11 hours ago
Thursday, March 11, 2010
Scotsmen and their sports
I've written before about my sports allergies, they're real. Caused me to miss the Olympics. Every last second of them.
What stuck with me though while I wasn't watching was how many normally clear thinking people blogged, wrote and talked about how they saw that their future involved Curling. At the time that struck me as odd, even for Americans.
Over a short whisky one evening, the reason this madness had taken over, became as close as the glass in my hand. It was the winter Scotch madness. Allow me to explain.
Much like Catholics, if you weren't born Scottish you're unlikely to become one. They're different from you and me, and we'd never catch up.
To an uncluttered mind the Scots are known for 3 things. Whisky, golf, and funny clothes.
Let's begin with the whisky. A natural product known for bringing courage to even the dourest of Scots. Some even develop a smattering of a sense of humor, in a dry, droll sort of way.
At home Mrs. T and I call it the "boy's and beer" excuse. Most things bad, can generally be blamed on a mixture of young males and too much beer. It's not much of a stretch to go from boys and whisky to swell games like caber (telephone pole) tossing.
You can pretty well imagine how this got its start.
A few telephone pole throws can play hell on your back, so even a blind man can see the appeal of looking for a similar game only with a smaller stick. Hence golf.
The aesthetics of Caber tossing required the old family kilt, but being male, golf participants needed an entirely new set of threads and toys, something to show off not only family pride, but also great bravery and daring do.
Somehow this madness caught on, and whole fields of the similarly attired can be found throughout the world on any given day. Some people even travel great distances, just for the opportunity to wear such duds.
Well, like sands through an hourglass, every year the seasons turn and eventually it becomes unpleasantly cold chasing a harmless golf ball around a field, so participants retire to a smoky room to reminisce and plan the next years clothing.
One year, after a bit of too much courage, a golf boy told his friends about how Italians play a game called boccie. A few persuaders later they rose as one from their den into the cold to give it a try. Wooden balls on snow didn't work. A few more persuaders and someone said, let's try it on the loch, and so they did, and it was good.
Being that they were male they needed new attire for this toe curlingly cold, ice boccie. A quick look into their sporting lockers gave all the inspiration needed.