Very funny stuff coming out of Norway today, as it looks like the World Curling Federation won't have to make a decision on Team Norway's new "Shagadelic" flowered pants when the boys arrive later today or tomorrow in Cortina, Italy for the Capital One World Men's Championship.
The outrageous pants (see yesterday's blogpost) have already been banned by the Norwegian curling authorities, which includes national coach Ole Ingvaldsen and national team leader – and 2002 Olympic champion – Pål Trulsen (at left, beside team skip Thomas Ulsrud, in this TCN image from Anil Mungal).
Both Ingevaldson and Trulsen wore the original pants in Vancouver, but they clearly don't want to wear these ones.
"They will not be used in the Worlds. These (colours) have very little to do with Norway. This is also not a fashion show," Trulsen told VG Nett.
The same night of the team's media conference on Tuesday, at which they displayed the new pant designs, the association and national team agreed that the psychedelic green pants could not be used. The manufacturer, Loudmouth Golf, has named the design "Shagadelic" which was a "vulgar" term used in the Austin Powers movies.
Click here for a VG Nett video story on the pants, which features interviews with pants supervisor Christoffer Svae and Ulsrud... and also includes Coach Ole on the telephone, giving his reasons for saying no to the pants. In describing the flowered pattern as "most suitable for curtains in an outhouse", Coach Ole also added that "I think it's okay to not play in all the world's colors, but I think it is stupid when girls have just done it. Basically, I concentrate on the game.
"I think it's a good decision," said Ingvaldsen. "The point is that here is a team that travels, and those green pants are not Norwegian colours. As a team, I feel this is important. The clown pants in the Olympics were fine, because after all they were in Norwegian colors."
"The news conference was a little Christoffer Svae stunt, I think," said Trulsen. "I had not heard anything about this until the press called yesterday. Christoffer would probably like to use floral pants, but I think the NOK (association) isn't ready for this yet.
"He is a bit impulsive, and that is no problem in principle, but we need to talk a little more together before this happens."
So, what else is really funny about this story? Two things.
First, the fact that the impossibly tiny curling fraternity in Norway is having this public, media-fuelled spat over the pants is truly hilarious.
"I'm writing an email to the board (of the NOK) right now to ask why the girls could use the disco pants when we cannot use the new pants," Svae told VG Nett. "I personally think the green pants are fine. I think it's a bit stupid.
"I'd like signals from the NOK in advance because it was all right with the (Olympic) clown pants. Basically, it is a good idea to get publicity, but they never do that, so we went there."
The second hilarious item is that the first Olympic pants, the red, white and blue argyle pattern, were ruined in an unfortunate laundry incident. And Loudmouth Golf sold out of the original clown pants design within days of the start of the Olympic curling competition and is only now shipping new product around the world.
"We would like to use the clown pants from the Olympics, but some guys with bad laundry experience washed them, and they turned pink," explained Trulsen.
"Torger (Nergard) and I made fools out of ourselves," admitted Ingvaldsen. "They must be washed at room temperature, but we washed them at 40-45 degrees, and the colours changed. So we needed new pants."
Of the two new designs, only the blue and white checkered pants will be won in Cortina, while the other pair of Olympic argyle pants – which are in red, white and gray – will replace the Shagadelics.
Finally, why not vote YEA or NAY for the pants? Head back to the VG Nett story and look at one of the little boxes under the video player, which is a poll asking "How do you like the new clown pants?" (Hvordan liker du curlingguttas nye klovnebukser?)
Here, we'll help you vote... in Norwegian!
Huff, de ser ikke bra ut (Ugh, they do not look good)
De er kjempefine (They are super fine)
Then click STEM (VOTE) in the little grey box, and watch the results pop up!