Thursday, April 23, 2009

Curling Print: the Ferbey Four

So, Randy Ferbey and his troops went back to the future with their absolutely enormous win over Glenn Howard in the final of the Grey Power Players’ Championship.

Actually, it’s been quite a season for the Ferbs.

Their increasingly desperate search for that elusive spot in December’s Olympic Trials saw them travel the country at a frenetic pace, with Ferbey and lead Rocque Marcel competing, at one point, for 10 weekends in a row prior to Christmas.

Then there was the big win at the Casino Rama Skins Game in January, which featured the Ferb’s first win over arch rival Kevin Martin in some 10 or so attempts.

Then came their second straight series of three losses, all to KMart, to lose the Alberta Tankard championship. Off Martin went, to his fourth consecutive Brier.

After licking their wounds, the squad travelled to Bear Mountain – played some golf, threw some rocks – and started gearing up for the Players’ Championship.

And the rest, they say, is history. Or in the case of the Ferbey Four, the chance to rewrite history, come December.

All of this adds value to a special collectible artwork print the Ferbs have for sale, by artist Janet Deane (above, click to zoom in). Yes indeed, the Olympic Dream is alive and well.

Fans can select a limited edition Giclee framed print in two sizes, either 22x35 or 14x22.

Order through this website.

Elsewhere in this world of curling... which is still very much active, by the way...

• The World Mixed Doubles are into the playoffs in gorgeous Cortina D’Ampezzo in the mountains of Italy, and there is tons of stories and pics available front and centre at the WCF website.

. At this time of writing, Hungary has emerged through two sets of tiebreakers to take on Finland, and the winner plays undefeated Canada in one semifinal. China and defending champions Switzerland are in the other semi.

Canadian competitor Sean Grassie is a budding journalist – as we explained during the Canadian Mixed – and Grassie is once again writing a column on his experiences for his hometown Winnipeg Sun. You can find his thoughts, in order, located here, then here, then here, and from today ...

• And let’s not forget the World Seniors, underway tomorrow in equally gorgeous New Zealand ...

• DID YOU KNOW: that a car blog – of all things – got in on the Ford Worlds excitement in Moncton, with two postings, here and here? Well, okay, now you do.

• Speaking of Moncton, Swiss third Jan Hauser, who ranked in the top 5 of the TCN Blog’s “Ford World Hotties” competition, seems to have his very own, er, dedicated fan ...

• Seems that after saying something rather forceful about Scotland, Cary was forced to eat some crow ...

• And Canadians should eat crow. Not only did the Lockerbie four win three in a row against the red and white, the hosts then proceeded to play the wrong national anthem... a point we have previously noted, and which gets some (fortunately) good-natured Scottish griping here ...

• Yes, it was a victorious return for the Scots, and good ol’ Bob was there, too ...

• WCF President Les Harrison sent in this letter of thanks to his hometown newspaper ...

• It’s finally happened. Osama Bin Laden has appeared in a curling spoof.
Funny yes, or funny no?

• DID YOU KNOW II: that amid the hullaballoo over KMart throwing his world championship away, the Old Bear did it again, at the Players’ Championship?

• Curling has got Jackie going ARRGGHH. We know the feeling ...

• And finally, poor Aaron. His curling debut was total FUBAR ...

Friday, April 17, 2009

A Curling Soap Opera

Here’s Glenn Howard in action at the Grey Power Players’ Championship in Grande Prairie, whihc wraps up this weekend on CBC Sports (Capital One photo by Anil Mungal).

What is Glenn indicating...?

a) Uh, Richie... you left something here in the hack
b) Follow my finger. This is the Grand Slam, people
c) Hi there, excuse me. Remember me? I’m Glenn Howard. That means I’m not Kevin Martin.

True dat, Cliffy.

KMart’s boondoggle in the 10th end of Sunday’s Ford Worlds finale is still being talked about. Again and again.

It may end up being the most talked-about world final since that memorable hoof by Boots Labonte.

Here’s a rundown of some of the stuff that is out there:

This awesome CurlingZone thread has discussion galore, including image graphics of the 10th end scenario with Martin’s teammates’ telestrated thoughts of what they would have preferred to throw! Coolio.

• 42 comments posted to this Glob & Flail story ...

• TCN’s own Matt Hames, from his own blog ...

Comments from Martin himself, and more from some of his peers currently competing in Grande Prairie.

Finally, why not join the hundreds of thousands who have watched the replay of the 10th end on TSN’s Video On Demand Player? Click here and join in the speculation.

You can also check out the highlights here ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Ford World Curling: Farewell

MONCTON – The Moncton Coliseum was full to the rafters Sunday night, and I was able to witness a rather amazing 50th anniversary men’s world championship final.

From my part, I'd like to thank gk for the opportunity to blog from this event. It was a blast!

Kudos for Moncton for the organization: everyone here ensured that the event is a success. Even the nightlife of a relatively small city offered plenty of entertainment throughout the week and I must tell you, those long nights are starting to show.

To quote the three-year-old daughter of a Finnish curling legend: “Mommy... Daddy smells like curling again!”

Thankfully, I’ve got no spouse nor kids waiting at home.

In addition to sleep deprivation and liver poisoning, I will go home with plenty of memories and new friends. After seeing a major curling event in Canada, I’m definitely tempted to come and check out another... perhaps next year’s Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax?

While I was disappointed for my brother Kalle (with me in the photo) and the Finnish team, I know they enjoyed themselves, from the moment they started their training camp in nearby Amherst, Nova Scotia to the final round of drink tokens in Sunday night’s Keith’s Patch.

And now that the week is over, it is also time to announce the winner of our “Hottest Player of Worlds 2009” vote.

Although I felt like an utter and complete bimbo for organizing it, the people in Moncton seemed to enjoy a bit of cheeky fun... and even the local media was happy to feature it to emphasize a different aspect of these big curling events.

When choosing my list of candidates, I consulted the media guys who were happy to help, once they had gotten the “I’m not gay, don’t ask me!” out of their system.

In addition to the voting possibility here at the blog – check out the first six candidates (and comments) here, and the final six candidates here – there was a paper vote available at the arena, and hundreds of ballots were cast.

For starters, all 12 nominated players received votes so there truly is an abundance of hot men in this game!

Also, three other gentlemen outside of our vote had caught the eye of the female spectators, and are nited for the record: Switzerland’s Markus Eggler, French front-ender Jan Ducroz and Scottish third Ewan MacDonald.

The result of the balloting went down to the wire. The difference between the winner and the player who came second was only two votes and our top two hotties hogged more than half of all the votes for themselves.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is your Top 5:

1. Thomas Ulsrud (Norway)
2. John Morris (Canada)
3. David Murdoch (Scotland)
4. Andreas Lang (Germany)
5. Tied: Thomas Dufour (France), Jan Hauser (Switzerand) and Jiri Snitil (Czech Republic).

Thank you Moncton... and farewell!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Ford World Curling: Near-final thoughts

MONCTON – Some thoughts on the 50th anniversary Ford Worlds in Moncton, before we hand the last word(s) over to ace blogstress Katja Kiiskinen:

• We (The Curling News) printed a loud warning to Canadian curling fans on the front cover of the January 2009 issue, when we described David Murdoch as the “Neo” of curling and explained that his full-time curling duties are now focussed specifically on beating Canada for Olympic gold next year in Vancouver.

Three wins in a row over the hosts in Moncton, for his second trophy in four years, is a good start to his ultimate goal.

• Having said that, we note that the young Scots’ two major wins this season came on steals in the championship final: a heavy draw from Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud at the Europeans and Kevin Martin’s shanked raise takeout last night.

What does this mean? Like all the curling greats, these Scots can find a number of ways to win.

• Speaking of Martin, the questions will continue to come all this week as the Grey Power Players’ Championship gets underway tomorrow – yes, tomorrow – in Grande Prairie. Martin is in the hunt for big bucks, but will his head be in the hunt?

You can find many of these questions online, such as the 62 comments posted (at this time of writing) listed below this CBC Sports Online story.

Other queries come from Terry Jones, who is a big fan of John Morris’ “Gong Show” quote, and who gathered quotes from rival Randy Ferbey and even The Old Bear Cubs from the on-ice microphones for this interesting story.

Here’s another from Dan Barnes, another Edmonton writer who is joining in on the pile-on atop one of his town’s favourite sons.

There’s also this one here from Al Cameron, although we beg to differ that “not a soul” in the Coliseum could see Martin’s non-throw coming.

We did. And we told our media bench neighbours about it, and we were vindicated when it happened.

KMart is known for this kind of thing. Skins Games, in which he throws tens of thousands of dollars away just to keep the hammer coming home. Extreme corner guards, just off the carpet, when trying to steal... just to make the other skip pause and think a little.

We saw it coming. And we called it.

This Cameron finale points a finger at Scottish second Peter Smith, who also had some struggles in earlier matches in Moncton ...

• Yet another Al Cam piece – this one from his blog – also points out the cringe-worthy anthem that was played at ice level during the closing ceremony. Ye Gods.

Scottish people do NOT like hearing Ingerlund’s national anthem in place of their own.

Ye Gods!

• As for the Scots, what do they think? Mike Haggerty’s words - which include the classic “mayhem” – are located here, while Bob Cowan wondered if it was all a dream ...

• Yes, the opening ceremony dragged on far too long but it was quite a thrill to see something so “big” and glitzy to start the week. The legends who were there – all four Richardsons, The Owl, Eigil Ramsfjell, The Ferb and more – were a fantastic addition. The ancient trophies – from the Scotch Cup to both Silver Brooms – were amazing to see.

• Funny stuff you TV viewers never get to see: veteran curling arena announcer Stuart Brown screaming KMart’s pre-game (semifinal) intro before a crazed crowd: “Kevin HOWARD!”

This on live television, beamed around the world.

Martin’s teammates collapse in gales of laughter.

Martin himself looks befuddled, then smiles, shaking his head.

Stu drops to his knees in disbelief.

Russ Howard is, of course, loving it.

“That was hilarious,” said Martin afterwards.

“You know what? The problem is I don’t hear very well. I actually didn’t hear it. Had to ask the boys what happened and they were killing themselves.

“That’s a good blooper. But I don’t think he (Brown) mixed me up with Russ (Howard). I’ll bet he mixed me up with Glenn (Howard).

“Glenn and I have the similar hairline.”

• What does Moncton think? Here’s not one but two pieces in today’s local blat. And we agree: great show, folks.

• A reminder that you can watch highlights and full-game rebroadcasts through TSN’s Video On Demand player, via this page.

CCA photo by Michael Burns

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Ford World Curling: Eggi

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – gk told me about this story; I think it’s very cool. So here it is for you.

As the World Curling Federation website revealed yesterday, another milestone (after Burnsie’s 50th at the 50th) was reached by Switzerland’s Markus Eggler, the 1992 world champion who took over skip duties here in Moncton midway through the event.

Switzerland’s semifinal loss to Canada marked Eggler’s 125th career appearance in a Swiss uniform, which encompasses four competitions: World Juniors, European Championships, World Championships and the Olympic Winter Games. This is a Swiss record.

The black and white pic is taken from Dartmouth, way back in 1986. It was the first-ever World appearance for Eggler (crouching at right) and, lo and behold, another young stallion named Kevin Martin (top left).

Obviously, the colour pic was taken last night. Both images are credited to Michael Burns. Montage courtesy Anil Mungal. Click to zoom in.

The brief story about their friendship, which also extends between Eggler and Martin’s father, Ab, is really what curling is all about.

Congratulations Markus!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Ford World Curling: The Final

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – Since I have now successfully dodged the subject of the actual curlingcompetition for the entire week thus far, it might be time to bring it up.

For the first five days of the competition it was Canada versus The Rest of The World.

Team Martin had no problem reading the ice (which was at times a bit tricky) and they were making every shot. With the exception of their Germany game on Monday, Canada seemed to have every game won in the first five ends.

Still, their first loss was coming all week and some might suggest that Canada’s loss in that last draw against Scotland was the worst possible timing.

When you’re finally challenged and beaten after a week of “easy” games, suddenly adjusting your mental approach to the game takes some effort.

And lots more effort if you then find yourself with two losses in a row.

For the rest of the teams who still had a chance to make it in the top four, it was time to buy some beers for the David Murdoch’s Scottish boys.

Team Kevin Martin definitely knows how to win, but once Scotland had them by the throat on Thursday, we could actually see an inkling of uncertainty in the hometown team’s performance.

Then, in Friday's playoff (CCA photo by Michael Burns) we saw more than just an inkling. And I can’t blame them – in front of this crowd, losing can seem like a scary prospect. The “Go Canada Go!” cheers we heard here on Friday sounded like they were almost demanding their boys to step up their game.

At the beginning of the week, if you had asked me who would win this thing, I would not have hesitated to say Canada, even though Scotland and Norway were also standout squads. Despite a couple of losses, Scotland and Norway were both performing consistently and seemed like sure candidates for the top four, and the ones to challenge Canada.

However, after having the courage to mix it up, Russ Howard’s Team Switzerland found the confidence and started improving their play, game by game, and became part of the equation.

After a much more convincing performance, Canada will be part of the final after all.

For me, this week has clearly shown the importance of a team’s mental strength and willpower. The body language and commitment of Team Martin tonight was miles away from what we saw yesterday against Scotland. They have been able to pull it together.

Still, if you ask me now, I think Scotland is no longer merely a contender. Because they were able to shake the ground under Canada, it will be an even, and hopefully entertaining, championship final tomorrow, and the pressure is definitely on Canada.

Ford World Curling: Burnsie

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – Our first of a few milestones to tell you about.

This one concerns Burnsie, aka Michael Burns Jr. (pictured).

Like his father before him, pro photographer Burnsie has been shooting curling – and in the off-season, horse racing – since the dawn of time.

This isn’t much of an exaggeration. First of all, the curling pics in the family archives go back to the 1950s and 60s. Scotch Cup, Silver Broom, Briers and Hearts... you name it.

Secondly, Burnsie – or “Junior”, as he is often called – turned 50 years old yesterday, on Page Playoff day.

And it happened right here, at the 50th anniversary Ford Worlds.

Happy Birthday, Burnsie!

New curling video

Hasta la vista, Hammerfall.

Wander off, Weakerthans.

There’s another curling music video in town.

We were first alerted to this by Nick Kitinski’s Facebook page. Kitinski is the bossman behind California’s Hollywood Curling Club and he recently wrote that he was “back from the Ice Rink where they were filming a curling segment for a Music Video!”

The band is called The Answering Machine.

The song is called Obviously Cold.

Here is the video.

Catchy stuff. Enjoy.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Ford World Curling: Men in Pink

by Katja Kiiskinen

Just in case you were wondering, I do realize that so far three of six Moncton Worlds stories on this blog deal somehow with men or their underwear.

However, there is one more “underwear story” I just have to write about. Then I’ll focus on something else. I promise.

When you’re sitting on the media bench for 12 hours a day you notice pretty much everything that’s going on. One thing that has had the media types and the players wondering are the pink belts that the Norwegian team is wearing.

Here is some of the speculation I’ve heard during the week. Note, they’re all said with nothing but love and admiration (even if not all of them may appear so) and they run from the sweetest to the rudest:

1. They’re doing it to support a cause, like breast cancer research

2. They’re wearing them as a fashion statement, like the Glenn Howard team with their white belts and matching shoes

3. Because Canadian girls just looooove the colour pink...

4. They’re all pretending to come out of the closet simultaneously so that they wouldn’t have so many girls chasing them

5. They’re all coming out of the closet simultaneously.

The real reason, according to Team Norway second Christoffer Svae (photo above) is just this. To make people wonder about such things, when in fact there is no particular reason.

So, in your face. Um, literally.

Ever the good sport, Svae had no problem posing for a sexy undoing-of-belt picture. For those of you who are not yet familiar with his reputation, Chris – or Bompi as he is known – is not only a curling party legend, he also organizes one of the funniest bonspiels in Europe.

It takes place in Oslo around mid-September and is meant for players under 28. It gathers all the young, fun-loving, talented teams from Europe and despite the continuous parties, it offers a great level of curling.

So, if you young Canadian players want a good party in Europe, you know where to go. The Bompi Cup, with a website that is hopelessly out of date (why is this not a surprise?).

The funny thing was, I had to wait an extra day for the pic, because this fashionable player wanted to wear matching underwear. Enjoy.

Ford World Curling: Let’s Dance

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – Who is that dancing behind the President of the World Curling Federation, Moncton’s own Les Harrison?

Or, steering the President, more likely?

It’s a young fellow who simply won’t take “no” for an answer. Particularly when it comes to dancing.

You shall dance with him! Oh yes, you shall!

More on this fun fellow in the next blogpost ...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Ford World Curling: Spring part III

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – It’s the always-crazy Thursday night draw, the final match of the round robin, and the last time all four sheets will be in use.

It’s a jam-packed, rowdy crowd, and the heat is on! Again!

And another definite sign of spring is the sight of all the men taking off their pants.

I’ll save the hot, hot Man in Pink for a later post, but tonight I’ll indulge you with a picture of the infamous CurlTV crew that consists of, left to right, Luke Coley, Ryan “Mojo” Hrycun and Kevin Mandrake.

Luke and Kevin were inspired to work in their underwear during the Mardi Gras – aka steambath – that was the Moncton Coliseum on Saturday. Obviously Mojo did not want to miss out, so he too brought out a pair of funky shorts.

Apparently the crew feels that the no-pants-strategy has brought the missing ingredient to their commentary and camera tactics, so they have decided to stick with it.

It’s getting hotter in here! Click on the image for the, er, enhanced view ...

Ford World Curling: Spring part II – ALIENS!

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – We have absoutely no explanation for this.


Ford World Curling: Spring part I

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – Recent work days have consisted of taking pictures of an alien, a bird and four men in their underwear.

I need to keep reminding myself that this is a major curling competition.

“Spring is in the air... everywhere I look around...”

You can definitely tell we are heading towards the end of the curling season and here’s some proof of that... starting with Bernie.

You know how birds migrate back home from the south at this time of year? Well, in addition to our curling-stone-shaped mascot (named Skip, who was created by the WCF) we have our own Bernie the Birdie (TCN photo courtesy Tomi Rantamäki).

This little one felt the good spring vibes of our tournament and decided to settle inside the rink. Bernie most often stays close to the ceiling, but whenever the more inexperienced curlers are struggling with tactics – such as Kevin Martin or David Murdoch – or the cameramen are about doze off, Bernie lands on the ice to cheer everyone up.

Parts II and III coming soon!

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Ford World Curling: Hotties part II

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – The editor apologizes for the delay, but apparently the Canadian Prime Minister arrives this morning – big curling fan that he is – and that seems to have quite a few people scurrying about.

And here we are, finally, with the rest of our hotties who are easy on the ice... or should that read eyes?


The entire curling world knows he is gorgeous, so maybe it would have been time to go with someone else... but then all of you Thomas Ulsrud fans out there would have been raising a riot. With the addition of the young and talented Petterson and Svae on the front end, Ulsrud’s impressive curling career seems to be picking up the pace with every year that passes by.


We were very tempted to go with the sweetheart skip of the team, John Shuster, but ultimately decided we would let you vote on third Jason Smith, who spends half the year charming the Floridians.


Our Swiss playa has got an inexplicable way with the ladies. Any members of the cuter sex who have been in his vicinity will know this. If there’s a girlfriend reading, you should not be alarmed – despite his amazing charisma, Jan Hauser always behaves.


This hot piece of crumpet and his team are responsible for offering us some of the most enduring moments of curling. That’s right, we’re talking about Scotland’s very own David Murdoch. He is known for his incredible versatility as a player and an intense focus on the game, which make him oh-so-captivating to watch.


Look at this cutie! Say hello to Kosuke Morozumi, the brother of Japan skip Yusuke Morozumi. He’s only 20 – the average age of this young team is only 22 – and they were targeting the 2014 Olympics when they surprised the field at the Japanese final.


We were tempted to go with alternate Daniel Herberg, but we simply cannot resist the lure of Andreas Lang. He first arrived with the veteran Team Kapp to install some youthful vitality to the squad, and just like that, the squad is confirmed to represent Germany next year in Vancouver.

So, there they are! Your nominees for the hottie vote. Be sure to check out the first group, if you haven’t already, and leave a comment so you can make someone’s day!

Monday, April 06, 2009

Ford World Curling: Hotties part I

by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – Today the bikinis and the beach towel were no longer needed, but in hope of some Caribbean atmosphere later in the evening I did bring a bottle of piña colada.

The drop in the air temperature is definitely good news for the players, and the ice. When asked about the condistions after Saturday’s final draw, Finland’s second player Jani Sullanmaa seemed slightly miffed when he stated: “Well, gimme a f***ing shovel and I’ll sweep.” I took it to mean there was a bit of frost.

Now to the really important things – hot players! After careful consideration, the jury has chosen the candidates for the “Hottest Player of Worlds 2009”. If you disagree with our choices, then I can’t really help you. No, but seriously, if you are adamant that there is an impossibly gorgeous and charismatic player who didn’t make it to our list, you can vote for him and we may consider your point – if it is well argued.

It is necessary to note that I personally was struggling with the choice because there is such an abundance of charismatic men on the ice. So, players, if you are not on our list, it’s all gk’s fault.

In my opinion, we ladies, as the smarter sex (just admit it, boys) look beyond the first impression. Whereas men would choose their candidates based on the tightest pants and the best sports bra, we ladies consider various different factors, such as charisma, eyes, smile, tightest pants and the best sports bra.

To be fair, we have chosen one player from each country. Today we will introduce the first six candidates and the rest will follow in tomorrow’s blog post.

Click on the photo montage above (featuring CCA images from Michael Burns) to view the pics a little larger.

And, the first six nominees are:


In case you were wondering, the looker with the poetic beard is Jiri Snitil, the chief of the Czech team.

Besides his curling abilities – and his unfailing devotion to the sport – this charismatic skip is also an excellent icemaker.


Our chinese piece of hot stuff is second man Xiaoming Xu. He’s got some spiky fuzz atop his head and some sass in his smile. Some of you might also remember this talented player from the Continental Cup 2008 world team.


Perhaps a little unsurprisingly, our option for the Canadian hunk is John Morris.

Mentioning his occupation would be unfair towards the rest of the guys, since it is one of those jobs that seem to give women all sorts of ideas.

In fact, Johnny Mo may have such an advantage over the field, we should find and use an unflattering photo. We’ll leave it to gk to try and post something that paints the normal JMo portrait in a different light.

How did he do, folks?


My personal choice for the Finnish representative would naturally be Kalle Kiiskinen, because he is just the bestest person in the whole wide world.

However, the idea of complimenting his fanny seemed somehow disturbing, so we decided to go with another spud of a man: Teemu Salo.

This Olympic medallist is known for being “cool” enough to wear a toque in any playing conditions.


Le Stud of the tournament is definitely Thomas Dufour, the long-time skip of the French team. He has been wooing the European crowds already for years, so it’s about time to introduce him to a wider audience.

He is also a ski instructor, in the beautiful snow-capped mountains of Chamonix. Ooh la la.


Our choice for the Danish lion man is the legendary Ulrik Schmidt. The veteran, who was off the ice and merely coaching this team two years ago, will definitely be the number one choice for the more mature female crowd.

Be sure to cast your ballot and check out the remaining six tomorrow! You can also have more than one favourite...

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Ford World Curling: crazy from the heat

We’re back!

And our special guest blogger is here with us, at the 50th anniversary Ford Worlds. You know, that impossibly big event which will determine the final 10 Olympic men’s teams for Vancouver 2010.

Say hello to Katja Kiiskinen, a proud Finnish curler recently confused by magnificent periods of time spent in the Caribbean and – yes, it’s true – Toronto, Canada.

Sharp-eyed readers of The Curling News may notice that her words previously appeared in the recent January 2009 issue, describing her visit to the Masters of Curling Grand Slam in Waterloo.

Ford World Curling: crazy from the heat
by Katja Kiiskinen

MONCTON – After about 24 hours of flying standby and looking at airports full of tanned travellers, I must confess Moncton was not the destination I had in mind.

However, after finally making it here this afternoon, and after putting on three pairs of leggings and a couple of sweaters I was armed and ready to hit the cold, cold media bench. Turns out, however, I had gotten it completely wrong. What I should have brought with me was a beach towel, bikini and a bottle of piña colada.

Yes, it’s that hot. Looks like I didn’t have to take that Barbados flight after all.

Because of the beautiful weather outside, the air temperature at the rink is around 20C, and the poor ice technicians are going bananas, and definitely not with boredom. Apparently the ice temperature is around -19 to prevent it from melting, but the huge difference in temperatures obviously creates a problem with frost.

The players seem very understanding about the ice situation, but naturally they also worry what will happen during the evening round – just underway – as Canada’s opening game with Japan has drawn an expected large crowd.

The Danish team was having problems with frost throughout the opening game, whereas the Finnish team felt that the ice was pretty good on the side of the sheet that they happened to overuse. However, they did find that their brooms were actually sticking into the ice when sweeping, so it will be interesting to see what happens during the next round.

One player didn’t seem to mind the heat, or else he just couldn’t bring himself to part with his beloved toque. That’s 2006 Olympic silver medallist Teemu Salo, by the way (TCN photo by Tomi Rantamäki).

The start of tonight’s round two match was delayed by 30 minutes so that the ice guys could work their magic. So far, so good.

Tomorrow we’ll be starting a vote that, in my opinion, has been a long time coming. We will elect the “Hottest Player of Worlds 2009.” So ladies, or anyone else who appreciates male beauty, it will soon be time to cast your ballot.

Any votes, comments and even suggestions on how the winners should be decided are welcome. I personally think the top 12 should pose in a curling calendar. Because of the vote, we would even have proof that there is a general interest in seeing “more” of them - if you know what I mean.

In case there's lack of funding, I would even volunteer to take the photos. No charge.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The Curling News: April 2009 issue

The final issue of the 52nd season of The Curling News has been sent to subscribers, so all that remains is to get it to you.

Click here to subscribe today.

You won't want to miss our take on the curling world, in this critical pre-Olympic season, which includes:

The Brier: Kevin Martin’s Men are really that good

The Scotties: Larry Wood wraps it up

The Wrench Speaks III: One last blast from Eddie Werenich

They Said It: an awesome finale to the 2009 season... including Bill Cosby!

Matt Hames on drawing for the hammer

• The Capital One Grand Slam in Grand Prairie

Vancouver Olympic Centre: open for business

The Dominion Club Corner: The Dominion Club Championship is underway

• Larry Wood on the World Cup of Curling

The Canada Cup: it runneth over

The Curling News TV Guide: April 2009 (but of course)