NFL Legend Jared Allen, Pro Bowl QB Marc Bulger Upset 2018 Olympic Gold Medalists At U.S. Curling Championships

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Jared Allen and Marc Bulger may best be known for their time on the gridiron, but they have their sights set on the Olympics. The two former NFL players traded the pigskin for curling stones in 2018 and pulled off their biggest upset yet Sunday.

Allen, 40, is a finalist for the Pro Football Hall of Fame Class of 2023 after 12 years in the league. He spent time with the Chiefs, Bears and Panthers, but is best known for his defensive dominance in Minnesota.

While he awaits the Hall of Fame’s decision, Allen is putting in the work on the ice. He, Bulger, veteran curlers Hunter Clawson and Dominik Maerki, and team captain Jason Smith are off to a hot start at the U.S. Championships this week.

Jared Allen’s curling team pulled a massive Day 1 upset

Team Smith, led by its 2010 Olympian skipper, took down Team Shuster, the 2018 Olympic gold medalists and 2022 fourth-place Olympic finishers.

Entering the Championships, Shuster’s team was considered the second-best in the eight-team field. It had won the last three nationals that it entered and the last two Olympic Trials since most of the team formed in 2015.

Allen and Bulger’s team was considered the fifth-best team in the field, so it was a big win.

With that said, it was only the first match of Round Robin play. There is a long way to go.

Team Smith returns to the ice Monday afternoon and will continue its Round Robin draw Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. Should the early success continue, semifinal matches will be played Friday with the finals Saturday.

2023 U.S. Curling Championship schedule

Allen, Bulger and Team Smith compete out of Nashville. While their goal is to make the 2026 Milano-Cortina Winter Olympics, they’re taking it day by day.

I thought curling was going to be a lot easier than it was. But I’m one of those guys who, once I start something, I’m going to see it through. Our goal at nationals is to beat as many teams as we possibly can and see where we land.

— Jared Allen, via the Minneapolis Star Tribune

All USA Curling Championships matches are streamed live on YouTube.

Written by Grayson Weir

Grayson doesn't drink coffee. He wakes up Jacked.

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