Monday, November 27, 2006

An Embarras de Choix

How often does it happen that one has to choose which of the two curling events available on television to watch? Well, my experience is 'never'!
So yesterday, imagine my surprise to discover that the Continental Cup (see Doc's previous posts) was on CBC simultaneous with some curling activity on NBC. Now the Continental Cup is an odd beast to start with; and certainly it features some fine match-ups, but I think I prefer individual tournaments to this faux-team concept. But if you want an odd beast, imagine finding yourself watching a match between the US men's and women's teams, sort of, held in Whistler, and covered for NBC by Don Chevrier and Don Duguid. Whole categories of thought had to be reorganized in my brain to grok this. And then for further challenge to my brain, the teams are challenged by the requirement to use reverse-ringers - the women had Picabo Street assigned to them, the men, if I recall correctly, Dan Jansen.
In the end given the nature of these two faux competitions, I switched channels to watch a genuine event with a serious tradition, the Golf Skins match, which was, incidentally, won by a typical Canadian.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

The Continental Cup

Two brief points:
1. I really dislike the scoring system of The Continental Cup.*
2. Curl-TV's web-casts of the curling events is much improved from last year. They seem to have more cameras, more coverage, and slightly better resolution of the pictures.

I wonder what will happen with Curl-TV next year under the new CCA-TSN broadcasting contract.

*From CurlTV's Report:
The Europeans clinched the win early in the final day of competition, beating North America 229-171.

The winning points came in the seventh end of the 60 point skins game between Shannon Kleibrink and Anette Norberg. Europe was up 196-147 and needed one more skin to clinch the win when Kleibrink’s last rock of the end failed to force a carry over.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Here Come the Rocks (Part II)

Earlier this week, Alan wrote about the start of the new curling season. But the title of his posting foreshadowed this piece in the Trono/Trahnah Sun [with thanks to Brian Ferguson, who blogs at Canadian Econoview].
Watching the sport on TV is one thing. But to start up a club means getting a set of the stones that are usually sculpted from granite boulders that fall from a Scottish island called the Ailsa Craig.

And there weren't enough to go around.

So 40 new sets, each with 16 of the 42-pound stones, set sail from Scotland for Rotterdam aboard the Feederlink 3. From there, it's on to Montreal on the Maersk Palermo and ultimately to Stevens Point, Wis., the home of the national governing body. (The U.S. Curling Association itself was unable to store 13 tons of granite in its small basement office, so a local publisher offered to hold onto it until they're distributed.)

The sets are earmarked for clubs in Minnesota, Arizona, Tennessee, Michigan, Colorado, Indianapolis, Wyoming, California, New York and Nebraska. Through the World Curling Federation's loan-to-purchase program, clubs can use the stones while they get started without the having to shell out as much as $7,600 US for a set.
It looks to me as if some clubs in some areas might be folding, especially smaller rural areas with declining populations. What happens to the rocks from these clubs? Does anyone know if there is an active market in used curling stones? There are a few really old ones available on e-bay, but I would think that new clubs should be able to find supplies from the clubs that are fading.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Norberg Rules!

Well, I never doubted that. And I recommend the blog at The Curling News.

I invite any reader here, mind you, to find the actual video in question; I searched and failed. I surely want to see that team singing!

UPDATE: Thanks, Dan. That video is fun (though it sure took a while to download).

Here Come the Rocks

It's been a long and lonely summer.

Curling returns to the CBC this weekend. CurlTV is a step ahead with broadband broadcasting Thursday and after - check them out!

Doc and I are gearing up to provide some commentary and perspective for the next few months, including a close-up view of this year's Brier.

For those of you looking for the new fabulous Curling Calendar, we'd like to point you to The Curling News, who are selling it. Of course, neither of us would ever contemplate imagining our favourite women curlers naked, but as libertarians we feel we do not want to stand in the way of people who might. Moreover, from what I have seen, the pictures are very artistic.

Welcome to our approach to a new season of curling!