Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Curling Recap: 3/2-3/4/12

Two games to recap this week. I'll try to get through the first one quickly:

Career game #173: 2012 Winter League - March 2, 2012

End.......... 1234567 |TTL
Allen........ 0000220 | 04
K. Jackson... 2113001 | 08

To give you an idea of how this game went, here is the last rock of the 1st end: (our team = red)

It's shots like these that make me question my ability and worthiness as Skip. I can't make, or even call, these types of shots. It was a big shot, too, because instead of scoring one, we gave up two. In the next three ends, both teams made their share of shots, including me...but every time I would make a shot, opposing Skip Kathy would make an even better shot that I couldn't touch. (For example: I'll draw to the button, and then she'll draw to the button and tap my rock just far enough so that I can't possibly get rid of her rock with my final shot.) The only real important shot that I completely whiffed on was my last rock of the 4th end, which I threw through the house. But really, when you have to make every shot just to keep the game close, and missing a single shot means giving up a back-breaking three, that means you're getting outplayed at some level. We were never in position in the first four ends to score more than two, or maybe even one.

We did play well the rest of the way, but by then, it was too late. I've had some impressive comebacks in my career, but not this time. (Part of me thinks Kathy was being nice to us towards the end, too.)

Now...the Sunday game. The usual Skip and Vice of Amber's Sunday League team (the Howards) were out of town, which meant two things: 1) The reunification of The Underdogs team from last year's Kayser (and other bonspiels and leagues)! 2) According to Triangle Curling Club league rules, substitutes (Justin V. and me, both of whom are Skipping in the Friday League) are not allowed to play Skip, because that could potentially give their team an unfair advantage. (Whether a team would truly benefit from having me come in off the bench as their Skip is debatable. but those are the rules.) So, who played Skip for us on Sunday? Amber! This would be her first ever game as Skip.

Career game #174: 2012 Winter League (Sunday) - March 4, 2012
(our team: Howard)

End.......... 1234567 |TTL
Howard....... 1200004 | 07
Franklin..... 0011110 | 04

Since this was her first time calling the shots, I offered to help her out, and I gave her some tips before the game. But once the game started, Amber didn't want to feel like her every move was being scrutinized or critiqued throughout the game*, so from the first shot onward, I never questioned a thing, I kept my mouth shut, and simply let her call the shots. And, that was the right thing to do. She did a great job with the strategy, certainly a heck of a lot better with strategy than I did in my first game as Skip (November 21, 2008), in which we missed take-out after take-out after take-out, usually due to me having no idea where to put the broom, and we gave up some big ends in the process. (You know, not much has changed since then!)

(* - Yes, I realize that her knowing I would blog about it afterwards in detail probably didn't help, either. This is the life I've chosen for myself. Everything must be documented.)

Calling the strategy is only half the battle, of course; there's also the shot-making. Now, when I miss a shot as Skip, especially a big shot, I get pretty frustrated, and usually walk away muttering obscenities to myself or something. (That's what happened on Friday, anyway.) Not Amber! If she misses a shot - and let's face it, everyone misses shots - no big deal, she moves on. And that better prepared her for the GAME WINNING TAKE-OUT. The setup prior to the last shot of the game:

Sure, it looks easy, BUT...this is arena ice, where no take-out is easy. And, the ice was more swingy in this direction than usual, so you didn't have much room for error. If you're off the broom by even a little bit, you're toast. Oh, and did I mention this was FOR THE WIN?

Amber made the shot, and we ended up scoring four points for good measure. Victory! Amber's career record as Skip is now 1-0!

Amber said she had a lot of fun, and she might just do it again next week! And more power to her, because if recent trends continue, I might want her to Skip our bonspiel teams this summer.

1 comment:

amber said...

re: skipping bonspiels... let's not get ahead of ourselves.