Baden Is No Hokkaido
002 - As I began thinking about taking on a fantasy sport, I waffled between fantasy curling and fantasy bass fishing. As forms of personal recreation, I truly think highly of both fishing and curling. I am surprised that there is really a call for professionalism within either and am shocked that one can endeavor to pursue fantasy versions of each. As the summer is winding down, I correctly assumed that fantasy bass fishing was reaching the end of its season and that I had some time to plan out a fantasy curling campaign. As I investigated further, however, I was chagrinned to discover that I have already missed the first bonspiel of the World Curling Tour. Week one picks in the fantasy league had been made and results recorded. It is the middle of August, and I am already behind in the fantasy curling league!
The first event of the season was the Hokkaido Bank Curling Classic, from August fourth through the seventh. Now I have never considered Japan to be a figurative hotbed for ice-related sports, but apparently, it was actually a hotbed for curling. Hokkaido is certainly not as warm as Kyushu, but temperatures during this event were in the mid-twenties. If those sound like a good curling temperature to you, then you are probably American. Temperatures in the mid-twenties refer to the Celsius scale, which converts to the upper-seventies in Fahrenheit. (So as to not overgeneralize, there are other places in the world that still stick to the Fahrenheit scale. According to the Wikipedias, they are: Palau, the Federated States of Micronesia, the Marshall Islands, the Bahamas, Belize, and the Cayman Islands. I will pay you one Bahamian Dollar if you can find a resident curler in any of those locations.) Not only are the August temperatures in Japan a bit balmy for curling, Hokkaido is just now dealing with the horrible aftermaths of multiple tropical storms. I just checked, this is the first blog post to ever mention tropical storms in connection to fantasy curling.
Fortunately, the World Curling Tour is heading to more autumnal surroundings this week as the curlers jet to Baden, Switzerland. A quick check of the forecast calls for a temperature of … 28℃ (82℉)!!! Come on … nobody should be curling in August! This is clearly bass fishing weather.
At least I am prepared this time. I have created an account at CurlingZone and made forty picks for this week’s Baden Masters. The first rock will be sliding at 2:00am EDT on Friday, the twenty-sixth. The event website is in German, but thankfully, Google Translate seems to handle the page well. There is also a good chance that one or more of my daughters will wake me up at that hour. I can probably make out some of the live scores through my bloodshot eyes.
There is still time to sign up. Do not repeat my Hokkaido mistake. Fantasy curling lives … in August. You can play, too!