ESPN heads to Iron Range for feature on Jared Allen’s curling team

Jared Allen gets up from the ice after a missed shot during his All-Pro curling team’s loss to the Olympic gold medal winning U.S. Men’s Curling team last month. (SCREENSHOT: ESPN)

So there I am Sunday morning. Slept in, not quite accidentally. Watching ESPN to keep my blood pressure low. And then what should appear on my screen?

Why, it was a hotel parking lot on the Mesabi Iron Range. Specifically, it was the AmericInn in Virginia, Minnesota. And then one strange second later I see former Vikings defensive lineman Jared Allen sitting in the hot tub of that very hotel.

Now, I’ve never been in that hot tub myself. But I personally know lots of people who have been. It’s possible that I know people who got pregnant in that hot tub, or perhaps because of that hot tub. And I know people who had to drain and squeegee that hot tub in the 1990s.

So that was exciting.

If you missed the stories a few weeks back, Jared Allen and some retired pro football pals formed a curling team last year. Now they’re out on the circuit, prepare for a run at the U.S. spot in the 2022 Winter Olympics.

And they’re not very good. We’ve seen no evidence that they have a chance to make the Olympics. But they’ve got the audacity to try, and they’re somewhat famous. So ESPN sent a team to follow their progress.

It was a fun feature, shot mostly right here on the Iron Range. I don’t know if Jared Allen and company will make the Olympics, but it’s nice to see them blending in so effortlessly with the bumbling oafs you find in curling clubs across the Mesabi.

And it’s equally enjoyable to see the real Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin-based gold medal team presented as an imposing New York Yankees-style super team.

Oh ya, real good. You been in the hot tub? Real nice.

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