The Ballad of Lawrence and McGovern

I have had some reader requests asking me to tell the tale of how timid McGovern slayed the mighty Lawrence.  Well, gather round and be amazed.

It all started in the lobby about 15 minutes prior to the match.  We were all nervous because the Lawrence rink has a reputation for being cold and ruthless adversaries who distract their opponents with flashy clothes and then beat them through intimidation and dirty tricks.  So we needed a plan.

Now we all know that the best laid plans are like the modern power grid, three-phase and deadly, so over a spicy ginger ale and Windsor, we cartographed our map to victory (it’s my blog and I can make up words if I want to, even if they introduce redundancy to the sentence).

  1. Score more points than them
  2. Foster infighting in the opposition
  3. Let them beat themselves

The first part was really easy because our skip would not miss a shot even when the rest of the team tried really hard to lose the end.  Part one really helped usher in phase two which was also exacerbated by well timed comments to various members of the Lawrence rink mostly aimed at dissolving confidence in their skip.  Part two worked so well, that by the third end the club manager put a parental advisory sticker on the glass overlooking sheet 4.  Once the seed was planted, phase three initiated automatically and victory was ours.

It’s not to say that there weren’t some problems along the way, as I mentioned in my previous post, the ice seemed way faster than usual.  I would estimate that between the two rinks, we missed a total of 15 or more shots out of the back of the house.  In addition, two seemingly identical shots would behave completely different in respect to draw.  And then there was the very peculiar “black hole” in the 7th end.  No less than five stones all came to rest about four feet above the house and maybe two or three feet right of the center line.  With each addition to the group came an increased ability for the pile to pull more stones in, at one point, the rocks from the Arndt – Lockwood match on sheet five started pulling toward the mass.

Thankfully, our plan was well underway and our victory was not spoiled.  Graciously, Bob and his crew joined us upstairs for the usual camaraderie and warm fuzzy feelings dominated the table.  Our hats off to them.

I in no way mean for this to sound boastful, and to express my true sentiment, I will borrow the words of the great Canadian balladeer Leonard Cohen who (although he uses the word “love” I’m pretty sure he meant “winning a curling match”) said:

I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch
Love is not a victory march,
It’s a  cold and it’s a broken Hallelujah

Good curling.  Halleluja


  1. First, I seriously thought the spikey hair was really… knowing it is not makes me sleep better at night.

    Good tale Ole. I think the game really boiled down to us hitting two well-timed draws that stole as much as 4-6 points from them in a two-end span.

    Fun night. I wish our league could schedule a league-only play-down with seeding and byes. March Madness style!

  2. Sonnabend says:

    Excellent story telling Ole, I really like the comment about good plans being like the power grid.

    I now know why my rink got destroyed by Lawrence this year. We didn’t have a plan. I think phase 2 of your plan is one that kills a lot of teams.

    I agree with Casey about the league playdown. it would be fun. I bet it wouldn’t be cheap to rent out the club for the weekend to make that happen though.

  3. To avoid #2 I make it a point to always trust my skip while I’m on the ice and once the beer is poured I let him have it.

  4. Bob Lawrence says:

    Our side of the story is very short. We sucked, not individually, but as a team. No not really. We got beat by a better team. Yes, we did suck as well, but hey, every team has that kind of night. Once I get rid of the ‘stick” we will be whole again.

    Happy time. (cue sound of small Russian gong)