Monday, January 19, 2009

Results are in for the 2008 Rutabaga Curl

Our good friend Commissioner Steve gives us the following update on our favorite sporting competition:
"The 2008 International Rutabaga Curling World Championship was held in the usual Ithaca, NY Farmers' Market venue. It was perhaps our coldest Curl on record which kept the crowd size down and had many athletes reconsidering the wisdom of heading out to hurl vegetables in extreme cold. It was however one of the most exciting Curl's in our history. This was the first field with fewer than 100 athletes in many years; just over 60 curlers braved the weather.

"A separate Turnip Toss was held for athletes 8 years and younger. Many young people are attracted to our sport but are unable to handle the demands of the heftier rutabaga...a Turnip Toss offers a smaller more delicate projectile, the throw distance is significantly shorter than the 79 foot Rutabaga Curl distance; pitching distance is a function of contestants' age. Five year old Zeke Lawrence took home the coveted Gold Medal, Phoenix Uticone took Silver while Henry Toori took third place.

"In the Rutabaga Curl itself there were many no shows as teams that had trained all year were noticeably absent due to the severe weather. This created a wide open, unpredictable field. Tom Mansell, a 25 year old Cornell graduate student took home the Gold. His first curled rutabaga took a bad hop off a wooden beam and split perfectly in 2 pieces. After much discussion by referees and the Commissioner it was decided that Tom's initial rutabaga was faulty ( hollow) and a replacement rutabaga was allowed along with a new shot at the target. Tom's rutabaga both in his heat and in the final round were consistently closest to the target. Tom modestly proclaimed that "anyone could have done this" ...but we know otherwise. Ray Schlather of Ithaca took the Silver medal; his medal was significant in that he is the first athlete ever to medal more than once as he won the bronze the year before. David Kingsbury, a potter who is a vendor at the Ithaca Farmers' Market, took the bronze medal marking the first market vendor to medal in many years."

--Commissioner Steve for the Rutabaga Curl
Thanks, Steve. Obie MacAroon III and all the rest of us at ARSI extend our heartiest congratulations to you and the other participants for another successful curling event, despite the arduous circumstances.

PHOTO: A pile of ARSI rutabagas, genetically engineered to be suitable for curling and ready to roll (Wikimedia)


Anonymous said...

According to the NY Times, the decision to give Tom Mansell a "replacement rutabaga" has been challenged in federal court. The Times estimates that the final rankings won't be determined until the appeal is resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2014.

Anonymous said...

Concerned citizens want to know -- were rutabagas served at the inaugural lunch yesterday? I believe it was a traditional lunch featuring game hens and root vegetables preferred by Lincoln. Let's all hope that the rutabaga has come into its own as the premier vegetable of America, loved by presidents, worshipped by dogs...

M.J. O'Brien said...

Right, Anon. And it should be mentioned that canine rutabaga cults have been an object of much investigation at ARSI over the years. Apparently rutabagas affect dogs in the same what that catnip fascinates cats. Rutabaga essence appears to stimulate the production of endorphins, the "pleasure chemical" of the brain.

Schottzie03 said...

The turnip toss is a good idea. I had my career ruined when my 6th grade coach started me on full grown rutabagas too soon.