Curling? WTF? It’s 25 degrees out and beautiful. Why am I spending weekends in curling clubs instead of on a golf course? Or camping with my kids? Or drinking beer on a terrace?
Curling in September just seems wrong. All competitive teams these days are looking to get a jump on the season, searching for an edge – and trying to accumulate CTRS points – so you pretty much have to start in September. But it just seems wrong to me. I thought curling was supposed to be a winter sport.
I walked into a curling club Friday wearing flip flops and shorts, and put on my sweater, gloves and jacket and went and stood on ice for 2 hours. It’s just WRONG.
So here is my thought for competitive curling: We need to move everything later. Start curling in mid-October – but finish in March-April. I look at my last season, my competitive season ended in January. JANUARY! For most teams, competitive curling ends in February, and for a select few – March. Last time I checked, winter officially lasts until March 22.
Furthermore, April is a boring month; there is no golf – the weather is crappy – and the curling clubs are still open - why not more competitive curling then, instead of now?
Moosehead Fall Open
Having said all this, I had a pretty good weekend at the Moosehead Fall Open at the RCMP club in Ottawa. This is very much a tune-up spiel, with only a few big teams deciding to play.
It was my first spiel with the new team – and it went pretty well. We had a good weekend, lost in the ¼ finals against Brian Cochrane, an ageless guy with immovable hair from Ottawa who always seems to find a way to win. We knocked out pretty much every other Quebec team that played in the tournament – except Phil Lemay who was in the finals.
In Quebec curling news, Guy Hemmings was supposed to be playing with Brier rep Francois Gagné this year, but is out indefinitely with a bad back. Guy was apparently moving furniture or something, although I find it hard to believe that Guy actually tried to move something heavy. My theory is its carpal tunnel syndrome from too much video game action. Seriously - we wish him a speedy recovery, whatever his injury.
I was in Brockville 2 weekends ago at the Shorty Jenkins spiel, and had a great time. Played 27 holes of golf, went 3-2 on the curling ice, and came 30cm or so away from qualifying for the ¼ finals. Damn shootouts. They are worse than penalty shots in soccer.
We played against John Epping and his new team, who eventually won the spiel over Glenn Howard and Brad Gushue. If you have not heard of Epping before – you probably will. Bold prediction – they will be the next big team to come out of Eastern Canada. These guys are good.
We also saw Glenn Howard's new team - with Wayne Middaugh playing 3rd instead of Richard Hart. Of course they will be good, but they just seem to be a little bit harder to cheer for now.
Only complaint about Brockville: Saturday night Karaoke. Didn’t Karaoke die 5 or 10 years ago? If it didn’t, it should have. It always ends up being the same few microphone hogs belting out tunes that you normally don’t want to hear, and it always seems to last about 2 hours too long. I love Earl Morris – but just not as a singer (although admittedly he was pretty good).
Let’s leave the singing to the professionals, people.
It was a tragic party killer – (although I was still there at 1:30AM).
Next on the schedule for most big teams is the Mac Ice Classic in Ottawa at the RCMP curling club on Thanksgiving weekend - with pretty much every big Quebec men's and women's team in action.