Do we even need to call it “team handball” any more? If we say “handball,” will people tune in expecting to see some dudes from Iceland and Hungary slapping a ball around on a racquetball court?
Four years after a small group of American reporters, including me, started chasing the Iceland handball team around, it seems more people are paying attention:
- Wired (UK) calls handball “the most awesome Olympic sport you might not be watching.”
- It made the roundup of espnW’s “surprisingly enjoyable Olympic sports.”
- Time calls my Icelandic guys “the most important team at the Olympics.”
- Even Usain Bolt is down with handball. Well, handball players.
Then we turn to Twitter:
France beats Spain with a goal with one second left in handball. 23-22. Handball, y’all. It’s seriously the sickest event in the games
— Scott Van Pelt (@notthefakeSVP) August 8, 2012
At the Olympics, you never know when you will meet the coolest person. It might happen at team handball. bit.ly/OIsCGt
— Joe Posnanski (@JPosnanski) August 7, 2012
(And yes, Posnanski joined me, Dan Steinberg and a couple of others among the crowd that has discovered the quotability of the Icelandic handballers.)
Why is handball not popular in North America. It’s awesome.
— Duane Rollins (@24thminute) August 8, 2012
— Alex Scott (@Alexscott2) August 5, 2012
It’s not a perfect sport. It sometimes bogs down in a half-court set. The constant fouls can interrupt the flow of the game. And Iceland just lost.
But like any sport, it has good games and bad games. And have you not enjoyed the good games?