Sunday, February 21, 2010

Because cheerleaders make everything better

I don't know who the woman is who is doing all the commentary on curling (or at least on women's curling--I haven't watched much of the men's). But she's ridiculous. She's definitely a former player and sounds like a native English speaker but I am sensing some kind of accent. Up until this point (this point about 2 minutes ago) I thought she was knowledgeable, not especially helpful to those of us still in the dark about strategy (though I noticed last night at the bar as I was watching that there are others who know far less about the sport than I do), and a little bit condescending.
In other words, typical commentator. But about two minutes ago as she and her co-commentator were discussing the "controversy" over the loud Canadian crowds that have caused some opposing teams to flub up shots she said that curling (the sport) had to find a way to manage the crowd but still keep the excitement alive. Her suggestion: "cheerleaders in bikinis." She said it once, I blinked a few times. Thought, "typical." And then she said it again that she really thinks it's a good idea to bring cheerleaders into the curling venue. It seems that the crowd is pretty excited on its own. Put a woman (the implication with the bikinis is that said cheerleaders will be women) in a bikini and more people will come out? Curling is already a hard to ticket to get. And like many other winter sports, people really only get interested/excited about it every four years. I haven't heard anyone talking about putting cheerleaders on the side of the luge track.
It's just so utterly ridiculous, especially when you consider the efficacy of cheerleaders generally. Even with famous squads such as the Laker Girls or the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders. How many people actually go to those games to see the cheerleaders? And how much do those cheerleaders really fire up the crowd? The sport itself is supposed to be exciting enough to carry crowd interest. And the way sports do so varies from sport to sport. Basketball and soccer have the potential to be exciting all the time. Baseball has tension at times that leads to excitement. Tennis is similar though there is more constant action. Curling is different and similar to golf in that many shots (some good, some bad) build to an unknown end (i.e. par or birdie; one point or two). But in all cases it's crowd knowledge of the sport that will create excitement level--not cheerleaders.

1 comment:

purplepopple said...

A little Googling says that the commentator is a former Canadian world champion curler. I understand the annoyance. I remember listening to parts of a conversation related to that subject. There was a conversation about how curling fans should behave like golf fans in terms of when they cheer. People aren't familiar with it and thus could use some guidance as to when to do it to be most helpful to the athletes.

Based on what I heard in that conversation and the wider context, I'm not particularly offended.