Favorite Reporter

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Good Grief - and fondue

Well another competitive curling season comes to an end.
Here is my season illustrated:



Like Lucy, curling tempts me with the prospect of success, hope, and potential.
And once again, curling yanked the football away, leaving me flat on my ass.
Losing really sucks.

For those who do not know, my team lost in the West regionals this weekend. We went a stellar 1-2, and were very much outplayed in both of the games we lost. So, another competitive season comes to a close, this year much earlier than in the past. I must say, this is a bit of a tough one to take. I have practiced, practiced and practiced some more to the point where I can say that I am throwing the rock better than I ever have in my life, and yet we lost.

The worst part of being out is that we don't get to play. I really love curling competitively. I love the strategy, I love the games, I love having provincials to look forward to. I love making shots. Being out means I do not get to play anymore meaningful games until next year. Damn.

On the plus side, I find myself with an unused week of vacation, and some actual money left in the team account - some consolation.

***
Some stories from the West Regionals:

- the big surprise this weekend was Fred Lawton, who played some stellar curling this weekend to qualify. Fred's season so far sounded more like a bad country song than the season of someone who would win the regionals:
"My 3rd is still a -working,
We lost with only three,
My dog also left me,
Poor, poor, poor, me."

But Fred turned it around this weekend, mounting a huge comeback to beat Ted Butler, losing a tight game to Bedard in the A-final, then beating Martin Roy in a hard-fought B-final.

- The number 1 and 2 seeds won a total of one game all weekend. Pierre Charrette and myself never looked like the 1 and 2 seeds, and will thus be watching in Gatineau instead of playing. People will ask what happened. We can definitely talk about the ice at Longue Pointe being brutally straight (which always favours weaker teams), but the truth is we did not play well enough to win. I am guessing Pierre would say the same. They did not look like happy campers.

- Michel Briand predictably secured a spot. Home ice advantage definitely helped, and they played solidly all weekend.

- There were no surprises in the East, with Hemmings, Desjardins and Martel qualifying.


***

So who has qualified for men's?
Provincials will be:
1. Serge Reid
2. JM-Menard
3. Martin Ferland
4. JS Roy
5. Guy Hemmings
6. Bob Dejardins
7. Yannick Martel
8. Dan Bedard
9. Michel Briand
10. Fred Lawton

It is a strong field -and will provide some excellent curling.
I will provide some insight on this at a later date.

***

I am playing in the Laval Open this weekend with a motley crew of curlers, including Luc Chevalier, one of the nicest guys in curling. Laval is a well-run spiel - and this year has attracted a strong field of teams looking to tune up for Provincials, including Menard, Ferland and Larouche.
Truthfully, I am just there for the fondue dinner on Saturday evening.

For those of you outside of Quebec who do not know what fondue dinner is -
let me explain the concept:

1. You heat up a beef bouillon in a pot that sits in the middle of the table, using fondue fuel (possibly the most flammable substance on the planet). Usually part or all of the tablecloth is accidentally set on fire during this step.

2. Use fire extinguisher to extinguish fire from step 1.

3. You use a ridiculously sharp fork to impale a thinly sliced piece of meat (usually beef), and then cook said meat in said bouillon for approx 1 min. You can use this time to discuss with your dining companions, or to bandage the wounds on your fingers incurred while impaling the meat on the fork.

4. Fish for meat which has fallen off sharp fork into bouillon.

5. Abandon search for lost meat, steal the fork belonging to one of your table companions. Eat meat.

6. Repeat until full (usually takes 1-2 hours).

This will be my Saturday night!!! Oh yeah.

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