Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Desert Ice 'Spiel

A couple weekends ago I attended the Desert Ice Bonspiel. Their 8th, my first. I had originally hoped to get our team in, but they booked it fast and early. Luckily, Bond Girl Marissa had a spot open on her team, and I was lucky number three to be asked to go! Then, our first game was at 7am. Not a fan of the early mornings. At. All. However, the fortune cookie that came with my giant panini encouraged me to wake up early.
And it was productive. Three games the first day. We won our first. Lost the next. Won again. Won again Saturday then lost the B event semi at 7:30am on Sunday. Bright side, just enough time to get back to my afternoon indoor soccer game. Feel My Heat!
Funny thing, with the wonky ice, we actually had an advantage over the Canadian teams. Our only losses were to an AZ team and a half AZ team. The other three were against Canadians, a nice change a pace. We played a team from New Brunswick, and took a picture in their hats for our pal Cindy on the Bond Girls who's from Nova Scotia.
I tried to blow our first game with a faulty Rock Watcher. It kept coming off the velcro and almost burning stones. I forgot to fix it for the second game, but I got it togehter for the third. Not having the timer didn't really affect our sweeping, but it made a huge difference in my delivery. I like having that quantifiable number to reference for each stone I deliver. Night and day from the first two games to the last three. Despite that, I think our on ice success had a lot to do with our curling swagger. Fred, Marissa and I rocked the custom Adidas curling shoes.
The curling was good, saw a lot of familiar faces and a lot of new ones. The team we played from Nanaimo were rad, partly because I swear their skip was drunk for our 7am game on Friday. We got invites to multiple spiels and it was fun watching game two of Kings vs Sharks with some Shark fans from OC. I briefly met Ed "The Wrench" Werenich and Neil Harrison and got a taste of their personalities. I can only imagine the stories I'd hear if we sat down for a pint or two.

The highlight, however, was playing on the team with Fred Maxie. On the ice was fun, but it's hard to do any real curling with crazy s-curves, ridges and uphill/downhill ice. It was off the ice where it got interesting for a curling nerd like myself.
Fred played in a Brier. In a controversy laden appearance, nonetheless! He got Ed Lukowich, a pretty damn good curler and already eliminated in Alberta provincial qualifying, to replace his injured dad who was playing at lead. But then Ed became skip, and they won Alberta. So people got pissed and he was a pretty hated guy. Couple that with being young and very outspoken/odd/immature, whatever, and there were a lot of press clippings and hurt feelings
The team really owned it, though, and made up stickers and shirts to commemorate the pairing of Fred Maxie and Ed Lukowich. They won Alberta, and got this sweet tankard along with the purple heart above. It should be noted that the rules changed the following year, a replacement player must play the same position, or something like that. All that made for some good stories. Good times and good curling.

Also, In-n-Out > Five Guys.

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