Sunday, November 26, 2006


CHILLIWACK, B.C. – North American lead Natalie Nicholson (photo) couldn't have yelled it any better.

Not too long ago – Thursday night, to be exact – North America has a nifty lead over Europe at the Con Cup, and the Euros looked listless.

Now, Europe holds a near-insurmountable lead, 180 to 100, over the NAs. No more jet lag.

What's worse for the hosts is that only 201 points are needed to win the Cup and the $75,000 top prize.

Tomorrow it's two 60-point skins games, Kleibrink vs. Norberg and then Gushue vs. Murdoch. CBC's coverage should be quite interesting.

Spotted AK267 in the crowd tonight, hovering over the NA bench waving a huge double-sided U.S./Canadian flag. Way to go AK.

NA benchwarmers had their jackets on backwards, desperately working the rally outfits to help J.M. Menard beat Pal Trulsen (not) and Kelly Scott hold off the extremely strong Mirjam Ott (didn't work). Double-d'oh.

Over in Tokyo – way over – they're down to the Pac finals, click here for updates.

More tomorrow.


Dean Gemmell said...

Sheesh. I think the coverage might be more like supremely challenging than interesting for CBC. It's going to take every bit of Mike Harris' refreshing bluntness to keep this from being a huge snoozefest. Time for less talk about how great it is for these teams to play in such a "fun" event and more time spent on discussing why this thing isn't close.

-- Dean Gemmell

TCN said...

Are you kidding?

1. Skins is always great, all those mini-games makes an overall "title" irrelevent.

2. Lotsa pride on both the Murdoch and Gushue squads; there were fireworks in the air when Murdoch won in an early team match.

3. Last-ever game for Russ with his Olympic teammates; nostalgia galore.

4. Newfies are always good for a laff; watch Korab to goof it up.

5. The could always do a naked calendar feature. :)

6. Agree with your last line: critical review of "captains", prep (or lack of) and possible laissez-faire attitudes is in order.

Dean Gemmell said...

As usual, my rush to judgement is somewhat flawed. I am still thrilled to be seeing the first national broadcast of the curling season. But...

1) That might be true if we weren't watching two teams so intent on securing carryovers. There's a good chance we'll see more blanks this afternoon than with FGZ. Of course, it might get more interesting once the overall outcome is decided.

2) Good point. Nobody on those teams wants to lose any game.

3) Nostalgia is great, but I would rather be watching Kevin Martin, Glenn Howard or Kerry Burtnyk right now.

4) Agreed. Korab did a nice job as a guest on CurlTV. Still, nobody watches TV sports for the humor.

5) Now that's a great idea, especially when you have some of the calendar participants in Chilliwack. (By the way, I will order a calendar. Just haven't gotten to it yet.)

6) Players need to remember that this event is still a privilege to play in. If the play is poor, the event doesn't continue (I know it might not continue regardless of the play) and other top curlers lose an event to play in. It was tough for the captains with three men's teams that are sort of regrouping from big years. On the women's side, I think the N.A. team that would have the best chance against Norberg is Rachel Homan's rink — too bad they're, what, 16?

-- Dean Gemmell

TCN said...

1. Death By Carryover ain't a bad strategy: In 2003 at this event Sherry Middaugh was pummelled 60-nil. That left Ferbey with little hope against Peja, but the Ferbs did manage to prolong NA's expiration until the sixth or seventh end.

3. Agreed. CBC should be talking about how fast Gushue signed up Schille for the next quadrennial; the Albertan was approached at the PC in Calgary before the season even ended.

5. CBC will only go to the calendar if it becomes a laugher. Considering many thought NA would be toast by now (11:31am local in the 7th end of women's skins finale) they might avoid a cal feature even if things end at 11:33am.

Wow. Klei just stole again (it's now 11:34am). Life goes on.

6. I agree. And think of how annoying the Euro lead was given a) their jet lag on day one and b) the fact the Euro assoc's don't even like this event; they'd rather their teams stay close to home and prep for the all-important Euro Championship in two weeks...

Dean Gemmell said...

Well, Norberg sure threw a turd. But it sounds like she's actually been off all weekend, making the Euro lead more confounding.

You're right, it might take a while for this thing to finish after that Norberg miss.

It was fun to watch Ferbey stretch things out. Another team I'd rather be watching right now even if they're not off to the greatest of starts this season.

The Schille pickup has not had as much discussion as it deserved. But I dropped the ball on that as well. I should have asked Brad more about it.

TCN said...

Now Murdoch has missed and the Gushies have their first skin.

Could this be the incroyable North American comeback that none other than CBC's Don Wittman predicted early this morning?

Not sure how Witt would feel if he knew this was just bloggoed to the curling world. I'm sure he won't mind at all... if NA wins this thing.

TCN said...

Well, it was fun while it lasted.

Dean Gemmell said...

Of course, now that I've sounded off and the scoring is all done, it's pretty clear that the big difference was Schopp's shot against McCormick. Which it seems was a fairly lucky break. Without that, it's a dead heat.

But, I guess, that's curling.

If they ever do manage to have one of these things again, I'd like to see a format that ends up with more games going on at the very end.

Chilliwack was also a tough location. Not much of a band either.

-- Dean Gemmell