Facing 20 to 1 underdog odds, the American Men's Curling team somehow took down powerhouses like Canada and Roomba for the gold medal.
The P.F. Chang Winter Olympics have concluded and WLS-TV in Chicago will long bear the infamy of posting a graphic on air altering the PyeongChang logo with that of the well-known Asian eatery.
However, this was actually an honest mistake when you consider you won't find a city of Pyeongchang anywhere on a South Korean map. Instead, Pyeongchang is a county in the Gangwon-do region of South Korea whose spelling was changed to PyeongChang for the Olympics. This to avoid confusion with Pyongyang, North Korea.
Believe it or not, odds were affixed on each and every Winter Olympic event and the U.S. Men's Curling team was listed as a 20-to-one underdog.
And, that, I assume, is what they mean by “Gangnam Style.”
But, the question all Americans are wrestling with now, aside from wondering where all those NBC commentators with British and Australian accents came from (the answer, of course, is Britain and Australia), is what to make of our nation's gold medal in the sport of men's curling.
While bobsledders and downhill skiers reach speeds in excess of 80 miles an hour, a curling stone slides along in much the same fashion as a Roomba, but with far less cleaning power. In the sport of curling, competitors actually employ brooms to whisk away, one assumes, any lint or pet dander which might impede the progress of the 40-pound rock.
At least that's what it looked like to me before I was “swept” away (pun unintended) by the darlings of PyeongChang.
I mean who will ever forget the high-wattage mustaches and those tears of joy on the victory stand from John, Matt, Tyler, the other John and Joe Polo!
Of course, what followed in the immediate aftermath of the playing of the “Star Spangled Banner” were looks of puzzlement as a close inspection of the gold medals which dangled around the team's necks revealed them to have been honored as Olympic champions of “women's curling.”
Fortunately, no one can pin the wrap for this snafu on Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty! “La La Land,” indeed!
Instead, let's hear it for Delta Airlines, which, in a fashion air travelers have come to know and deplore, refused to upgrade our nation's newest heroes on their return flight to the US of A. You'd think just once this bunch of airline knuckleheads would actually practice “public relations.”
Before takeoff, team skip John Shuster was offered a first-class birth by an admiring (and more well-healed) fellow passenger, to which Shuster, in the spirit of camaraderie for which the sport of curling is so well known, told his teammates, “Maybe I'll send you back a glass of champagne…but probably not!”
Just how much of a long shot were the American men's curling team heading into the PyeongChang games? Believe it or not, odds were affixed on each and every Winter Olympic event and the U.S. Men's Curling team was listed as a 20-to-one underdog. They got off to a 2-4 start in round-robin competition, but rallied to win their last three games to advance to the medal round.
There, they faced curling powerhouse Canada, winner of the last three Olympic gold medals. But, this was a Canadian team the Americans had upset in preliminary play. And, incredibly, the U.S. defeated Team Canada again to reach our nation's first ever gold medal men's curling clash. Meanwhile, spirits north of the border were sent crashing. The collective moan of despondency heard from the other side of the 49th Parallel may have been associated with the the arrest of one of the Canadian Olympic hockey players, purported not to be Ryan Lochte, for stealing an idling car.
And speaking of “clashes,” Norway earned a sartorial note for the pants worn by that country's Olympic men's curling side. Impossible to describe. Google them.
Like most of you, I missed live televised coverage of the men's curling gold medal game. At least I think I did. Switching back and forth between NBC and NBCSports, I couldn't be sure what was live and what was taped given the 15-hour time difference between the U.S. and Pyeongchang County. I did catch the scintillating final “end” of the matchup in which an American stone collided with a Swedish stone and the competitors all had somewhat confused looks on their faces.
We learned the Swedes were pondering whether or not to concede defeat, but everyone knows that “Swede” rhymes with “concede,” so that's what they did, and America had it's first Olympic curling gold medal.
As for what to make of this rag-tag bunch of “Cinderfellas?” Well, I'm sure we'll be getting to know them better as they make the rounds of the national talk-show circuit and ponder lucrative endorsement deals. A visit to the White House is probably in their future as well.
No doubt, we haven't heard the last of this “Fab Five.”
I for one, look forward to joining a local amateur curling league. I've got a pair of Dockers in the closet that should do the trick as part of my curling ensemble.
And maybe someday I'll get to meet Joe Polo!