It's Friday, and there's tons of stuff to pass along. And yes, we'll get to that bizarre headline in a moment.
Today the Olympic torch, now inside Italy, passes by Pinerolo – the site of the Olympic curling event – after being carried by, in no particular order, designer Giorgio Armani, military police on horseback, Alpine guides and gondoliers. And wasn't that a party?
We will offer one word, used to describe New Zealand's Olympic parade gear (modeled in photo by Sean Becker's curling team): Far Out.
Okay, that was two words.
• Marilyn Bodogh has elbowed her way into the playoffs in Ontario; wouldn't it be amazing to see her rep Ontario in three straight decades to the exact year: 1986, 1996 and 2006? BTW, she won the STOH and Worlds those other years... results here and a story here.
Meanwhile, Saskatchewan sees Stefanie Lawton at 3-0 thus far, story here and results here through the weekend.
• The Strauss Canada Cup is on CBC tomorrow and Sunday, but you prolly knew that already. Neither Shannon Kleibrink nor Brad Gushue made the playoffs, but both are unconcerned, according to national coach Jim Waite:
They are definitely looking forward to a week and a half from now and will have their A games cranked up for the big event.
• The U.S. media machine is officially in full howl over curling, with a wide variety of plus and minus commentaries, features, profiles and the like all burning up air and print space. Here's a smorgasbord of stuff to check out, first of all in the plus or positive (or at least neutral) category:
• Sports Illustrated has made their predictions, and it sees Canada scoring 21 medals, down from Associated Press' 24, including two silvers in curling. AP says the Canucks will score double curling gold, while we note that no Canadian outlets, as yet, have offered any predictions. We also say don't forget about the Swiss and their superb Olympic curling history... here's one of the best U.S. curling previews we've ever seen; and a 10-question feature with the other Johnson sister, Jamie... we didn't know that Alaska's Okie Brumm, founder of hockey's Hanson brothers and also the famed NHL exhibition game featuring the Red Wings and Gordie Howe versus a prison team, also built a curling club – could it be the FCC? – and we salute his memory... here's a look at Potomac curling, and we just love the building's address on "Gunpowder Road"... a tongue-in-cheek but still friendly feature from San Jose here (complete with Calendar reference), an even better video feature here, and another calendar mention here.
And now for the negatives. As you can see, they are outnumbered by the positives but after (almost) three Olympic Games and eight years, is it not time for the clumsy references and outright rip jobs to cease? Here's three that, for some reason, got our goat this morning, followed by contact information, if you happen to agree that the perpetrators should be slapped around:
• The DC political story (see the Jan. 26 post Democracy in, um, action) was amusing, and this follow-up is too, but we don't like the writer's quick snap that curling is the comic relief of the Winter Games. Read it and send your thoughts to: firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com ...
• No, no, NO, it's NOT shuffleboard on ice and we're getting darn sick and tired of reading that. Do your research and give the sport more than a sneeze, will you, Mr. jkelley@DaytonDailyNews.com? ...
• Then there's U.S. comedian Jay Mohr. He plays smarmy jerks on TV and film – and he does it well – and also does it in his sports talk; here's what he expectorated on SI.com recently.
What irks TCN is that he shot a curling segment years ago and suddenly rips it years later. Was he all warm and fuzzy toward the sport in his segment back then? If yes, that would be even worse, as his smary-jerk character should at least be consistent.
Here's the contact info for Mohr's manager... a guy who used to rep Dave Chapelle, Tracy Morgan and Wanda Sykes, and who now reps Mohr, Bobcat Goldthwaite and Louie Anderson. Ugh.
Barry Katz Entertainment Group: 5455 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1615 Los Angeles, CA 90036 or 1776 Broadway, Suite 2001, New York, NY 10019... telephone: (213) 977-1000.
The first person to pass along an e-mail address for Mohr and/or his management co. wins a gift subscription to The Curling News and also a copy of The Black Book of Curling. And probably a mention in the March issue of TCN, once we have hunted down smarm-boy.
Yeah. We do have a sense of humour, BTW. We've been promoting the sport for over 20 years, and our skin is pretty thick. We also know Mohr's a comedian, and some of it may be shtick. But... wait for it...
He's not funny.
And that may be the biggest crime of all.