I can see the grass on the golf courses...I think its time to take my clubs out of their winter hiding place.
Ok - I have to admit - I have not really given a damn curling since losing in the playdowns in early January - so I should not be surprised by my less than-stellar record since then...
But since the playdowns - I believe I am 7-16. (including club games, Laval, Rosemere and Toronto). Ouch - that is a pretty brutal streak of curling. I am not even winning 1 out of 3 games.
No wonder I am eager for golf season.
- So I played in the Toronto Men's Invitational last weekend. Had a fun time, despite the fact that the event was played in Toronto.
People have pitched me this tournament saying that it is the best event of its kind in Canada, and it is certainly a well orchestrated weekend of eating and drinking. But I have to admit I was a little disappointed.
It seemed like a bunch of guys who were desperate to get away for their wives for the weekend.
Not that I am adverse to such pursuits - maybe my expectations were too high.
It had moments, but mostly it was just an expensive drunk.
Not that it is not a good tournament - but as a party spiel I greatly prefer Etchemin, Keno¸or the Intermediate.
I would tell some more stories - but apparently Toronto is like Vegas; whatever happens in TO stays in TO.
(I am willing to bet that the previous sentence is is the only place in history that Toronto has ever been likened to Las Vegas)
- The Mixed provincials are going on this weekend in Baie Comeau. It should be a 2-horse race, with Ferland and Fowler likely to meet in the finals (even though Fowler will not win his section...). Tough to pick a winner.
Marty should have won last year, but came up short on an open draw to the 8-foot in the last end.
I think I will drive up and watch the final, since it is so close to home.
- I would expect a VERY strong mixed field next year, with the provincials likely not as far away, and the Mixed Nationals at TMR in 2012.
I am already contemplating how to build a super-juggernaut mixed squad. I am thinking of holding an "American Idol / Star Academie" reality show to pick my team. I think it would work. I could be like Donald Trump - and fire a potential teammate every week - or give a rose to the candidates I want to keep. I will call it: Building the Squad.
I am currently accepting applications - please submit your curling CV, a picture, and a 500-word essay on why you are God's gift to mixed curling to email@example.com. Please note that only serious applicants will receive a reply.
- One event left on the calendar for me before golf: the Glenmore Intermediate - on Easter Weekend. Back in the day, the Glenmore Intermediate was THE party spiel of the year. We would start partying Thursday evening, and pretty much not stop until Sunday afternoon. The spiel always had great bands, a great DJ, some decent curling and Jello Shots.
The spiel kinda went through a down period in the 2000s, but has been revived of late by some energetic just-out-of-juniors curlers who are trying to recapture the wild abandon and debauchery of a great party. Many teams from Toronto make the journey to spend a weekend in Montreal - and even have t-shirts made for the occasion.
There are still spots available, as they will accommodate up to 40 teams (I think they have 35 or so signed up already). Don't miss it. If you can't curl - then at least come by for the band on Saturday night.
- So everyone is asking me about rumours for next season -
So here is what I know so far:
- Francois Gagné's team is history. Amazingly, after having gone to the Brier, these guys don't even want to be seen in public together anymore. I guess it was kind of expected, given the motley nature of their personalities, but you would think that winning the province might make you want to keep at least a guy or two together? Apparently not.
I would like to bring back my quote from my 2nd blog last October...
"This team is like women who claim to be impregnated by space aliens...you don't know how it happened and you don't know what will come out in the end."
- Jean Gagnon (who plays lead for JM) has apparently "retired" or is taking a break, or was fired, or whatever - I really don't know. But he is being replaced by the younger Ménard brother, fresh off his 1st Brier.
- Amazingly, Marty Ferland and team are sticking together. There was speculation that this team was as dead as disco after a brutal showing at provincials.
How bad were they at provincials? They were so bad - I am not sure they could have won PEI!
But they are doing something very unusual for a Quebec team - they are sticking it out and trying to build instead of starting over. Good for them.
- Philippe Lemay will be skipping a strong young team - with JM Arsenault, Matt Beaufort and Erik Lachance. Good to see a team of younger guys starting to build something. Seems to me Quebec needs some new faces to compete. And great to see Phil back after taking a couple of years off. Phil has got game, and a good temperament for a skip.
- Don't ask me about women's curling - I don't know much. I hear Allison Ross is coming back after a year off, skipping a strong young team out of Glenmore. But that is all I know. Really.
- As for me - don't know yet. Ask me at the Intermediate. I will be the guy at the bar, most likely looking like the picture on the right.