Friday, October 13, 2006

Stones: It's Only Rock 'N Roll

As good old Regina, Saskatchewan basks in the glow of having the world’s greatest live rock band visit their digs for two massive sold-out gigs – complete with private parties and cultural visits – we must mention a great sign that has appeared in front of the Queen City's Highland Curling Club: OUR STONES ARE AROUND ALL WINTER!

The first TCN spy who emails us a photo of this sign wins a copy of Doug Maxwell’s 2004 tome Canada Curls: The Illustrated History of Curling in Canada. Send your photo to us at: ... but make sure you delete the NOSPAM before hitting send.

Incidentally, the esteemed Editor Emeritus of The Curling News will soon have a new book out, Tales of a Curling Hack, appearing in bookstores any day now. The book launch takes place October 17 in DDM’s hometown of Markdale, Ontario.

Also incidentally, we also want a photo from Regina skip Michelle Englot. Apparently she was among a rare group of fans who had an opportunity to meet the Stones up close. They looked like they have lived a long, hard life, Englot told the Regina Leader-Post.

Fork it over, Chelle.

Just one question... did anyone take those guys curling? Eh?

• Waterloo, Ontario was yesterday's site of the first Grand Slam news conference of the Insight Sports era. The lineup of 18 teams competing in the $100,000 Masters of Curling Nov. 29-Dec. 3 at the Waterloo Memorial Recreational Complex (er, not RIM Park) are, in no particular order:

Randy Ferbey, Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard, Brad Gushue, Kevin Koe, Jean-Michel Menard, Pat Simmons, Pierre Charette, John Base, Don Walchuk, Mark Johnson, Pete Fenson, Tom Brewster, Kerry Burtynk, Mark Dacey, Bob Ursel, Jeff Stoughton and Wayne Middaugh.

There will be an order of these teams announced soon, as the Asham World Curling Tour has revamped its points ranking system and will unveil it next week. The rumour mill says the new system will mesh with the Canadian Curling Association's CTRS rankings, making the WCT and Grand Slam series an integral part of Canadian team qualifying for the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

World Curling Players' Association exec Paul Boutilier was in Waterloo, and labelled the city a logical choice to host the hastily arranged event.

"We were looking for a spot that had the experience, certainly from a committee standpoint, to roll out these types of events and the (K-W) Granite Club has had that experience," Boutilier told The Record.

Organizers are holding the event in partnership with K-W Granite and the City of Waterloo.

"One of the reasons we did get asked was our reputation of being able to mobilize bodies quickly and effortlessly," said K-W Granite president Neil Miskell.

"Everything's fallen into place. The names are going to help sell the tickets and I think we're going to be able to put on a first-rate event."

The championship of the $100,000 tournament is scheduled for noon on Sunday, Dec. 3, and tickets – available in five day all-event packages or two-day weekend packages – are on sale today at 10 am at the Rec Complex or through TicketMaster outlets.

• In last weekend's Tour news, Charette and L’Equipe Performance enjoyed un victoire; Kelly Scott won the women's first Grand Slam of the season in Calgary; and this story on Kevin Martin’s second straight win at the PricewaterHouseCoopers Westcoast Classic has a nifty note at the end: the tournament’s website (powered by CurlingZone) handled 200,000 visitors, tops on the World Curling Tour among non-Grand Slam events...

The Spoof, by all appearances a poor man’s version of The Onion, has taken on curling, “the sport of dorks"...

• It was Arnold Asham's big night yesterday as he formally received the Manitoba Aboriginal Entrepreneur of the Year award, as given by the University of Manitoba's Asper School of Business. You can read more about Arnold's passion in this Manitoba Business News cover story, or you could download a nice PDF version here ...

Jeff Stoughton, the latest skip to fall to the red-hot Kerry Burtnyk in a cashpiel final, is online over at The Curling Show ...

• The new flick Trailer Park Boys raked in $1.3 million on its opening weekend, upending the most recent English-Canadian top scorer Men With Brooms, which earned $1.04 million back in March 2002 ...

• BLOGBITS: Texas Dan is back from spieling in Chicago, here and here, and with prolly more to come ... Kelly in Edinburgh tried curling ... as did busy mom Jay, now covered in bruises... this guy insists it’s Team Nichols, not Team Gushue ... welcome aboard to the Calgary Rookies ... and finally, we can put Bowser and Blue to rest, as there’s a new curling song to check out ...

• Last but not least, a new timewaster from the guys who brought you Cow Curling: their latest is called... Attack of the Funky Disco Zombies. Not really our kind of thing, but there you go.

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