Monday, April 14, 2008

Congratulations to Team Canada!

After suffering a heart-breaking defeat in the 1-2 playoff with Scotland, Team Canada defeated Norway in the semi-finals of the 2008 World Men's Championship and then defeated Scotland in the finals to win the overall championship (just as Alan and I predicted!).

Unfortunately, I was traveling and was unable to watch the game on television. And once I arrived in Houston, no one here had any idea who had won, so I had to wait until I had computer access to find out the result of the finals.

I'm sure both the men's and women's Canadian champions are grateful for the page playoff system, since they both needed that extra game to win their respective championships.

Even though the world championships have been decided, and even though the ice is on its way out at most local clubs, the season is not over. We'll try to keep up with the curling news throughout the rest of the year, leading up to the olympic trials.

Once again, congratulations to Kevin Martin and his rink. They certainly seemed dominant for most of the championship tournament.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Curling in a Tuxedo
EclectEcon Ends the Season in Style

[at the Spring Thaw, Vanastra Curling Club].


Sunday, April 06, 2008

Well, At Least We'll Get the 2nd half

I have no idea what happened but finally we are able to watch the second half of draw 4 via If you want to do so, it is working now, but the resolution is downright putrid. Luke is doing a good job with his announcing, but the video leaves more than a little to be desired.

And while we're watching, it looked initially as if Canada was going to have some trouble with Sweden, but after a miss in the 6th by Sweden and a failed double by their skip, Martin was able to score and take the lead 4-3 without the hammer after six.


Open Letter to the World Curling Federation.

I have just sent the following message to the World Curling Federation:
I'm sure you have heard from many others, but let me lend my voice to the complaints from Canadian curling fans:

1. Why on earth did the WCF negotiate a broadcast contract that does not permit us to watch ANY curling on television during the remainder of the round-robin?

2. CBC is allegedly webstreaming the games involving the Canadian team, but they are not doing so for draw #4.

3. In other words, the largest curling fan base in the world has been completely frozen out of the 2008 World Curling Championships.

This is a pathetic disregard for the fans and cannot help but have a detrimental effect on the popularity of the game.
At this point, I am tempted to lobby that the WCF be disbanded; or at the very least, its directors be removed from office.

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Webcasting? Internet Streaming? CBC? WCF? WTF?

I swore I wouldn't write about this topic any more, but wtf is going on??? We have been told that CBC is streaming the WCTV webcast of the 2008 World Curling championship round robin games involving Canada, and indeed the cbc sports website says they will be carrying the webcast. But (and perhaps I'm missing something) WTF is it???

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Saturday, April 05, 2008

Canada Defeats Denmark in round one* of the 2008 Worlds

Martin missed a couple of shots early in the draw, but made a spectacular draw to the button in the 8th end as Canada defeated Denmark 9-3 in the second draw of the round robin. To see the difference between the teams, check out the curling percentages between the two teams:
Overall, Canada curled 86% while Denmark curled only 62%.

Too bad we couldn't see the end of the Sweden-Australia match which looked as if it must have had an exciting finish. But CBC-Bold ended their coverage at 20 minutes to the hour, when Canada's game was over. What an odd time to end their coverage.

*clarification: It was Canada's first draw, but the second draw of the championship.



The telecasting travesty from the 2008 Men's World Championship is the result of contract negotiations carried out by the World Curling Federation, not the Canadian Curling Association, according to this:

Please note that World Championships convened outside of Canada are not owned or operated by the Canadian Curling Association.

The 2008 World Men’s Curling Championships in Grand Forks, North Dakota is entirely governed by the World Curling Federation. The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) has contracted to televise the semi-final and the final on CBC Television (main network) as previously published.

TSN is not on-site or involved in any way with this event.

The WCF produces a number of round robin broadcasts via their subsidiary World Curling Television (WCTV) for European television consumption. CBC has arranged with the WCF to access some of these productions for the Canadian market to be broadcast on Bold TV (a CBC affiliated network previously known as Country Canada) and (web streaming).

But who negotiated a nearly as bad broadcasting contract for the Women's Worlds? The CCA is not completely off the hook about these contracts.


Where will YOU watch the 2008 Men's World Curling Championship?

We were discussing this last night at the local curling club. It turns out you won't be watching much of the 2008 Men's world curling championship on CBC-TV, who has the exclusive telecasting contract in Canada. Why not?
  • Several of the games will be shown on "Bold", formerly known as "Country Canada", CBC's alternate channel for things they don't think are important enough to show on the main CBC network channel. To get Bold (what a pretentious, wannabe name), one must have a digital box or satellite dish in our area.
  • But many of the games involving Canada will be available only via webcast at So if you don't have high-speed internet, you're s.o.l. And even if you do have access to these games, the betting at our club was that they'll be done on the cheap via CurlTV. Not that I want to knock CurlTV; rather, I'd expect more from CBC.

    Update: We are unable to get anything from the website; thanks, again CBC! If you are able to get even the draws involving Canada, and you live in Canada, please post a comment explaining how!

    Update #2: Finally, it's there. But why the screwups???

  • and heaven forbid you might want to watch a game between two other teams, not including Canada. We have found no way for you to do so if you live in Canada.

So why is CBC doing this to us?

  • Are they punishing Canadian viewers because they lost the bid to cover curling in the future?
  • Are they embroiled in some battle with CTV to see who can control CurlTV?
  • Are they just plain idiots?
  • And after several years of repeated travesties, why and how does CBC still obtain any rights to curling telecasts at all? Who made these contracts with CBC without specifying more carefully what would be expected of CBC? And why would they make such contracts?

Or are there some rational explanations for CBC's continued botching of the telecasting of curling?

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Thursday, April 03, 2008


Regular readers of this blog will know how upset we are that we are unable to watch more curling from the world championships. Nevertheless, we have shown amazing self control with our language:

The Blog-O-Cuss Meter - Do you cuss a lot in your blog or website?
Created by OnePlusYou

[h/t to Rondi, who cussed on 1.1% of her blog postings]


Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Jennifer Jones:
Men Love Her, but Women Hate Her

I have noticed at the local curling club that more than for any other woman curler, men tend to really like Jennifer Jones (when talking among themselves -- they are curiously quiet about this in the presence of women), but women are quite outspoken about not liking her. Some dislike her so much that despite their strong nationalistic spirit, they were cheering for China to beat Jones and Team Canada in the 2008 world championships.

Is it her looks? Do her looks blind men to the faults that women tend to emphasize? Do her looks make women jealous?


Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Picks for the World's Men's Championship

Alan and I both picked Jennifer Jones of Canada and her rink to win the 2008 Ford World's Women's Championship, and we also both had some pretty good ideas about who the challengers would be. I was pretty far off in some major respects, though:
  1. I didn't think either China or Japan would have progressed as fast and as far as they have.
  2. I really expected the US to be better than they were.
  3. I was intrigued to see that a team of three players (Scotland on the last day of the round robin) would be allowed to play without forfeiting, and I was equally intrigued to see that they could win. I wonder if the three of them could maintain that energy and exertion for an entire round robin.
On to the Men's championship.
  1. First, and this will not be the last time I say this, I'm sure: I'm am more than a little distressed that CurlTV will be there and will be webcasting games for the rest of the world to watch, but we will not be able to receive those games in Canada.
  2. I'm picking Canada and Kevin Martin's rink to win the championship. They have looked really strong all year, and even if they are five percent off their game, they should still have a good chance of winning.