Thursday, February 18, 2010

Hello, my name is Mike, and I am a curling addict.

It's true.

I've tried, and tried, and tried. I simply can not stay away from it, nor can I get enough of it.

I am addicted to curling.

There are worse things to be addicted to, mind you, but give me two teams that can draw a shot around a front guard into the 4 foot, or even the button, and my heart simply does backflips.

No doubt you have seen some of it, or overheard people talking about it. If you follow me on Twitter, you've seen me tweeting the action after the completion of an end. I may have lost some followers because of this obsession For that, I apologize.

Watching Team USA struggle so far has been gut-wrenching. USA Skip John Shuster has struggled in bringing his team into the win column. It has been a forgettable Olympics for that crew, but they will soldier on, likely to finish without a medal, but they will go through their remaining games doing what they can to earn a respectable finish.

Why am I addicted? I got nothing. It's 4 players, sliding on their shoes down a sheet of ice, chasing after a 42 pound stone, and helping it slide down the ice by brushing the ice to help it go further or straighter. No frilly costumes, or even luger's tights. It's golf shirts and slacks. The "every man" game. I am not about to call these men and women athletes, but I will give them credit for being able to do something very unique, and certainly not easy.

By comparison, have you ever played golf? Try hitting a putt 93 feet, and getting it to within 12 inches (or better) of your target. Players on the PGA tour can do that, sometimes. granted they aren't generally 93 feet from the cup on any green. Ever play pool? Try to take the cue ball and hit a "lag" shot:1 rail ahead, and stop it along the rail that you're standing over. Not easy.

I guess it's the science, and strategy involved that draws me into the broadcasts. This "curling fever" is nothing new for me. In my days working in Raleigh, I remember dialing up the CBC Network on one of our satellite dishes, and stumbling across the World Curling Championships. They were being played in Canada, so no doubt, it was a major deal. I threw in a tape on the games (it was the championship match between Canada and Finland I believe), and proceeded to roll off 180 minutes of tape to cut highlights from. I cut and used the highlights at the end of our Sunday show. Some thought it was a joke, others thought it was just a kicker story. For me, it was pure. It was right. It felt so good.

If being addicted to curling is wrong, I don't want to be right.

If you live in the Triangle, you can check out the The Triangle Curling Club or follow them on Twitter @trianglecurling. In Charlotte, you can check out or on Twitter @
They are having a watch party this Saturday for US-Sweden. More details at their site.

Mike Solarte

Follow me on Twitter!!!


shana said...

It must run in the family, I can't get enough of it either!! Expect to see me on Team USA in 2018.

Mike Solarte said...

I will be joined by my friends Darin Gantt, Steve White and Bill Voth, with Rob Paul as an alternate as we chase gold in 2014 in Russia.

Anonymous said...

It's hypnotizing.. EH!

Jean Mills said...

Great post, Mike! Always love to hear about fellow addicts. I'm also really interested in how popular curling is becoming in the U.S.

Grassroots Curling

Dave Dietz said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dave Dietz said...

I too am addicted. If you want even more culing the US Club Nationals are being played this week at the Madison, WI curling club. The club is broadcasting over the web one game each draw. There are 4 draws a day and a couple of teams broadcast their own games. I love it. Check it out.
go to the Madison Curling Club or UStream and look for 2010 Club Nationals or this URL:

Anonymous said...

These Olympic curlers ARE athletes. We've been in Vancouver all week and have attended many draws. We're also curlers ourselves. These games are 3 hours long and each team plays 9 games in 7 days. That's miles of sweeping and the strategy involved is mentally exhausting. So many sports rely on muscle memory and fast reflexes. Curling is physical and cerebral.