Curling's bizarre pull

I can't quite put my finger on what is so fascinating about curling, the Winter Olympic version of shuffleboard. It's long been the gold standard of reference when giving an example of the most boring sport on Earth. Even today, I received an Evite to a party where the 'declining' banner said 'No thanks, I have to watch men's curling'.

Perhaps because it has been on when I'm getting ready for work, but every time I see it on TV, I get drawn in with its soothing broom action and slowly moving stones. My timing is pretty good to get interested, because for this first time in a long while, the US curling team actually has done more than the entire alpine downhill team combined:
    The American men won the bronze by beating Britain 8-6 on Friday in the consolation game, jumping to an early lead and then clinching the victory with a simple draw to the middle of the target in the final end. That put the United States on the medal stand along with more traditional curling powers Finland and Canada, who play later Friday for the Championship.

    Fenson, a Minnesota pizzeria owner, broke into a smile and gave a salute with his broom as his last shot settled into the scoring area. But the victory was especially emotional for teammate Shawn Rojeski ; it was the second anniversary of his mother's death.
    "I knew it was going to be an extremely difficult day for me today," Rojeski said. "This team is extremely satisfied with the way they played today - and for myself, it's that much of a better moment, for sure."

    In addition to being shut out at the three previous Olympics where curling was a medal sport, the American men hadn't medaled at the world championships since 1978.
There are quite a few people who have issues with the sport, because they can't understand the scoring. Here's a good example of scoring. Turns out it's a lot simpler than thought. Unlike a bullseye in archery, the concentric rings are only for distance reference, not gradients of points.

Luckily, thanks to my Star Wars training, I've long since shrugged off criticism of those who deem my interests 'uncool'.

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