Mark Goes Behind the Scenes at Belfast Curling Club [VIDEOS, PHOTOS]
Finally after years and years of anticipation, studying and mastering the game in my head, I got my chance to curl. The results... well, see for yourself here.
In October of 2013, I took a couple days off and drove up the road a bit to visit a place I've been putting off for far too long, the Belfast Curling Club on Route 3 in Belfast. This place is historic. Curling at this location dates back to the 50s.
Unfortunately, when I got there it was empty. Deadsville. Well, to be fair it was, like, noon on a Tuesday in October so I'm not sure what the heck I was expecting to see! Ain't no big-time tournaments happening on a Tuesday at noon! Just being in the empty parking lot was still a jolt though. Well, for about 5 minutes, but still, I was there!
I did the get the chance to make a new friend, though. After 15 minutes of being bummed out the place was empty and just before I got in my car to leave, up pulls Dr. Jeffrey Dutch. Doc oversees the BCC. He maintains the ice and the building. He curls damn-well too. He's curled since, well, before I was born, I believe! That's a good LONG time, friends.
Jeff gave me the full tour of the whole place, educated me on some of the history of the game and curling in the Northeast. A new bond had been born. I had an official curling connection now!
I invited the Doc to call into the CYY 'Morning Show..Show' to talk curling. Since the Olympic games in Sochi were on the way, the timing was perfect. I had him call in for the full month. The results, a more well-informed CYY listener base in the ways of curling. Mission accomplished? Not so much....
I needed more. My thirst was not yet fulfilled. I needed to answer the call that had been ringing so loud for so many years... I needed to get on the ice and curl myself. I couldn't stop the attraction any longer. Curling really kind of needed me to attack the game too. Add my 'lil somethin' somethin' to it.
Just after the Sochi games wrapped up where both mens and womens US Curling teams were defeated badly, I thought I'd maybe bring some promising talent to Belfast and some hope to my country's curling program. You never know, the next winter games are in four more years and they might need some help.
From me. I'd be the help. With my curling.
The following is most likey an unecessarily long series of short clips of my day at the Belfast Curling Club. If you watch really, really really, realllllyyy closely you can see the talent develop. It's raw and deeply hidden but it's there. It's there if you look really, really, really, really hard.
Oh, and enjoy some more cool pics after the clips. Heads up, there's a bunch of clips here, but they're all short so you won't need to spend more than one or two work lunches total to watch them all. I promise. Enjoy!
A PEEK AT THE REAL PLAYERS FIRST
ONE SHOE THINGIE TO HELP ME SORT OF STAND
THE FIRST STEP IS ALWAYS THE HARDEST AND IT WAS A TRICKY SOB TOO!
OK, DON'T LAUGH. THIS WAS AN ODD POSITIONING AND I'M NOT A REAL SLENDER FELLA. PLUS, TRYING NOT TO SLIP WAS A TRICK ON TOP OF IT ALL.
BETTER. I MEAN, NOT MUCH, BUT TECHNICALLY BETTER THAN THE FIRST TIME.
BETTER. BETTER. BETTER!
NOW LET'S TOSS ONE FOR REAL!
I GOTTA SAY BY THIS TIME, I WAS REALLY ENJOYING THIS A LOT. SLIDIN' STONES, BABY!
WATCH ME THROW A "CURDO TAKE OUT"-- I'M LOOKING GOOD NOW, RIGHT? GIVE IT UP!
A DIFFERENT VIEW SO YOU CAN SEE THE TEXT BOOK FORM AND DELIVERY I ESTABLISHED!
THE BIG WRAP UP!
MORE PHOTOS FROM BELFAST CURLING CLUB MARCH 2014
Along with Jeff and I, below are two great Curling friends who are on Jeff's team. The
folks here are are pretty important to the world of curling, you could say. The husband
has been a USA Youth Curling Coach and had just gone to Sochi a while back. His
wife, head of the women's National Curling Association. Their sons, part of the US
Youth Curling Team. What a family affair! Oh and a Curlette photo bomb back there!