Ok. It is that time of the year again. Time to reflect on a year gone by, and aspire to be better.
New Year's always offers the possibility of renewal, of a clean sheet of untouched ice.
So here now are my New Year's resolutions for 2011. I will need the help of my curling friends in order to keep these, so please don't be shy to point it out to me when I am violating one of these resolutions.
I resolve to no longer make fun of women's curling on TV. While sitting alone at home, I will still question their strategy, and still cringe at the shrill sweeping calls, and I will still shake my head and try to figure out why women's curling is so much less interesting to watch on TV than men's. But I will stop making fun of it publicly. I will at least stop until I actually beat a women's team on the ice this year.
I resolve to stop sitting around the curling club drinking until 1am after club games. I figure this resolution should last at least until January 4th, my first scheduled club game.
I resolve to practice every day. My recent unemployment was an eye-opening experience. Its amazing how good you can get at this game when you can throw rocks a lot. In the past, I let trivial things such as work and family get in the way of regular practice. But no more.
This year, I resolve to throw lots of rocks.
I will throw more rocks than a caveman living next to a fruit tree.
I will throw more rocks than a G20 summit protester.
You get the idea.
I resolve to stop expecting to curl well in silly pants.
I resolve to wham my broom less. There are 2 things I do not do well when I am angry, and curling is one of them.
I resolve to do my part to help make curling big again. Our beloved sport needs more promotion. It needs more help. It needs more hype. Especially in Montreal. The fact is, there are thousands of curlers in the west Island alone, and yet the media (mainly the Gazette) gives curling less space than bobsleigh.
Open your sports section and count the number of stories and results that nobody cares about. I don't get why the Gazette does not understand that the key to its long-term survival will be its coverage of LOCAL events, and not simply reprinting canned news feeds that anyone could pick up off the internet themselves.
I resolve to stop making fun of my Third's sweeping.
I think he is taking it personally. I heard a rumour that he had dusted off his treadmill before the holidays. Scary stuff.
I suspect it looked something like this:
On another topic, Provincial men's qualifying start in a mere 7 days, and yet amazingly I have not seen the draw (nor do I know who I am playing with - but that is a topic for another day).
The usual suspects are all signed up, but overall sign ups continue to plummet. It seems nobody wants to try to get to provincials anymore. Not sure where all the competitive curlers have gone, but I remember not too long ago 75+ teams would play down in Montreal for 3 or 4 spots at provincials. Now we are down to 32 or so IN THE PROVINCE.
Strangely, I think the calibre is far stronger today than it was 20 years ago, but I am not sure what keeps everyone away from a fun weekend of curling.
Expect Bedard, Charette, Briand or hopefully me out of the West, and Desjardins (Gagne), Martel and Hemmings from the East.
But a double knockout is sure to produce lots of surprises.
If any of you feel like watching some curling, by Saturday afternoon you should see some Provincial-level games. And I am sure Longue Pointe could use the fans.
The draw for Montreal will be posted at www.ARCM.ca at some point soon I hope.
Quebec junior provincials starts next week as well in Chicoutimi. While I do not follow Quebec junior curling enough to venture a guess as to who will win, but I will anyway.
My illustrious 2nd from my club team (Alana Rutledge) will win the girls side, having learned so much from our Tuesday night curling experience together.
Jeffrey Stewart will win the boys side, just because I see him practicing a lot.
Final note -
My blog got me a job! Amazingly, the Curling News called me and wants me to write a Quebec column!
Look for me in the January edition of The Curling News (the Curling News is that paper you usually see lying around your curling club by the bar or more likely in the Men's bathroom).