Marco Werman: Hey, you like curling? No? Well, before you tune out, listen to this, because you're not alone. It is an odd event for most of us Americans. It's like shuffleboard on ice with giant granite pucks and brooms. But maybe the Norwegians are on to something. Something that will make more people pay attention to curling. They did it at the last Olympics and it seemed to work.
I'm talking about their pants. They're great and they're unmissable. They're so awesome, in fact, that the Norwegian curling team's pants now have a fan page on Facebook with 500,000 likes. The man behind that fan page is Anthony D'Orazio. So, Anthony, you're in Rochester, New York. What do these outfits look like?
Anthony D'Orazio: Well, the ones that they have previewed for the 2014 games are red, white and blue zig zags.
Werman: Almost like argyle socks but spread out across the trousers. Also, I have to say the sport jackets, too.
D'Orazio: That just completes the entire package right there.
Werman: Why did you create a fan page for these pants and the team that wears them?
D'Orazio: Well, I am a long time curler myself. I've been curling since 2002. Traditionally, it's been black pants in curling. It's actually in the rulebook, the Canadian Curling Association mandates it. Canada has been the leader in the sport. The world curling federation doesn't have such a role. In 2010, I ran across a story by chance, and was fascinated because it was something that wasn't plain, old boring black pants. It was something exciting.
Werman: What do you usually wear when you curl?
D'Orazio: Before those games, I did wear black pants myself. Those were retired. I've since been wearing the Loudmouth pants myself, on ice. I have to say, they are the best curling pants I've ever worn.
Werman: Loudmouth is actually the company that manufactures these trousers, right?
Werman: Is it big in Rochester where you live?
D'Orazio: We have a curling club; we're lucky to have one here. Curling is growing. In the United States, it's biggest in Wisconsin and Minnesota. New York has quite a large curling contingent as well. Several clubs.
Werman: During the Olympics, who have you found yourself cheering for, in terms of teams?
D'Orazio: Besides the Norwegians obviously, the US teams. Both the Men's and Women's teams are compelling this year.
Werman: What kind of clothing do the US Men's and Women's teams wear when they're curling?
D'Orazio: Black pants. Most countries are leaving the colorful curling pants to the Norwegians. The Scots tend to, every once in awhile, sneak something in.
Werman: Do you think cool pants can make the sport of curling take off in the US?
D'Orazio: It already has. I've heard stories from people who are fans of my page, who tried curling because they saw my page. "I've never heard of curling. I didn't know what curling was, but these pants are cool. They dragged me in. It's really compelling." They've done a lot for the sport in countries, not just the United States, where curling hasn't traditionally been a strong sport.
Werman: You have a twitter feed, you have a fan page on Facebook - you're clearly, I don't know, in love, obsessed with the Norwegian curling team's pants. Have you ever met the team?
D'Orazio: I have. In 2011, I was invited to an event that they were participating in, in Canada. We hung out for awhile. I think they may have been even a little more excited to meet me than I was to meet them.
Werman: Because of your fandom?
D'Orazio: Because of my fandom and because, really in Norway, the big sports are cross country skiing - what they call the "traditional Olympic events." Curling doesn't even register. They, at the time of the 2010 Games, had 8 curling halls in the entire country, and a couple of Gold medals in curling, so they were good. Since then, they've gotten a lot of endorsement deals in Norway, they are recognized in Norway, and the awareness of curling has raised in Norway. They are the perfect bunch of guys to wear the pants. They have absolute right personality.
Werman: Well Anthony, we'll have a link at Pri.org to that Facebook fan page for those crazy, psychedlic Norewegian curling pants and to a slideshow as well. Anthony D'Orazio, thank you so much.
D'Orazio: Thank you for having me Marco.
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