Posts filed under ‘sports’

The Truth About Curling

The first thing that non-Canadians ask me when they find out that I am from Canada is: “Tell me about the sport of curling because in my country we do not play, but it is a very fascinating sport to us and we must learn all we can about your culture.” This is what they ask unless that person is from one of the following countries that has an official curling association (list from Wikipedia):

Since I played curling for a few months back when I was in high-school, and I’ve watched a couple of games on T.V.,  I figure myself to be something of an expert.  Therefor I will explain all you need to know about this sport.  Once again the amoebas have agreed to assist in the explanation:

Teams are made up of 4 people, making a total of 8 players participating in each game.  Competitors like to get together before a match to have a celebratory drink to the game that is about to take place.

curling1The Canadian Amoeba Curling Club has won the World Amoeba Curling Championship the past three years.

The game begins.  The blue team shoots first this round.  Next round the brown team will shoot first.  Play continues for a total of ten rounds.  With the first shot, Team Blue will try to set up a guard.  A guard is a rock that sits before the house (the coloured circles) but after the Hog Line (black line you see in the image).

curlingfirstend24

The first shot was perfect!  Everyone, including the opposition, celebrates the shot with another drink.

Team Brown has the next shot.  They decide to try and get a rock into the house.  Unfortunately the shooter put too much pepper on the shot, and the stone goes all the way down the sheet and out of play.  The players decide to have a commiseratory beer.

curlingtemplate3Curlers tell non-drinkers to “go play hockey”.  This is considered a major insult in the world of curling.

Play continues with players on opposite teams alternating their shots.  After all the shots are taken (sixteen in total for each end), points are awarded.  Points are scored by having one or more of your team’s rocks closer to the center of the house (circles) than your opponents.  If your team has two rocks closer to the center than any of the other team’s rocks, then your team will score two points.  If neither team has a single rock in the house at the end, neither team receives a point.

curling5In this case the brown team scores two points since they have two rocks closest to the center of the house.  Only one team – or neither team – can score points each end.  Everyone celebrates Brown Team’s points.

Play continues like this over ten ends.  At the end points are tallied and the team with the most points wins.  After the game everyone gets together and has “one for the road”.

curlingfirstend2

Games sometimes end before ten ends are played, due to excessive alcohol poisoning.

And that is pretty much curling in a nutshell.  If you are interested in some actual curling information, I recommend checking out Curling Basics.  It’s a really cool site, with lots of good, and…er…relevant information.

Happy curling!

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June 3, 2009 at 3:52 pm 9 comments

Hockey Fights Explained

The recent death of a Senior A hockey player in Ontario as the result of a fight gone wrong (the player hit his head on the ice at the end of the fight) has sparked a lot of discussion about the role of fighting in hockey.    Fight apologists claim that it is an important part of the sport, while the anti-fighting contingent claims that hockey would be an even better game without fisticuffs.

As a service to the public I have undertaken to explain the reasons why fights happen in hockey.  Using amoebas, of course.

hockey2

(The International Amoeba Hockey League hosts some of the most competitive protist hockey in the world.)

1.  Passion.

Hockey is played at a great speed and body contact is inevitable.  This coupled with a high level of intensity can lead to fights, even amongst players who don’t usually drop the gloves and exchange knuckle imprints.  Fights of passion usually occur in the corners of the rink, or in front of the nets, as these are the areas where the most intense contests for puck possession happen.

scrum

(Fights often occur when too many players try to squeeze themselves into a small space.)

2. Revenge.

Revenge fights happen when a member of an opposing team has injured or tried to injure one of your teammates.  The next time you play against the offending party, it is expected that a member of your team – usually one of your enforcers – will exact revenge.

revenge

(Revenge fights can be nasty.)

3.  It’s a Dirty Job.

Many teams will employ a player whose main role is that of the enforcer, or goon.  These players excel at fighting and, usually, little else.  Their sole purpose and reason for being on the team is to fight the other teams enforcer when needed.

These players are considered protectors for the more skilled players – exacting revenge (see above) if an opposing player tries to hurt one of their team’s stars.  Enforces will also engage the other team’s tough guys in fights if their team’s energy is low.  Some pundits believe that this kind of fight can reinvigorate a team that is losing and help to change the momentum of the game.  Other people think that these people are nuts.

goons

(Enforcers tend to be big.)

February 11, 2009 at 1:20 am 12 comments

International Amoeba Battle: Canada Vs. Brazil

Welcome back, sports fans, to International Amoeba Battles.  Today we have an exciting match between the indomitable Canadian Amoeba and the svelte and sexy Brazilian Amoeba.  Today’s match is being staged at the newest Amoeba Battle Arena in the world, located in chilly Yellowknife, capital city of Canada’s Northwest Territories (NWT).

The temperature in Yellowknife today is -274 degrees Kelvin.  Residents of Yellowknife consider this “moderate”.

amoebaarena

The new Battle Arena is a spectacular architectural achievement.  The choice of building an open air arena, instead of a dome, has many wondering about the sanity of the architect.  Although the weather can be quite pleasant during the week of summer Yellowknife experiences, the rest of the year is considered uninhabitable by most reasonable people.

canbraintro2

On the left is Canadian Amoeba, who had a good showing in a battle against Australian Amoeba, that ended with Canadian and Australian Amoeba teaming up to smite Swedish Amoeba.  What a twist!

On the right is Brazilian Amoeba, in Brazil’s first International Amoeba Battle appearance.  Brazilian Amoeba appears to be wearing a pair of bikini bottoms, borrowed from the Brazilian beach volley ball team.  Very sexy!  Unfortunately bikini bottoms are against Amoeba Battle rules, so Brazilian Amoeba will have to take them off.

For today’s battle, I brought my cat, as he enjoys violence and combat.

Unfortunately, having eaten and imbibed a merry amount over the holidays, all of my luscious muscles have gone to pot.  My cat also had a festive holiday season, and has become even more out of shape than usual.  Have no fear, Amoeba Battle Fans, as my cat and I are  performing intense workouts to get back into shape.

bracan2Canadian Amoeba and Brazilian Amoeba start the fight by circling one another.  This is the first time these opponents have met, so it looks like they are going to take a moment to size one another up.

I’m sure by now you have noticed the improved visuals for this International Amoeba BattleCanadian Fermentation has upgraded its technological capabilities in order to bring you a visceral experience, Dear Viewer.  No expense has been spared!  We hope you enjoy it.

canbra3Canadian Amoeba and Brazilian Amoeba continue to circle one another.  Brazilian Amoeba reaches out and takes a shot at Canadian Amoeba, but the northerner manages to maneuver away from the punch.  Canadian Amoeba appears reluctant to engage the enemy in combat.  This is becoming an embarrassment for the home fans, who are starting to become restless.  There have been a few scattered boos throughout the arena.

canbra41

Wait a minute! It looks like something is happening.  Brazilian Amoeba is slowing down, and looking rather pale.  What is with all that shivering?

canbra5Brazilian Amoeba has stopped moving and is standing still.  Canadian Amoeba moves in for the kill, raising a couple of pseudopods in preparation of the final blow…

canbra6Smash!! Wow!! It looks like, due to the extreme cold of Yellowknife, Brazilian Amoeba became an amoebapop thus allowing  Canadian Amoeba to shatter Brazilian Amoeba into tiny shards.  What amazing strategy on the part of Canadian Amoeba!

Now the reason for the open roof stadium makes sense.  The architect is a genius!  Give them a raise.

Well, that was another amazing International Amoeba Battle, wasn’t it?  Very invigorating.  I don’t know about you, Dear Viewer, but I can’t wait until the next International Amoeba Battle.  Stay tuned.

January 19, 2009 at 9:58 pm 10 comments

International Amoeba Battles: U.S.A Vs. China

Welcome back to International Amoeba Battles, formerly known as International Nature Battles.  The last match showed that Canadian and Australian Amoebas are able to put aside their differences and join forces to destroy and humiliate the innocent.  It was a good fight.

Today’s fight will have to be spectacular to match the excitement of the last battle.  Unfortunately it looks like a potential snoozer, as we have the experienced and deadly American Amoeba taking on Chinese Amoeba.  This is Chinese Amoeba’s first International Amoeba Battle appearance: a tough draw for a newcomer.

Chinese Amoeba has been training hard, though, and is expected to have a few surprises stored away in vacuoles.

Let’s get to the action!

ab1

On the left in the blue trunks, is American Amoeba.  On the right is a new comer to International Amoeba Battles, Chinese Amoeba.  Chinese Amoeba is wearing red trunks.  That is me in the bottom corner.  Once again I will be the referee.  For this battle I brought my hoes.  I thought they might enjoy the contest.

ab2It is a quick start to the battle, with American Amoeba attempting a classic surround and isolate strategy.  A good move against an inexperienced opponent!  This should be a quick match.

ab3Whoops.  Looks like American Amoeba over-extended and was not able to close the trap.  Chinese Amoeba manages to escape.

ab4Oh my!  This could be bad.  American Amoeba appears worn out by his failed surround and isolate maneuver.  Let’s see how Chinese Amoeba takes advantage of this situation.

ab5Interesting!  It looks like Chinese Amoeba is respecting the power of American Amoeba.  Chinese Amoeba is offering to loan American Amoeba  money so that American Amoeba can buy nutritious supplements to regain energy and continue the battle.  This is a classy move by Chinese Amoeba!

ab61

Now Chinese Amoeba is offering to sell American Amoeba some nutritious supplements, in exchange for the money previously loaned.  What a sportsamoeba!  Apparently the box also contains toys and other sundries to keep American Amoeba amused while recovering.  Chinese Amoeba claims that none of it is unnecessary crap. Chinese Amoeba also promises to sell it to American Amoeba for a better price than American Amoeba would be able to find from American made nutritional supplements.  American Amoeba agrees to the deal.

ab7Chinese Amoeba respectfully retreats to the corner while American Amoeba ingests the supplements and waits for them to take affect.

ab8Hmmmm…something doesn’t seem quite right.  It appears that the supplements are starting to expand out of control inside American Amoeba.

ab9Oh, crap!  It looks like the nutritious supplements are still expanding.  They are expanding so much that American Amoeba is starting to break up.  Is Chinese Amoeba flipping American Amoeba the bird?  That’s not very nice.

ab10What an upset!  Unbelievable.  Chinese Amoeba has defeated American Amoeba from the inside.  Chinese Amoeba celebrates victory by raising a couple of pseudopods into the air, before proceeding to injest the remnants of American Amoeba.  Gross.

November 21, 2008 at 7:23 pm 8 comments

Canadian Thoughts: Theology and Sports.

I wonder if any hyper-religious types are noticing how well the Major League Baseball team, the Tampa Bay Rays are doing this year. Up until this current season the team had gone by the name DEVIL Rays. Do you know how many times the team made the playoffs previous to this season?

None.

It looks likely that the Rays will reach the playoffs for the first time since their inception into the league in 1998. You can’t blame them turning to religion and removing the Devil part of their name, really, since they play in the American League’s Eastern Division, which includes the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees. It has been obvious for years that only through divine intervention will any other team in the East make the playoffs.

Since the connection to religion is so obvious in this case, what does it mean that the NHL team, the New Jersey Devils, have had a lot of success since moving to New Jersey from Colorado (then known as the Rockies) in 1982? The team has managed to win three Stanley Cups all the while flaunting the name DEVIL. What kind of deal do the owners of this team have, and with whom did they make it?

Pat Robertson, where are you? We need guidance.

(It is rumoured that during the next NBA expansion, they will only admit a franchise willing to take the name Evil Devil Sex Fiend Worshipers)

For more theology visit Humor-Blogs.com.

August 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm 4 comments

Canadian Nationalism: How Do We Know Who Is Best?

I think the Olympics and other sporting events are a pretty good way to measure how proud you should be of your country. I mean, obviously only good, worthy nations can win medals. Nations that don’t win medals should be shunned.

A better way to judge the standard of each nation, though, is by judging its babe-quality…

(Does your country have any worth? Find out by watching the next Miss Universe pageant.)

August 19, 2008 at 9:57 am 10 comments

Canadian Sports: The New Olympics

As of writing this, Team Canada has yet to win a medal at the XXIX Olympics. The Canadian athletes have been very close in several events, but no one has been able to make it to the podium yet. This is very sad.

As a result of these circumstances I’ve decided to come up with some competitions in which Canadians would be competitive.  Hopefully we will see some of these as Olympic events in the future.

Bingo

Overview: Bingo is a simple game, and I’m sure most readers are familiar with it. Basically, players are given cards with the word B-I-N-G-O along the top, and columns of numbers under each letter. A caller randomly picks a ball from a tumbler, and calls out the letter and number that are printed on it. The first player to complete the required pattern wins.

Pros: Winning is based on absolutely no skill and is completely random. Canadian athletes have as much chance of wining as any other nation’s athletes.

Cons: Bingo does not make for exciting T.V.. Potential of a riot breaking out when ‘O-69’ is called.

(It is recommend that, for Bingo to be a successful Olympic sport, athletes wear sexy uniforms)

Proposition

Overview: This sport requires a playing field that mimics a city street scene. Players must make their way down the city street and ‘proposition’ individuals whom the athletes believe are hookers. Points are awarded for each correct proposition. Points are taken away for picking innocent citizens and the round ends if an athlete propositions an undercover police officer. Bonus points are awarded to competitors who are able to pick out the transvestite hooker.

Pros: All the hookers are pros, of course.

Cons: Proposition athletes are known for their irreverent attitudes and often show up to competitions drunk. This resulted in some unfortunate ‘incidents’ during the 2006 World Proposition Championships.

(Can you tell which one of these ‘hookers’ is an undercover cop? It’s one of the skills you need as a Proposition athlete.)

Speed Pet

Overview: This is a bi-species sport bringing humans and cats together in team competition. The goal of the sport is, through petting, to be the first team to have the cat purring. This is best accomplished by the human athletes vigorously petting the cat athletes along their backs. Catnip is considered a banned substance in this sport.

Pros: Speed Pet would be only the second bi-species competition in the Olympics, joining the equestrian events.

Cons: There is the potential that nations will genetically engineer ‘Super Speed-Pet Cats’ that start purring when looked at. This would make competition irrelevant.

(This is the traditional position for Speed Pet athletes.)

Seal Clubbing

Overview: Teams of athletes go into a designated area to hunt and club seals.

Pros: Canada has much experience in this sport already. Our athletes should be well prepared making it possible foe Canada to sweep the medals in this sport.

Cons: A difficult sport to televise due to the carnage. Likely to be protested by groups such as Greenpeace and PETA.

(Seal clubbing is a gruesome sport and not recommended for the faint of heart.)

August 14, 2008 at 1:21 am 10 comments

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