Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Man we need help

I did the how much is your blog worth test and the results were not good. You can try it yourself.

This is even worse than my personal blog.

People - please - start visiting - and buying Karcher cleaning stuff if it shows up in the ads!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Everything Old is New Again

Well - finally - after months of tension, the new CCA broadcasting arrangements are in place. Suitably there is a CBC story here and a TSN story here.

And what was the outcome of all the protests and complaints and changes in plan? This summarizes it well (from the TSN story):
TSN will televise afternoon and evening draws for the first seven of nine days (Saturday through Friday) from the Scott Tournament of Hearts, Tim Hortons Brier, and the Ford World Curling Championships held in Canada. This upcoming season, TSN will also televise the highly anticipated Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, the first event of the season, which takes place from Halifax beginning December 3.
So we are back where were were, almost, with the usual suspect tournaments, except for losing the morning draws. This confirms the Eclectic Econoclast's suggestions that no network regards these as economically viable.

What have our protests wrought? Well, viewers no longer have to try to figure out where CBC Country Canada and The Score are and can get their curling fix on the old familiar CBC and TSN (you can turn in your digital tuner). Also, as TSN likes to point out, and I am happy to see:
TSN today also announced the return of the popular curling broadcast team of Vic Rauter, Linda Moore and Ray Turnbull. Over the years, the trio has created a broad and supportive fan base among Canadian curling fans.
Count me as part of that fan base.

But over the last several years the key fact is that we real fans have lost coverage overall, in that nobody is taking on the morning draws in the major tournaments. I am still thinking about what this means - perhaps our cable and satellite providers might want to make these rounds available as pay-per-view simply to see who cares (I doubt they can charge much and get an audience).

Does this open up an opportunity for some other organization to try to commercialize the sport more effectively? In the end it is clear the CCA over the last several years has gone backwards in terms of demonstrably growing the appeal of the sport.

For now I am glad to know that there will be coverage and where I can find it.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

How Good/Bad is Colleen Jones?

As you may recall, Jones' team did not do well at the Scott Tournament of Hearts las February. In fact, they played so poorly that many began to doubt the advisability of giving the previous year's champion an automatic bye into the Scott. My own impression is that, for that tournament, the Jones rink was among the worst teams in the competition.

Others have shared this view:

Would you believe that Colleen Jones is only the 16th best female curler in the world?

That's where she's ranked in The Black Book of Curling, just published by Dallas Bittle and Gerry Geurts of Calgary.

... Bittle said choosing the top women's team was ... difficult.
Defending Canadian champion Jennifer Jones and world champion Anette Norberg were considered. But the shocker was six-time Canadian champion Colleen Jones of Halifax, coming in at 16th.

Bittle said: "I know some people are going to raise some eyebrows at that one because Colleen is such a strong player and she's won so much. Last season Colleen was dismal. She didn't qualify in a single event. Her overall winning percentage was 3.64," he said, noting Jones competed in four men's bonspiels.

The ranking came as a bit of a shock to Jones. She said: "We did have a bad year but against women's teams we were still batting .650 or .700. I know we didn't play that well but 16th? But then again the more you look at the stats I'm surprised we weren't lower than 16th."

Sunday, October 02, 2005

Curl TV

Well this is interesting but I'd rather get it on my local cable system.

I had expected I would be able to see something interesting for free but I guess it will take them longer getting to that.

If any reader out there subscribes we would love to have reviews in the comments.

Even worse, their live scores did not seem very live.

UPDATE: (from EclectEcon) For discussions of their coverage of the 2006 Worlds, see here.

Curling and Fitness

In the second post below post John asks whether teams would be open to the involvement of sports scientists.

I have often wondered when the competition would get stiff enough that teams even worried particularly about basic fitness.

It seems that moment has arrived. Watching the Battle of the Sexes (see post below), I am puzzled who is being interviewed about the upcoming match beside Jennifer Jones, and I discover it is Randy Ferbey! Part of the surprise is the loss of the mustache, but his face is thinner too, and it turns out that his whole team has been working out extensively all summer. Even Nedohin looks somewhat younger. And also, the Jones team has been doing the same. Jones looks the same (but that was always amazing.)

According to the broadcast team, it is not just the competition forcing this adaptation, but also the stakes, as it is the Olympic trials that are creating the pressure.

As a point in passing, the first end of this 'silly' match was a wonderful display of shooting from both sides. The fundamental advantage of the men, much higher speed with similar control, made all the difference.

Excellent - Silly Curling has Begun on TV for the Season

Tonight Sportsnet, a cable company in Canada, has "The Battle of the Sexes", Jones vs Ferbey.

But as I did a research I discovered the World Curling Tour is already in Week 3! The money list still does not quite look like that for the PGA (or the LPGA) after two weeks, but this is still fantastic - something to keep me channel-hopping soon with the NFL.