Sunday, February 13, 2011

You get to quit in curling

Ontario skip Glenn Howard during the Tim Horto...Image via Wikipedia
One thing you never hear the commentators say in curling is this:

"Well Jim, you have to give them credit. They hung in there to end and played hard."

Can you think of another game where it's okay to quit? There isn't one. In curling, it's not only okay, it's sort of required.

Until that is, the final is on TV. The Dominion Ontario Curling Championships where basically over after the first end. Howard's team got three, but more than that, they got into the heads of the Balston team. You could see it in their body language that they knew they'd lost. Down 8-2 after 5 ends, the only requirement from then on in was to finish eight ends.

Since everyone knows it's over, then it's easy to phone it in. Fast shots, zero conversations, get in the hack fast and throw the rock to make it to the 8th end. Howard is already at the other end to shoot, Balston stands at the other end ready to throw. It's not an exhibition of curling, it's an exhibition of speed.

Glenn Howard is one of the best players to ever play the game. He holds the record for the most Ontario Championships, and his team of Richard Hart, Brent Laing and Craig Saville are arguably the best team in the world. They are definitely the most fun to watch.

That they are going back to the Brier is excellent news for the London organizing committee. And it's excellent news for fans of curling.

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