Was hoping this would be the first time that we would be able to attend as our planned 2013 US Nationals team, but unfortunately Cal wasn’t able to attend. Ryan and I were pleasantly surprised that the Appleton Curling Club was right across from the hotel where we were staying. Hopefully we can bring a curling team to Appleton for a bonspiel this season as we had a great time visiting some bars that Chad Parson from the Snipers recommended. And yet again we got to open against a National Champ as we played Mark Blazel and his teammate Luke Peikert in the first round. We had a chance to win the first game, but I asked Mark to setup a baseline kubb that I had knocked down due to me throwing the baton at more than 10 degrees and it would have just left me a king shot to win the first gane. It wasn’t an easy decision to make as it was probably closed to 30 or so degrees, but Ryan and I had been discussing the 10 degree rule quite a bit on the drive up to the tournament and I knew that I wouldn’t feel right with winning with that shot. They went on to win that game, we took the 2nd and then in a very tight 3rd game, Mark and Luke were victorious. We beat a fine team from Eau Claire called Kubbolicious Maximus in the round robin play. KM had finished 3rd in Madison and went on to finish 3rd at this tournament. In the 2nd round we were stopped by Eric Anderson’s Sweden’s Sons team in 3 games. Just like Decorah, I was very pleased with our performance and seeing that Ryan and I could give Sweden’s Sons, KM and the Darkside of the Kubbsicles very competitive matches was a good feeling. But, for the 4th time in a row the finish was 3 wins and 2 losses and for the 3rd time consecutively finished tied for 5th. Steve Feathers and I discussed that since T-5 seems to be our trademark (his teams have finished in 5th 7 times in 2012), we will get together for a tournament in 2013 and call ourselves T-5.
Although I had grown up in Eastern Iowa, I had never visited Decorah. I convinced Michelle and Braden to play in the tournament and attend Nordic Fest with me. Decorah is a beautiful part of Iowa and Nordic Fest is a very entertaining festival. I’d strongly recommend my fellow kubbists make this a destination in 2013. To keep up with the theme of playing National Champions in the first round we played against 2/3 of the Kubbsicles and an excellent sniper (Luke) from the Darkside of the Kubb. Despite, minimal experience leading up to the tournament from Michelle and Braden, they played them very well in the first game and ok in the 2nd. We had knocked down all 5 baselines before leaving them an advantage line and costing us the first game. This was the first time that my practice at throwing kubbs had started to pay off, as I felt that I had thrown nearly as well as Mark Blazel during that game. We won 2 more games and finished 2nd in the round robin. In the 2nd round of the championship brackets we ran into the Relentless Kastpinnars who had finished with a T-9 at the US Nationals. The first game was the craziest game I had ever played. We ended up with 10 kubbs in play and a bad case of the yips by Phil Goetstouwers and I on our kubb tossing caused the momentum to swing back and forth several times before the Kastpinnars finished us off and then they took the 2nd game. Michelle, Braden and I had a great time and will try to attend next year and bring several couples with us. Overall, I was very happy with the improvements made even though the final results were the same as Madison. Finished 3-2 and a T-5.
Cal and I had decided that the Goofy Kubbers was going to be our team name when we entered the 2013 National tournament. We weren’t able to attend the 2012 tournament, but we had practiced kubb with my co-worker and fellow curling enthusiast Ryan Accetta that summer and felt it could potentially be a competitive team if the three of us worked at it. I asked my daughter Emily to draw me a King that looked like Sponge Bob and then set out to design a t-shirt for the Goofy Kubbers. My wife Michelle and son Braden were going to play kubb with me in the Decorah, IA tournament in July and wanted to be Goofy Kubbers’. Cal’s family, wife Jamie and daughter Ashlie liked the name and wanted a shirt. After asking Charlie if he wanted a t-shirt as well, we ended up with 8 Goofy Kubbers. I had spent several nights (June and July were brutally hot so I practiced in the evenings) working on my inkastare skills before the next tournament.
Cal and I entered this tournament again as the Blackhawk Kurling Club. We had been practicing a fair amount before the tournament and thought we were ready to make a better showing of ourselves. Cal had caught on to “the drill” much quicker than I had, so he got to throw the kubbs for us in that tournament. And as luck (bad?) would have it we got to play against the Ringers and Mr. Kubb himself, Eric Anderson in the first round. Once again, we were soundly defeated, but managed a 2nd spot in the round robin portion of the tournament. In the first round of the championship we ran into the Learned Sticks, JP Larson and Matt Braa from the Chaska Curling club and managed a 2-0 victory. At the time, we didn’t realize how huge of an upset that victory was as we were unaware of the success that Jason and his Kingpin teammates had earned. In the 2nd round we were wiped off the pitch by the Kubb Snipers of the Fox Valley Club who were playing lights out that day. After Cal and I headed back to find some shade and a few beers, we weren’t frustrated with the fact that we had lost to such high level of competition, but that we hadn’t played to the level we had in practice and that we didn’t even give the Ringers or Kubb Snipers any competition at all, After a couple of drinks we were feeling better and started to try to come up with a new team name. We came up with several that probably weren’t appropriate, but somehow got to singing the goofy goober song from Sponge Bob and then came up with the name of Goofy Kubbers. We thought it was pretty hilarious at the time (may have been the beer). Finished 3-2 and a T-5.
Goofy Kubbers started the season as the Blackhawk Kurling Club when we entered the Rockford Tournament in May of 2012. Founding members Evan Fitzgerald (author) and Cal Merath joined up with their favorite curling skip, Charlie Dana, to try out the game of kubb at the Swedish Historical Society’s tournament. Our first game was against the Ringers and they quickly demonstrated why they were National Champions and that we had alot to learn about the game. My inkastare was very poor during that tournament, but thanks to Aaron Ellringer showing us “the drill” technique we had a good idea what we needed to do to improve. Our first notable victory came against Rhymes with Tube from Madison. Still not sure how we managed that win. And then in the 2nd round of the championship we ran into the 2011 National Runner-up members, the Wolf Pack. Made for a very short day of kubb, but we had alot of fun and got to meet some great people. Cal and I were hungry to redeem ourselves and started to learn how to drill before the Madison tournament in June. Finished 3-2 on the day with a T-9.