"Go to your home, Stone!"
Twelve days of coverage (Feb. 16-27), two different types of shoes, an exquisite green, white and blue bullseye and brooms your cleaning lady could only dream of ... you can stop trying to win us over curling, you had us at hog line. The pain and anguish on the faces of U.S. skippers Debbie McCormick and John Shuster has kept us glued to our TV sets over the past four days. We're so intrigued by this sport we've already put in a request at our local gym for a 150-foot ice sheet.
A week ago we wouldn't have said this, but we're kind of disappointed curling isn't showcased outside of the Olympic arena. If we had our druthers, it would be televised year-round with Hank Williams Jr. singing the theme song for Tuesday Night Curling. However, we do acknowledge the sport needs a bit of a makeover before going mainstream. We're not touching the rules; those are fine. But in order to strengthen its fan base, the world of curling could use a few tweaks.
Courtside Seats: Watching it on TV is cool, but what if you could sit courtside? The blue trimming that divides each ice sheet would be the perfect location for floor seating. Picture it as sitting in a golf gallery with the chance of snagging a signed broom, which, incidentally, would make the perfect centerpiece over any fireplace.
Bad Boys & Girls: If you're not a curling enthusiast you'd have a tough time putting the faces with the names. That's why we need to start marketing these curlers right now. Chris Plys of the U.S and Great Britain's Eve Muirhead are the perfect duo for teenagers and twenty somethings to relate to. Stubble, awesome hair, dual earrings and 13 tattoos, including a giant one on his arm, make Plys the perfect answer to Twilight's Taylor Lautner. And Muirhead, we haven't seen someone rock the black and blonde highlight like this since Christina Aguilera let her genie of the bottle.
Mic'd Up: Every other sport is wiring their players for an inside look at the game and so should curling. What are the coaches thinking? Is there a game plan for each match? What's the strategy behind each shot? If the fans don't know what's going on, it's tough to relate. Plus, if we get enough coaching quotes we can create an awesome curling mash-up. "The b-b-b-b-broom stick is your backbone."
Skills Competition: Most casual fans think they can throw a stone just as well as the professionals and that's why we need a skills competition. Two quick ideas: a trick-shot challenge similar to bowling and a shot-power event like the NHL uses during their All-Star weekend. These curling stones weigh as much as 40 lbs., hence we would love to see these athletes launching them at crash test dummies.
Available Apparel: Whether it's a track jacket or a jersey with your favorite curler's name on it, they need to be readily available to the public. On top of looking really comfortable, how can fans show team spirit if they can't wear the apparel? Plus, we'd like to dress as a bunch of curlers for Halloween and right now we look like a clan of lame witches with brooms.