Yes, as someone born in Newfoundland I obviously would like to see Brad Gushue's team win the Brier. But as a curling fan, my God I would love to see Round Three between Kevin Martin and Glen Howard. I've watched curling since I was a kid and I've seen some great games, but dear God their last two games....this is at a whole new thing altogether. The shots they're making are at a level completely above everyone else.
I really want them to turn off the clocks. Or give them extra time. Because they're perfectly happy to mix it up every single end. They love it. They thrive on it. And it's exciting curling to watch. None of this hit and peel for two or three or four end, waiting for that one mistake to try and get your two points. They're ready, willing and, most importantly, able, to go in there and make a mess with the perfect confidence that they can either get points out of it.
The best part in the game last night, though, wasn't the shot making, although it was awesome. It was Martin's last shot in the 11th end. The weight and line were a touch off...they needed to sweep a bit for weight, but they had to hold off because the rock wasn't curling enough. Finally, it broke at the last minute, a frenzy of sweeping and they carried the rock about a half inch further than Howard's stone. They won the game and don't think they weren't pumped by it. Because they were jumping and cheering.
But the best part was once they knew they had it one of the sweepers, who is miked, screamed "Fuck Yeah!" Which is a bit of an oops. You're not supposed to swear when miked, but dear God, that's a hard thing to do.
But then TSN showed the shot about five more times, fully miked, so the audience all got to hear the sweeper scream "Fuck Yeah!" five more times. Hilarious. But it did capture the moment quite nicely.
So yeah, Go Team Gushue. I just don't think you're going to be Brier champ, not with the way these two teams are playing right now.
Meanwhile, on the other end of the curling spectrum, so far removed from the Brier as that it might as well be in another galaxy, there was my club play-off game on Wednesday. Alas, the last game I'll play with Team Shattered Dreams this year. We lost a hell of a close game and, three days later it's still bugging me slightly.
We were losing 4-3 going into the 8th but I had last rock. The end went pear shaped, but when it came down to last rock, there was still a chance to tie it and send it to an extra end. I had to play a tap back on one of my shots in front. Hit it right into the 8-foot and we go one more. The shot was going down right, I had the sweepers on it and it looked like the rock was going to tap straight back onto an opposing stone on the edge of the 8-foot.
And then I called off the sweepers. I was afraid it was running too straight and it was going to tap it straight past the opposing stone and sail it through the house. However, about 10 feet out from the tap, it broke massively. It tapped back and hit the stone in the 8-foot about an inch on the wrong side. It lay there for second shot.
Frustrating. It was a great game and the guy who beat me gave me great games every time we played him this year. Still, it sucks to end your season by missing a shot by that little.
I am glad I got to curl with Team Shattered Dreams this year. They were fun, they kept me laughing whenever I got frustrating and they really did improve a lot as players as the year went along. I'd happily play with them again next season if they were interested.
And now, because I don't think Steph would mind (it's her camera that took the photo and she sent it to me), a picture of Team Shattered Dreams 08/09. Close guys, but there's always next year.
(Brandon, Stephanie, Craig and Bill)
Curling isn't completely over for me this year. There's the First Air bonspiel next weekend (plane tickets to Ottawa as the door prize if you're in Iqaluit and interested in putting in a team) and there's the club play down for the Dominion Curling Club Championship. There looks like there will be about five or six teams competing for a chance to go to Toronto in November, so that should be fun.
Curling season is close to wrapping up, so for those of you who hate these posts, you're almost in the clear. But it's been a good season for me. I had a lot of fun and I'm sorry to see it draw to a close.
Last Five (I was in a Ron Hynes mood this morning)
1. St. John's Waltz - Ron Hynes*
2. Here lies Lenora Jennings - Ron Hynes
3. Picture of Dorian Grey - Ron Hynes
4. Shine like diamonds - Ron Hynes
5. Tickle Cove Pond - Ron Hynes