Skip’s fault

It’s curling season again here in the Frozen Freakin’ North where instead of dealing with the ice on the roads, we go and deal with the ice inside.  Hey, even at a cool 40 degrees on the sheets it’s 80 degrees warmer inside than outside in January.  So I’ve got my Tuesday night Fun league team together and I have three, (count ’em! Three!) rookies playing with me.  I actually choose these folks.  It’s a fun league after all; geared toward teaching and developing new curlers.  It’s a HOOT!

We played our first game last night against four guys with just about the same experience level. Three of these guys played last season and their skip has played for a couple of years more.  The advantage I had is my three rookies went to the Steve Shuttleworth School o’ Curling a couple of weeks ago.  Steve’s been curling since the Scots carved the Stirling Stone (look it up!) I think, and is a member of the 2004 National Mixed Champion team along with his missus.  He’s a fantastic teacher of the game and crammed a year’s worth of lessons into three evening sessions.  My three little sponges soaked this stuff up and brought it along last night.

There we were,  tied up at 4 all at the end of the fourth end and we have the first shot of the fifth end.   My lead threw a pair of great rocks countered by an equal two from the bad guys lead.  Our second dives right in and puts her first rock at the top of the rings right where I asked for it, perfectly placed to be raised into the house.  Grumblings from the other side, a couple of opponent’s misses and we’re sitting with one in the house ( my second, again!)  heading to skip’s stones.  All this from three brand new, still-have-the-showroom-shine-on-’em curlers on my side and three rookies on the other.  I love it when all I have to do is throw guard rocks as the skip.  Makes my life easy. 

I toss my first guard and my counterpart takes it out of play.  My second rock goes right back to the same spot and this time, the other skip throws his a little light.  Remember that first rock my second put up?  Tapped back into the house for two.  We’ve already agreed to call it a game after  six ends  ’cause it’s running late and the bar’s open.  We’re coming home two up and without the last rock advantage, but I don’t mind.  It’s trade hit shots all end to keep them from scoring two and we’re home winners.  Didn’t quite work out that way…

We ended up leaving a rock in the back of the house and they put one right on top of it.  I missed my last shot and they dropped one more  in the  rings to score two.  We’re tied at the end of six.  Now the two skips get to take one shot each, closest to the center of the house wins it all.  (The house is four concentric circles with the outermost ring measuring 12 feet in diameter.  The rest work inward at 8 feet, 4 feet, and a 2 foot diameter center button. Try hitting that from 140 feet away with a 42 lb rock. On ice.)  My opposite throws first and leaves his stone just outside the 8 foot ring.  All I have to do is draw to the 8 foot ring or better and it’s bevvies all ’round.  Nothing to it, I’ve been making this shot all night.  Except for this one.  I threw it heavy and went through the back of the rings.  Win or lose, it’s always the skip’s fault.

Doesn’t matter. It’s handshakes all ’round and we headed for the bar to lift a few frosty cold carbonated adult malt beverages with the other team (a WONDERFUL curling tradition!).  Laughs were laughed, fun was poked, and a great time was had by all.  Couldn’t have been a better way to spend an evening with some new friends.

Well, I coulda made my shots and we coulda won……


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