Curling, Al Michaels, and My General Ignorance

 The first time I saw curling on television I immediately thought, "What are those idiots with brooms doing? And why don’t they use a Dyson or a Roomba like the rest of us?"

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there’s a draw in there somewhere, but I just can’t see it. For me, curling lacks the raw athleticism and action that I normally associate with, and seek out in, sports. Yes, if you ask me, curling is missing something. Actually, now that I think about it, it lacks… Well, everything! 

Can’t we all agree that it would be more entertaining if there was at least one body check in there? Can’t we agree that it could use some trash talking and an ejection or two? Can’t we agree it’s not a sport if it uses household cleaning products? Beyond that, as far as I can see, it lacks in drama and suspense that make our pulses race and break our hearts. I mean, as the “rock” makes its way across the “sheet” to the “house” (these are all real terms, I promise), can you imagine Al Michaels screaming, “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?”

Let’s just say that for me, if Al Michaels can’t get excited about it, neither can I!

And while I am not alone in my assessment, it should be noted that curling has a huge following across this country and the sport is growing at a rapid rate. In fact, America secured its first ever Olympic Gold in curling and rinks are popping up in places far and wide as curlers seek a place for their curliverse! 

True, I don’t get excited about curling, not because it doesn’t contain excitement, but because I’m not educated enough to know what to get excited about. After all, I get excited about other boring stuff like golf and baseball. Come on, who among us hasn’t drifted off on the couch during the seventh inning stretch or while watching Phil Mickelson walk the fairway?

I wonder if curlers look at my competitive events they way I look at theirs. I wonder if they see a drum corps, marching band, or show choir competition and wonder why those people are running around on a field and stage. I wonder if they struggle to make sense of throwing guns in the air and wearing bird feathers on our head. I wonder if they see an indoor Winter Guard International show and think, “At least we use an ice rink for an ice sport. They use a basketball court but don’t use basketballs?”

To be fair though, I wonder if orchestra people have similar thoughts.

To be real, parents, students, and administrators don’t always understand what we do. They don’t understand the subtle nuance of a piece of choreography or drill. They don’t understand the difference between four and eight part harmony. They don’t understand the difficulty of a drum lick or mallet solo and yet we still expect them to be excited about what we do. Their lack of excitement is based on a lack of understanding, and that’s not on them, that’s on me! After all, I am the educator and it is my job to teach! So teach I must and teach I will, so we can ALL share in the excitement.

Yes, I LOVE this activity. But to be fair, Al Michaels never screamed “DO YOU BELIEVE IN MIRACLES?” after the Blue Devils performed either.

Have a great week!

p.s. Thanks to everyone who submitted note to the students and staff of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Performing Arts Department. Today we were able to share over 3500 messages of love and support with those who were affected by this tragedy. Alex asked me to convey his sincere appreciation and gratitude for all of your kindness.