Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Heroes and Hyperlinks

Many thanks to all for the positive comments – here on The Blog and via email – on our efforts during Torino 2006. Please keep the subscription orders coming: the printed version of The Curling News is still our lifeblood, and a successful TCN allows us to add value via Blogging and other initiatives.

A pile of stuff to wade through today, simply because we're not sure how much Blogging we can do over the next week... we have two days to crank out the March issue of TCN, before heading to the STOH for both CBC and the National Post. We need an assistant!

Before we begin, a shout out to an old public school chum, David Naylor, whom we caught up with in Turin, as well as additional thanks and cheers to Naylor's colleague Christie Blatchford, who wrote that TCN is a lyrical and literate little jewel.

Grazie, signora.

Triumphant airport returns for Canadian curlers: the men here in the Big Smoke (Brad Gushue in photo) and then, oh yes, in St. John’s, where the party is probably still going on... plus the women here... and down south in “Curling Capital USA” where newly-bronzed Pete Fenson will no doubt be slinging pizzas at the parlour tonight... and even in Finland, where an unbelievable 30,000 people want to learn the sport. Like, wow.

Hey, did you know that no less than three Canadian talismans were buried in, under or adjacent to the ice as the playoffs approached? Yeah, we did, but we didn’t want to say anything.

Did you also know that Cindy Klassen, Canada’s Olympic superwoman, has just signed a $1 million sponsorship deal? Her agent is Elliott Kerr of the Landmark Group, who has also been representing Russ Howard since the dark days (now most certainly forgotten) of the infamous legal action against the Canadian Curling Association, circa the early 1990s... what’s next, Elliott? A new deal for The Wounded Moose, perhaps? But with or without the Gushies?

It could take forever to wrap up Turin... so let's get cracking, and prepare your fingers to hyperlink away!

• Here's a look at the microcosm of curling within the spectrum of the Winter Games themselves... the Italians are still hot on the sport... and here's the view from Spain...

Mass U.S. interest and commentary continues, in Rapid City, SD; via letter defense in San Antonio; the venerable NY Times reports on 1,000 people showing up at Broomstones for an open house; here's Lebanon (er, not the Middle East, just Pennsylvania): Charlotte chants “Om” to curling... Dulltooth (just kidding!) is predicatably all over the curling craze... San Jose lists Gushue’s win as one of the top five Games moments... Arizona feels the buzz... here's some thoughts on the "whiteness" of the Winter Olys and curling as a sport in "technical terms"... This Red Sox outfielder, a Canadian, has never tried curling... here's a Dallas writer's take on the bronze game... a solid U.S. curling wrapup with questions about the fallen CurlGirls... too funny: here's how AP described that Fenson bent the winning rock into the target area...meanwhile, Cleveland described how Fenson curved his stone around a block to nudge another Great Britain stone out of scoring range... look, we've discovered the amusing Michael Hunt in Milwaukee, also with an earlier curling piece here.

• Indeed, the curlers were the Rock Stars of Italy, even if some high-profile Sports Illustrated type needed to experience it firsthand in order to change his mind, after first writing something mildly nasty (if funny)... ditto for the odd radio jock as well, crow thus eaten and lessons well learned...

• Okay, so it was Mark who streaked during the men’s bronze match. Commentary continues, seemingly nonstop, even in India (?!), but we’ll say this once again... thanks for not stepping on the ice surface!

• Internationally speaking, the Finns have a lot to say, about curling (and hockey) of course, including wondering if Gushue's missed seven-ender was just him being "polite"... Andrew Baker of Britain's The Telegraph is brilliant:

The top three are awarded medals. Fourth prize at the Olympics is a kick in the teeth, a crock of manure or any other metaphor you prefer for sporting despair. It is far better to finish fifth, and dead last has its attractions. Fourth stinks.

And another Baker gem, about the streaker:

Indeed, one member of the audience became quite carried away, divesting himself of all clothing and racing around the arena with only a rubber chicken to protect his modesty. This being an ice rink, there wasn't much to cover up.

Speaking of the Brits... er, Scots... there's a great zinger from a UK journo here and, back on ice, the U.K. supersquads have returned to their old rivalries with their national championship starting today... there's also some grumping in NZ as winless Becker carried the flag in the closing ceremonies, as well as the opening.

• More funnies: this guy made a curling song, and these guys loved the sport as well as the calendar (in addition to this guy)...

• Last but not least, and away from the Olympics for a moment, The Kids Are Alright (once again) at the STOH, which is doing well on many fronts... and which features a birth-control edict for one team!... and Team Ferbey reminded everyone just how good they still are – had you forgotten? – by winning the third Grand Slam of the year...

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