“Sweet Spot,” by Mike Sugerman
OYSTER BAY, N.Y. (WCBS 880) – When the weather is hot outside, come inside.
Grab a broom. We’re going to sweep.
We’re going curling.
You’ve seen the sport if you’ve ever watched the Olympics. That’s how Bobby Iadanza got into it.
“My dad’s a contractor,” he said. “When I told him about curling, he said, ‘it’s a perfect sport for you, because no one is better with a broom than you.’”
All curlers know, it looks kind of goofy. And it’s hard to explain.
“I have curly hair. So when I tell people I’m a curler, they say, ‘but you already have curly hair,’” said Dafna Stemple. “Or they think it’s weight curling. But I tell them it’s like shuffleboard on ice, with physics.”
Physics. Well yeah – that’s a cold, hard fact.
“You got to curl shots,” said Tim Klein, explaining how the stone you slide will curve or curl depending on how you let it go. “You’ve got to call shots, read the ice. There are a lot of different aspects to the game you have to master.”
At the Long Island Sports Hub in Syosset, there are a lot of masters of curling, and some beginners, too.
I tried it, and it wasn’t pretty. I slid the 40 pound stone about a tenth of the way down the 150 foot course, or sheet. It’s much harder than it looks.
Sweeping isn’t so easy either. You brush the ice to decrease the friction. It’s more aerobic than you might think.
There is a lot of strategy, history and tradition in the sport of curling. And drinking is a big part of that.
“The tradition is at the end of the game you shake hands, say good game, and the winner buys the loser a drink,” Klein told me. “Then the loser buys a winner a drink. And you sit and socialize.”
It’s something to think about during these hot days, if you’re longing for a cold one.