What follows is a curling scoreboard. Not one of those fancy ones you see at your your Scotties and your Briers and various Grand Slam events. No, this is a plain old standard local curling club scoreboard. Unfortunately, they can no longer have the MacDonald Tobacco logo which graced so many of our fine sheets way back before I’d ever stepped into the hack for the first time.
I’ve filled this one out with the score from last Friday’s game. Although we have yellow rocks not blue at my club. See if you can decipher the scoring system used. It took me at least a year to be able to read one of these bad boys with confidence. If it seems easy to you just pretend that it doesn’t so I won’t feel bad.
We arrived much closer to game-time this week. The big celebration from our league title done and dusted – we were on to Week 2. Still, there is always enough time for a couple jugs of Steamwhistle pre-game so to the bar we went. Our regular group was in attendance plus the spare (which is actually a couple who alternate) so we felt confident. Talk was bandied about entering a bonspiel in late February. I was the lone voice against.
Not because the talent level is a steep jump from our current bottom-of-the-barrel competition but because of the three day commitment. This would be a Friday eve (with wine and cheese), a Saturday (with dinner and music) and Sunday as well. Also cash and door prizes, cheap drinks, and meat draws. It is billed as a “fun” mixed open spiel with at least three eight-end games guaranteed. Even though some of the teams would be those that compete provincially and beyond so three games was probably all we’d get. The matter was left unresolved despite much cursing and insults hurled at yours truly but I will give it an honest thought. I just usually prefer not to do things as a rule.
Our opponent Friday was a few 40-50 somethings and one younger guy who had never played. One of the older guys was on the team we beat in the A semi-finals last year and the other older guy was on a team that annihilated us in the beer spiel in the fall. The other player was a woman I did not recognize but who looked like a curler.
We won the toss again this game and chose the rock colour rather than the hammer in the first end. This serves a dual purpose of annoying the fine young lady on our team who likes red rocks for some reason and also it makes the other team think we are dense. Therefore, they took the hammer in the first and we were off!
With said hammer our foes put up a single in the first, proving our strategy at least had the start it needed. Giving up a single but gaining last rock we went down the ice in the second end and scored two to go up 2-1. But lo, in the third they came back strong with a deuce of their own. This team was no joke – other than the guy who had never played they could all hit some shots and knew what they wanted to do out there. This would be no prance through the daisies today, no sir.
In the third we got some luck with the stones when their skip’s last shot took their own out of the house, leaving us sitting two with the hammer. Our skip made no such error and put one easily into the four-foot for three and a 5-3 lead. The fourth end contained the only shot I actually remember. I made a fantastic hit and roll while playing vice-skip, taking out their shot rock and tucking mine in behind a pair of guards where it was basically untouchable. ‘Twas the best shot I’ve ever made (especially since I actually meant to do it) coming amidst the best game I’ve played yet. Quite happy with that, I was.
With that rock buried they were forced into some tough shots and came up just short. It was close but we managed another three in the fifth end to make it an 8-3 game going home. While they did manage to score another in the sixth, it was not enough and we walked up the stairs to the bar with an 8-4 victory and a 2-0 record to start the year.
Last week I answered a question from a valued reader regarding the pebbling on the sheets of curling ice. I think I said there was no zamboni-type machine for pebbling but that might’ve been misleading. There is indeed a cleaning machine used for shaving and re-surfacing the ice much like a small, hand-driven zamboni. The pebbler, specifically, is a man with a water wand. See below:
I hope that clears things up.
I have decided I have nothing of value to offer vis-a-vis the football games recently played. What new nugget of wisdom could I churn up from my booze-addled brain that would stun the minds of the dear readers of DFO? None, was my conclusion. So I just went full curling, as you can see. Though I did have a bit about this disgusting pig-man of a local delivery driver at my work who doesn’t wash his hands after using the lavatory but that seemed incongruous.
Maybe next week I’ll have something meaningful related to the interminable slog towards the sort-of-upcoming NFL final. After the extra-long wait there is the extra-long commercial breaks, extra-long halftime, and extra-long “instant” replay reviews. In between they will attempt to play a football game in front of tens of thousands of disinterested corporate weasels and millions more at home listening to their wives’ friends jabber about work.
No, that’s it. Now since I’m on vacation this week, I will get back to drinking.