Friday, February 29, 2008

$100 for the Vanastra Curling Club?

As many of you know, my former student Mike Moffat has made a binding contract with 12 economics bloggers. If he is not successful in meeting certain goals (involving fitness and weight loss) over the next few months, he will pay each of us, or the charity of our choice, $100.

This contract has created some interesting incentives. Greg Mankiw has specified that his $100 go to a group dedicated to furthering economic education. This is a nice idea, but it is probably not one that's good for Mike. After all, he can just say, "Oh well, it's going for a good cause."

My goal when Mike offered to include me in his contract was to come up with an option that I would really like and that he would really hate. That way he would have a very strong incentive to keep his commitment, but if he didn't I'd feel bad for him, but at the same time I (or the charity of my choice) would feel pretty happy. I want Mike to reach his goal. But if he doesn't, I want some deserving group to receive his money.

My first thought to was list the UWO Dept of Sociology, anticipating that listing that group as a recipient of Mike's money would provide a seriously huge incentive for him to lose weight and get in shape. But then I thought, "Wait a minute.... What if has to pay them? How happy would that make ME?"

So then I decided to list the local curling club. Mike has no connection with the club, so far as I know, and the club is struggling financially. They can use the money.

But I suspect others, such as the demons at Marginal Revolution, have come up with even better ideas. Mike will reveal the options on March 1st on his blog.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Jones Wins 2008 Scott Tournament of Hearts

Showing a steady hand and mind through the last eight games, the Jones rink from Manitoba won the 2008 Scott Tournament of Hearts, defeating the Kleibrink rink from Alberta by a score of 6-4 after Shannon Kleibrink missed/jammed a run-back double in the final end.

The Manitoba rink got off to a slow start during the week but won their last four games of the round robin to win a tie-break position in the playoffs and then won every one of their games in the play-offs.

The difference in the final was that Overton-Clapham (3rd for Manitoba) curled much better than she had during the earlier games, and Amy Nixon (3rd for Alberta) curled much worse.

Overall, I was puzzled by the Alberta strategy in some of the early ends, in which they opted to let Manitoba take two rather than attempt a freeze to force Manitoba to take one in those ends.

That said, Alberta controlled the last end, down one, and after an amazingly good shot (triple take-out) by Nixon was sitting four. Jennifer Jones had to make two very accurate draws to put the pressure on Shannon Kleibrink. Her first overcurled just a bit, allowing Kleibrink to pick it out. But the second was well-placed and forced Kleibrink to opt for the run-back double, which jammed.

The Jones rink from Manitoba will undoubtedly represent Canada well at the Worlds. Congratulations to them, and may they continue their phenomenal play and winning streak.


Saturday, February 23, 2008

Heading into the Final Scotties Weekend

This has been a great tournament, with most of the favourites coming through as we head into the weekend - but not without some interesting challenges from Newfoundland/Labrador and Quebec, and the surprising ineffectiveness of Team Canada.

After a wonderful 1/2 Page playoff match last night, Alberta's Kleibrink head to the final, and Ontario's Middaugh rink face Jennifer Jones' Manitoba rink (and, BTW, Jones is starting to look awfully attractive - see earlier posts for context).

Perhaps the surprise of the week, after Team Canada's non-role, has been the degree to which Manitoba has had to scrap its way into each new round. But they have, and despite the fact that they could easily not have got to this weekend, they sure look to me like a threat.

Alberta has been wonderfully on form, Ontario really close, so we have two more very entertaining matches this year. Even before seeing the matches, I want to thank all the players who work so hard to provide us so much pleasure.

And, also, farewell TSN broadcast crew for the year. We shall see what the CBC can do. I rather liked the CBC online coverage (the way I liked Rogers' coverage of the Ontario men's playdown). But I have always been sorry to see CBC take over from TSN.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Joan McCusker's Blog

Yeah, I know we are halfway through the Scotties round-robin and have barely posted on it. But I did discover today Joan McCusker's blog on CBC sports (from watching the daily morning draw webcasts). In particular this post caught my attention.

In particular, the section of the post:

All-Star Good-Looking Team: Now, this tradition was started by the Schmirler team husbands in the 90’s (and they would always pick us and then a second all-star team!). Arguably, these are the frontrunners from my point of view:

Lead – Team Manitoba, Dawn Askins
Second – Team Alberta, Bronwen Saunders
Third – Team Quebec, Nancy Belanger
Skip – Team Manitoba, Jennifer Jones

OK there is still half a round robin to go and I can do some research but I take issue already with this.

Jennifer Jones is for me the Kate Beckinsale of curling, which I guess is conceding to McCusker's call here. But perhaps I would prefer the most attractive (to me) as a category. And then certainly at least Suzanne Gaudet and Shannon Kleibrink win that contest.

Now skip positions are easy as we all know the skips. I promise to pay attention going forward and report later in the week on the other positions.

UPDATE: I am working on front ends - Annie Lemay of Quebec is a great starting point. More in later posts.

Later - OK I see the point about Bronwen Saunders. I need to think some more.



No I am not willing to live-blog this one - too much work.

But I did want to repeat a line from the coverage - "It's always nice to look up and see the opposition making a raised angled takeout on their last shot for one". Perhaps to everyone's surprise, it is Jennifer Jones making that shot, and making it.

Still, after 4, Quebec are up 6-2. Will update later!

UPDATE: What a roller-coaster! The TV people have been making much of Larouche's leaning to drawing and guarding even with a big lead and it is clearly a major risk-reward deal. It was as close as 7-6 Quebec one end ago, now 10-6 Quebec heading into the 9th.

UPDATE: Quebec lead 10-8 into the 10th with the hammer. They seemed last end to have figured out how to hit.

UPDATE: 10th is full of funny Quebec skipping choices. After the 5th Manitoba rock we have long and short Manitoba guards on the centreline and a rock in the front of the four-foot, also centreline. Quebec remove the front rock. Manitoba put a second rock slightly off-line in the house from what they have - a good Quebec shot could kill both Manitoba rocks. And does! Down to skip rocks. Manitoba's rock seems not to curl, looks exposed, sitting in the the back of the 8-foot. Larouche clears Jones' rock. Manitoba concedes, does not even try a far-fetchedly possible split.

Quebec has beaten the two top-ranked teams in the country today, th rinks of Kleibrink and Jones. Great day for them. I like their spunk if not their good sense.


Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Scotties Tournament of Hearts 2008 Lineup

Here's what I have been able to find out - this one article sure saved a lot of work.

Team Canada - Kelly Scott, natch
Alberta - Shannon Kleibrink
BC - Allison MacInnes
Manitoba - Jennifer Jones
New Brunswick - Sylvie Robichaud
Nova Scotia - Mary Anne Arsenault (!)
Ontario - Sherry Middaugh
Newfoundland/Labrador - Heather Strong
PEI - Suzanne Gaudet
Quebec - Marie France Larouche
Saskatchewan - Michelle Englot
Yukon/NWT - Kerry Galusha-Koe

Action starts Saturday!

A Power Broom? What are the Rules?

After participating in the Gay Lea bonspiel at the Vanastra Curling Club last weekend, I was completely worn out. As a result, I have several questions about brooms and brushes.

I know there was considerable controversy when brushes were introduced instead of the old corn brooms. But that transition went fairly quickly.

I'm sure others have thought of this many times, but is there some rule against have a power brush in curling? Several possibilities present themselves:
  • Something with roller-brushes and a small electric motor, perhaps a bit like the small hand-held vacuum cleaners that have power heads on them. I can imagine that curling clubs would want to ban these because they could easily cause low spots on the ice after just a few ends.
  • but what about something that vibrates, like the Gillette Fusion razor (or the motor in an orbital sander)? Something that vibrates, even just a bit, might enhance the sweeping effect considerably, especially for people who struggle with a broom. How much would something like this damage the ice?

    For example, suppose I strapped just the little vibrator portion of a Gillette Fusion razor on the head of my broom

    Would doing so increase the efficiency of my sweeping?
    If so, would doing that have any noticeable additional detrimental impact on the ice?
    And would it be a violation of the rules? Which rules?
    Where should the line be drawn?
And to be really cynical, how do we know some curlers don't already have little vibrating gadgets inside their brooms, with switches up in the handles to turn them on and off? Is there some sanctioning body or some method to appeal the nature of the equipment used by the different teams, a la the mechanisms for challenging bats in baseball?

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Monday, February 11, 2008

Brier Outlook

OK we know who is representing Ontario!

Ontario : Glenn Howard

What about the rest of the country? Let me say I am impressed how the Brier site offers a link to the provinces.

Alberta - playdown is this week - is this something we can watch on the Web or anywhere? Should be brutal.

BC - also this week - but what a useless web site they have - very hard to navigate - UPDATE - Ursel (thanks for the comment)

Manitoba - the week after next! wow

NB - also late this month - and another crappy site

Newfoundland-Labrador - looks as if it is also end of the month, but their site is also pretty obscure - UPDATE - Gushue - again thanks to our intrepid commenter

Northern Ontario - I think they say Eric Harnden's rink is in the Brier - generally a pretty decent site, with more than just scores

NWT/Yukon - this week

Nova Scotia - Brian Rafuse rink - surprise victor over Shawn Adams - article on the front page of the website - nice work, guys

Ontario - OK, I know, but can you get the news up?

PEI - took me one click to find out it is the Peter Gallant rink

Quebec - I think the playdown is just starting - hard to tell - why is this so difficult - should it not be the thing to keep us fams going?

Saskatchewan - Yay!! This is what I like - front page tells me it is the Pat Simmons rink coming to the Brier.

Why is this so difficult? Do the various provincial associations not care about people who want to know about their playdowns and who will be representing the province at the Brier.

This just makes me think the sport has still a lot of work to do if it really wants exposure. I have been a bit disheartened this year, as it seems to me there is a lot less coverage of curling than in previous years. I do not know if I am right about this, but if I am, it is surely partly because the various groups behind the sport promote it so poorly.

Tomorrow I will try to figure out who wil be at the Scotties Tournament of Hearts. You all have ONE day to fix your web pages!


Sunday, February 10, 2008

Corner - Howard for the Brier

The Ontario Championship final will start soon - Glenn Howard's rink, so far 1-1 during the round-robin and the earing a Page playoffs, are facing one another. Many years ago, Corner was a member of Howard's team. There was some behavior yesterday bearing a mild resemblance to sportsmanship.

Both skips deliver their rocks with a fierce concentration. Corner is in his 11th final (I had no idea).

Again we will have Ed Werenich proving commentary. Ed will never be used by any of the major networks, but I find what he has to say very useful; he has a great sense of humour and great respect for good play. This local Rogers Cable coverage has been just excellent.

I'll try to give individuals their due some more. but I do not normally start reporting until the thirds are throwing. Howard's team has as lead Craig Savill, second Brent Laing, third Richard Hart, and skip Glenn Howard. Corner's is lead Paul Moffatt, second Phil Loevenmark, third John Base, and skip Peter Corner.

The rinks are being piped onto the ice surface, Werenich commenting he still finds the piping moving. (I know I did watching the Scott Tournament of Hearts a couple of years ago live.)

Howard has the hammer in the first end.

End 1 : Moffatt puts the first rock into the house on the button. Savill puts up a corner guard. Moffatt's second stone ends up on the centreline just in front of the house. Savill's shot ends up in the back of the 12-foot on the centre. (Not likely what was planned but Werenich notes it is in play.) Loevenmark puts a rock between the Corner rocks up front, a little off centre. Laing clears the front Corner rock, jamming on another, so Corner has rocks on the button and at 2 o'clock in the four-foot. Loevenmark puts a second Corner rock on the button, coming in deeper than planned. Laing runs back the front Howard rock, removes one Corner rock from the button, and slides over to 11 o'clock. Base punches out the Howard rock perfectly and sits just behind the button. Hart runs one front rock back and just removes one Corner rock - now one on the button, one at 2 o'clock. Base puts a rock in the front of the house on the centreline in the twelve-foot. Hart removes two COrner rocks, leaving the one on the button, and staying in front on the twelve-foot on the centreline. As Werenich now observes, there is trouble because Base's guard came in too far, and because of the earlier rock thought of as a miss by Savill. Corner wrecks on the front Howard rock, and sits beside it. Howard runs it back and removes the rock on the button but Corner's other rock stays in the four-foot. Corner wrecks again - mixed sweeping early to mixed calls, followed by a curl into trouble; Howard hits and sticks for 4.

OK gang - I am not going to follow with the same detail now. This one looks over, but I will keep looking in.

Werenich comments that this is unfortunate - the results of one small mistake (I count three above :-) ) can be brutal.

End 2: With last skip rocks left, Howard has the shot rock, just beside a Corner rock.Corner freezes to his own rock, almost (small gap.) Meanwhile Werenich recalls two major matches where he was down four early. There is also interesting discussion of the Corner front-end's habit of talking as Corner releases. Howard's shot slightly overcurls, leaving Corner a good shot at scoring 2. And Corner does!

Howard 4 - Corner 2 I don;t think this end will be blanked - seven rocks in the house with Hart's last rock to come. He chips a Corner rock out of the four-foot, leaving two Howard rocks there as shot rocks. The Base-Corner discussions are fun - "Nevermind, let's just make it," from Base. Corner does not quite clean up as much as hoped, but now Howard has only one shot rock, just off the four-foot, with some Corner rocks in front. Howard puts a rock into the four-foot but it curls less than hoped - Corner could double those rocks out and he could lie 2. Beautifully done - Corner now forcing Howard to hit and stick for 1. As he does.

Howard 5 - Corner 2.

Corner is chipping away at the ill effects of the first end.

End 4: Corner tries to peel the front of a pair of Howard rocks frozen to one another, instead removes his own rock behind them and the shooter so Howard lies 2 in the four-foot. Howard puts up a guard in the 12-foot to protect those rocks. Corner's rock looks for a bit as if it might be heavy but he hits the back button for 1.

Howard 5 - Corner 3.

End 5: Werenich jokes that it is not fair that Howard's rinks has left-hander Hart and right-hander Howard able to make so many similar great shots. He also jokes that the ice in Waterloo is too good, compared to what he recalls. Base-Corner - "We could just take a half-assed approach and go here." A Base draw attempt gets through the port but ends up in the back of the house. Hart's shot removes the last front Corner rock - three Howard rocks in the front of the house, two of them counting. Corner, 'awesomely', puts a rock in the four foot behind Howard rocks. Howard clears both remaining Corner rocks - Corner is in BIG trouble. Werenich continues to say that the Howard rink is doing 'unfair' things. :-) There are 4 Howard rocks in hte house, no Corner rocks but for a centre guard out front. Corner rock is second shot, maybe, but it is pretty open to Howard now. This is about to get really ugly. Werenich says they got the broom wrong by maybe a foot and a half and it was close (and desperate). Howard is contemplating an attack on the Corner rock. He chips it out - 4 for Howard.

Howard 9 - Corner 3.

Werenich really makes me laugh as Corner's team take a timeout. "I'm just so thankful the coaches don't come running out of the stands and make a fool of themselves just standing around watching the team talking."

Werenich could be the David Feherty of curling coverage if we had a major broadcaster with any courage.

The fifth end break is fun. First we are pointed to this amusing video on the Six Degrees of Glenn Howard.

Next we have some banter between Werenich and Marilyn Bodogh (the Dottie Mochrie of curling coverage?) including some wonderful shots of Marilyn playing in her heyday, with her team dressed so wonderfully, kilts, nice leggings, and, back in those days, fairly big hair.

End 6: Corner takes 1.

End 7: Howard gets 2, Corner concedes. I wish it had been more exciting.

I want to say again that I thought the Rogers crew were excellent - heaven knows some of our larger broadcasters have done some subtantially less impressive work.

Ed Werenich is not a public speaker, and does not sound smooth, but he is a joy to listen to, and he knows this sport well, and communicates his knowledge superbly. I would like to hear a lot more of him!

Marilyn Bodogh is not quite yet fully at ease, but she does a pretty good job of the interviews, and family background and the like.

It is always a bit frustrating to see a fine team like this assembled, knowing that this is the last time I will see them at least for a year.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Howard-Harris Again! Semi-Final

End 1 : Harris almost-freezes to a Howard rock in the button. Hart freezes to it. There is a center guard from Harris just in front of the house. HArris changes som angles - house is getting complicated. Werenich thinks he accomplished something but is not sure what.

Hart chips out a Harris stone.

Epping (Harris skip stones) chips one Howard rock out, and the shooter departs as well.Howard clears out two Harris stones, and lies 4. Harris plans to draw to the pocket and yield Howard a draw for 2. This looks very chancy to me. A small miss and I may be able to stop reporting.Epping puts it almost where asked but it may need another inch to keep the damage at 2. Howard draaws for 3.

Howard 3 - Harris 0.

End 2: Harris blanks a pretty clean end.

End 3: Sorry - dozed off. Looks like another blank.

End 4: House full of Howard rocks all end. Howard steals 1.

Howard 4 - Harris 0.

End 5: House once again perpetually full of Howard rocks. Harris gets 1.

I think I will run the risk and go watch The Last Picture Show on TVO.

End 6: My earlier experience (see previous post) makes me nervous about not checking in. Epping's last shot wrecks on a guard and allows Howard a successful draw for 2.

Howard 6 - Harris 1.

Back to the movie.

End 7: Howard cleans up a lot of compexity in the house. Harris takes 1, with some humorous comments.

Howard 6 - Harris 2.

Meanwhile in the movie, Sam the Lion has died. Remotes are great tools.

End 8: Epping makes a great shot doubling out two Howard stones and leaving a tricky shot for Glenn. Richard Hart shouts "Do you want to phone your brother?". Howard makes a possibly unintended great shot to take 1 and Harris concedes.

Corner - Howard tomorrow. Looks like a lot of fun!

TSC Tankard Page Playoffs

Howard - Corner is the feature

End 1: Hart's first rock clears the house of Corner rocks, leaving some guards out front, and a Howard rock in the back 12-foot. Corner hits and sticks to it.Hart puts a rock in the back of the four-foot. Corner freezes to it. Howard freezes to that on the button. Corner's last rock is burnt. Howard's last rock is far short. Howard 1 - Corner 0.

End 2: Hart's second shot is to a house with a Howard rock in the front four-foot, a Corner one in the back 8-foot, with a corner and left center guards. Thjere is a hole leading to the Howard rock. Hart's attempt to put a guard in that hole may have left a little port. Corner's theirs proves there is a port! A Corner rock now sits where Howard's was. Howard finds the port as well (it is tiny!), removes the recently planted corner rock, and slides into cover as shot rock. Corner draws around all the guards and puts his rock as shot just off the four-foot at 9 o'clock. Howard puches it out and sits two. Corner hits it and sticks for one.

Wow - this is some curling. Werenich says that if it keeps going like this, it will be a barn-burner.

Howard 1 - Corner 1.

In the other match, Epping missed a draw for three, so Harris leads Lobel 2-0.

End 3: Hart's last rock removes an unguarded Corner rock and sticks for shot. There is a center guard and two corner guards on the other side from the shot rock. Corner removes the Howard rock, but does not get a roll behind cover. Howard removes the Corner rock and rolls into the house, pretty open on the edge of the four-foot. Corner hits and sticks, also open. Howard blanks the end.

Meanwhile, Harris steals one against Lobel after a great in-off by Epping. Harris 3 - Lobel 0.

End 4: Corner center guard, Howard rock at the front of the four-foot, and one frozen to a Corner rock in the eight-foot at a perfect angle. Corner's first third rock ends up behind these in the eight foot behind the T. Hart does not get the expected curls and slides to the back of the 12. (His shooting percentage at the moment is 70%, which seems low to me from what I have seen.) On the second third rock Base (Corner's third) punches the frozen Howard rock, and sticks. Hart removes one of the Corner rocks, slides over into some cover in front of a Corner rock. Corner removes Howard's counting stones, and is now sitting three. There are three Howard rocks in the house as well, so Howard is going after all the Corner rocks - he gets only one, so COrner still sits two. Corner tosses a guard up just to make it hard for Howard to find a way into the middle - he will try a tap shot, which Werenich is describing as 'hard - you have to match up the weight against the amount of broom you take'. Howard's rock overcurls and Corner steals 2!

Howard 1 - Corner 3.

End 5: With three rocks each to go Corner wants to guard his counting rock in the four foot, behing a Howard rock in the eight-foot, and some center guards. Hart clears away a couple of front guards. Corner puts up another. Howard removes one of them and also his rock in the eight-foot. Corner freezes to his own rock - very nice work. Werenich - "How do you get your point now?" Howard is considering giving them one. One of Corner's leads suggests a shot Howard had not considered, he does that, and gets one!

Howard 2 - Corner 3.

I do wonder in ways about this match - it is fun to watch. There is a sentence above - "Howard's last rock is far short." - but if yo note the context you have to wonder about whether Howard's public display of temper at missing the shot was sincere.

In the other match Rob Lobel makes an utterly key raise into the button against four Harris rocks. Ten stones in the house! Epping wrecks on the guard. Lobel steals one in the fourth end and is down only 3-2, where earlier prospects had been giving up 4 to Harris.

End 6: Howard tossing up center guards - one Corner rock in the house. Corner puts another one in, Howard removes it, rolls over in front of the other (vaguely). Missed what Corner did, and now Howard has two in the house, all open. Corner removes one Howard rock and rolls behind cover. Oh oopps - now I see what Corner did - the cover is largely gone - there is an off-center guard now. Hart removes the Corner rock and rolls behind the guard. Corner's rock moves the Howard rock but slides into the open. Two Howard rocks in the house. Hart removes it and rolls behind the guard - three Howard rocks in the house - not trivially doublable. Corner will freeze - it undercurls and bumps but is guarded. Howard moves it a bit - now one Corner shot rock and four Howard rocks in the house. Corner tosses us a guard near the center. Howard is an inch or two heavy - in the back of the four-foot, second shot rock to Corner's. Corner looks at first as if he is heavy but chips away the Howard rock for two.

Howard 2 - Corner 5.

End 7: A succession of small errors on the shots - finally they clean up and Howard blanks.

Over at the other match Harris 4 - Lobel 2.

End 8: Howard gets 2 (was worried about eating).

Howard 4 - Corner 5.

End 9: Golf took me away for a bit. Corner is playing to let Howard steal 1. It is a lot of fun watching Corner and Base negotiate shots. In the end Corner takes 1. with a gorgeous draw against a Howard rock in the button.

Howard 4 - Corner 6.

Meanwhile Lobel has stolen 3 in the 8th and leads HArris 7-4 in the 8th.

End 10: Howard tosses up corner guards on opposite sides and Corner goes into the house twice, one in the four-foot and one in the front of the eight foot. Corner peels one of the guards. Howard replaces it. Corner peels the other one.

Meanwhile Harris gets 2 to trail 7-6 going into the 10th.

Howard goes in behind the remaining guard. Corner moves the remaining guard, nearly removing some of his stones in the house. Howard puts up another guard. There are still two Corner rocks in the house. Corner peels it. Howard clears one of the Corner rocks, and leaves his rock in the front of the house. Corner removes the rear Howard rock and slides back - Howard will have to take both Corner rocks. He misses the double, removing one, but leave Corner a wide open shot to win. He makes it!

Corner is in the final. We see Howard again tonight.

Over to Harris-Lobel.

Lobel removes a Harris stone - Epping making his last shot as Harris skip stone. Harris has one guarded shot in the house and wants one more. It is almost perfect - sits right on the other one one, which is on the button; they will be hard to dislodge. Lobel misses them both and Harris will meet Howard again this evening!

Wild afternoon.

Tuck-Lobel - Tie-Breaker #2 at the TSC Tankard

TieBreaker #1 was won handily by Wayne Tuck's Brantford rink over the Middaugh rink, and so he is playing Rob Lobel in the second tiebreaker.

The first end was a wild roller-coaster, full of pyrotechnics, finished by a cautious shot by Lobel to take 1. I missed the next two ends, in which each rink scored 2 with the hammer, so Lobel leads 3-2 after 3.

End 4 : With his last rock, Lobel tries to guard against a double that would let Tuck score 2. Tuck draws for 1.

Tuck 3 - Lobel 3.

End 5 : Masterful shot by Lobel for 4.

Tuck 3 - Lobel 7.

I likely will pay even less attention now.


End 11 (!!) : Tied 8-8 Lobel with the hammer, and uses his own first skip stone to clear one of his own rocks out of hte front of the house, leaving two Tucks stones, in the back of the 4-foot and 12-foot on the center. Tuck puts his rock to the top of the 8-foot on centerline, forcing Lobel to draw around it to become shot and winning stone. Lobel has not drawn in several ends. Nice draw, using the Tuck stone in the back of the four-foot as backing. It's Lobel into the Page.

Friday, February 08, 2008

Harris Howard - Draw 11 of the TSC Tankard

Sorry - got waylaid by a Hitchens debate link on the Blogosphere.

So far good trading of getting 1's and 2's - 3-all after 4.

End 5: Harris scores 3 on a delicate pick. Harris 6 - Howard 3.

Ed Werenich is one of the commentators, and very entertaining.
but many ends to go.
Current scores would create a lot of tiebreaks, and let Harris' rink finish second as well.

End 6: Howard makes a solid straight hit for 2. Harris 6 - Howard 5.

Some nice memorable shots of Werenich - a very wobbly, but successful, delivery.

Intermediate scores now suggest a three-way tie for fourth.

End 7 : Too hard to describe but delightfully complicated. Beautiful raise at the end gives Harris 2.

Harris 8 - Howard 5.

On current form, still likely three-way tie for fourth.

End 8 : Howard draw for 1 against 3 Harris stones, makes it.

Harris 8 - Howard 6.

By the way, John Epping is throwing skip stones for the Harris rink.

We now have at least a three-way tie for fourth so there is a round at midnight. (Lobel, Middaugh, and Tuck are in - Turcotte is behind Corner but could with a turnaround join the crowd.)

End 9 : Harris gets 1, and Howard concedes.

Meanwhile, the Corner rink has finished second overall.

Tiebreakers will come later. It is the three - another match at midnight - Tuck vs Middaugh.

Rogers is broadcasting but I have no idea that I can be up so late! Till later in the weekend.

TSC Tankard Update

Tonight's round ends the round-robin. There is a chance four teams might tie for fourth at 5-5, which would mean some very late-night matches to break ties. Howard's rink has continues to cruise along, now at 9-0. His rink plays Mike Harris' this evening. I am hoping that is the feature map (Harris is sure of going on to the playoffs, but is contending for second - Howard is certain to finish first.)

I am hoping to at least vaguely describe some action tonight, depending on the alternatives on my television.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Sloppily Live-Blogging Howard-Middaugh

Howard is 7-0 and Middaugh 4-3 so far in the standings so Middaugh really needs it. Howard and Middaugh play once a week in mixed curling on the same team with their wives - so I don;t expect much in the way of intemperance.

End 1 : Massively complicated house and a bunch of guards, Middaugh rock on the button for Howard's final stone. Howard htinks he sees a whole but wrecks on the guard and Middaugh steals 1. The commentators seem to think this may be the first steal against Howard in the week (but do not seem too sure.)

Middaugh 1 - Howard 0.

(Update - that was the third steal against the Howard rink this week.)

End 2 : Howard seems sure to get 2 but Middaugh makes a wonderful delicate double. It is a treat to see this level of play. Howard blanks the end.

Middaugh 1 - Howard 0.

End 3 : Howard's first rock does not have enough weight and wrecks on the guard he was hoping to come around. Middaugh puts a rock on the button, and also has one on the side of th house. Howard is forced to take 1.

Middaugh 1 - Howard 1.

End 4: Middaugh has to take 1.

Middaugh 2 - Howard 1

End 5 : With final skip stones left, Howard has a rock on the button, about one-third open, in a house populated by three Middaugh rocks. He wrecks on a guard, having not enough weight. Howard draws to the four-foot for 2.

Middaugh 2 - Howard 3.

(Back to CSI for a bit.)

End 6 : Most complicated end since the first. Middaugh rock on the button surrounded by three Howard rocks, Middaugh rock in the 12-foot sort of guarding. Hart's last rock puts another Howard rock in the mix at the front, two Howard rocks backing the Middaugh rock. Middaugh raises the rock in the 12-foot, cleaning up the house, sending two Howard rocks off, and now there are four Middaugh rocks in the house. Howard clears thje counting Middaugh rock and rolls off to the side; Howard is now counting 3, though there are 3 Middaugh rocks wanting to count. Middaugh is planning to freeze to Howard's rock at the back of the 4-foot. The shot is perfect. There are now many things that could go wrong if Howard tries to move that Middaugh rock. Howard's nose hit does not do what is wanted and his rock is open for a Middaugh hit for two. Middaugh's shot misses and goes through the house, overthrown. Howard steals 1.

Middaugh 2 - Howard 4

End 7 : With Hart's last (third) rock to be played, there are two Middaugh rocks in the house, one at the front of the 8-foot and one in the left side of the house at the edge of the 12-foot. Howard almost doubles them, but a Middaugh rock remains at the very back of the house, the Howard rock on the right side. Middaugh removes the Howard rock and sticks. Howard does the same. Middaugh hits and sticks for 2.

Middaugh 4 - Howard 4

(I guess I can see that episode of CSI some other year.)

(Also, there is something delightfully small-town about this Rogers coverage out of the Waterloo area, a region I inhabited for many delightful years.)

End 8 : Missed the major stuff (watching Celebrity Apprentice), but Middaugh missed a high-risk shot. Howard draws for 3.

Middaugh 4 - Howard 7.

OK I am of little faith. I won;t update again now unless something insane is going on as I flip back during the ads in Celebrity Apprentice.

End 9: Middaugh gets 2.

Middaugh 6 - Howard 7.

End 10 : Skip stones - after Middaugh's first rock, which did not curl as planned, Middaugh counts 3. Howard will simply draw for shot. Pefect shot into the button. (OK - forget Celebrity Apprentice!) Middaugh plans to see if Howard can do it twice in a row, and just poke the Howard rock out. Executed well. Howard has a draw to the button to win. Utterly perfect.

Middaugh is now at 4-4, Howard at 8-0.

(And don't worry - the part of Celebrity Apprentice that is the most fun I will see.)


Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Howard-Corner - mini-live-blogging

The Ontario Championships that determine the Brier participant from the province are being broadcast on local Rogers Cable, and since Doc does not get that service, I thought I would at least document this fact to annoy him. Glenn Howard's rink is on top of the current standings, followed closely by Peter Corner's, and they are playing against one another tonight. I'll keep you all updated here until I retire.

End #1: Wonderful back and forth around a corner guard, finally forcing Glenn Howard to play for one, a slight clip off one of Corner's rocks, into the four-foot. Howard 1, Corner 0, Corner now has the hammer.

End #2: Corner needs big weight to clear the house of Howard stones and has not quite enough. Steal of 2 for Howard. Howard 3, Corner 0.

End #3: 1 for Corner - was watching Law and Order.

End #4: 2 for Howard - now 5-1. I will go watch something else and check in occasionally.