Oh, come on, I’m not going to be the first one to use that line!
Anyway, the Grand Slam of Curling Tour Challenge was on this weekend, and as is my wont I paid a lot of attention to the women’s side and little attention to the men’s … and, particularly, followed the Tier 1 Women’s event.
One of my favourite teams — Rachel Homan’s — disappointingly lost in the quarter finals to Michelle Englot, who had recently taken over Kristy McDonald’s team. That team made it to the finals, and is a team that I didn’t know at all and didn’t particularly care for, so I was hoping that a team that I did like would make it through to give me an obvious team to cheer for in the final. And, as it turns out, it was the other of my favourite teams — Val Sweeting’s — that made it through and, ultimately, ended up winning it all.
The most interesting thing about that, to me, was that Sweeting made it through the semis and won the final mostly on her ability to steal. In the semi-final against Allison Flaxey, she stole her first eight points and only ended up scoring 1 when she had the hammer to end up with a 9 – 2 win. In the final, it looked like Englot was going to turn the tables on her after Englot stole 2 in the first, but after Sweeting took 1 in the second she then went on to steal 4 more before Englot replied with 2. Sweeting finally took 3 in the seventh to seal an 8 – 4 victory. So, at least this weekend, I was happy.
I also caught some of the men’s action, and in a match between Charley Thomas — who should be better known as the only man who lost to Rachel Homan — and John Epping I was reminded of why I prefer the women’s game. Epping had loaded up with a lot of “frozen” rocks, where the rocks are stacked so tightly together that trying to remove the closest one will end up removing only the furthest one. Thomas reared back and threw the rock really hard and moved almost all of them out, leaving his own around (I believe) getting himself out of trouble … which ended all of the suspense around that end and made the strategy superfluous. Women don’t usually have enough weight — against, insert your own joke here — to do that, and so that would require more finesse or else would result in the strategy producing points for the team that set it up in the first place. I don’t find the “If we’re in trouble, throw really hard and see what happens” strategy all that interesting to watch.
Anyway, there’s more curling to come, and I expect to talk more about curling as the season goes on.