House Call: A word about swearing, smack talk, broom bashing and other tomfoolery

Curling is a game. No match, that I know of (though perhaps it would make good reality TV), has ever been to the death. In league play there is no car on the line; in fact, there’s very little money on the line. At most we’re usually talking enough money to cover the bar tab after the game.

Curling is a game! (Photo CCA/Michael Burns)

I’m not innocent; I’ve muttered some curses after a big miss that would make a trucker blush. But honestly those moments of belligerence never made me proud and they didn’t get me the shot back either. Smack talk might be acceptable in other more aggressive sports, but curling is a gentleperson’s sport. If your opposition makes a beauty tell them honestly, “Great shot!” Camaraderie between teams is what our sport is built on. A drink in the lounge with the opposition is customary after a curling game, but who wants to have a brew with some jerks that swore and made nasty comments throughout the game? Broom smacking, throwing, swinging, breaking are all things I see more frequently than you’d think in league play and even in professional play, and I think it’s uncalled for. I repeat: Curling is a game. I have seen players break brooms, damage the ice, and even injure other players accidently because of the above mentioned mistreatment of brooms. Stop it! I repeat: Curling is a game. So, now that I’ve ranted and raved, I feel I must offer some sort of alternative solution. How about this? The next time you feel anger well up after a missed shot or you feel the urge to make a nasty comment to your opposition, take a deep breath, count to ten, and remind yourself you are an adult and curling is a game… for fun! And if all else fails take a tip from Heather Nedohin and stick to more creative non-expletives like, “Sugar-balls!”