Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Curling Recap: 9/10/10

I know I said I would post this yesterday, but...well...that's the way it goes.

It's time for the Fall season of curling! The official Fall League doesn't start until this coming Friday, but the season unofficially began last Friday night with a "preseason game" of sorts:

Career game #103: Pick-up - September 10, 2010 (I'm going to start labeling my box scores this way, because I'm proud of the fact that I've now played over 100 games.)

End........ 1234567 |TTL
------------------------
Allen...... 1220021 | 08
Jaun....... 0001100 | 02

This was a pick-up game, which I've done very well in throughout my curling career (13 wins, 3 losses). Why? Because I always get to play with Amber! It isn't fair, really. The last few pick-up sessions have had mostly new curlers and only a few experienced curlers. So while most pick-up teams (including Team Jaun from last Friday night) only have one curler with more than a couple of games' experience, my teams always have two curlers with experience, because I'm always allowed to curl with Amber. Doesn't seem fair, does it?

Given that this was a "preseason game" (not officially, but that's basically what this amounted to), everyone in all the games was a bit rusty. And to be honest, I wasn't really thinking all that hard about the strategy, even though I was playing skip. I didn't see any need to overthink it: take-outs were very difficult given the ice conditions, so my strategy was just to try and put the next rock in the house, every throw. It worked out.

In fact, in the 4th end, it worked out too well. Our first six rocks all landed in the house, so with only skip rocks remaining, we were lying six. Which is funny, because earlier that day, I was browsing the Potomac Curling Club website and reading up on their storied history of eight-enders. A perfect 8-point end has only happened five times in their 40-plus year history, and I've never heard of an 8-point end in Triangle Curling Club history. But here we are, sitting six, with two rocks to play. Let's go for it! I subsequently booted my two throws, of course...but it didn't matter anyway, because we didn't have last rock, and opposing skip Chris made a good last shot to score one.

Last Friday's game was an educational experience, though: I learned that I still can't hit draw weight consistently enough to be a really good Skip. Yes, I have a pretty good record as skip (15 wins, 6 losses), but that's mostly due to having good teammates. Against a good team and a good skip, I don't think I can get the job done, yet. So, that's why I've decided to play Vice rather than Skip in the upcoming Fall League.

Well, actually...Skip was, in fact, my first choice for the Fall League. I just don't have enough seniority yet (I've only been curling for three years, after all), and I skipped all throughout the Spring. But this is fine, and actually might be better. My main weakness as Skip isn't the strategy, it's the clutch shot-making. I can practice my shot-making just as well as a Vice, and I won't have all that added pressure to deal with. I don't think I'd do all that well as a Skip in the more prestigious Friday League anyway, going up against the club's "big guns" every week. Instead, with Dan as Skip and Amber and I taking the two middle spots, I think we're good enough to win the league championship. Or at the very least, finish 2nd, as has been our custom lately.

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