Its Official: Cohen did not choke in finals

Published 12:00 am Friday, March 31, 2006

I didn&8217;t watch much of the just completed Winter Olympics. Though I did occasionally enjoy snow skiing in my younger years, what I did compares to the Olympics about like my golf game compared to Tiger Woods&8217; golf game.

Only two things about the Olympics caught my eye this year. First was the Bob Costas&8217; interview with figure skater Sasha Cohen. That young lady, 21, won only a silver medal. Most of the Costas interview seemed to be an attempt to get her to admit she choked in skating her long program after leading the competition going in to the long program.

Though Cohen did fall in the final event, she bounced up and finished strongly enough to preserve a second-place finish and the silver medal. It seems to me that almost every year, whether during the Olympics, the World Championships, or the U.S. Nationals, a skater (male or female) will lead after the compulsory part of the competition before seeing another skater come on strong to win first place.

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Most of my readers know how I feel about talking heads. There are only one or two college football announcers I have any respect for. Tiger Woods lost in the third round of the PGA&8217;s Match Play Tournament. But I didn&8217;t hear anybody accuse him of choking.

Also, did anybody watch a few minutes of curling? It seems the U.S. curling team won a bronze medal in that event. I felt compelled to look up information about curling.

It is, of course, played on ice. The sheet is 146 feet long and 15- 7 wide. The bull&8217;s eye you see is called the house and consists of concentric rings with the widest having a diameter of 12 feet.

Teams consist of four players, and they slide stones, which are usually of Scottish granite and may weigh 44 pounds (and may cost $1,500 each). The object is to have as many of your stones as you can closer to the center of the house than your opponents.

A match consists of 10 ends. An end is when both teams, alternating, have delivered all of their eight stones. Those guys with the brooms (which are now actually specially made tools) sweep the ice in front of their teammate&8217;s stones to make them go faster or change direction.

A gentleman up here is starting a Mississippi curling group. It will be called the Magnolia Curling Association and will play at the Ice Park in Flowood. If the Olympics drummed up any Natchez interest in curling, contact Montie Moore at 601-954-2659.

My heartfelt congratulations goes to Joey Martin, winner of this year&8217;s Contribution to Amateur Football award, and to old friend Albert Metcalfe, the Distinguished American winner at the NFFHOF banquet.

Joey has been around a long time and probably knows more about local Miss-Lou sports than anybody. Albert, a fellow member of the Natchez High class of 1950, was my teammate at Sewanee.

And that&8217;s official.

Al Graning is a former SEC official and a former Natchez resident. Reach him at