Saturday, February 18, 2006

Italians Stun Curling World

The beat goes on for Canada's teams here at Torino 2006, as the previously unheralded but rapidly steamrolling Italian men's team (photo) fended off a ferocious comeback by Gushue/Howard et al to win 7-6 in an extra-end. The Canucks are tied with the Italians – and their delirious, shrieking fans – for third spot at 4-3.

Great Britain, who got admittedly lucky in beating Switzerland's Ralph Stoeckli on a last-rock steal this aft, are in first at 6-1... and are thus proving that their previously derided team selection process might have some merit to it after all. Meanwhile, America's Pete Fenson is tied for second with the Flying Finns at 5-2.

Tell you this. There's a party for the Canadian teams at Canada Olympic House in Turin tonight... but it might not be the jolly affair it could have been. It won't help that Canada's ballyhooed men's hockey team were also stunned today by a minnow team... the Swiss, who shut them out 2-0, no less.


Betcha the Gretzkys didn't wager on that.

• Here was the TorStar take – back from Feb. 16 – on the rift between the Gushies and their new skip/second, FYI;

• A great Newfie zinger by the master of self-depreciation, Canuck men's coach Toby MacDonald, in this Terry Jones column;

• The ever-increasing bundle of U.S. newbie-curling stories continued today, seemingly endless, in both big media markets and tiny outposts, some winding their way far overseas and others getting all homey with food and whatnot, some calling us really, really nice, and others going further in an unabashed love-in...

This one is similar, and funny, but best of all it spotlights two killer chants we've been hearing here in the arena... one of the them the best in curling history, and the other the absolute worst. You pick 'em, which is which:


We're not cowards because we're hot for Howard!
If you're pissed and you know it, clap your hands... (etc)

Bonus marks to anyone who guesses which is Canajun and which is Scottish... sorry, British. Boy, tough one.

Here's another Olympic quote we like, from one of two U.S. snowboard wackos who finished 1/2 for gold and silver:

I can't even comprehend the coolness factor of what we just achieved

• We'll close with BlogCritics, a venerable online machine and their rapidly increasing curling content. This FAQ should help curling newbies immeasurably, and one might also want to check out this previous entry, which pokes fun as the U.S. curling commentators – veteran Canucks Don Duguid and Don Chevrier – for completely dodging the pronounciation of Markku Uusipaavalniemi's last name. In the words of BlogCritics' resident curling contributor, Matthew T. Sussman:

They'd either say 'Markku' or 'the Finnish skip.'

Say it with me:


That's only 22 points in Scrabble, mind you.

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