Virtual Curling Trading Cards — Because Somebody Had To Do It

So you may have heard that there was a big international curling bonspiel over in Sochi recently.

I hear there were some other sports going on as well… I want to say something about hurtling down a snow-covered mountain…?

2014 TSR Curling - Anna Sidorova 2

I’ve never curled, never even seen a match in person, but I surprised even myself with how much I got wrapped up in Olympic curling these past two weeks.  During prior Olympics it’s been more a matter of “Oh look, curling’s on, let me see if I can figure out what the heck they’re doing”.

Back in the 2010 Vancouver Olympics, the general concepts started falling into place for me, and I started to understand the objectives and strategies involved… but I didn’t really follow it so much as I just enjoyed watching matches.

This time around I’d watched some of the lead-up events that were televised, so going in I knew something about the teams and individuals.  Once it started, and I kept up as best I could when there’s several curling matches on TV each day.

And I really got into it.

2014 TSR Curling - John Shuster

I’ll admit, part of my overdoing it had to do with the general “Get it while you can”, because I have no idea when I’ll be able to watch curling again…  Hopefully I won’t have to wait until the late-2017 “Road To PyeongChang!” events.

Leading up to the Olympics, I toyed with the idea of creating a virtual Olympic card set, but I didn’t have any concrete ideas, and I figured I’d make it a set for the Olympics in general.

Then I got sucked into curling.

Then I got the idea of adapting the 1973 Topps baseball design for the virtual cards.

…and the next thing I knew, I had the beginnings of a set.

2014 TSR Curling - Niklas Edin

…Before I go much further, I should point out to anyone coming here through a search engine or otherwise that these are not actual and/or commercially available trading cards… they’re just cards I made up on my computer.  It’s the kind of thing I do for fun.

I started doing the US teams, then if I appreciated someone on the other team, I’d do a card here, another two there… and the next thing I knew I had close to 20 made up.

Don’t worry, I won’t share them all with you here.

Not right now, anyway. :-)

Naturally, I have to include a card of at least one pair of the famous “Norwegian Pants”.
2014 TSR Curling - Thomas Ulsrud

Completely made-up factoid:  The Beatles song “Norwegian Wood” was originally called “Norwegian Pants”.

And when I awoke
I was alone, this bird had flown
So I lit a fire
I love to dance
In Norwegian pants.

I also would be remiss if I didn’t include a card featuring someone shouting…
2014 TSR Curling - Ayumi Ogasawara

…or the very intense stare of Eve Muirhead.
2014 TSR Curling - Eve Muirhead

Going into the Olympics, I was optimistic that the US women would put on a good show, maybe even medal.
2014 TSR Curling - Ann Swisshelm

I saw a couple of lead-up events involving the U.S. Women’s team, and I thought they looked ready to make some noise at Sochi.
2014 TSR Curling - Jessica Schultz 2

They also looked good in the first couple of ends of their first match, and then…
2014 TSR Curling - Debbie McCormick

Sometimes they put up a good fight and came up short, like when they took Canada to the 10th end.  Other times they just fell flat (not literally… although one curler on another team nearly did).
2014 TSR Curling - Erika Brown

What happened to the U.S. teams? Where do they go from here? You’ll have to ask someone who knows what they’re talking about. Me, I just stayed behind the Americans until near the end of the round-robin, then I started following other teams I’d grown to appreciate during the tournament.

I will say that I was generally happy with the way things turned out. I’ll get into that more next weekend when I share the rest of my “set”.

Did anybody else watch Olympic curling? Did it go the way you’d hoped it would?

13 thoughts on “Virtual Curling Trading Cards — Because Somebody Had To Do It

    • The Canadians will get their due in the next curling post (later in the week, no later than next weekend)… There will be cards of Jennifer Jones, Kaitlyn Lawes, Brad Jacobs and Ryan Fry, plus cards commemorating the two Gold Medal teams (which I have yet to create).

  1. Of course I watched curling, I’m practically in Canada. I also get the Canadian channels so I can even watch curling when it’s not the Olympics. Most interesting sport in the Olympics.

    • Glad you like them, Gary. I don’t have a link or any quick ‘n dirty explanation of how to make them… I started with a scan of a 1973 baseball card, cut out the original photo, and erased the logo and text, added my own graphics and then put a photo of a curler “behind” all of that.

      For the text I used a font called Kartika. For the little curling logo I used a diagram of the curling house that I found online, and the little curler silhouette is just a photo that I shrunk and “colored over” with black.

      I use an old graphics program called Jasc Paint Shop Pro; my version is old enough that I had to play a trick or two to get Windows 7 to run it, and will probably be screwed the next time I upgrade my computer. I’ve been told that you can get good open-source graphics software online, but I couldn’t tell you which downloads are good or where to get them from. You may be able to use whatever comes with your operating system (i.e. MS Paint), but those don’t have the fun tools that I like to play with.

      Most of what I know is self-taught… I have a minor artistic streak that I satisfy by doing this stuff, so I find it fun to just play with the software, try different things and see what works.

      I hope that helps…

  2. Growing up in the 60s and 70s, curling was on every weekend (and Wrestling, and Roller Derby). Since there wasn’t much else on until the baseball games started, I’d watch it. Never had a clue what was going on. Still don’t. But its very Zen.

    • I grew up on Long Island in the 70’s, and if there was any curling on TV I never saw it. Until the 2006 Torino games, curling was that weird sport the Beatles were messing around with in that one scene from the movie “Help!” :-)

      I can say for sure that we had wrestling and roller derby.

      And curling IS very Zen.

  3. Pingback: Curling Dervishes: The Rest Of My Virtual Curling Set | The Shlabotnik Report

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