It’s A Fine Line
WE HAVE BEEN WATCHING A LOT OF THE OLYMPICS LATELY. Well, not a lot – “some” would be more accurate. “Some” of the Olympics, the part that involves watching people slip, slide, and fall over. I can do that, but nobody offers to give me a Gold Medal.
I’m lucky if I can get a helping hand to get up from the ground. When I slip, slide, and fall over people either laugh and point or pretend to ignore me. I have yet to hear anyone say, “That will cost him at least one and a half points.” I’m just thankful it doesn’t cost me a broken hip. At my age when you break a hip the world starts to measure you for a pine box. Maybe I’d get more respect if I started to wear some Spandex and too much Make-up.
Maybe a little glitter.
Curling. It’s one of those things that straddles the line between being a Sport and being a Game. All of the other things being presented from the Olympics are definitely Sports, but Curling – I dunno. Putting uniforms on people and having husbands and wives as team mates makes it all a bit fuzzy.
There is a clear line of demarcation between a Game and a Sport. Let me explain.
If you are involved in a competition where someone is keeping score and you can be playing while you can still hold on to your beer – It’s a Game. If you have to preface your turn by saying, “Hold my beer,” – It’s a Sport.
Darts? That is most assuredly a Game. Hockey? That is a Sport. Beer Pong – Game. Biathlon – Sport (Thank God). But when it comes to Curling the line between the two gets kind of blurred. I mean, if you had a tavern big enough you could have Curling matches inside and keep the PBRs flowing.
When I first saw Olympic Curling I turned to my wife, the lovely and Olympically talented, Dawn, and said, “I could do that – and not spill a drop.” She just looked at me and nodded. She knew I wasn’t done.
“Curling is just Shuffleboard on Ice. I don’t like the Ice part, but still… I could do that. It is also just Bocce Ball on Ice.”
I grew up playing Bocce Ball outside with the elderly Italian men down at the Sons of Italy Club while my father would be inside having a beer or twelve and playing cards with the Monsignor. Curling is Bocce Ball without all of the Italians. And… It’s a Game.
“No. It’s an Olympic Sport,” she replied at last.
“Dearest Dawn, do you mean to say that you couldn’t play Curling while holding a beer? Of course you could – Ipso Facto, Ergo, and Caveat Emptor – it’s a Game.”
She mumbled something I couldn’t quite hear and changed channels.
Women’s Hockey. Now that is a Sport! Anything where you have to wear a face mask to participate is a Sport – or in some circumstances – a Felony. But, as sure as shooting, it ain’t no Game.