Part of the frustration John describes is reflected in the fact that I am currently tuned in to an extremely obscure television channel (available only on digital cable, and. I hope, satellite, in Canada) in order to watch the current round of the Ford World Championships. Germany appear at this stage to be the dominant team, and have played wonderfully when I have been able to watch them - in particular as they crushed Canada to open the championships. New Zealand, of all places, is tied with Canada.
Canada is again represented by the dominant team in the country of the last several years - skipped by Randy Ferbey (those who recall the toy Furbys of the recent past will shiver a bit as they parse this name). This team has the unusual property that the skip stones are not delivered by the skip, who delivers the third stones, but by Dave Nedohin, who is normally amazing, and occasionally normal. In the latter situation the team becomes a little vulnerable.
John makes it sound as if I actually curl. I have toyed with it, but to be honest, I think curling is the finest TV spectator sport I know, with snooker a close competitor, and this is my primary involvement (watching) - the sports I like playing are awful for TV (squash, running). The action in curling is wonderfully confined, the geometry is simple and defined well by attractive markings, and. most wonderfully, the strategies can be completely counter-intuitive. This last point is the true magic.
This sport is yet another of the great exports to the world of Scottish culture (and I speak as someone with no claim to that heritage).