Wednesday, November 09, 2011

A Five-Rock Rule?

I first heard of this initiative watching the Grand Slam matches in the Sault last weekend; the original three-rock rule, then extended to four, is now going to be tried out at five for the next Grand Slam tournament next month in Kingston.
Amusingly, I thought the rule was already in force last week, as every time I watched a match the house seemed full of rocks. So it appears four was doing its job there!
This article from what I recall as the K-W Record (way back when I lived there) looks a little askance at the new rule.
Seriously? It looked like plenty of rocks in play this past weekend at the World Cup of Curling Grand Slam. Under the new rule the team without hammer would have to do something else besides peel on the second’s first rock.
Sure if you place the rocks a certain way, players such as Kennedy can make the stones disappear in a blink. But we are talking about the best of the best here.
Even if the top players decide they like it, it shouldn’t filter back to the clubs or enter the national or international rule books.
I rather agree but I plan to watch the new rule tried out!
There is a delicious irony. These rules were introduced initially because of the sheer utter competence of Kevin Martin's team as hitters (and the Scots at the time).
And yet I saw a video of Kevin Martin explaining the new rule (like a chess master) and even apparently endorsing it. Change the rules all you want and the cream still rises to the top!

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Men of CurlingCalendar - Where Is It?

This is a guest post from the estimable Adriann Kennedy.

Curling fans around the country – myself included – are rejoicing now that the season is well underway. And even if you're a little scatter-brained at times, you won't miss a single draw now that the dates and times of all of your favourite bonspiels come pre-circled in the Women of Curling Calendar, on sale now! 

That's right. Now all of your most important deadlines and reminders can be recorded next to a photo of scantily-clad cover girl Eve Muirhead, who is inexplicably posing with golf clubs and bagpipes. (Perhaps the photographer just grabbed every prop he could find that reminded him of Scotland?)

Muirhead is an undeniable beauty. My kid brother watches curling only when her rink is playing, and not because she has skipped her Scottish foursome to five World Junior Championship titles and an Olympic silver medal. Official verdict from the 19-25-year-old male demographic is 'she's hot'.

Eleven other women, including eight Canadians, are getting their pose on this year. It's for a good cause – proceeds benefit Shoot for a Cure - but where are the calendars for curling fans like me? You know...females.

Are there no male rock stars out there who could raise a little money for charity? I mean, firefighters do it all the time. And I know countless curling-obsessed women who would shell out 10 bucks for a calendar that keeps them warm through the dreary Prairie winter.

Is the issue, perhaps, a lack of male 'hotties'? Could it be that the men of curling are just not 'calendar material'?

Look at Canada's First Family of Curling, the Howards - Russ, Glenn, Steven and Scott. Sure, the elder Howards are getting a little long in the tooth, but chicks dig power and winning, right? Maybe Glenn and Russ have to share a month, but I bet there will still be moms (and grandmas) in Saskatchewan nodding in approval. 

What about Eve Muirhead's male counterpart, David Murdoch? The women commenting on this video seem to think he's calendar material, so let's toss him a bagpipe and get the camera flashes going. 

The talent on the men's tour may be a little thin on top, follicle-wise (I'm looking at you Kevin Koe and K-Mart) but having spent a few days in the Patch covering last season's Brier in London, I feel like I have a pretty good idea of what the average female fan wants to see. And I can pretty much guarantee this...

Make a 12-month calendar of this guy, and you'd be selling 'em faster than you could print 'em. (Please note the ingenious combination of curling and firefighting. I swear, this calendar idea sells itself.)

Now, where's my camera?

Grand Slam of Curling 2011-2012

Glenn Howard won the initial tournament in the Sault last week over John Epping in an utterly stellar field.
The tweeting of curlers has become a major force - we had Team Edin and Peja Lindholm documenting their time as well as key curlers on all teams.
I am coming to quite love the 21st century.