Thursday, October 29, 2009

Curling Photo Feedback

This photo captures the millisecond following the moment of impact of Kevin Koe’s last-shot attempt to win the Grey Power World Cup of Curling.

The angle-runback missed by a hair, ticking a front guard, and two of Koe’s team members react with obvious dismay.

The photo was shot the stands at the Hershey Centre by Allen Hofstetter of Paris, Ontario.

Allen and his wife Lynne Gawley-Hofstetter started a little curling supply business called Hit The Broom Curling Gear about four years ago. The Paris Curling Club, just outside of Brantford, had lost its informal “supply guy” so the Hofstetters starting displaying curling equipment on tables at the club.

“The response was amazing,” said Allen.

In a contra deal for the selling space, Allen built a large trophy case for the club’s basement. Now the company supplies Paris and also travels to surrounding clubs during popular bonspiels.

The squad also befriended the victorious Team Glenn Howard around the same time. The friendship is such that Howard lead Craig Savill even mailing one of his official Brier shirts to the couple’s 13-year-old son, Tucker, in 2007.

In addition, the squad was sent this photo, which soon made its way to The Curling News Blog, where is has been published here, with thanks to the Hofstetter clan.

A full-size version of the photo will appear in the upcoming December issue of The Curling News. Got your subscription yet?

Incidentally, Howard third Richard Hart has been corresponding with TCN writer Matt Hames this week, following Hames’ awesome blog and twitter posts during the World Cup final last Sunday.

Hames, who has blogged about the Hart discussions is correct to note that “Prior to the internet, this world class player would never have been able to get this kind of feedback about (his own) game.

“True, he could have watched the tape of the final on CBC and got the commentators’ take on the game, but that’s more an official take. Mine was kind of off-the-cuff riffs on the game in general.

“(Hart) may or may not find value in the feedback, but he’s at least taking the time to acknowledge that feedback can be valuable.”

On a final note, the World Cup feedback from television is quite good. Sunday’s final scored 441,000 viewers on CBC-TV, while Saturday’s quarter-final matchup between Koe and Brad Gushue earned 483,000 viewers, which is up 83 per cent over last year’s numbers.

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