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Subject: Choke! [curling] rss

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If anyone else has been following the USA curling team, you'll know why I'm saying the following:

Spoiler (click to reveal)
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!!!


We just lost yet another match to go 0-4. In pretty much every match, the skip John Shuster has had a shot at the very end to win the game, and failed. Every. Single. Time.

In today's match that just ended, he had a pretty straightforward takeout with the hammer to win in overtime, but he hit the rock too square and jammed it onto one of his own, which left his opponents' rock closest to the button. I hate to say it, but he's turning out to be a real choke artist. There's even talk of him giving the title of skip to another team member, which will probably intensify with this latest loss. Not that it matters, because we're probably out of medal contention by now.

Oh yeah, and our womens' team isn't doing any better. shake
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AAGH! YOU'RE TOUCHING ME!
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I've really been surprised how much I've begun to enjoy watching curling. Once someone made a Crockinole analogy it just clicked with me.
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cold_fuzion wrote:
I've really been surprised how much I've begun to enjoy watching curling. Once someone made a Crockinole analogy it just clicked with me.

Yep, the first time I watched it, I was like, "What the heck are they doing?" But every Olympics since then, I've gotten into it more and more. I'm glad they are giving it so much coverage on USA and CNBC. It's just that I would enjoy it a lot more if our team could ever win a match. soblue
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John Burt
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cold_fuzion wrote:
I've really been surprised how much I've begun to enjoy watching curling. Once someone made a Crockinole analogy it just clicked with me.


And here I was thinking that Homer and Marge curling in the Olympics was going to be the route to acceptance...
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I miss the Torino games when curling was on at 6am ET. Perfect thing to watch while getting ready for work. (Plus, the unintentional comedy of listening to the German women's team scream was high.)
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Ryan Bruns
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My thoughts exactly. I'm so frustrated with Shuster right now. He had some great chances this week and each time I think "ok, John, time to redeem yourself" just to watch him make mistakes.

Great shooting in the 10th end by Denmark and I thought the US kept up pretty well, I felt good watching them go into 11th end with the hammer.

then......"OH C"MON....YOU GOTTA BE KIDDING ME!"

Here's to hoping the women win later today.
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I was just looking at the stats. I was quite surprised to find that neither US team had won a game yet.

Although the US women loosing to the China team was to be expected, China is phenomenal this year.
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Maksimov wrote:
I thought this was gonna be about the pants being worn by Team Norway.


Already discussed (disgust) in: Norwegian curling team to win gold by blinding the other players [Poll]
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Ookami Snow
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After watching the first two chokes, I thought to myself "This is America we don't choke!"

Then I started to think about that... and for most of what I can remember USA (in all competitions) either has no hope, wins through domination, or wins in the last second. We don't choke.

So, is that true, or is that selective memory or just the media only showing things that fall in our "normal" three categories?

In any case my message to the USA Men's Curling Team is: "This is America, we don't choke! So stop it!"
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erak wrote:
I miss the Torino games when curling was on at 6am ET. Perfect thing to watch while getting ready for work. (Plus, the unintentional comedy of listening to the German women's team scream was high.)


It is here.
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Maksimov wrote:
And I'm not sure what one should call the US basketball team's performance in 2004. Definitely not what you'd expect from a "dream team".

The 2004 team wasn't a "dream team". By that time, the big NBA stars had gotten bored with it and refused to go, so we ended up sending a second string of sorts. Also by that time other countries had greatly improved and had their sights set on Team USA, so the result wasn't surprising at all.
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Ookami Snow
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Maksimov wrote:
I don't know about history of choking, but what would you call US ice hockey team's performance at 1998 Olympics? They certainly didn't play to their potential. I think they managed to win just one match.

And I'm not sure what one should call the US basketball team's performance in 2004. Definitely not what you'd expect from a "dream team".


Those are good examples of USA failure when there should have been success, but I don't think they are examples of choking. I don't remember much about 1998 Olympic hockey, but I know that the "dream team" of 2004 was just a group of good players that really didn't care about winning.

I am more thinking about needing the last easy shot to win the game and then missing it... Maybe I am just excluding all other cases in my head for one reason or another.

Still, USA Curling: "This is America, we don't choke! So stop it!"
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Didn't the US basketball team choke against Russia in the Olympics to lose the gold once upon a time (with the help of the Refs replaying the end of the game 3 times)?
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Family and I were watching this afernoon, and almost all of us said:

"Hey, it's just like Sorry Sliders!"
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Waiting for the Sorry Sliders Broom expansion...
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Shaun L wrote:
Didn't the US basketball team choke against Russia in the Olympics to lose the gold once upon a time (with the help of the Refs replaying the end of the game 3 times)?


I partially remember that ('68? '72?). I wouldn't call that a choke, though. The US was leading by one point as time was about to expire, and the refs called phantom fouls to give the Soviets multiple chances to shoot the last basket. I seem to remember that the head of the IOC came out of the stands at one point to confirm that what the refs were doing was "within the rules", but that might not be right.

Still, both the men's and women's curling teams are playing poorly. Their opponents make mistakes and we can't capitalize on them, or make one equally bad. In the women's match against Denmark yesterday, the US was up 4-3 in the 5th end (I think) and had last rock. They had the chance to go to 5-3, but the shot was off, and knocked a Danish rock closer giving them two, so the Danes went up 5-4, and never trailed or even tied again. One bad shot made a three-point swing against us.

I think it's the pressure of the venue that's affecting both teams, and especially the men's skip.

(Edit: Here's the story about the '72 Men's basketball final, from Wikipedia. Obviously, I remembered some details wrong.

"In the final of the men's basketball, the United States lost to the USSR, in what USA Basketball calls "the most controversial game in international basketball history". Doug Collins made two free throws with three seconds left to give the USA a 50-49 lead, despite the horn going off in the middle of his second attempt. The Soviets failed to score on the ensuing possession, but the clock was stopped at 0:01 after one official heard the earlier horn and the Soviets were frantically urging time-out. The clock had to be reset to three seconds but it was showing 0:50 when play began again. Again, the Soviets failed to score, time apparently expired, and the United States began celebrating. However, after the vehement protests of FIBA secretary general R. William Jones, the referees added three seconds back to the clock due to error in re-starting the clock. Although Jones had no authority during an Olympic game, he overruled the officials' decision. The Soviets scored in the final seconds, for a final margin of 51-50. A U.S. protest, filed after the match, was denied by FIBA, which voted 3-2 against the protest along Cold War lines. The U.S. team voted unanimously to refuse the silver medal, and to this day still has not accepted them. They remain in a vault in Lausanne, Switzerland. U.S. team captain Kenneth Davis even has written in his will that his wife and children can never accept the silver medal. The end of the USA-USSR gold medal game remains one of the most controversial events in Olympic history and has been the subject of numerous film and television specials, including HBO's documentary 0:03 Seconds from Gold.")

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Woo hoo! The US women finally won a match today against Russia. Hopefully this will be a turning point for them, and the men can use it as motivation as well.
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Much better day for US curling. The men just won against a French team that was shooting extremely well. And of course, it came down to the last rock of the last end.

I don't know whether this win had anything to do with the fact that Shuster was pulled from the roster, but they played much better today. I feel sorry for the guy. A commentator remarked that he seemed dejected over being benched. They also talked about how people on internet forums had been comparing him to the likes of Bill Buckner, which is totally unfair. He deserves some criticism, but it's not like he's making big bucks doing this. All the curlers on the US team do it because they love the game. When the matches are over, they go back to their real jobs.

Edit: Spelling.
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The shortest session report evar:

The family was playing Sorry! Sliders this weekend. In imitation of the Canada-Norway match, we found ourselves shouting:

"Ja! Ja! Ja!"

"Go! Go! Go!"



Four games: Wife won 2, my daughter and I won one each.
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