Sources from the Winter Olympics report that one of the hottest, or perhaps coldest (these are the winter games, after all), tickets is to the curling competition. This shouldn'êt surprise anyone who views curling as the quintessential sport for the host nation of Canada.
Curling, that is, combines the distinctly Canadian pastimes of bowling and housework, all of it done while people and objects glide on ice. Couldn'êt be more Canadian, one would imagine, if it were done while wearing plaid flannel shirts and sensible shoes and washing down beef stew with beer, eh?
Of course, as anybody who watches 'êJeopardy'ê will know, curling actually originated in Scotland, birthplace of other sporting occupations such as golf and Scotch whiskey-oriented drinking games. But curling has been of surpassing interest in North America since the formation in 1807 of the Royal Montreal Curling Club, still in existence today.
Little wonder, then, that fan appeal would be high in British Columbia, where curling competition is scheduled every day from Feb. 16 through 27. If it proves to be a popular attraction in television broadcasts, maybe a professional curling league could catch on among American fans, especially those dreading the void that would ensue from a talked-about work-stoppage with National Football League players after next season.
Not likely, you say? Decades ago did anybody really think there'êd be National Hockey League teams in U.S. Sunbelt cities from Tampa Bay to Anaheim?