Monday, February 8, 2010

Rings and diamonds

Two of my favourite sports for TV viewing are curling and baseball. I was contemplating their similarities recently and identified these common characteristics:

Both are games of anticipation. You must know the sport well to imagine what could come next.

Both are games with clearly defined roles for the different players, but every player must contribute.

Both are played on unconventionally shaped playing surfaces. Most team-versus-team games are played on rectangular playing fields with goals at opposite ends.

Both require every player to be able to throw well.

Both can require applying complex strategies to build toward scoring.

The biggest contrast between the two sports is in the type of participant at the highest levels of the sports. Major league baseball players usually develop a sense of entitlement that goes with their multi-million dollar annual salaries. Top curlers still need day jobs, and are people you could run into at your local hardware store, where they would fit right in.

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