Monday, April 12, 2010

Success at the 2010 Men's Worlds

Congratulations to Kevin Koe of Canada for winning the gold at the 2010 Men's World Curling Championship. The victories of their team, especially in the play-offs, showed a dominating ability that was impressive.

Almost as impressive was the performance of the Norwegian team, who led after the round robin. This team was clearly the other top team of the tournament.

And now, all modesty aside, congratulations to me for my marvelous rebound after completely missing on my predictions at the women's worlds.
  • For the men's worlds, I predicted Koe to win. I had little confidence in the prediction, and this view was apparently correct, given that the team from Canada lost two games in the round robin, finishing second overall, only to dominate Norway during the playoffs.
  • I also predicted Norway to be at or near the top, as indeed they were. The pants didn't seem to distract them, nor did the sudden departure of their regular skip, Thomas Ulsrud. Their performance was impressive.
  • And, just to round out the trifecta, I mentioned the Scottish team third, which is where they finished. They looked good at times, but quite frankly they didn't seem to be in the same league with Norway and Canada.
  • I also predicted that Andy Kapp from Germany would play the role of spoiler but wouldn't be a contender for a medal, and that, too, is precisely what happened. Kapp handed Canada one of its defeats but did not qualify for the playoffs.
My one incorrect prediction was that Sweden might be a dark horse. Well they were so dark nobody knew they were there, so to speak. Besides, I only said "might".

Unfortunately, I was traveling on the train yesterday during the gold medal game. I thought I might be able to use my iPhone to tether my laptop to watch the game on, but, no, of course not. Because TSN was showing the game on their number one channel, they were not showing it on a webcast. I also tried p2peu, etc., but none of those types of sites seemed to be carrying the game.

As Ms. Eclectic said, maybe what the world of curling needs is for the US teams to win some more medals to spark more interest there. Then maybe the sport will get more international coverage beyond just the famous curling calendars.


Saturday, April 10, 2010

Are the World Page Play-offs Different?

Or has TSN goofed up again?
Here's the listing from TSN:
4:00amPPG2Page Playoff Game #2 - Scotland 6 vs United States 4
10:30amSFSemi Final - Norway vs. USA


4:00amBRBronze Medal Game
10:00amCFChampionship Final - Canada vs. Scotland
[apologies. I can't get the TSN table to fit on the page properly.] I thought Norway would play the winner of the 3-4 game, in this case Scotland (who defeated the US 6-4), in the semi-final. And then the winner of the game between Norway and Scotland would meet Canada in the final. Isn't that the way it works? Why does the TSN schedule show Norway playing the US in the semi-final and then Canada playing Scotland in the final? Wtf is the semi-final for, if the teams for the final have already been determined? Or does this mean that TSN has some inside knowledge that the fix is in?

Am I wrong, or has TSN hired a sociologist from York to write up things on their web page...

Note: I tried to check this on the WCF website, but it hasn't been updated yet, two hours after the Scotland-USA match.

Update: I wrote to TSN this morning and received this response:
Out of Office Reply: Curling

Thank you for contacting TSN, TSN2, ESPN Classic and NHL Network.

Due to a large volume of inquiries, we may not be able to respond to your message personally. However, all comments are read and forwarded to the appropriate departments on a daily basis from Monday to Friday (any inquiries received on weekends or holidays will be addressed on the following business day).

Update #2: Despite their being "out of office", I see that TSN has now corrected their listing of the upcoming games.

Labels: ,

Friday, April 09, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes!

I am watching the Page 1-2 playoff on Yesterday, in the final game of the round robin, Norway scored 3 in the second end and from then on, it looked as if Canada was not quite there, even though that game was tied 5-5 after 5 ends.

Today I didn't log in until the third end. Koe made a magnificent triple in that end, and then in the fifth end Canada scored FIVE more to lead 10-2 after five ends. The Scottish (?) announcers on the webcast have already conceded the game to Canada, understandably.


TSN? Canadian Press? Do Your Editors Know ANYTHING??

From this morning's TSN page on curling
Canada's Kevin Koe lost to Norway in his final round-robin game at the Capital One World Men's Curling Championship. But the Edmonton skip will get another crack at Thomas Ulsrud on Friday when the two rinks play for a spot in the final.
Also from that page,
Canada's Kevin Koe faces Thomas Ulsrud of Norway in the 1-2 Page Playoff. Watch live streaming on Friday at 1pm et/10am pt.
It is as if nobody at TSN has any idea that the Norwegian team is being skipped by Torger Nergaard because Ulsrud is not with the team due to a family illness. Quite clearly, whoever wrote that lede looked at the score and looked at the team rosters, as shown on TSN, and started writing without reading anything else. Pretty friggn ignorant.

At least the full story has it right.


Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Scotland's FAIL against Canada

A little news-googling and I have a plausible answer to Doc's excellent question:
From the BBC:
Performance director Derek Brown explained: "After that, we were scrambling to get back into the game, taking chances and they were not coming off.
"We found ourselves 6-1 down and we thought it was better to have a clean break.
"We have back-to-back games and a tough schedule ahead of us and we thought it better to concentrate on the next one.
"We have 11 games and think we need to win seven or eight of them to make sure we are in the final four and going for medals."
OK this makes some sense. Let's roll over now to regain strength for the teams we should easily beat.
But what is a 'performance director'? Maybe I am utterly wrong and this shows the sport is doing so well teams can attach all sorts of staff to themselves.

More on Canada's Defeat of Scotland

Imagine the outcry if a Canadian team had quit after only six ends, down four without the hammer! But I can find nothing about the game in The Scotsman, the Telegraph, or the BBC. And all the Canadian sources use a report from The Canadian Press, and I really have to wonder whether that story was written by anyone who was in Italy.


Toiling in Obscurity

Doc asked a great question about the Canada-Scotland match.
I thought, "I'll fool him and get an answer" and so I went to The Scotsman's web site, which has in the past provided me much useful information about curling in the UK.
In the sports section, top item is Tiger. OK golf is a Scottish sport. The there is a bunch of soccer, rugby (I suspect), and car racing. No hint of curling. Searches for "curling" and "Warwick Smith" come up utterly empty.
This confirms a trend I think I have been noticing - curling is slowly becoming irrelevant and unsustainable as a competitive sport. Sure, it's picking up in China and Japan, but it is dying away rapidly in its traditional areas of support. This would sadden me if I thought I was going to live another 40 years.

Note to the World Curling Federation

The plural of line-up is line-ups, not line-up's. Please learn the appropriate use of apostrophes.

Colour me deep curmudgeon!

Labels: ,

Scotland Quit after Just Six Ends in Loss to Canada?? Why?

According to the TSN website, Scotland lost to Canada at the 2010 Men's World Curling championship 6-2 and resigned after only six ends. I didn't see the game, did anyone else? What on earth happened?? Why would any team quit in that situation? Down four with four ends to go, even without the hammer, just doesn't seem like something one would expect in a world championship round-robin game.

Unfortunately, the TSN website has a story that contains a bunch of words but no news other than the score. blech.

And, of course, TSN didn't even webcast this game (at least not according to their schedule), a game between the only two undefeated teams at the tournament. What a frickn media disaster this has been.

Update: The Montreal Gazette has a longer "story" written by someone who wasn't there but who strung together a bunch of words based on the stats of the game.

Colour me "curmudgeon".

Labels: ,

Friday, April 02, 2010

Update: Some Coverage of the 2010 Men's Worlds

It turns out that will be carrying a few of the games from the 2010 Men's World Curling Championship from Italy on their website via livestreaming. The quality and resolution will likely be poor but at least some will be available. Schedule here.

Labels: ,

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Distressed over the expected lack of coverage of the men's world curling championship

I was upset enough that TSN showed only games involving Canada in their telecasts of the 2010 Women's World Championship. But according to their listed schedule, they will be showing only semi-final and the final of the Men's World Curling championship. I realize it is more costly to televise from Italy than from Swift Current, but I wonder, too, whether the tv market for women's curling is bigger than the tv market for men's curling, despite the clear superiority of men's curling.

Anyway: What a bummer!

I checked the somewhat questionable myp2peu and channelsurfing sites to see if any curling might be available on them, but couldn't find it.

Can anyone help? Where might one find telecasts of the 2010 Men's World Curling Championship??

Labels: ,

2010 Men's World Championship: Intro

The 2010 Men's Curling World Championship begins this weekend in Italy. Let's see if I can do a bit better at predicting the outcome than I did for the women's worlds.

First, even though Kevin Koe looked strong at the Tim Horton Brier to qualify to represent Canada at this tournament, I wasn't persuaded that his team would be the best one there. I'll pick him to win, but that's more my country of residence speaking than a solid sense of what will happen. Here is a list of all the teams that will be competing this year.

The other two teams that might even win this year are as follows, in my estimation:
  • Ulsrud and Norway. They are a good team. I hope the pants don't distract them too much. I gather there is some controversy about whether they will stick with the pants they wore at the Olympics or whether they might go with some different ones that, quite frankly, looked more like a camouflage pattern to me in the photos I saw.
  • Warwick Smith and Scotland. This is another excellent team. If they are on, and if Smith can keep his temper under control, they will be strong contenders [nice circularity there, don't you think? If they're on, they'll be on.... typical sportswriter nonsense].
  • the Carlsens from Sweden might be dark horses, and
  • Andy Kapp and Germany could play a role of spoiler but will likely not contend for a medal.
I do not wish to insult the teams or my friends from the other countries, but I expect the other teams to be also-rans. And despite my shaky predictions, there does not appear to be an odds-on favourite this year, which should make the entire tournament interesting.

One nice thing about the bizarre, crappy sleep patterns we aging folks experience is that there is every chance in the world that I will be able to watch all those 4am [EDT] draws.... or, at the very least, have something of interest on tv to go back to sleep to. 8-)

Addendum: but, unfortunately, according their website, TSN is broadcasting only the semi-final and final matches. We'll have to search the gray internet sites if we wish to see any of the round robin.