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Monday, January 14, 2013

‘It’s a crazy-looking game to us’: Blue Jays players give curling a try in Saskatchewan

Colby Rasmus is from Alabama. He did not grow up around ice and snow. His off-season hobbies include hunting, fishing and mud-riding (riding trucks through mud, for the uninitiated). Winter sports aren’t really his thing.

So the Toronto Blue Jays centre-fielder can be forgiven for not being an expert on curling.

“It’s a crazy-looking game to us, you know what I’m saying?” Rasmus told the Saskatoon StarPhoenix. “All we’d play was football, baseball and basketball growing up. This game here is a little out there.”

Rasmus gave curling a try on Friday, and had a bit of trouble staying on his feet. He and teammates J.P. Arencibia, Drew Hutchison and Anthony Gose paid a visit to Saskatoon’s Granite Curling Club as part of the Jays’ Winter Tour, which is making stops across the country. The players were given lessons on the basics of the sport and curled with some young fans.

Paul D(uda) Posted: January 14, 2013 at 09:00 PM | 32 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: blue jays

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   1. Rants Mulliniks Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:24 AM (#4347329)
Curling is probably the easiest sport for a beginner to pass themselves off as halfway proficient, but making gains in your game takes a long time. And according to etiquette (in Canada at least), the winners have to buy the losers beer. So in essence, there are no losers in curling.
   2. Greg K Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:53 AM (#4347337)
Curling is probably the easiest sport for a beginner to pass themselves off as halfway proficient, but making gains in your game takes a long time.

The added beauty of curling is that it's still ridiculously fun even if you only have the barest of proficiency at making a legal shot (ie. able to get it between the hog-line and the hack).

Baseball, for instance, is also loads of fun, but if you're just learning it can take a hell of a long time learning how to hit a ball.
   3. Greg K Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:56 AM (#4347339)
Also, it's kind of cool to see Hutchison in that group. He was only on the big league team for a few weeks, nice to see him making friends!

Also, also...the Regina Leader-Post and Saskatoon Star-Phoenix have now both been linked to BTF in the past 3-4 months. Never thought I'd see such a proud Saskatchewan presence here!
   4. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:57 AM (#4347340)
Every four years at the Olympics I get hooked by the Curling. As a fan it's a pretty easy game to understand and it looks like a lot of fun.
   5. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 15, 2013 at 09:59 AM (#4347341)
Every four years at the Olympics I get hooked by the Curling. As a fan it's a pretty easy game to understand and it looks like a lot of fun.

Seems like every culture has a variation of that game, no? Horseshoes, bocce, shuffleboard etc.
   6. Greasy Neale Heaton (Dan Lee) Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:02 AM (#4347343)
I took a curling class in college, believe it or not. Was a hell of a lot of fun.
   7. BrianBrianson Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:05 AM (#4347345)
Every four years at the Olympics I get hooked by the Curling. As a fan it's a pretty easy game to understand and it looks like a lot of fun.


Curling is the perfect sport for television - all the action is clear, they know exactly where to put the cameras to catch everything, it's easy enough to follow the rules. Nothing else comes close.
   8. zonk Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:22 AM (#4347348)

Curling is the perfect sport for television - all the action is clear, they know exactly where to put the cameras to catch everything, it's easy enough to follow the rules. Nothing else comes close.


Except "mud-riding".... and I find "drunk-stumblin'" to be pretty easy to follow, too.
   9. Greg K Posted: January 15, 2013 at 11:45 AM (#4347410)
Curling is the perfect sport for television - all the action is clear, they know exactly where to put the cameras to catch everything, it's easy enough to follow the rules. Nothing else comes close.

Plus you actually get to hear the players discuss strategy in real time.
   10. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:09 PM (#4347437)
Also, the telestrator usage makes sense. You can show the exact angle the stone has to make contact, and how both those stones react.

Besides, when you see an amazing shot, it's crazy how much skill went into it.

I've curled twice (Canadian law says I had to at least once) and I had a blast both times.
   11. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:13 PM (#4347441)
Curling: Sport or game?
(runs away)
   12. Tippecanoe Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:40 PM (#4347462)
I got a chance to do some curling a couple of times at the Olympic venue in Salt Lake, and I agree that even a beginner can have a great time. But because of the location, I didn't have a chance to test the game's reputation as an alcohol-enhanced experience.
   13. SoSH U at work Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:44 PM (#4347468)
But because of the location, I didn't have a chance to test the game's reputation as an alcohol-enhanced experience.


Salt Lake City, an Olympic venue or both?

   14. Tippecanoe Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:49 PM (#4347471)
I'd have to check on the feasibiltiyof bringing a flask into the Calgary Olympic rink. Seems plausible, though.
   15. Ron J2 Posted: January 15, 2013 at 12:54 PM (#4347473)
#12 is that even legal?

I remember years ago Ed Werenich won the Canadian Championships. And seriously considered skipping the World Championships because of the cost of beer in the host nation. One of the majors breweries came through with a private supply for the team.

Werenich wasn't popular with the curling establishment because he undercut their attempts to sell the game as a serious sport. They actually threatened to exclude him (and his vice Paul Savage) if they didn't lose some weight. He actually got so fat that it interfered with his ability to throw one turn (and was still among the best players in the world even though he couldn't sweep, couldn't throw the big weight shot and was only effective on one turn)
   16. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 15, 2013 at 01:41 PM (#4347515)
Ah, Canada, where they have things like curling, centre-fielders and Saskatoon StarPhoenixes.
   17. Greg K Posted: January 15, 2013 at 01:56 PM (#4347536)
Ah, Canada, where they have things like curling, centre-fielders and Saskatoon StarPhoenixes.

That's "O, Canada" to you, bub!
   18. Jim Wisinski Posted: January 15, 2013 at 02:20 PM (#4347564)
Every four years at the Olympics I get hooked by the Curling. As a fan it's a pretty easy game to understand and it looks like a lot of fun.


I love watching curling, it's probably my favorite part of the Olympics (which is saying something because I like a lot of stuff in the Winters). I'd love to try it sometime.

Plus you actually get to hear the players discuss strategy in real time.


It's less interesting though when they're English-speaking. I like listening to the Scandinavian women yell out stuff.
   19. What did Billy Ripken have against ElRoy Face? Posted: January 15, 2013 at 02:25 PM (#4347573)

That's "O, Canada" to you, bub!


My original post had it that way, but I changed it so as not to suggest I was attempting to parody the song. Way too many syllables for that.
   20. Obo Posted: January 15, 2013 at 02:42 PM (#4347593)
Random note: I once babysat for Ed Werenich. Had a chance to chat when he drove me home afterwards, but we talked about the Jays rather than curling.
   21. Paul d mobile Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:25 PM (#4347703)
Ive been curling for about 20 years now. It's a tough game to master buts lots of fun
   22. Walt Davis Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:37 PM (#4347722)
I like listening to the Scandinavian women yell out stuff.

Curling porn?
   23. BDC Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:51 PM (#4347735)
a visit to Saskatoon’s Granite Curling Club as part of the Jays’ Winter Tour, which is making stops across the country


I'm glad to read that. My first thought was that the Jays had selected a really hard-core spring training site.
   24. BDC Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:57 PM (#4347742)
Oh, and I too love Olympic curling, though I don't get esoteric-enough cable channels to watch much of it. (I should just go to Denmark some Olympic winter; they'd have it on constantly. Despite the winters, and because of the topography, Denmark isn't good at much else in the Winter Olympics.)

When I expressed an interest in curling to my father a few years ago, he said it was all the rage in Chicago when he was a kid (1930s and 40s) – evidently there were lots of curling clubs in the city then, maybe still for all I know.
   25. Craig in MN Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:58 PM (#4347744)
I like listening to the Scandinavian women yell out stuff.

Curling porn?


"Hurry! Hard! Hurry! Hard!"
   26. Ron J2 Posted: January 15, 2013 at 04:59 PM (#4347747)
#22 The person calling the sweeping will yell very simple instructions. "Never!", "Off!", "Right off!", "Clean it!", "Hurry!", "Hard!" or "Hurry hard!" (pretty much the only things they'll say to the sweepers)

When the person doing the yelling is an attractive female ... well one curler actually did pick up the nickname "Porn Queen"
   27. Transmission Posted: January 15, 2013 at 05:08 PM (#4347753)
Oh, bless his heart. Any good Arkansan might-could tell you that the term is "Muddin'," not "Mud-riding."

Also, I tried curling once, at an honest-to-goodness curling-specific facility in Wisconsin. It was a blast.
   28. Random Transaction Generator Posted: January 15, 2013 at 06:21 PM (#4347815)
The female curlers on the world scene are actually a very attractive group (compared to their male counterparts).
There was a calendar released back before the 2010 Olympics that had a bunch of international female curlers in provocative pictures.
Cheryl Bernard (the Canadian curling cougar) is the one that got a lot of attention at the Olympics.
   29. Harmon "Thread Killer" Microbrew Posted: January 15, 2013 at 06:28 PM (#4347823)
Greatest rock/pop song ever about curling (not that there's much competition).
   30. Ron J2 Posted: January 15, 2013 at 06:31 PM (#4347826)
Kim Kelly was the one who picked up the "Porn Queen" nickname. Can't find any images of her in her prime, but she was stunning.
   31. Paul D(uda) Posted: January 15, 2013 at 07:43 PM (#4347855)
   32. Michael J. Binkley's anxiety closet Posted: January 15, 2013 at 10:32 PM (#4347915)
For anyone interested in watching curling online, the skip and lead on my club team started TESN.US. In addition to what started out as just broadcasting our Wednesday night games, they have since added a number of affiliate clubs that broadcast some of their leagues/bonspiels.

But more importantly, they will be broadcasting the US men's and women's Nationals next month all week long until NBC Sports Network takes over for the semis and finals.

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