Monday, January 08, 2007

The curling landscape: 2007 and beyond


Hi folks. Welcome back.

We are refreshed and recharged. We are The Curling News, a rather well-known and reputable authority on the Roaring Game, and we’re celebrating our 50th anniversary this year.

Subscribe today. Or give a gift, if you’re already gettin’. Because what you see in the printed version of TCN differs from this here public-service Blog, and you don’t want to miss a single issue.

Particularly when we lovingly present an archived look at the last 50 years of our sport, as seen through our eyes, which we do in every issue.

So get cracking... while we disburse yet another engorgement of fantabulous freebie curling info for you.

Bob Weeks has an interesting piece in today’s Globe and Mail, and perhaps a hint of what’s to come for our sport can be found on the new CBC comedy Little Mosque on the Prairie, which debuts tomorrow evening.

Check out the promo commercial that was shot at Ontario’s York CC in Newmarket early last month; with some images of the shoot (including above) also located here.

Back to the Weeks story and the comment about Toronto ice: the numbers are actually 62 – the number of sheets of ice the city has lost in the last 15 years – and 30 (percentage drop in that time). As a result, the Toronto Curling Association has now formed a Committee for Ice Expansion, and they want bodies to come out and help build a plan of action. Come to St. George’s on Sunday, Jan. 21 at 2:30pm.

Elsewhere:

Jennifer Jones made a quick change to her team over the holidays and it would seem this has John Q. Public in quite a tizzy. Nothing personal, says Jonesy ...

• What did some of the big men’s teams do recently? They were in Scotland, of course, for the Perth Masters, and here’s a wee summary from TCN reporter Mike Haggerty, who recently blackberried this to us at some Godforsaken hour of the morning:

Randy Ferbey made his New Year trip to Scotland worthwhile when he won the Ramada Perth Masters with a 6-4 win over Torontos Glenn Howard in the final.
Earlier, Ferbey had extinguished the Scottish challenge when he swept aside Perth’s Warwick Smith by 7-2 in a one-sided semi-final. To reach the final Howard beat Olympic champion Brad Gushue, by 6-4 in the other semi-final. The fifth was the key end in the final, when Ferbey scored three shots (points, dammit, POINTS Mike! – Ed) This gave him a 4-1 lead and left Howard with too much to do to catch up, particuarly in an eight-end game as this was.
Ferbey then added to his score with a single steal in the sixth before Howard fought back to score a three of his own in the seventh and close the gap to 5-4. However, Ferbey then used the last stone advantage in the eighth and final end to hit and lie and score one for his 6-4 victory.
Ferbey and his team picked up £5,000 for their efforts.

And speaking of Scots, 20 of them are shortly en route to America for a tour, doing battle for the Herries Maxwell trophy ...

• There be a bunch of provincial junior championships wrapping up these days, but can someone tell us why Manitoba’s championships are scheduled for today, and not on a Sunday? Is this a cashspiel wrap-up or a provincial final? Hello?

• The first of five excerpts from Terry Jones’ new book The Ferbey Four: Kings of Curling appears in today’s Edmonton Sun, and it’s a doozy: Who ‘detests’ Kevin Martin most? And who ‘despised’ him first? Great stuff; check it out and then go buy the book ...

• What’s up with Walnut? Martin’s ex-third is doing fine, thank you very much, and we agree with the Conman that he has been through quite a ride recently. Edmonton readers can see a similar story by Vicki Hall in today’s Journal ...

• A Detroit paper covering wee little local bonspiels (here and here)? Not bad ...

• Yet another U.S. spotlight story, this time from Appleton, Wisconsin ...

• Missouri curling fans can get their freak on this coming Saturday, at a rare open house in Kansas City ...

• DID YOU KNOW?... that Cathy King bleeds for curling?

• Heard about the power-outage curling shot? Wonder what rules geeks have to say about that one ...

John Base is swinging the bat on The Curling Show ...

• Wrapping up 2006, there were a few nifty summary stories written – hello Bob and Bender
and Team Gushue captured CP's Canadian Team of the Year honours ...

• Last but not least, yet another tragedy (sigh) at the tail end of 2006 as Katie Beck, former 2002 world junior champion with the USA’s Johnson sisters, passed away after a struggle with cancer. She was only 24 years old.

The U.S. national teams – skipped by Pete Fenson and Deb McCormick – are planning a “Curl-A-Thon” the weekend of March 3 in Bemidji, Minnesota to celebrate Katie’s life, and all proceeds from the event will go to Katie’s family to help offset the cost of medical bills. Well done, and farewell to a young curling star.

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