Thursday, February 24, 2011

Hurry Haaaarrrd!

Anyone watch curling last night?  Specifically the Scotties Tournament of Hearts?  Even more specifically, the match between Manitoba and Team Canada?  The stuff of movies that was.

First a quick curling lesson, then a quick synopsis of the story that lead up to the big game.

Curling teams have four players


The First throws first, the Second throws second.  The Vice throws third and is also responsible for dealing with scoring disputes and helping the Skip determine what shots should be thrown.  The Skip is the team's captain.  They call the shots, the sweeping and throw the last two (and often most important) rocks.

The relationship between the Vice and the Skip is pretty critical and requires a lot of trust.  So it was surprising when the Vice (Cathy O) from Jennifer Jones' (Skip) winning team was asked to leave the team.  Particularly after the team had won the Nationals three years in a row.  No reasons given, at least to the press.  Just thank you very much goodbye.

Cathy O fought back, formed a new team and stepped up to take on the role of Skip.  They won their way across Manitoba and made it all the way to the Nationals (Scotties Tournament of Hearts) which have been playing all week.  And, as it goes in all good dramas, Cathy O's Team Manitoba came up against Jennifer Jones' Team Canada last night.  All eyes were on the drama about to unfold between the Team Canada princess and the Manitoba underdog.

To that point in the tournament, Team Manitoba had won 2 of 8 games.  Team Canada had won 6 of 8.  Not looking good for Cathy O.

One more little aside.  The tournament is being held in PEI.  The arena was packed for the game and it was pretty obvious that the land of red soil and tasty potatoes was backing the underdog.  Cathy of Green Gables was their hero.

It was the game of a lifetime.  Team Canada won the first end, making it 2:0.  In the second end, Cathy had to make a perfect shot or they would lose the second end and Jennifer would get five points.  Cathy made the shot and the fans went nuts. It only got crazier from there.  Back and forth it went.  Team Canada winning, Team Manitoba winning.  So very exciting.

By the last end (10), Cathy's team was ahead by 3 and it was clear that Team Canada was crumbling under the pressure.  The last rock hadn't even stopped moving when the chanting of "Cathy O", "Cathy O" began.

Cathy picked up her broom as well as Jennifer's.  She made her way across the ice and raised her hand to acknowledge the crowd.  Everyone watched as she shook Jennifer's hand and passed her the broom.  Something she probably did countless times when she was Vice.  A little touch of class from one tough lady.

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