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Throwing Stones

Curling is a sport (yes, it is) of precision and patience. That’s why, when the 2014 Winter Olympics begin next month in Sochi, Russia, the Columbus Curling Club knows there will be no need to advertise in order to attract new members. “During the Olympics, people seek us out,” says Gordon Webster, a Canadian transplant [...]
Kevin J. Elliott

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Curling is a sport (yes, it is) of precision and patience.

That’s why, when the 2014 Winter Olympics begin next month in Sochi, Russia, the Columbus Curling Club knows there will be no need to advertise in order to attract new members.

“During the Olympics, people seek us out,” says Gordon Webster, a Canadian transplant who resides as the club’s president. “We have to shut down our league for a few weeks and in that time we have about 1,200 pass through our clinics.”

Every four years, curling, that “other” game on ice, suddenly becomes the trendiest sport at the games with televised matches piquing the interest of fascinated viewers around the world eager to learn and participate. Even with increased popularity though, finding a local curling sheet can be quite difficult in most American cities. Luckily for Columbus, we are home to one of the finest clubs in the country – but it wasn’t always this way.

The CCC was established in 2004. Back then they were sharing the ice at the Chiller North and needless to say, hockey ice is not the same as curling ice. There were a number of factors that made the facility less than ideal – from having to bring temporary hacks and lugging 40-pound stones, to the air temperature and humidity. As membership grew, though, so did the aspirations of the club, which led to finding a somewhat permanent home in an empty warehouse in Clintonville. Now, they boast three perfectly manicured sheets, ample lighting, a curling Zamboni, and an industrial size dehumidifier, the last of which Webster introduces like a proud father.

The upgrades allow for members to curl whenever they wish during their October to April season, though most of the 160 faithful prefer league play one or two nights a week. The new facility has also given the club some prominence in the United States Curling Association, allowing the CCC to host regional bonspiels (see glossary) and workshops led by world champions. While the CCC provides an idyllic scenario for seasoned curlers, Webster can’t stress enough the importance attending a clinic and learning the game before stepping out on the ice for the first time.

“Everyone thinks it’s easy,” he says, one the most common curling misconception, “or that it’s shuffleboard on ice. That’s the biggest insult. It’s actually a lot harder than it looks on television. I liken it to bocce and chess combined. Teams are always thinking about their next move.”

Contrary to perception, curling is very much a team sport. When a stone is thrown, each of the team’s four curlers, from the skip to the sweepers, have a hand in determining where that stone will end up in proximity to the button. As curlers switch roles every two stones, strategy is dependent on the skills of your fellow teammates. It’s something practiced even after matches in the newly constructed “warm” room over a round of beer.

Yet another reason to call the CCC one of the finest clubs in the country: they also have a liquor license.

“As you can see, the social aspect of curling is almost just as big as the game itself,” says Webster from the club’s bar, one equipped with windows provided to watch the competition. “It’s tradition that the winning team buys the losing team a beer.”

Does that tradition translate to Olympic competition?

“Actually the Canadian women’s team in 1998 supposedly lost the gold medal because they were too hungover from the night before,” remembers Webster. “The men won the gold, but the woman had to settle for silver because they just played horribly.” •

Know Your Curling
These key terms serve as a warm-up for your experience on the ice

Bonspiel – a curling tournament, typically held over a weekend, consisting of several games. (Teams often wear costumes).

House – the three rings on each team’s side towards which the game is played.

Button – the center of the house. Those stones closest to the button are scored.

End – similar to an inning in baseball. Each end consists of both team throwing 8 stones.

Hacks – the footholds from which a curler throws his/her stone.

Guard – a stone strategically placed in front of the house to protect a team’s stones

Sheet – the playing “field” for a curling match.

Skip – usually the strongest curler on a particular team. The skip has the final say as to where a stone is to be placed.

Weight – the amount of force made in throwing a stone

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Big Macs and Bowl Games: Enter McDonalds sweepstakes for college football getaway

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Now that Ohio State has secured its bid to play in the 2019 College Football Playoffs, every fan across Columbus is vying for tickets to the Bowl Game. Lucky for you, McDonald’s has the answer.

Today, McDonald’s launches their Buckeye Bowl Game Sweepstakes in partnership with Ohio State Athletics, where one lucky winner will win a trip for two to the 2019 Fiesta Bowl Game on Saturday, Dec. 28, including prime tickets to the game, transportation to and from, plus hotel and travel accommodations.

Fans can enter the Buckeye Bowl Game Sweepstakes by purchasing a Quarter Pounder or Quarter Pounder with cheese from any McDonald’s in the greater Columbus area, either in restaurants or through their favorite delivery service. With each order, customers will receive a golden ticket with entry details, leading them to the sweepstakes website.

And the best part is for every submission placed, McDonald’s Owner/Operators of Columbus will donate $1 to Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Ohio, helping them meet their annual fundraising goal.

“For McDonald’s, and for those of us as local business owners, it’s about more than selling burgers. It’s about creating a lasting impact in our community,” said Mike Telich, Columbus McDonald’s Owner/Operator in a statement. “Supporting RMHC is more than just a donation, its ensuring families with ill or injured children get the emotional and physical support they need, as well an alternative to the financial burden of staying at a hotel and going out for meals."

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The Big Ten: 10 reasons why Jim Harbaugh is an absolute nutcase

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There’s no question Jim Harbaugh is a weirdo. He’s been caught picking his nose on the sidelines, he essentially wears the same outfit every single day no matter the occasion, and his personality is about as bright as a military general on cocaine. In other words, Harbaugh is set in his ways, and his ways are strange as shit.

But there’s more to this man’s madness than booger flicking and khaki pants. He’s a weirdo that wears many hats (but not many different variation of pants). And we have 10 reasons to prove it to you.

1.) Jim Harbaugh, the Spongebob fanatic.

To quote the coach on a radio show in Ann Arbor, “I love his attitude. He attacks each day with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind! I’ve kind of modeled my behavior after him. We all should. What a great employee he is. He’s a go-getter. He’s always got a bounce to his step. He’s got pizzazz. He puts his heart and soul into making those krabby patties. I think he’s awesome.” Uhhh, sure. Whatever you say, man.

2.) Jim Harbaugh, the house guest.

“Mom, can coach Harbaugh stay the night tonight?” Those were (probably) the words of Michigan’s current kicker, Quinn Nordin, as well as the defensive end from USC, Connor Murphy. In an effort to get the two recruits to commit to Michigan, Harbaugh took trips to visit the athletes. Perfectly normal. What’s not normal is Harbaugh crashing at the recruits house for the night. Dude, you are the third highest paid coach in college football. You’re either too cheap to buy a hotel, or you’re too odd to realize this was a weird ass move.

3.) Jim Harbaugh, the music man.

If you haven’t had the luxury of watching this music video, put this magazine down and pull up YouTube. Rap duo, Bailey, produced a Michigan hype song to promote the 2016 season titled “Who Has It Better Than Us?” which featured Harbaugh literally screaming those exact words for the chorus. This is just as much weird (Harbaugh’s rap career isn’t looking good) as it is ironic as the Wolverines would go on to lose to Ohio State and in their bowl game against Florida State. We can think of at least two schools that have it better than ya’ll…

4.) Jim Harbaugh, the conspiracy theorist.

He said they were a “nervous bird.” We’re not even gonna attempt to explain this. Here’s what a former Michigan quarterback, Wilton Speight, had to say to Bleacher Report about the hate against chickens: “He thinks some type of sickness injected its way into the human population when people began eating white meats instead of beef and pork. And he believes it, 100 percent.” … Riiiiight.

5.) Jim Harbaugh, the babysitter.

Turns out that fateful night he stayed with Connor Murphy wasn’t the first time. Harbaugh has stayed at the Murphy residence in the past, when he was a head coach at Stanford, to recruit Murphy’s brother, Trent. During the night, Connor and Trent’s mother went into labor forcing the father to take her to the hospital to give birth. As for Harbaugh and, at the time, 12-year-old Connor? Here’s what Connor told the LA Times: “Coach Harbaugh sat on my living room floor with me and we drank milk and played chess.”

6.) Jim Harbaugh, the patriotic music man.

If coaching doesn’t work, it seems like Harbaugh is eyeing a career in music. In 2016, rapper Lil Dicky came to Ann Arbor to preform. For reasons we have absolutely no way of understanding, Lil Dicky brought Harbaugh on stage to… sing the national anthem? And, as on brand as the mother fucker is, he was wearing those damn khakis for the performance. He probably flicked a few boogers backstage, too.

7.) Jim Harbaugh, the president?

Apparently rapper Wale and Jim Harbaugh are cooking something up for a presidential run. In 2016, Wale tweeted at the TTUN coach and endorsed him for a presidential campaign. Harbaugh responded back eager to bring Wale on as his Vice President. Let’s play a game, Buckeye Nation, would you rather have Trump as president, or Harbaugh?

8.) Jim Harbaugh, the khakis man.

We all know how much the man loves his Dockers, but do you really know how deep that love runs? The man worksout in his khakis. We’re sure that never gets too sweaty. The man swims—SWIMS!!—in his khakis. And he’s even been spotted running around the practice field shirtless showing off that pasty-white dad bod, but still in those damned khakis.

9.) Jim Harbaugh, the dietician.

We already know the man hates chickens, but did you know how much he loves cows? Almost as much as he loves khakis, believe it or not. Harbaugh is convinced that milk and steak are a “natural steroid.” Here’s what Harbaugh had to say about his affinity to “natural steroids” on a radio show in Ann Arbor: “I take a vitamin every day. It’s called a steak. … I truly believe the No. 1 natural steroid is sleep, and the No. 2 natural steroid is milk, whole milk. Three would be water. Four would be steak. [Steak] … it goes with everything.”

10.) Jim Harbaugh, the actor.

Why not? He’s a president, a singer, a rapper, a babysitter, and even a Spongebob stan. Of course he’s made a few appearances on television. The first time was on Saved By The Bell where he didn’t even get an excited “woo!” from the fake audience when he came on screen. Screech gets one every time he’s on camera and he’s a main character. The other time was when Harbaugh showed his true side on Detroiters for a skit. He loses his shit during a tailgating style game and ends up drilling the main character in the back of the head with a football. Okay so the Detroiters skit is actually kind of funny.•

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Top 5 times Ohio State broke Michigan’s heart in The Game

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Curtis Samuel Shows off His Madden Moves (2016)

For all Buckeye fans, this moment is unforgettable. After going down to Michigan in the second quarter, the two teams matched blows all game and even ended up in double overtime. After J.T. Barrett converted a fourth down, Curtis Samuel 15-yards to seal the win. Not only was Samuel’s TD amazing, it also cemented the Bucks’ place in the College Football Playoff while keeping TTUN out. Two birds with one stone.

Game of the Century (2006)

In the final iteration of the Buckeyes led by Troy Smith and Ted Ginn, Jr., the Buckeyes did not disappoint. This game had perhaps the largest implications of any on this list, because everyone in America pretty much knew that the winner would advance to the BCS National Championship game. Also: who could forget both Beanie Wells and Antonio Pittman going 50+ yards for touchdowns in the same game?

Ohio State Can’t Go to a Bowl Game… But They Also Aren’t Going to Lose (2012)

While Ohio State was dealing with a ban from bowl games, they didn’t stop wrecking opponents, and Michigan was no exception. Heading into the game, Michigan was the No. 20 team in the nation and had hopes for a win over their rival as well as moving up in the rankings to get a more prestigious bowl game. The Wolverines got neither.

Tyvis Powell is Clutch as Hell (2013)

This was one of the more competitive games in recent history. After being tied at halftime, the Bucks and Wolverines continued to trade blows until the very last moment. At the end of the game, Devin Gardner threw a touchdown to Devin Funchess to bring Michigan within 1 point and set up for a PAT. However, Michigan gambled for the win by going for two, and Tyvis Powell shut them down. It’s basically the Ohio State football equivalent of LeBron James’ block on Andre Iguodala in the 2016 NBA Finals, except Ohio State actually ended up winning.

Beat Michigan, then Win The Championship (2002)

Going into the game as the #2 team in the nation, Ohio State had amassed 12 wins before facing off against their bitter rival and were working on one of the best seasons in college football history. Seeing as Michigan had played spoiler to the Bucks’ perfect seasons three times in the ’90s, it felt like Michigan could keep Ohio State out of the BCS national championship, but Will Allen had other plans. With time expiring, Allen snagged an interception near the end zone that prevented the Wolverines from scoring a game winning touchdown. After that, Ohio State went on to beat Miami and win the BCS national championship. Talk about a story book ending for the Bucks — and a nightmare for the Wolverines.

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