Monday, March 06, 2006

Best use of "muffin" and "smurf"

Well, well, well.

Talk about history – junior curling history from the mid-1990s – repeating itself.

Following a scintillating Page 1/2 game and a somewhat duller semifinal, in which we may or may not have bid farewell (again?) to Colleen Jones, the pint-sized powerhouse Kelly Scott (photo) won her namesake championship and partially erased the disappointment of December’s Olympic Trials final.

A roundup of media reports sees only the Edmonton Sun elect to go with the predicatable headline... it's always good to see Ken Gilchrist scribble some curling content... Steve Green and his local blat did a fine job all week, with this nifty piece by Jim Kernaghan on the rivalry between the two skips (and former teammates) also boasting best use of the human descriptive term muffin and smurf in the same sentence... Bob Weeks of the Glob & Flail, from afar... Winnipeg's Jim Bender was there all week, as was Al Cameron of CanWest + The Curling News + the daily in-house Heart Chart... not to forget Bill Graveland at CP, the “plucky” Brian McAndrew over at TorStar, and another oldie-but-goodie from the Big Smoke, Perry Lefko, who will also be in Regina this weekend.

• So will Jeff Stoughton, whose Brier sendoff no doubt had the ring of a championship to it, whereas Brian Windsor's PR has a different tone. No surprise there... the lineup of Alberta in the west right through to Halifax's Mark Dacey in the east – namely Martin, Simmons, Stoughtie, Howard, Menard and even Grattan – is a real murderer's row of talent.

• Across the pond, Kelly Wood and David Murdoch have retained their Scottish titles and are off to Grande Prairie and Lowell respectively. Wood beat Rhona Martin – her Olympic skipper from just a week or so ago – in the final. Even bigger news for her is that she gets to be Scottish again, and not British. Here's the tale, and here's a piece from earlier in the competition, indicating that suspect rocks have contributed to a dull hitfest of a championship. Yuck. For more on rocks and how they can create two competitions within one – as happened at the Olympic Games – be sure to check out the column by Editor Emeritus Doug Maxwell in the brand-new March issue of TCN.

• Speaking of Lowell, there is a mini-explosion of interest going on there... some of the U.S. men are still being feted – and being typically gracious about it – down in Minny... Jay Leno isn't funny at all (shouldn't that be a criminal offense for a billion-dollar comedian?)... and it sounds like Australia are soon to finally get their first dedicated curling facility, thanks to their sports-mad government...

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