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Monday, March 30, 2020

Doing Jello Shots with my Kids - And a Team Fournier update!


I am in week 3 of isolation/quarantine/home schooling and getting a little squirrel-y. Personal hygiene has become optional. The kids have watched the entire Netflix Kids library. Twice. So I figure why not write a long, meandering curling blog to kill off some time.

Curling is of course over for this season. As is the case with many Tier 2 curlers, my season essentially ended once we lost at provincials in January, but for those of you who play in events like Slams, or Mixed, or Travellers, or whatever, now find themselves pining for next year.  

There will be no World Championships. There will be no Slams. I am not even sure that we will be starting next season! 2020 will have no Glenmore Intermediate, the usual end of season send-off party (I have had to show my kids how to do virgin Jello shots). The competitive curlers I know have resorted to on-line curling spiels!

I guess there is nothing like a global pandemic to provide us all with a bit of perspective. It is good to remember that we devote so much of our time and energy to something that is just a dumb GAME.

If you want a reminder of how dumb this game is, try explaining it to someone from South America who has never seen it or even heard of it (as I recently did). Here goes: you slide a big rock made of granite down a sheet of ice with little bumps on it towards a bullseye while yelling at people using push brooms to clean the path of the sliding granite. Make sense?

It is just such a dumb game. But damn I miss it.

***

Team Fournier news:

It was a year of ups and downs for Team Fournier in 2019-20. We had some great success, and managed to climb the world rankings, getting as high as 25th in the World before coming back down to 33rd after a disappointing Quebec provincial. We got to play in a Tier 2 Slam event, and played a lot of games against the best teams in the World! We flew to 3 spiels, went out West, got 5 speeding tickets (damn that Alberta photo radar). Unfortunately the provincials did not end the way we had hoped, but all in all a good season.

Team Fournier will have a new look next year (assuming there is curling!). We have added a new horse to the stable: Martin Crête will be playing 3rd for us next year, while Félix slides into the the 2nd position. Jean Francois will stay at lead.

As JF put it, we should be better at shooting and at shouting! With next season being the last year before the Olympic trials, we will be trying to get a spot at pre-trials. To do that we will have to get to the top 15 in Canada (we are currently 17th). So we wanted to make ourselves stronger as a team, and bring on someone who could help us take it up a notch. Enter Martin!

I really look forward to playing with Martin – I have admired him as a competitor for a lot of years. And now I won’t have to try to yell over him on the next sheet anymore! I have seen him make soooooo many great shots against me over the years (his last one from the provincial finals last year still haunts my dreams); it will be weird for him to be making shots FOR me. I am amazed that this game continues to provide me opportunities to learn from my teammates, even at my advanced age (as Felix would say).

This unfortunately means that William will be stepping back this year. We are still trying to figure out if Will can still play a role on the team, but his new baby/job made it impossible for him to commit to the kind of schedule we were looking to play next season.

I will miss him a lot. Will has been one of the best teammates I could ask for over the past 4 seasons, both on and off the ice. He taught me a lot about team dynamics, about keeping a positive attitude and about how to win. He has taught me how to translate English pop songs into French in real time. He is the originator of the term “Feed the horses” which has become part of our team psyche. 
I am hoping that our curling futures will intertwine again.

I will also miss him sweeping my outturn!
Felix will be spending the summer bulking up. Here he is with JF preparing for next season:

Pump You Up Hans And Franz GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY


***

With the end of the season – we would like to say thanks to the sponsors that helped us compete this year.
  • Hardline Curling: Have been with these guys forever – love their brooms and what they do. They have become the weapon of choice for most of the big teams in the country. They have been sponsoring Felix for so long they started with their logo on his diapers, and have been sponsoring Team Fournier for a long time now. I am grateful for their support.  
  • Royal Bank of Canada Dominion Securities – big thanks to Kevin O’Connor for his support this season.
  • And big thanks to our other sponsors:  Cedar Springs Landscaping (514-453-4662 – Grant), and Injection Classique(Marc Don) foundation repair. If you are looking for landscaping or snow removal in the West Island, or if your foundation has cracks/leaks – please use our sponsors and mention Team Fournier!  The links above take you directly to their websites.


Without their help, we really would not have been able to compete at the level we competed at. This game has gotten expensive. Even with these sponsors and all the cashspiel success we had, our season was still scarcely break even! We won’t be turning pro anytime soon.

***


If you are looking to kill some time, a couple of guys from Abitibi have started a podcast interviewing Quebec curlers! Sonny and Adam’s podcast is available (en français) at the following link:


They interviewed me last night, JM Ménard a few days ago and  Laurie St-Georges (OMG! - THE Laurie St-Georges) will be on Tuesday, (with some other guy I have never heard of). 
The great thing about a pandemic is that pretty much everybody is available to appear on their show! They are doing interviews every 2 days.
Great idea! As I have said in the past, every sport needs storytellers to make the game great. Podcasts like this one and From the Hack and  2 Girls and a Game help fans better relate to the game, and are an awesome way to pass the time, especially after you have gone through everything good on Netflix!

4 comments:

  1. Wait, what? Jello shots with your kids? It's in the title but I've read the blog twice and can't find anything.

    I would be worse off if it weren't for the replays of Slam and World curling. Even though I usually know the outcome I can watch good curling over and over again.

    Congrats on the addition to your team. I recall watching (and hearing) Martin curl. He'll make a great addition. Good luck to William with the new baby!

    Take care and stay well!

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  2. I curled in Glenmore Invitational in 1977 and 1978.Long time ago.

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  3. https://www.facebook.com/payflclerk

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