Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Are Men Better Curlers Than Women?

I watched some of the Continental Cup in Curling, but not nearly as much as Alan did. One thing that struck me as I watched the individual events was that the men seemed to make many more of the difficult shots and to score more points than the women did.
  • Was this just a case of not seeing the entire event (a small sample problem) with me, or did the men really make more of those shots?
  • If my observations are confirmed by the facts, note that the performance , by the men is not due their throwing the rocks with more weight. Throwing the rocks harder and faster would not have helped any one of those shots.
  • And if my first two observations are correct, the next question is, "Why are men better curlers than women if the difference is not due solely to their ability to throw the rocks harder and faster?" Do men get paid more for winning?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Tape-Delayed Continental Cup Men's Final Match

Utterly stunning freeze from John Morris in the first end. And now a line of guards defending Team North America's (i.e. Alberta's) rocks in the house. I am slightly conflicted as Team Rest of the World is a Norwegian team. And the skip, Thomas Ulsrud, is a hunk.

First end - Martin steals one, and keeps Team North America, hanging by its fingertips, alive.

Second end: Ulsrud's second rock is almost perfect, leaving Martin really hard options. He misses. Team North America must now win ALL skins left.

Third end: takeout farce. Then screwups. Carry-over.

Fourth end : Ulsrud wins the end! Great shot! I hope we see him at the Worlds.

Tape-Delayed Continental Cup Women's Final Match

Tape-delay is despicable, but better than NO coverage.

Nice discussion with Jennifer Jones - she recognizes the advantage of men in a major hitting game. Entertaining "Roar of the Rings" talk. There are some good tournaments coming up.

After 5 ends, I note that ALL the women's players seem to have day jobs. Not a great reflection for a sport hoping to improve its profile.

Team North America leads by 3 points after the fifth end (a few hours ago).

And now at the end hopelessly out of it. Team rest of the world win 41-something small. It's all in Kevin Martin's hands now.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

The Continental Cup - Saturday afternoon

This event still strikes me as rather artificial, but this afternoon's draw was entertaining to watch.

The idea of North America versus the rest of the world in curling does make some sense, and the shape of the competition under this model is changing in interesting ways - we now have major Chinese participation, the clear result of becoming an Olympic sport.

At least a couple of the matches went to shootouts, i.e. draw to the button competitions. And one of those had to go to two rounds, simply because of the great precision of the skips. The skills involved continue to amaze me.

And who in the world is Carmen Schaefer? What a shotmaker, playing this afternoon on the mixed team as third for Team World. I would also concur with this writer's interest in Ms. Schaefer.

Sunday, December 07, 2008

Capital One BDO Grand Slam of Curling - Middaugh-Gushue

OK I picked this up late but let's try to unfreeze our curling blogging!

End of 8th End. Score 3-3

Middaugh to freeze to Gushue rock just back of the button. Almost perfect. Gushues team clears the house.

Middaugh drops a nicely guarded shot into the 8-foot. Gushue decides to go tactical and ends with a messy shot at the back of the 8-foot. Middaugh's exploitation goes to far and leaves a hole for Gushue - it goes past the T-line, so Gushue can just go sit on it. He misses!

8 Ends? OK guys, I got to get back to watching.

Middaugh wins whatever competition this as.

I am not thinking the confusion about what the events are is good for this sport.