The US Men’s curling team lost their final game to China just now, finishing 2-7 in the round robin tournament, well out of medal contention. As skip John Shuster missed yet another shot in the 8th end, he was overheard to say “I’m sick of this stupid game.” Oh, Mr. Shuster… such good taste in baseball teams*, not such good luck on the curling sheet. The word “shustered” was even coined for his style of play. (That style would be missing the big shot in key situations, it seems. Although hey, he’s got a bronze medal from 2006 and you don’t.)
On the plus side for the sport of curling, everyone I’ve talked to who has paid the slightest bit of attention (and, okay, all but one of those people were people I introduced curling to) has joked that they’re going to learn to curl so that they too can go to the Olympics and screw it all up. After all, it can’t be that hard to beat Shuster’s team, can it? (Um, yeah, it probably can.) Even if most of those people never actually pick up a stone, some will (I will!), some of those will stick with it, and maybe even some of those will compete for the US in future Olympics and actually do well.
And so, John Shuster, while you might be sick of this game, the rest of the country is just starting to pay attention.
* If you don’t want to install silverlight, it’s a video of John Shuster talking about how he’s inspired by the Minnesota Twins. Given how the Twins of late have a habit of working hard to make it to the playoffs only to fail miserably once they get there, it’s kind of an apt inspiration.


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