There’s always Plan B’

You gotta love “Plan B.”
For all you uninitiated out there, “Plan B” is a curling term used to describe when something good happens from a shot that wasn’t called. For instance, when the skip wants a draw and his third delivers a triple take-out, or angle raise.
Or when the skip holds the broom for an out turn and the rock ends up exactly where he wanted it even though the lead threw an in turn. (Yes, good things can happen if you miss the broom by a wide enough margin).
Anyway, “Plan B” was out in full force here Saturday at the second-annual “Curl for Cancer,” and believe me, I used it to perfection. I mean, how else can someone who’s skipped a grand total of four games in his life, and who hasn’t curled at all since last year’s event, take a team of three women who don’t curl and rack up 10 points after our three, four-end games?
Sure, we were nowhere near first place, but I had gone to the curling club early Saturday morning just hoping we wouldn’t get skunked!
And, if the truth be known, had I made my last shot in our first two games, we might well have been 2-0 or 1-1 heading into our big showdown against “The Sisters” instead of 0-2.
Oh well, at least I’m in good company with Kelley Law and Kevin Martin.
After “Plan B,” I also learned Saturday that a skip’s next best friend is a third who keeps things simple. Most ends, having patiently signalled to Cheryl #2 once again that it was now time for her to come down to the house to strategize over my shot, she just slid down the ice, pointed to the button with the end of her broom, and said, “Put it right there, Mike. Just tell me where to hold the stick.”
If there happened to be eight rocks sitting out in front of the house, the majority of them the opposition’s, her thought was just don’t hit them.
See, simple.
My fine front end (Cheryl #1 and Cheryl wanna-be Maureen) were equally simple, er, I mean simplistic, though their line of thinking was a little different. “You’re gonna knock all those rocks out, right?” they’d ask each time I headed towards the hack.
Sure, a quintuple takeout-raise that also sees the shooter spin into the rings. No problem. Yep, simple.
Actually, that was usually “Plan D.”
But, despite the overwhelming odds, we were strangely competitive. We scored a four-ender against Peggy Loyie’s foursome (thanks largely to several “Plan B’s”), and only lost that game because yours truly blew his last shot to give up a steal of three (Sherry Anderson knows the feeling).
Then against Florence Ogden, it all came down to the final end (again thanks to more “Plan B’s”), when I needed a nose hit to try and steal one for the tie but instead only caught a corner of the stone to roll too far.
The toughest match, though, was against “The Sisters” (Anne Zucchiatti, Andrea Avis, Michelle Reid, and Dorese Harrison, admirably “managed” by Marjory Boileau), considering Cheryl #1 helped sweep their rocks half the time while Michelle kept holding my stick, er broom, so I couldn’t brush any of their stones out of the house.
Hmm, I also recall a head butt by Anne at one crucial point in the game.
Nonetheless, we managed to eke out a tie thanks to a stunning deuce in the fourth end (you guessed it, still more “Plan B’s”).
Now that we’ve got all this experience under our belts, all I can say is watch out for us next year! And be warned, if “Plan B” doesn’t work, we just may have a few “Plan C’s or D’s” up our sleeves.
Heck, I may even try Wendy Derendorf’s unusual method of “holding the broom.” You’ll have to ask her about that one, or Kevin Busch.
In the meantime, when’s the casting call for “Men with Brooms II.”

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