Shuffleboard. When you read that, what do you think of? Old people. Cruise ships. A slow game for people with a slower pace of life. Yeah, that’s what I used to think that too.
Well, about two weeks ago, I was at Koerner’s Pub with Nic, Arash, and Bryan. I’ve been going this pub for over eight months now. A few times I’ve noticed this really long table over in one corner of the pub. I had no idea what it was for, but I didn’t make any effort to find out.
That night, Nic went over to the table and said, “Let’s play”. I asked him what exactly. “Shuffleboard,” he replied. I was at first a bit skeptical. Shuffleboard? The game for seniors?
What the hell I thought. As I went over to the table, I noticed that it was covered in this Parmesan cheese-like substance. I think Arash dared me to eat some of it. Weird. Nic came back from the bar with a bucket of these metal discs. They looked like small curling rocks.
I think Nic had played before so he kinda explained how to play. We didn’t have any hard and fast rules, so we just went at it. The teams were divided as such: Arash and Erwin vs. Nic and Bryan. Little did we know that this would a critical set of pairings.
Anyways, the game is pretty simple: you try to slide the discs into these scoring zones without overshooting the end of the table. You can see one of the table here. Like curling, you can knock out other discs and go for elaborate take outs. After the shots are all done, you count up how many points have been scored.
It was non-standard, but we played to 21 points. The first two games were pretty uneventful. Arash and I sucked. We had a lot of trouble finding our range. Either our shots sailed off the end or they barely made it over the mid-line. Arash also had this annoying habit of going for take-outs and then knocking out every one of our discs in sight. Maddening! Arash and I weren’t offering each other encouragement and there was barely any talking between teams.
After the second game, we changed the rules a bit. We implemented a hammer (last shot) rule and refined the scoring a bit. This is where it got wild (well, relatively wild).
I’m not sure what it was, but Arash and I got rolling in the third game. We smoked Nic and Bryan 21-10 or something. Arash and I started high-fiving, yelling, and jumping up and down. The trash talking started too. After the third game ended, it was on.
Whereas the first two games were played in relaxed conditions, the fourth game had the tensions of a seventh game in the Cup finals. Every shot was agonized over. Each teammate offered encouragement. Strategies were developed. Things were shouted. Despite our stunning victory in game three, Arash and I found ourselves down 15-2 or something. It was looking grim.
Maybe it was because we started drinking water, but whatever it was, Arash and I found some deep shuffleboard reserve from which to draw upon. We started to make some awesome shots. Most ends finish with one team scoring one point, we started to score 3-plus points after each end. After stunning back-to-back 4 point ends, we found ourselves tied.
There would be no looking back. In the final end, we convincingly scored multiple points to take the whole game. After it was over, Arash ran over to hug me.
On the walk back to SJC, Arash and I congratulated each other on our great shots. Nic and Bryan muttered something about us getting a room. Tee-hee.
Shuffleboard. A fun game. No really!
We’ve played several times now, and it’s been more fun each time. Arash and I even talked about getting a set of our own discs and wax shaker cans!