Sunday, February 21, 2010

Vancouver Day 9: But Gretzky Scores on the Rebound

I thought it was an exciting day in the curling broadcast booth when Vernon Davis stopped in for an interview. In the evening session, living national treasure Wayne Gretzky made an appearance. Has there ever been such a highly revered athlete who came across as so genuinely humble? Is this where Federer and Nadal found their inspiration?

I loved the way the commentators were ribbing Gretz. When he was being shy about calling a shot, the color commentator said, "Come on, you are The Great One!" Good stuff.

Today was my day for curling immersion. I sorted out a few of the rules that had confused me. For instance, I now know who gets the hammer in a given end: the team that didn't score in the previous end. I also now better understand the delegation of responsibilities among team members. My next goal is a better comprehension of strategy.

Watching the Canada/Great Britain game (the on-air folks refer to them as games) was particularly instructive. In advising anyone new to international soccer, I would recommend that they watch as many other teams as they could before watching Brazil. They're the one team that makes everything look easy but it's difficult to appreciate that until you've seen others struggle. In tennis, replace Brazil with Roger Federer. With curling, Canada is clearly the model with the Brits providing a highly worthy foil.

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