Thursday, August 02, 2012

2012 Carolina Classic: Preview

It's time for the Triangle Curling Club's biggest event: the annual Carolina Classic bonspiel, now in its 5th year! We missed last year's Classic, because Marla was barely out of the womb then. (At this point, that seems kind of weird.) Otherwise, Amber and I would have been eligible for a "five year pin" as curlers who have participated all five years.

Recall that a few months back, a random drawing was held - which my team lost - to determine which four of the six interested local teams would get a spot in the Classic. So we decided to enter an auction instead - which we won - to curl with former Olympic and world champion curler Debbie McCormick.

What happens when you stick a world class curler like Debbie with three, well, average curlers? Will we be any good? I really don't know. I mean, we could go anywhere from Classic champions (5-0) to...well, I'd like to think having Debbie McCormick on your team is good for at least one win, even under the worst case scenario. The biggest wild card will be the ice conditions, and how well Debbie is able to read our arena ice. Granted, our ice will be in much better shape than your typical league night, but it won't quite be dedicated ice, and I really don't know how much experience Debbie has with imperfect ice. She has curled at the Knoxville summer bonspiel the last two summers, but they put a lot of effort into ice prep for that bonspiel to the point where it's nearly dedicated-ice-quality, so I'm told.

I also don't know how well Debbie's "auction teams" typically do. She's done this at Knoxville the last two years, and I don't believe she won the overall bonspiel either time, certainly. And this year's Classic field might be the deepest yet, despite the fact that the two-time defending champions from Detroit couldn't make it back this year. (Team rosters here, full bracket here.) So I guess what I'm saying is, there are a lot of unknowns here, at least in terms of the competition. Regardless, it's going to be fun! (But hopefully one that will last for more than three game minimum. Gotta get our money's worth!)

And although she's only playing in half the games, this will be the first bonspiel in which Amber and I are playing together since Marla was born. That'll be fun too. (And if you're wondering who is going to watch Marla while we're on the ice, Amber and Tabby - whom Amber is alternating with - are in charge of that, and I assume everything is under control. I trust them.)

Our first game is Friday at 11 AM, and our second game (win or lose) is Friday at 6 PM. I'll be posting Twitter updates throughout the weekend. I admit, I'm kind of nervous. What will she think if I misjudge the speed of one of her rocks and mistakenly sweep it all the way through the house? (Surely, that will happen at least once.)

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