Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Slash Double

Now, it wasn't the best shot I ever threw in curling. It maybe ain't the second best, nor the third. But it was up there, and it felt good.

My vice, Brian, saw it first. There were four stones in the back of the house, all in the back of the twelve foot circle, the lowest part of the scoring zone, but we were shots 2, 3, and 4, which meant our distinguished opponents were first shot, or the scoring stone of the end (the stone or stones closest to the center of the circle, the 'house', score all points) and we scored second, third , and fourth, if we scored at all. Then we caught a break, and our worthy adversaries threw short, into the top of the twelve, and were maybe third, maybe fourth shot. You see, you can't measure, that is, use a device to determine who is shot, the scoring stone, until all stones have been played. You have to guess based on eyesight beforehand.

Never mind that. Brian sees that if I, with my first skip rock, the third last thrown stone of the end (sort of like a baseball inning) throw normal takeout weight (a stone thrown with enough force to drive an opponents' stone out of the rings, the scoring circle) I could hit about a half of that last stone from where it lay and could slash under the face of our opponents' stone (which would have scored them one point and cut our then lead to 4-2) and leave us lying (scoring) 4. Then our friendly opponents, and our opponents are always friendly in curling, must make a very good shot to force us to make a better shot to keep control of the game and maybe make our game close.

I let the stone go after my delivery. I knew the weight (force) of the stone was close to what we needed. My sweepers, Bill and Keith, knew it was close. They said so. Brian, in the house calling the 'line', the path of the stone, as the vice-skip should, waited until it broke (that is, began to curl), ignoring my skip panic call to sweep (as he should have). The stone broke, Brian called the sweep, we hit half a rock...

...and it slashed across the back face of the original shot stone, both stones (the stone I hit first and their 'shot' stone) slid out of the house, and we then lay four.

Then we caught another break and our opposition skip drew short. We had a draw to an open house for five. Game over.

This. Is. Why. I. Curl. To play with friends who understand the game and call it that way. And, yes, to win for the guys who play for me. I love them like brothers. Because they are my brothers.

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