"I didn't expect to be body slammed"
December 19, 2015 6:31 AM   Subscribe

A brief history of the frozen rutabaga scandal in Ithaca. "About five years ago, a man found the perfect rutabaga for the International Rutabaga Curling World Championship at the Ithaca Farmers Market. It was huge. It was oblong. It "tumbled" instead of rolling. Steve Paisley, a first time rutabaga curler, won a silver medal that year."

That's when he decided to freeze the rutabaga for future competitions. Organizers then instituted a "no frozen rutabagas" rule.

But Paisley was a rebel.
posted by waitingtoderail (62 comments total) 31 users marked this as a favorite
 
Aww! Rutabaga curling! Humans are great.
posted by DoubtingThomas at 6:46 AM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Impregnate the rutabaga with polyester resin. Problem solved.
posted by logicpunk at 7:06 AM on December 19, 2015


Never actually wanted to, thought about or even considered visiting Ithaca in the winter. Hmmmm.
posted by sammyo at 7:17 AM on December 19, 2015


> "Impregnate the rutabaga ..."

Ew!

> "... with polyester resin."

Oh.
posted by kyrademon at 7:18 AM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


"No frozen rutabaga" is a good rule for many things, honestly.
posted by xingcat at 7:26 AM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


This is the most Ithaca thing I have ever seen.
posted by misskaz at 7:37 AM on December 19, 2015 [16 favorites]


Oh! Not a biceps embiggening thing. Got it.
posted by uraniumwilly at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


From the article:
"Were were eyeing each other," he said about the referee with whom he exchanged traditional "smack talk" with. He didn't know what would happen when he threw his 'baga. But he does know one thing:
I really need 'threw his baga' to become a popular catchphrase that is used in common everyday situations.
posted by Fizz at 7:48 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


If someone had told me 10 years ago that I'd be really homesick because of missing a competition to fling rutabagas down a covered walkway because it's too late in the season to have an actual farmer's market(*), I wouldn't have believed them, but here we are.

(*Yes, there's the winter market at Greenstar, but it doesn't really count for me.)
posted by dorque at 7:49 AM on December 19, 2015 [7 favorites]


Oh! Not a biceps embiggening thing. Got it.

Embiggening? I never heard that word before I came to Metafilter.
posted by Talez at 7:55 AM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Embiggening? I never heard that word before I came to Metafilter.

It's a perfectly cromulent word.
posted by Fizz at 8:02 AM on December 19, 2015 [29 favorites]


as an aside, Ithaca is a town which has colleges.
posted by mikelieman at 8:09 AM on December 19, 2015


I really need 'threw his baga' to become a popular catchphrase

Hmmm...
posted by marienbad at 8:11 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Can't these people just call a swede a swede?
posted by marienbad at 8:11 AM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


I'm heading to the Rutabaga Curl right now. I'll try to post updates from the event.
posted by zamboni at 8:12 AM on December 19, 2015 [13 favorites]


as an aside, Ithaca is a town which has colleges.

You can't roll a college down a frozen midway though.
posted by Wolfdog at 8:35 AM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Joe Crookston had a live version of The Rutabaga Curl on his album, Able Baker Charlie & Dog, which is a really phenomenal folk music album.
posted by RedOrGreen at 8:39 AM on December 19, 2015


> "Impregnate the rutabaga ..."

I think you want the fpp a few posts down.
posted by 445supermag at 8:49 AM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


OK, I'm armed with a breakfast burrito and a latte, ready to rock this thing . Ms. Zamboni has signed up for the Rutabaga Chorus, and I've paid my $5 to be competitor #65, "Zamboni". I passed up on the $3 rutabagas at the sign-up stand, and picked up a sporty little model from Muddy Fingers Farm for $1.25. Now I'm at the Rutabaga carving station, shaving down the knobby bits. The announcer just let everyone know the Rutabaga Torch Procession is passing the dog park.
posted by zamboni at 8:52 AM on December 19, 2015 [32 favorites]


I think you want the fpp a few posts down.

Giving Hitler a second ball made from a Rutabaga? Are you mad? That would make Germany unstoppable!
posted by Talez at 8:55 AM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Rutabaga Chorus just ran through a couple of practices. 42 person chorus, two trumpets, extolling the glory of rutabagas.
posted by zamboni at 8:56 AM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


The torch has arrived, and lit the Rutabaga Beacon. Now it is time for the Progression of Athletes.
posted by zamboni at 9:01 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I'm at the back of the procession, listening to the refs discuss previous scandals. Steroid use, illegal 'baga modification...
posted by zamboni at 9:05 AM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Moment of silence for folks who won't be at the 18th Games, followed by the Vociferous Cruciferous Choir. To get an idea of the majesty and spectacle, here's the performance from a couple of years ago.
posted by zamboni at 9:09 AM on December 19, 2015 [10 favorites]


George McGonigal tossing the ceremonial first Rutabaga.
posted by zamboni at 9:14 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Starting with the Turnip Toss, the 8 and under division, created about 13 years ago because kids kept winning the Rutabaga division.
posted by zamboni at 9:16 AM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


Zamboni I'm dripping with anticipation over here

Keep the 'baga updates coming
posted by Doleful Creature at 9:17 AM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Turnip Toss still going. 18 month old employing the controversial walk up and drop technique.

Signs in the crowd:

People of Ithaca for the Ethical Care of Rutabagas Used for Sports Techniques (PIE CRUST)
Fling that thing!
posted by zamboni at 9:25 AM on December 19, 2015 [14 favorites]


Athletes 2, 6, 8, 11 & 16 are through to the next round of the Turnip Toss. The announcers have clarified that the Cookie Toss is a separate event.

Current Turnip Tosser just used a do-over, second throw is good.
18 month old has been adjudged too cranky to compete in the second round.

Gold to 8, Silver to 2, bronze 6. On to the post event interviews. Can confirm that Silver doesn't like vegetables. Gold is from Canada - Our first international turnip tosser champion!
posted by zamboni at 9:33 AM on December 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


I would have loved to have gone myself but Mrs. Waitingtoderail didn't want to deal with the kids. Frankly, I am in soldiarity.
posted by waitingtoderail at 9:36 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Round 1, athletes 1-30. Backstops have been moved back to the full length of the course. Everyone's singing the Rutabaga Boogie.
posted by zamboni at 9:38 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The Polish Hammer lobbed his Rutabaga. Whistles went up, and the offending vegetable is being thrown in the lake.
posted by zamboni at 9:43 AM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Gold is from Canada - Our first international turnip tosser champion!

Huh. Own the Podium has a broader remit than I was led to believe.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:43 AM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


Also, it's hard to discern whether "international turnip tosser" is an epithet or accolade.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:44 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


Thunder From Down Under just had the air pressure of his Rutabaga checked. Refs declare it good.
posted by zamboni at 9:45 AM on December 19, 2015 [6 favorites]


Just dodged a wild Rutabaga veering off track. Dangerous sport.

#16 came close to the mark, only to have it hook late.
#17, too long.
Spectacular throw by Rutabunny. Crowd goes wild.
Immediately knocked out by Johnston Pickle.
Chewbaga, supporting a festive giraffe hat, also comes close.
posted by zamboni at 9:56 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


I have a friend who manages a local farmer's market. I sent this to her and she loves it. She says she's already reached out to the board. Maybe the sport will catch on in other places.
posted by elizilla at 10:05 AM on December 19, 2015


I can't believe I'm reading live-commenting of a frozen rutabaga curling competition.

The future has arrived.
posted by el io at 10:07 AM on December 19, 2015 [24 favorites]


First heat: 1, 7, 16, 23, 24, 28.
Announcers go to commercial break.
On to 31-60.

Good throw from 34.

Decide that my Rutabaga needs a little adjustment, and avail myself of the trackside grater.

Another Canadian athlete- nice technique and distance.
42, last year's champion, puts too much distance on it.
Foul called on 49 and 50 for crossing the line, their baga are grated in half with the previously mentioned grater. 50 still places pretty well.
Nice throw from 55, competing for Plenty of Posies.
60 goes off track.
posted by zamboni at 10:17 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


On to the third and final round.
Announcers have switched to Telemundo coverage, replaying the first two round highlights in Spanish.
posted by zamboni at 10:19 AM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Wish me luck, folks. My fellow competitors are stretching and jogging in place, trying to restore circulation.
posted by zamboni at 10:21 AM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


...

I hit a kid.
posted by zamboni at 10:25 AM on December 19, 2015 [43 favorites]


I have no idea what's real anymore.
posted by dogwalker at 10:26 AM on December 19, 2015 [8 favorites]


He's fine, really, and that's what you get for sitting on the haybale backstops. Good line and roll, but a little too much speed. I'm not going to place- sorry to disappoint, folks!
posted by zamboni at 10:28 AM on December 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


I needed this today. Thanks.
posted by ob1quixote at 10:32 AM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


I have to skip out on the finals to do some errands, so this concludes the coverage of the 18th Ithaca Rutabaga Curl. Results should be out soon, so I'll update later on. Thanks for following along, folks.
posted by zamboni at 10:54 AM on December 19, 2015 [21 favorites]


I would so much rather play Rutabaga Curl on the XBox than Madden Football (Whatever Year This Is). Get on it, EA!
posted by panglos at 11:08 AM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


this concludes the coverage of the 18th Ithaca Rutabaga Curl.

Thank you, zamboni!
posted by MonkeyToes at 12:22 PM on December 19, 2015


zamboni, you made my day. Flagged as fantastic.

And thanks to waitingtoderail for the FPP! I now know rutabaga curling is a thing.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 12:40 PM on December 19, 2015 [5 favorites]


The Man with the Huge Oblong Rutabaga. (From the post's link.)

ETA: Ah, didn't scroll far enough, I see. Apologies!
posted by MonkeyToes at 1:21 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter: I didn't expect to be body slammed
posted by surazal at 1:37 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


The results are in! Chew-'baga wins! Chew-'baga wins!
posted by waitingtoderail at 2:43 PM on December 19, 2015 [3 favorites]


I participated in the curl! I competed under the name Janston Pickle (punningly close to the only rutabaga-containing sandwich spread commercially available today).

I did not win, but for a brief moment I knocked the baga closest to the post out of competition. For that moment, I was a champion. It was a nice little moment, made nicer by the inclusion of root vegetables.
posted by AnobiumPunctatum at 3:58 PM on December 19, 2015 [9 favorites]


Wait: they reported my name as, oh my, JOHNSTON PICKLE?!
posted by AnobiumPunctatum at 4:00 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


That leaves you in a bit of a ... dilemma.
posted by Wolfdog at 4:27 PM on December 19, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sorry about the name mixup, AP. It really did sound like Johnston.
posted by zamboni at 5:20 PM on December 19, 2015


I can't believe I was in Ithaca today and missed this. But now I understand why Downtown was mostly empty...
posted by vitabellosi at 5:58 PM on December 19, 2015 [1 favorite]


Sorry about the name mixup, AP. It really did sound like Johnston.

And here concludes The Great Metafilter Rutabaga Hubbub of 2015.

Bless you all.
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 9:41 PM on December 19, 2015 [4 favorites]


Needs more Canadians. When it comes to creative cheating in winter sports that quickly become official rules, you need Canadians.
posted by scruss at 7:02 AM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


My friend Allison posted a gallery of photos from the curl.
posted by zamboni at 9:20 AM on December 20, 2015 [5 favorites]


I was curious as to what ice master would allow his gorgeously maintained sheets be subjected to this (unless it's lame-ass hockey ice), and then I checked the photos, which reveal that that, dear hearts, is bocce, because there are no weird mismatched slippery-grippery shoes, no brooms, and no hack. Without sweeping, unless you're on wheelchair rules, that ain't curling.

Now if you people don't mind, I have to prepare my weird shoes and clean my head, because I have late draw today and a game to lose so I can collect my beer.
posted by sonascope at 1:05 PM on December 20, 2015 [1 favorite]


Needs more Canadians.

That pretty much applies in all possible circumstances.
posted by waitingtoderail at 3:55 PM on December 20, 2015 [2 favorites]


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