Grey Power World Cup of Curling Final - Maybe a Live-Blog
It turns out the CBC is broadcasting it live on the main network. The final is Howard vs Koe; the Koe rink is 0-5 in Grand Slam of Curling events. The Howard rink has been in six of the last seven Grand Slam finals. The winning team wins $18,000, which probably reflects the fan demographics, also revealed by the sponsor.
After Koe's first rock, a delicate and nice tapback, his rink sits two, Howard with the hammer. Howard clears Koe's front rock (the key priority), but Koe still counts one with a rock touching the button. Koe nearly freezes, again delicately, to his front rock to count two. Howard is not planning for a deuce, just wondering what is the best way to count. Howard is heavy, and allows a steal of two.
Koe must be hoping!
"Great sweeping", from both the broadcasters and the skip on the second Howard stone. Hart's second rock runs too far and Howard, with a couple of rocks counting behind a variety of guards, not all intended, fails to capitalize immediately on those. Koe now wants to come into the house and bury a draw. The shot is lovely, is now counting, and blocks the path to Howard's two rocks angled behind it. Howard's attempts to double Koe rocks out of the house misses slightly but disastrously, removing one of his own. He also buries a Koe rock behind a Koe guard in the four-foot. Koe slides yet another guard into the front of the eight-foot in front of his counter. All Howard has is a tough draw for one. A beauty to the button.
It's not over yet!
Early in the end Howard is piling up rocks in front of the house, and in the front of the house, but Koe has a rock that counts. He clears out two Howard guards in front of the house and leaves his own there. Howard puts another in the front of the button, so there is Koe rock and flanking Howard rocks behind a Koe guard. Koe clears one of the Howard rocks, but leaves Howard an opportunity to cause trouble. Hart's shot does not roll enough, but the Koe team response leaves a Koe rock open and two Howard rocks in the eight-foot, one guarded. Hart leaves Howard lying three. Koe gets rid of the front guard, and parks a rock next to the front Howard rock. Howard just misses his removal of the Koe rock, in that he now lies only two, and the shooter rolled out past the third rock point. Koe now thinging a deuce! It overcurled, and now Howard needs to hit and stick, and force a one. Koe gets his one, despite a moment of wondering.
3-1 Koe after three ends.
Scott Russell does a laughable interview with a sponsor, the premiss being that the amount of money available is increasing. $18,000 dollars for the winning team, divided by four (more likely five or six)? So around $3,000 for winning individual members of a team, for a week of direct participation. My guess is that in, say, tennis, that iswhat a losing qualifier in the first round of qualification gets.
So why is the CBC cheerleading this crazy notion? (Maybe not the CBC overall, maybe just a deluded Scott Russell.) Curling won't last long as a spectator sport with these economics.
Poker after Dark is a lot cheaper to show.
Was cutting vegetables for salad, so am not sure how we got here. And I think I will wait to describe 'here' as peels are coming up. OK that is not how it went but here is the scene after Hart's first rock. Two Howard rocks in the front of the eight-foot, one Koe rock in the back - Koe planning to have Blake M(a?)cDonald double out the Howard rocks. Well, that did not work. Jams. Howard buries a rock (well, burying is relative). Koe plans a cosmic blast, and misses it barely.
Sorry, attention wandered (there is also NFL), but Koe has now left Howard a draw for two. Howard makes it.
Broadcasters are saying, well, back where we started from, but NO, the hammer has moved.
Got a bit lost in housework in the long break between ends. Will describe things when it makes sense (to me).
OK well open Koe rock unguarded in the house with Hart's last rock top come. He removes it and rolls to the button. We are in blank country now. And now the house is empty. Howard puts his own first rock at about three o'clock in the twelve foot, not really guarded by a nearby rock out of the rings. Koe clears it and roils to the eight-foot in the centre behind the button. Howard hits and rols a tad to one side. Koe blanks with no problem.
Anticipating a blast, I refrained from detailed description.
Now there is a Koe guard out front, and Howard rocks in the front and back of the eight foot more or less behind it and a Koe rock in the twelve foot behind them.
Another blast replaced the front Koe guard with the shooter, and removes all but a Howard rock in the back of the four foot and Hart adds a beauty in the twelve foot in front of the button. Another Koe blast is coming. Almost excellent, leaving Howard a rock on the back of the button slightly covered by a Koe rock off centre line in front of the house. Howard draws behind cover just in front of the buttopn. Runback number four coming. And it is an utter miss by Koe.
Howard has two in the middle of the house, and Koe one at 3 o'clock on the centre line. Howard puts a rock in the centre at the top of the eight foot. Howard lies three. Koe aiming to clear the house and score one or two - no draw intended. :-)
This blast clears all the Howard rocks and the shooter, and the shooter just misses Koe's rock, so Koe scores one to lead 4-3.
I missed the first shot, not because of me, but because the CBC decided to have people yapping instead of showing play. I think I will wait a bit before complicated descriptions of the house are useful. Worth mentioning that an initial nice split of Howard rocks in the house got removed by Koe, placing the shooter nearer the center of the house. Koe's second second misses mightily, clearing the house of all Koe rocks and the shooter, and leaving Howard a chance to drop a rock in behind a Koe rock in front of the house, to join two others of his.
First Koe third rock removes one Howard rock and parks near another. Howard calls a timeout, looking for some way to prevent the runback multiple shots we have been seeing from the Koe rink at times. They want a rock in the front of the eight foot to allow a possible jam. They get top 12-foot, so they are not second shot but do make a runback more problematic. They try for a runback double and jam but leave Howard lying only one. Hart essentially walks down and puts his rock behind cover. Koe clears the guard and centre Howard rock but leaves the shooter to go behind. Howard splits the house. Koe hits and stays but is open.
Howard hits and sticks for two.
Howard 5-4, Koe going home with the hammer.
Eighth (and possibly final) End
House is becoming pretty messy with a pileup of rocks in the front and some guards out front. Howard asking for a big runback - and it misses, though not as badly as it might have. Koe's response wrecks out front. Hart puts the rock where wanted, and Howard lies three, though things are so messy anything could happen.
Koe puts a rock sitting on a Howard rock in the back of the house. Hart sits on that but none of these shots makes anyone happy. And then reciprocation. This is too complicated to be worth writing about. Howard puts his own first shot on the button in front of a staggered line of rocks. Koe calls timeout (his team in under serious time pressure). He plans to hit that Howard rock, no mean feat. He misses, moves the Howard rock more behind cover, knocking out his backing, and leaving the shooter in a mildly threatening position.
Howard takes a timeout. He will guard the last attempted shot and put a guard up around 5pm, in the twelve foot. Hmm no that was wrong. Well, no it was right, but way in front of the house. Koe plans some crazy runback. With no real time to think about it.
He gets the shot off just in time and misses. Howard wins this tournament for the fourth straight time, and Koe now has six straight Grand Slam final losses.
Just now, as the coverage ends, that worst ad in the universe for Grey Power is being run. I have been waiting. But there is a second worst and Capital One (same company) has been running it all afternoon.
Come on guys, find a decent ad agency! What about Sterling Cooper?
They are holding one of those pseudo-cheques for $24,000! Changes my analysis above marginally.