An offbeat tale for a Thursday morning, but with potentially serious questions at the end. And we're looking for your answers.
Guess what? Dutch curling is having a good year.
The national women's team earned silver in the B-Pool at the European Championships in Aberdeen last month, just missing a trip to Swift Current, Sask. for the Ford Worlds (that honour went to another country of curling minnows, Latvia).
The national men's team won the Euro B-pool, scoring gold, and have qualified for the A-division at next year's championship in Champery, Switzerland. They too missed out on a spot in this season's worlds (in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy) when Denmark – a team headed to the Vancouver 2010 Olympics – beat them in a do-or-die challenge series.
Now, we're not saying that teeming hordes of orange-clad Holland sports fans are descending on curling championships to cheer on their teams. Not yet, anyway. Despite the fine work of TCN photo editor Anil Mungal (above), this remains a dream for Dutch curlers.
But we, The Curling News, apparently could not sit idly by while Dutch sports fans questioned the presence of curling in the Olympic family. So we opened out big mouths – in English – in the comments section of this Dutch blogpost, and promptly engaged in some lively debate with the Orange Crush.
A couple of Dutchmen have stood up in support of our opinion – along with another Canuck, "The Curling Guru" (no surprise there) – but we throw this debate open to you, the ultimate curling fans.
Should curling be an Olympic sport?
Should Dutch sports fans have a better appreciation of all Olympic sports, particularly when their countrymen are starting to achieve tangible results in those sports?
Should we have apologized to Frans? Should Frans apologize to us?
And perhaps the biggest question of all: do curling fans have a role to play on the blogs, chat groups and online portals of the world, as Vancouver 2010 puts our sport under a massive microscope every four years?
Please use the Comments section of this blogpost to give us your thoughts. And if anyone feels up to commenting at the Dutch blogpost itself, you can find it here ...