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February 21, 2010 6:52 AM

My Name is Doug, and I Watch Curling...

john-shuster.jpgAdmit it, you are watching the Olympic curling.
Come on relax, you're among a few friends here. It's OK, just come out with it.

Yeah, yeah, I realize that the folks sliding those rocks are about as athletic as the dudes who hang out at your local pool hall.
And, yeah, I know that the game goes along at a pace that would make turtles antsy, but there is something about the bizarre game that you just can't take your eyes off of.
It's like one of those awful reality TV shows that you won't admit to watching.

So go ahead, just say it: "I watch curling, and I don't care who knows it!"
Come on, shout it out, brothers and sisters!   

There, that wasn't so hard, was it? Don't you feel better now?

Right, didn't think so
Look, I need some misguided, positive reinforcement that there are other sickos like me out there.
Truth is, I don't recognize myself anymore.

Good grief, when the Americans pulled out a last-rock win against Sweden yesterday, I actually jumped off my couch with a fist pump. I think I might have pulled something, too.
Meantime, my wife just stared at me with that I-need-to-pack-my-suitcase-quickly look.

I need help.

I blame the American Forces Network for all this.
We get their feed here in the Grill Room. It's the only English-speaking station we can get over here. Check that, it's the cheapest.
The folks at AFN are pulling in the live feed from one of the 17 NBC affiliates broadcasting the Games.

So while you are at work surfing the 'net and catching up with your friends on Facebook, it's prime-time over here, and that means curling, baby.

My curling habit started about a week ago, when the American men misled by some choking dog named John Shuster, were on their way to a four-game losing streak.
I mean, here I am investing the three or so hours needed to watch one of these idiotic matches, and this overweight you-betcha from some Midwestern state is coming up short, wide, or long with the final rock which often decides victory or defeat.

So I finally got to thinking that I'd seen enough. I felt it my duty to rip him a new one on my sports blog. If this choking creep thinks I don't have better things to do with my life than watch curling every night, he's got another thing coming to him.    

Then I heard Shuster (pictured, middle) was being attacked by other sickos all across the globe. Except these folks were even sicker than me, because they were hauling out their i-phones and attacking the guy in real time with tweets! Take that, you rock-rolling loser!

Well with the tweets coming at them from all directions, the U.S. Team decided to actually sit Shuster down for their do-or-die match against France Friday. And they won!

For some reason they brought him back again, against Sweden last night, but he was no longer the anchor of the team  -- the guy that would be relied upon in the clutch to throw those final deciding rocks.

No, that job was giving to an upstander named  Jason Smith. 'Jase' they call him. Unlike Shuster, Jase was up to the task, and lobbed a beauty of a rock in the 11th end.

U.S. wins, 8-7!!!
They're rolling now, people!

I sure hope my wife comes back.

(Photo, Getty Images)

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