Ohio State football: Which Buckeyes make best fits for Olympic curling team?
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Question of the day… OSU Football has to put together one curling rink…
Who makes the team, what order do they throw in, and why?
— ColumbusCurlingClub (@ColumbusCurling) February 1, 2018
The curling bug is infectious during the Winter Olympics, so it’s only fair to assume that a few Ohio State players have caught it, right? Considering the caliber of athletes the Buckeyes have to work with, it also feels relatively safe to guess that they would pick up the sport quickly and could put together a pretty competitive squad.
So, who would make up the ideal lineup? Let’s hammer down the leading candidates.
Lead: This position requires a consistent touch to start the end, the strength to do a lot of sweeping over the final six rocks, and it winds up being more important than it typically gets credit for at the top of the order. This feels like the ideal spot for a nimble offensive lineman, particularly since those guards that are thrown with the first two attempts help set up everybody else to do some scoring. Plug offensive lineman Michael Jordan in at the top spot, because he’s never shied away from doing the thankless work that allows Ohio State to thrive.
Second: Another tireless, powerful sweeper is needed in the No. 2 spot, and this player also needs to be able to deliver some hits when called on for takeouts. This feels like the kind of role that a linebacker would want with the opportunity to inflict some punishment on the opposition and their rocks, and Tuf Borland already has proved early in his career that he embraces the physical game as a fearless tackler. The Ohio State middle linebacker also has a relentless motor and certainly the strength to move some granite as a sweeper.
Vice: Perhaps more than any other, this role prizes versatility as a shotmaker and sweeper while requiring critical thinking and awareness of what’s developing strategically. As the second in command when it comes to picking the right approach for each end, Ohio State would need somebody capable of alternating between throwing hits and showing soft hands while utilizing quick thinking. That sounds like a safety patrolling the secondary, so Jordan Fuller gets the nod here. As a bonus, Fuller also has a fantastic singing voice, so it should carry across the ice well to ensure solid communication.
Skip: This, of course, is the headliner, the decision-maker and the player who has all the pressure heaped on his shoulders. If that’s not the curling equivalent of quarterback, I don’t know what is. There is obviously a lot of intrigue around that spot heading into spring practice for Ohio State, but the expectation at this point is that Dwayne Haskins will have the lead in the race to replace J.T. Barrett. Thanks to his strong arm, accuracy and experience under pressure after leading the Buckeyes back to a win in The Game at Michigan last year, he has the tools to be a star at the most important position on the football field ― and the ice.
Maybe this suggestion will plant some seeds in the minds of the Buckeyes. Maybe they’d rather have all the units form their own lineups and stage a tournament to crown a champion at Columbus Curling Club during winter workouts. Hey, perhaps the coaches would like to get involved as well. (Full disclosure: I’m a member of the club.)
No matter what, there’s plenty of talent that surely would translate to a different sport. And the Olympic dreams can officially start now.
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