5 Reasons You’re Going to Love Watching Curling in the Winter Olympics (Besides Diddy and Cheetos)

diddy-curling-ciroc-commercial

The Winter Olympics are just around the corner so, of course, I’m reliving some of my favorite moments to get amped up before the games begin.

Best known for his rap flow, Diddy is now getting noticed for his curling delivery. One of the best and most unexpected Winter Olympic moments from the Sochi-era came from a CÎROC ad in which P Diddy/Sean Combs/Puff Daddy/Diddy/Puff tried his hand at one of the more underrated Olympic sports: curling. Simply put, if you’ve never watched, it can be highly entertaining, just like this hilarious ad featuring Diddy.

The spot features a curler, digitally altered to look like Diddy, sliding the signature granite stone on the ice with careful precision. Eventually, the stone lands perfectly on the target followed by Ciroc’s, tag line, “Perfectly Smooth.”

The fact that Puff had his face green-screened onto an actual curler and wouldn’t even try to curl makes it funnier, in my opinion.

The ad, which aired in 2012, has recently made it back around the internet and caught the attention of NFL tight end Vernon Davis, who was the honorary captain of the USA Curling Team in 2014.

2BD - Diddy Curling_Vernon Davis Instagram

“Hey @diddy I see you caught the curling bug,” he posted to his Instagram. “If you ever need lessons from a seasoned veteran, holla at your boy 85!” (More from Vernon in a minute).

Actually, Vernon is a huge fan of curling, and he’s been watching and playing the sport for almost eight years now, so I think he’s a perfect candidate to be Diddy’s celebrity coach.

2BD - Curling_Diddy Tweet3

To back it up a bit, curling is a sport in which players slide stones on a sheet of ice towards a target area which is segmented into four concentric circles. Think: a modified, frozen version of shuffle board. Where it gets interesting is when the other curlers on the team literally sweep the ice to keep the sliding stone moving in a steady direction and right on target.

Believe it or not, a great deal of strategy and teamwork goes into choosing the ideal path and placement of a stone for each situation, and the skills of the curlers determine how close to the desired result the stone will achieve; this gives curling its nickname of, “chess on ice.”

Now, I make it my job to tie what’s going on outside the bubble of the 518 with what’s percolating within our realm of reality, and I bet you guys didn’t know the Capital Region has its very own Curling Club.

Yep, just a couple of miles from where I grew up, the Schenectady Curling Club has been rocking the ice since 1907. Their current facility on Balltown Road has four sheets of ice and is home to over 200 members, the vast majority of whom curl on a regular basis. The Club maintains that its members come from all walks of life and range in age from six to 85.

Do you want to know how it feels to throw 42 pounds of granite down a sheet of ice? Try your hand at the sport and attend the Schenectady Curling Club’s 2018 Olympic Open House on Friday, February 23, from 6-9pm. Who knows, you might catch me there! I’ll keep you posted.

So maybe 2018 is the year we all stop with the jokes (“If using a broom is an Olympic sport, then I’m an Olympian every day!”) and give curling the respect is deserves. It needs to stop; curling is great, and check these reasons why:

1. The rules are simple

Get your stone closest to the bull’s-eye; win. It’s that simple. There’s strategy involved, but the sport is easy to follow and easier to understand.

2. It’s a game of skill, not strength

Men and women compete on an even playing field, unlike the overwhelming majority of Olympic sports. Could curling become the first unisex sport at the Games? I wouldn’t bet on it, but with overall size and strength not part of the equation, curling is pretty gender neutral.

3. Viewers get amazing access

Curling is the only Olympic sport that puts a microphone on every competitor – all four members of each team, men and women. This give viewers unprecedented access into each team’s in-game strategy, not to mention the back-and-forth between teammates.

4. It’s just like the NCAA Tournament

Curling begins with a 10-team round robin, with each team playing nine matches. Consider that the regular season. After the round robin, the top four teams advance to the medal tournament, which runs on a bracket. Just like the College Football playoffs!

5. The crowds are fantastic.

Yeah, it was definitely a pro-Russian crowd at the Ice Cube Curling Centre in Sochi in 2014, but the Russians made a racket! Footage I caught captured the fans and their flags, vuvuzelas, thunder sticks, cow bells, some sort of maracas, and of course, lung power. Whenever the Russian team got a stone near the target, the crowd reacted like they just scored a touchdown.

6. The uniforms

Team USA always looks sharp thanks to Ralph Lauren or Nike; however, the same can’t be said for other teams. Some uniforms look like those zany team-colored zebra striped NFL pants from yesteryear. Hey, Russia, they 80s called, and they want their Zubaz back!
Lastly, as if those weren’t reasons enough to change your mind forever about curling, maybe Cheetos will. The Cheese Curl King supports the USA Curling Team’s Winter Olympic quest for Gold the year with a rap video, “Teach Me How To Curl,” featuring, you guessed it, 2014 honorary USA Curling Captain Vernon Davis!

Along with the video, Cheetos also announced a new USA Curling-inspired snack, Cheetos Winter White Cheddar Curls, which will be available for a limited time starting on Febrauary 12, just a few days after the start of the 2018 Winter Olympics, which kick off on February 9 in Pyeonchang, South Korea. It ain’t easy being cheesy, but I think I can curl up with some winter white cheddar and give it a shot!2BD - Curling_Cheetos Wonter White Cheddar


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Author: Katie

Daring and cheerful. An adventure waiting to happen. Mountain lover, explorer, storyteller, Oxford comma-enthusiast, hard cider aficionado.

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