Some people can play a game once and pick up some strategy. If they play it twice, they have all the nuances down and you can't beat them, even if you cheat. My nephews are like that (not that I'd resort to cheating). They love card games because they have the kind of brain that can see patterns and possibilities and can look six steps ahead, which is about five more than my brain can handle.
It's not that I really mind losing, just that I don't like playing a game I know I have no chance to win. I actually like losing at games I'm good at, like Trivial Pursuit. Most of the time, though, when somebody pulls out a deck of cards, I'll hide behind a book or pretend to be asleep. (That's not cheating, is it?)
So, and this is my point here, after watching a whole week of curling, I've finally picked up some of the strategies for success in that very intense sport. Thanks to NBC's crack announcing crew, I can sometimes tell ahead of time whether a player should throw up a guard or draw the rock into the house. (Mostly, I wait for them to tell me, but sometimes I do know.)
Still, I learned some of the finer points from USA Curling's web site. This helped me appreciate the great shot the U.S. men's team made in the tenth end tonight against Denmark, and then groan loudly when a horrible shot cost them the game in the eleventh. The U.S. women's team came up with a dramatic come-from-behind win over Germany to stay in medal contention. (They tied it with two in the ninth and then stole the winning point in the tenth.)
And if you think NBC showed us any curling that didn't involve the home teams, you've probably never watched the Olympics on a U.S. network. I just wish our teams were doing a little better, so I could be sure they would keep covering the curling competition.
It's kind of fun to get excited about a sport I've never watched before, and to find myself throwing my fist in the air and shouting a big huzzah when I see a stone placed exactly where it needs to be to help a team score an important point. I'm sure my nephews, were they inclined to sit still long enough to pick up on what's going on, would have had this all figured out several days ago.