Sunday, January 15, 2012

Greetings From Utah

Sunday morning in The City That Never Drinks.

One thing I learned about Utah this weekend is that you can actually buy beer, however, it has half the alcohol content of regular beer! Affectionately called "toy beer" by some up here, it gives you all the bloat with none of the buzz! I think I'd rather have this than fake beer.

But on to the actual curling. The MoPac playdowns for Club Nationals are being held at the Utah Olympic Oval. This is where speed skating took place during the 2002 Olympics, and is still a US Olympic training site, and in fact, there is an international speed skating competition taking place next week, so there was a lot going on.
While this is still an arena curling situation, the facility everything going on created this really cool vibe in the facility. It is a large, open space and the curling ice is normally used for short track speed skating, so it is bordered by these chest high blue pads. It made it easy to catch the action of any game from any angle you want. Many times, you could hang out and talk to the other teams if you wanted.

When the speed skaters were going at it, it created this almost dizzying effect as you were constantly being circled around. The Friday night open skaters didn't have that effect because they weren't nearly as tall. But as poor as the Utah drivers are, and as depressing as it looks in the Winter without snow, I gotta say, Utah has some good taste in music. There is constantly music being pumped into the arena, and 3 out of 5 songs I specifically say to myself, this is a great song. Not once did I question why anything was being played. Bravo, Utah Olympic Oval.

Since this is still and arena ice setting, so the ice played as such. Slopes and ridges and mismatched rocks and all that good stuff. It is totally manageable, but made for some tricky games. Despite that (or because of that?) we finished with a 3-1 record, tied for tops in our pool and secured a spot in the playoffs. Wich start this morning.

Luckily, there were no convoluted tie breaker scenarios. Group 1 was won by Team Seeger with at 4-0 record. Taggart won group 2 at 4-0 and we tied in group 3 at 3-1 with the Team Weisen. No other team was 3-1, so those are your four playoff teams.

On the women's side, Coleman and Walsh from San Francisco finished in the top with 4-1 records. Smith from San Diego and The Bond Girls finished 3-2.

They're doing a modified page playoff format. Since two teams from the men and women will get to go to Mankato, the 1-2 seeds will play each other and the 3-4's will play. The winner of 1-2 will be the champion, and the loser will play the winner of 3-4 for the second spot. So, it is impossible for either Zissou or the Bond girls to be the champions, but we can still book our trip to Mankato if we win two more games today.

All that starts at 8:30 a.m. Mountain Time. I'll link to the live scoring and TESN feed, but based on yesterday's lack of internet, I don't know if you'll get many updates.

1 comment:

  1. Aha! I was wondering why everything suddenly went dark yesterday after decent live scoring and live video before that.

    Thanks for the update and format explanation. I was confused why it said it was a page playoff, since that takes 3 draws and there were only 2. Finally dawned on me that they don't need to play the final since two teams are going. Good to have confirmation on that, thanks.

    Good luck guys, I'll be rooting for you. Though I have to root against the Bond Girls since they're playing our girls.

    Adam (from San Diego)