams, and SUI and GBR would play a single tiebreaker game for the last spot.

If Japan beats Korea, this would create a 5-way tie at 5-4 for the last 3 playoff spots. Again, USA would advance automatically by virtue of their top record against the tied teams (they would be 3-1), leaving CAN, GBR, SUI, and JPN to play two tiebreakers, with the two winners advancing.




February 20th, 2018 at 2:58 PM ^

I use a simple metric of what is an actual sport: The "Could I do this while drunk and high without dying?" Scale. 

Baseball? Nope, fastball to the face.

Downhill skiing? Nope, into a tree at 90 mph. 

Golf? Nope, testicles stuck in ball washer while making a joke to amuse my caddy.

Curling? Yup. Therefore, not a sport. 


February 20th, 2018 at 5:04 PM ^

they are getting leagues together up here the last couple of years.  its just not my season in life to have time for that.

as to the physical exertion part though, and with a nod to gbdub below if he can produce the serious curling injury videos, i have a hard time believing that its too strenuous.  to put it another way, a 2 minute shift against OSU invovlved a lot more yelling, hitting with sticks, and sliding on the ice than a 10 or 15 second curl would.  and the other curling team wouldn't be trying to remove my head, which at least to a guy like me makes a difference in the physicality of any given sport.   

EDIT:  response to stephen, got dropped here somewhy.  thanks drupal. 


February 20th, 2018 at 5:11 PM ^

I mean, in no way am I going to argue that curling is as physical as hockey. Most sports aren't.

You do have to be pretty fit to be elite though. Sweeping is HARD - it can be maximum effort for ~30 seconds down a hundred feet of ice bent in an awkward position. It's even harder to slow your breathing and heart rate down to concentrate and make a good shot immediately afterward. It's super precise - a degree of error in line is enough to completely miss a takeout.

And throwing isn't super exertion, but it's a lot of stretch and a ton of balance, working some odd muscles in weird positions. You will be sore in places you forgot you had. 


February 20th, 2018 at 6:40 PM ^

Is sprinting for 30 seconds, up to 60 times over the course of an hour and a half, sufficiently hard?

"Sweeping" in curling is much more strenuous than swiffering your floor, whatever it may look like. The whole point is to move your arms as quickly as possible while putting as much of your body weight as possible into the broom head. Done right it's a pretty athletic move.

Granted you hope your team is throwing well and you don't have to sweep that hard, but it's a distinct possibility. If a shot comes up short and you aren't winded, you will definitely take shit from your skip.


February 20th, 2018 at 3:49 PM ^

I've personally witnessed a skull fracture and multiple concussions due to curling, and the participants were sober.

Regardless, eh whatever if it's not your cup of tea. It doesn't require you to be a freak athlete from a purely physical perspective (although sweeping can burn about 500 calories an hour - seriously it's a lot more effort than it looks). It's mostly flexibility, concentration, balance, muscle memory. It's a game. But so is skeet shooting and golf, and those are in the Olympics too.

Plus it has less downtime and fewer commercial breaks than football, there are no replay officials, the commentators have great accents, and it's more fun than watching a stopwatch or trying to figure out what the hell a "twizzle" is.


February 20th, 2018 at 5:17 PM ^

I have no video, as these were in club games. Mostly it's from falling while sweeping and cracking your head on the ice (even a couple Olympians have fallen this year, but they are better at falling). Ice is hard and slippery, and you don't wear any protective gear usually. I've not personally witnessed this, but I've heard of cracked ribs from falling and taking a handle from a rock in the chest.

The most dangerous part is sweeping a fast rock when a lot of other rocks are in play - it's hard to keep track of everything at once, and it's pretty easy to trip over a stone.

I mean, "is getting injured a common part of the game" is kind of a silly way to define a sport, but I'm not the one that proposed it.

Goggles Paisano

February 21st, 2018 at 5:51 AM ^

Way back in the day a friend of mine (not the sharpest pencil in the pack) had to shit while on the golfcourse.  Off he goes into the woods to handle his business.  Comes out and wipes his ass with the ball washer towel.  The chemicals from the washer fluid burned his ass up something fierce.  It was funny as hell.  


Duke of Zhou

February 20th, 2018 at 5:16 PM ^

If you think golf is a sport you've lost all credibility with me.  Golf is a fun game, but not a sport.  Basically, if the opposition plays defense, it is a sport.  If not, it's a competive activity.  So bowling, darts, golf, etc. are not sports.  In curling, the opponents can sweep the ice to facilitate the removal of stones from the scoring area.  Therefore, it is a sport.


February 20th, 2018 at 3:23 PM ^

Curling is a game.  But it's not called the Olympic Sports.

I've always held fast to the notion that a sport is a game where defense is physically and actively employed.

Sports examples:

> The usual major sports everyone knows

> Tennis

> Ping Pong

> Cricket

> Badmitten

> Boxing

> Auto racing and horse racing (even though a human is not exerting the force directly)


Games examples:

> Golf

> Bowling

> Curling

> A Free Throw Contest

> Rowing

> Skiing

> Swimming

> Any track and field event that does not involve active defense

> Gymnastics


February 20th, 2018 at 4:09 PM ^

Seeing this thread go down the road of what is and is not a sport has me, once again, sitting here thinking to myself:

"I'd piss on a spark plug if I thought it would help!"

That movie is highly quotable in its own way. 

I need to use this one more often on the board too:

Remember you told me to tell you when you were acting rudely and insensitively? Remember that? You're doing it now.


February 20th, 2018 at 3:35 PM ^

This doesn't make sense to me. 

First, why is "active physical defense" the specific criteria for a sport? You're excluding events like the 100-meter dash, which is the most basic athletic competition in existence. And you are including automobile and horse racing, which are far more marginal.

Second, how do you define defense? A crucial aspect of curling is the process of attempting to prevent your opponent from placing their rocks in the center of the circle. They throw rocks that are actually (and properly) referred to as "guards." They knock opponent rocks out of place and place their own rocks in places that prevent the opponent from accessing the space they need. At the very least, there is as much "defense" there as there is in, say, horse racing.