weather icon Clear

The U.S. Olympic curling team made it to Sochi — don’t all celebrate at once

I know curling is on the top of your mind because it’s that time of year, right? No, I am not talking to all the women out there who curl their hair. I am talking about the Olympic Sport of curling. Yes, it is that time of year and the Sochi Winter Olympics will be starting on Feb. 7 and continuing until Feb. 23.

What? The city of Sochi is not familiar to you either? Well, join the club.

Of course, as you are reading this you are probably yelling at your significant other to Google Sochi, I know I had to.

Sochi is a city on the Black Sea of all places and is in Russia.

Not only is it a town in Russia on the Black Sea but it will be the location of the 2014 Winter Olympics.

By the numbers, the Olympics are pretty impressive, over 50 billion dollars has been spent. The Winter Olympics only occurs every four years just like the summer games and this year the winter games will have 89 events and 15 sports. There will be 6,000 athletes attending from 85 countries and 375 athletes from the United States. Russia will deploy 37,000 security officials to protect the athletes. (These numbers were provided by the Sochi Winter Olympic Games Organizing Committee.)

Now back to curling. Curling, what in the heck is that? I was watching the trials on TV and wow, I was sticking a hot poker in my eye. It was truly like watching paint dry. I bet nobody in your house hold can name a member of the US. curling team.

Does Jared Zezel, a 22-year-old senior college student from Minnesota ring a bell? Or how bout the captain of the team John Shuster from Duluth Minn. The team is actually made up of four and the other two are Jeff Isaacson (Virginia, Minn.) and John Landsteiner (Duluth, Minn.). Go figure — the entire team is from Minnesota. These names are hardly like Michael Phelps where everyone knows who they are. Perhaps we will have a Shuster on the Wheaties box someday — I don’t thinks so.

Curling to me is kind of like watching golf on TV. They are about the same. I am sorry, I had to say this. When I need to sleep on the weekends after a terrible week … for the weekend power nap, I turn on golf. It puts me to sleep right away.

Curling is just like that. I did try to stay awake to see our team make the Olympic team, but after watching for an hour I just couldn’t do it.

I have to give credit though to where credit is due. The curling announcers for the Olympics are really something. One can tell they really pulled all the stops out and really tried to make this thing exciting to the public.

If you were watching it on TV it would have sounded like this, “Shuster is ready with the rock. He really has to put this one in the house. This is the hammer shot and it’s got to land and curl to the right so it hits the other rock out of the house! There it goes … it’s still going … ” and of course what seems like an eternity passed and the rocks collided on the ice and the 10 people in the stands — probably a crowd bused in from the local senior center erupted in applause.

The sport may not be the most exciting in the world, but at least we have a team going. In fact we have two, a male and female team. Go USA!

From what I can tell, the sport is quite simple. How it works is you have a strip of ice about the size of a hockey rink but much narrower. The object is you take this granite round stone and it is slid toward a giant bull’s eye at the other end. You get eight of these stones and you have to score but you also keep the other team from scoring by trying to knock their stone out of the “house.” House is what they call the big bull’s eye at the end of the ice strip.

Well, the team just won at a place called Fuessen, Germany to qualify for the Olympics and this means more curling during the Olympics, yes!

OK, so it’s no way like football or the NFL playoffs on TV and I hardly expect anyone to go out and buy a stone to start practicing on all the ice we have out here.

I just thought some people would like a break from the NFL playoffs and I thought some people would like to explore other sports besides football. I even thought we could all join hands and sing Kumbaya.

Let’s end on a positive note.

The final four of the NFL games are here. It will be the San Francisco 49ers against the Seattle Seahawks for the NFC title and the Denver Broncos against the New England Patriots for the AFC title. Both games will be played on Jan. 19 starting with the AFC game at 12 p.m. our time on CBS. This will be followed by the NFC game on Fox at 3:30 p.m. our time.

‘Here we go’: Tonopah coach gets ready for next year

TONOPAH — A retired Nye County Sheriff’s sergeant who traveled the nation has parked his RV in Tonopah once again to coach the Muckers baseball team.

Sportsman’s Quest: The Story Teller

The time of hunting and fishing conventions has come to an end and the hunting guides-outfitters have returned home to prepare for another season. I’m left with my head full of new stories and my sides still aching from laughing at the crazy tales and humorous, if sometimes dangerous, adventures we’ve shared at vendor booths, in the hallways, hotel rooms and yes, while sipping a beverage in the local “watering holes.”

JIM BUTLER DAYS: Horseshoes group honors Tonopah founder

Six competitive horseshoe pitchers met in a Nevada town with roughly 2,000 residents and home of the Clown Motel, which is next to a cemetery that dates back to 1901 in Tonopah.

Pahrump Valley baseball | 3 Trojans make top 100 in division

The defending state champion Pahrump Valley baseball weren’t able to bring home another title this season, but three standouts for the Trojans ranked in the top 100 players in the 3A division for their batting averages.

Off-roaders compete in 60-mile Beatty poker run

Beatty was filled with off-road enthusiasts for last month’s BigHorn Outback Explorers’ annual Poker Run. In all, 176 vehicles, including ATV’s, UTV’s, Jeeps, and trucks, took to the 60-mile route through Beatty’s outback backyard

Pahrump Valley baseball gets fifth straight win

Sitting undefeated in the 3A South-Mountain baseball standings, the Pahrump Valley Trojans got their fifth win in a row.