Monday, November 30, 2009

The Curling News: December 2009 issue

The December 2009 issue of The Curling News, our Olympic Trials special, is ready for your to devour.

Head to our website for hints on the contents, which include multiple Trials stories and previews (including picks from four TCN experts); The Curling News TV Guide; Santa Hemmings; Hollywood on curling (again); our annual book sale is on again; three free digital ways your curling club can boost its profile; and the remarkable story of a World Curling Tour skip who is blind in one eye.

And so much more!

Check it out, and be sure to subscribe today for super-fast service.

As for other curling news, be sure to visit and click “Follow” on The Curling News Twitter feed, which is overheating with content, including:

• the shocking double-extra-end finish to The Dominion Curling Club Championship

• additional pics of the mayhem on our Facebook Group page (join today!)

• yesterday's World Curling Tour results

• two different world wheelchair curling event results

• the daughter of a famous curler is back in provincials

• a new iPhone curling application

• more Roar of the Rings team previews

• getting to know Jennifer Jones

... and more!

Friday, November 27, 2009

2010 Curling Calendar On Sale

A new curling calendar launches today, featuring action photography of some of the biggest names in The Roaring Game.

The 2010 Capital One Curling Calendar is now on sale for $16.95 (before shipping and handling) and features such rock stars as Jennifer Jones, Kevin Martin, Brad Gushue, Stefanie Lawton, Team Kevin Koe, Scottish wonderkid Eve Muirhead, and more.

“It’s a great idea and it’s an honour to be included,” said Glenn Howard, one of sixteen Olympic hopefuls who are skipping teams at Edmonton’s Roar of the Rings Olympic Trials starting December 6.

Howard’s image, captured by Capital One Grand Slam of Curling photographer Anil Mungal, appears on the cover. His team also makes an appearance inside.

“This is great for curling fans and it provides excellent exposure in an Olympic year. Curling is booming these days.”

The 13-month wall calendar hangs 9.5” x 24” in wire-o-bound for a perfect finish, and is printed in brilliant colour on the same high-grade,  glossy stock as the 2009 Women of Curling Calendar. Each calendar is also packed into a corrugated sleeve to prevent shipping damage.

The 2010 Capital One Curling Calendar is an all-ages, all-curling product and even includes event listings from far across the sport spectrum. Events both in Canada and around the world – even during the summer months – are included, making this a handy curling reference guide.

Net proceeds will be split equally between The Curling News and Shoot For A Cure Curling, the charitable campaign of the Canadian and American Spinal Research Organizations, which aims to cure spinal injuries and paralysis and boost awareness of wheelchair curling, an official 2010 Paralympic sport.

Click here to order your 2010 Capital One Curling Calendar... just in time for the holiday season!

Thursday, November 26, 2009


What’s all this, then?

Meet Buttons, the newest curling mascot (photo by Anil Mungal, click to zoom in). Buttons was unveiled as The Dominion Curling Club Championship sprang into gear yesterday, and here he/she (?) is with L’Equipe Québéc, aka Team Quebec.

There are 28 teams here representing, for the first time ever, all 14 provinces and territories, including Nunavut... whose ladies team is a remarkable 2-1 early in the competition.

The action runs through Sunday at Toronto’s St. George’s Golf and Country Club. Fans can also follow online through The Dominion curling website which features the Canadian Curling Association’s live scoring system, Curlcast.

There’s another photo on our Twitter page (actually a Twitpic image) as well as more stuff on:

• Curler slays demons and turns his life around, now off to Olympic Games
• Regina to host 2011 Ford World Men’s Curling Championship
Glenn Howard returns to Brantford today and thru the weekend
• Olympic curlers set to invade Kelowna, BC
• Wheelchair and vision-impaired curling workshops to PEI

... and more!

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What's the difference?

Q: What’s the difference between an Olympic curling year and any other curling year?

A: Media. media. media.

Curlers in San Jose, California managed to get NFL football player Vernon Davis out onto the curling ice earlier this month, and in any other year, the story would have run in local media only. Perhaps with a photo.

We know this because various celebs have tried curling in the past couple of years... and we’ve promoted their experience, right here at The Curling News. Us, and local media where the experience took place.

However, with Vancouver 2010 less than three months away this story has exploded in this viral media universe, complete with video and multiple still pics.

Example: between 9:00am and 9:30am eastern time this morning, no less than 45 media outlets had posted the story online, and the counter was still running.

May we suggest more of these kinds of promotional efforts, from now until Games time. The recipe is simple: grab celeb; apply to ice; write and film.

Rinse and repeat.

Did you miss The Curling News Blog? This may be our first post since last Thursday, but there’s been lots to follow on our Twitter feed. Such as:

Rizzo beats Kleibrink for 11K; McEwen wins on a measure
Glenn Howard, Mike Harris and “Buttons” open The Dominion Curling Club Championship tonight
• When will they curl on Vancouver's super-cool new/old city rink?
Wayne Middaugh would like to set the record straight:
• Canada loses to Japan at Vancouver wheelchair curling exhibition
• You can follow the Olympic Torch journey online
• No tolls on Team Gushue highway
• 30K raised in little Carmen
Kevin Martin moves into top spot on Tour money list
• The Daceys are off to Chelyabinsk, Russia
• Vernon, BC gets a Grand Slam
• TSN HD channel available free during Olympic Trials

And so very much more. Click on "Follow" at the top left of this page...

[Photo by Associated Press]

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Martin's Battle of the Blades

We must admit, we were having fun with this headline.

"How about: Martin traded to Storm... for Goldline brush and and bag of Chee-tos?"

You know, that sort of thing.

But on to the story.

In advance of his appearance at The National in January, the second Capital One Grand Slam of Curling event of the season, Kevin Martin made a series of promotional appearances in the Guelph, Ontario area earlier this week.

Martin started with a Monday morning trip to a curling club he has visited before. It was the KW Granite Club in Waterloo, the host venue of two TV Skins Games held earlier this decade.

Martin stepped into a club game to call an end and throw a couple of stones (he stole a point). He then answered an unending stream of questions from club members and autographed pictures and brooms.

According to the Waterloo Record, his best story was on the eccentricities of third John Morris. Morris once showed up for a Brier morning draw with an incredibly wrinkled, squashed team jacket. Fearing Morris’s dishevelled appearance was due a late night, the Alberta skip was relieved and amused to hear that Morris had this particular jacket rush-mailed to him from home in an superstitious effort to snap a shooting slump. It worked.

On Tuesday morning, “The Old Bear” dropped by the June Avenue Public School in Guelph, meeting approximately 60 Grade 5 and 6 students to discuss the importance of hard work, and staying focused to achieving goals.

Later that afternoon, Martin laced up his skates to become a Guelph Storm hockey “Player for a Day.”
The 2008 world champion met with Storm players at the Sleeman Centre, site of The National, to provide a motivational address. Afterward, Martin hit the ice with the team and took part in the club’s preliminary practice drills… and even scored a goal (TCN photo by Anil Mungal).

“It was an absolute blast,” Martin told The Curling News. “The guys were real friendly. It was fun to get hockey equipment on for the first time since 1982.

“The biggest message I was trying to get across was believing in themselves. Everyone at this level is good enough to do it. Only the ones that believe deep down they can do it will succeed.”

The Edmonton skip concluded his Ontario spin with a trip to the Guelph Curling Club on Tuesday night. There was another on-ice tutorial session, this time with players from the local Guelph high school league, followed by a meet and greet autograph session with club members, and Guelph Mayor Karen Farbridge.

Curling Getaway contest

As our Twitter followers know, today is the last day to enter the Uncle Ben's Curling Getaway contest.

The Team Kevin Martin sponsor is offering two western Canadians a chance to win a trip to the Roar of Rings, the Tim Hortons Canadian (Olympic) Curling Trials, on the championship weekend.

Click here to enter before 11:59pm ET tonight.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Tim Hortons curling stories

Curling sponsor Tim Hortons  introduced a curling contest back in early October, part of their “Every Cup Tells a Story” campaign.

Websurfers were invited to tell their own curling story (involving Tim Hortons, of course)  and the public gets to vote, online, for the best tale.

The winning storyteller will be named Grand Prize Winner of a trip for two to the final weekend of the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials in Edmonton, which starts on December 6. The trip includes flights, accommodations and tickets to the Women’s and Men’s Finals at the Roar of the Rings.

Storytellers could even upload their own photo to accompany their story.

Why are we using the past tense? Apparently, the contest is now closed.

Geez. While we are somewhat amazed we didn’t hear about this contest, we are also miffed no one told us about it. Like.... Tim Hortons? The Canadian Curling Association, perhaps?

While TCN Blogreaders might not be able to submit their own story, they can still vote on their favourite story, and help declare the winner. Visit this page and scroll through the multitude of curling stories, and cast your vote today!

TCN readers could definitely play a role in the decision, for there seems to be an eight-way-tie going on between For the love of the game (from Hubbards, NS); 3 Generations (from Waterford, ON); The Day I Knew (Bowmanville, ON); Horsmans take on Jimmy The Kid (Quispamsis, NB); Summer of 2001 (Chase, BC); How I Met My Husband (Belnan, NS); Twilight Curling (Calgary) and the story we voted for: A Curling Legend (Norwood, ON).

Anything else? Yes, lots, but you need to follow the TCN Twitter feed, to learn more about:

• how you can watch the Olympic Torch run LIVE online
• Fox Sports Austalia and their curling insults
• Roar of the Rings tickets: are sales lagging?
• video of Olympian Deb McCormick on Last Call with Carson Daley
• Yowza, Mr, Zawada
• Manitoba team heads to Dominion Club Championship
• PEI teams chasing Canada Games berths

and more to come throughout the day, of course...

Monday, November 16, 2009

Middaugh a changed man?

What’s in the news today?

• TCN publisher George Karrys suggests in the Toronto Sun that Wayne Middaugh (CCA photo by Michael Burns), fresh off his qualifying run in Prince George, might want to grab some of that “piss and vinegar” that young Jason Gunnlaugson has been talking about. Is the “black hat” version of Team Middaugh ready to Roar?

• Speaking of the Gunner, a CurlingZone troll has sniped a guess at a poor won/loss record for the Beausejour, MB squad at the upcoming Olympic Trials. Does anyone remember Mike Harris in 1997? Bob Weeks certainly does...

• Sweden wins in Bern, Ulsrud captures another title, the 50th Monctonian is history; Fowler, Epping and McCarville are pumped, Mark Nichols wants to “get away from curling”, Sherri Singler speaks, the Canadian Mixed, curling academy goes green, and more. It's all on the TCN Twitter feed, that is ...

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Olympic flame on curling ice

From the last post, to the big reveal.

2006 Olympic champion Mike Adam, alternate for Brad Gushue’s victorious foursome and the young man who committed one of “the most selfless acts in sport history” became the first Canadian high-performance curler to carry the Vancouver 2010 torch... and the first-ever human to slide with it down a sheet of curling ice.

The Katie Greene photo above shows Adam alongside former Team Gushue Olympic coach and 1976 Brier champion, Toby MacDonald.

“It was awesome,” Adam told The Curling News.

“In spite of it being Friday the 13th I didn’t wipe out... and I didn’t set the club on fire, either.”

Adam was on the ice at the St. John’s Curling Club in Newfoundland and Labrador, the traditional home base of Team Gushue and many of the island’s top competitors, and accepted the torch from the previous bearer, 2007 Canadian junior champion curling skip Stacie Devereaux.

Adam then proceeded to slide halfway down the sheet of ice. Then, he did it again... nice and slowly, for the assembled media.

“I was thinking, if I slide past real fast to get to the other end, I’ll blow by the people that are lined up to see it, and they don't get a chance to see it that well,” said Adam.

“So I figured I’d go slowly, and give everyone the real gist of it, show the symbolism.”

Adam enjoyed the technical term VANOC organizers gave to this particular segment of the torch’s unprecedented 45,000 km journey, which will visit 1,000 Canadian communities.

“They call it an ‘Alternative Mode of Transportation,’” Adam chuckled.

Adam was one of 160 torchbearers who carried the flame more than 110 kilometres across Newfoundland on Friday.

On a day when his Olympic teammates with Team Gushue were officially eliminated in the race to defend their championship in Vancouver, thousands of miles away in Prince George, British Columbia, Adam spoke poignantly about his return to the club.

“It’s been almost a year and a half since I’ve been back here,” said Adam, who now lives in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia.

“It would have been great to have everybody back here for this, but the boys had to be out west.

“I give the organizers full marks for including curling, and our team, in this amazing journey.”

There’s more from Adam and his big Friday in today’s edition of the St. John’s Telegram.

Later today, Alberta front-end curling legend Don Bartlett runs with the torch, in his original hometown of Gander, Newfoundland.

Other Olympic curlers slated to carry the torch are Russ Howard (Moncton, Nov. 29), Don Walchuk (Moose Jaw, Sask. on Jan. 10), alternate Ken Tralnberg (Hague, Sask. on Jan. 11), Marcie Gudereit (Lloydminster, Sask. on Jan. 12), alternate Sandra Jenkins (Salmon Arm, B.C. on Jan. 27) and Georgina Wheatcroft, who will bear the flame at Whistler Olympic Park on Feb. 5.

The full list of 300 Canadian Olympians who will act as torch bearers can be seen here.

What the heck pt II

A couple of days ago, we asked: What the heck is going on here?

And now we ask it once again: in the Katie Greene photo above, what the heck is going on here?

We’ll tell you shortly. But for now, follow The Curling News Twitter feed and discover:

• who is in or out of Olympic contention, and the fate of the defending champions
• which country just saw TV curling fall into the endangered zone
• which city is hosting an on-ice border battle
• which low-profile curler is featured in the Financial Post
• what’s red, menacing, and located 55 feet from each curling hack

And much more later on... of course!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Margo's pre-Trials picks

[She's baaaaaack! Margo Weber, guest blogger during last February's STOH (controversially) and also the Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary (archive here) has been watching the Road to the Roar in Prince George, courtesy of TSN. What's on her mind?]

by Margo Weber

CALGARY – So, I entered a curling pool.

And this morning I had a looksee at the draw for the men’s side of the Road to the Roar, and I realized three of my qualifying picks fall to each other in the C-side.

On the women’s side, it’s not looking much better.  I did not have Crystal Webster qualifying, although I must say I’m thrilled all these Alberta teams are doing so well. I, for the record, with many others... had Kelly Scott (cue downer music).

It seems I will not win this pool. But overall, I’ve had a pretty good history of predicting who is going to do well at these things – in other sports, mind you – with a few minor blips.

However, just being in a pool raises some questions. There are curling pools? Who knew? I think it’s the first one I’ve been involved in. Maybe I’ve seen a Brier pool once or twice. The person who organized the pool itself is a well-known competitor who has already made it to the Roar of the Rings in Edmonton. Whom did she pick? Did anyone actually curling in this event enter the pool? Is that okay... or is that really, really bad?

It was only $25.00 but... let’s say someone bet on themselves, or bet against themselves... let’s say someone bet against his wife? Or his/her sister? Teams have a long history of buying themselves in calcuttas at cashspiels, so I suppose it’s all been done before.

Sigh. I believe I’m just bitter because, at best, only five of my eight picks have an opportunity to qualify. Not that any of my picks are out... they just fall to each other in the draw.

Can I get on another tangent here? Speaking of the draw...

Since when is it okay that teams which lose their first two games all get bundled up to play each other in the C-side? These teams arguably are the bottom four of twelve... yet because of the draw, one of these teams will make it to a C-final just by beating each other out. Horrible.

The only saving grace is that the loser of the B-side qualifier drops into that spot. Perhaps this is to make is easier for that team. Except it’s not easier if they are coming off a loss, and the C-side team just rattled off two wins.

So... will  I enter a Roar of the Rings pool? Of course. I’m assuming my friend – the competitor – will not have time to organize that one. Nor would she want to know who would or wouldn’t bet on her!

Maybe I will organize the pool myself. But I will inevitably struggle between whom I want to win... whom I think should win... and who I actually picked in the pool.

Maybe if I bet on who I don’t want to win... I’ll be happy either way.

Oh, and for the curious? Here were my picks:

A – Wayne Middaugh
B – Bob Ursel (CCA photo by Michael Burns)
C – Jeff Stoughton
C – Brad Gushue

A – Kelly Scott
B – Cathy King
C – Marie-France Larouche
C – Krista McCarville

Two in, six to go

And then there were 10.

The field for December’s Roar of the Rings grew by two teams yesterday as Winnipeg’s Jeff Stoughton and Calgary’s Crystal Webster (CCA photo above by Michael Burns) qualified for the Canadian Olympic Trials.

One more will be added by about 7:30pm ET tonight, when Kelowna’s Kelly Scott finishes her battle with Thunder Bay’s Krista McCarville in the women’s B-final. That game starts at 4:00pm ET (live on TSN).

Another will be added later tonight, when the men’s B-final takes place (starting at 9:30pm ET, again on TSN). That one will feature the winner of Edmonton's Ted Appelman versus Mike McEwen of Winnipeg facing off against the winner of Pat Simmons (Davidson, SK) and Wayne Middaugh (Toronto).

What else is happening?

Well, the TCN Twitterfeed is humming again, click here (and click on Follow) to see nine Tweets from earlier this morning...

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Shout it out loud

What the heck is going on here?

Hang in there... you'll find out later today.

BTW, today's Twitterfest – so far – includes:

• TSN curling season kicks off today
• Two features on Debbie McCormick’s Olympic Team USA
• The fabled Monctonian turns 50 this weekend
• U.S. curlers invade Peterborough, Ontario
• Four summaries of Day Two pre-Trials action

Go to the TCN Twitter page and click "Follow" to... er... follow...

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

2-0 at Olympic Pre-Trials

The action has been intense at the CN Centre in Prince George, with lots of late steals throwing the “Road to the Roar” pre-Trials race wide open.

Another example was yesterday’s show from 2007 world champion Kelly Scott. Her Kelowna team took two in the 10th end and then stole the extra frame to shock Cathy King of Edmonton by an 8-7 count.

Top seeds are falling left and right, and as a result you’ve got teams like Calgary’s Crystal Webster, Saskatchewan’s Sherry Anderson and Pat Simmons, Winnipeg’s Mike McEwen and Ottawa’s youthful Rachel Homan all sharing the lead at 2-0... and only two wins away from a berth in the Canadian Olympic Trials.

Other big names at 2-0 include Jeff Stoughton and Brad Gushue, the finalists from the 2005 Olympic Trials in Halifax.

Homan, the junior phenom we first profiled two years ago, is shown above in yesterday’s action (CCA photo by Michael Burns). In her second match, Homan gave a quick three-spot to Marie-France Larouche of Quebec but roared back to score a 7-4 win. She won her first one 8-6 over Quebec’s Eve Bélisle.

You can also see more Road to the Roar pics on The Curling News Facebook Group page – join the group!

Meanwhile, yesterday’s TCN Twitterfeed was belching smoke, as we posted 36 times, 17 of them retweets from CurlingZone’s excellent live game coverage.

Today’s Twitterroll so far includes:

• news from Wawa, Brighton, Guelph and Chatham, Ontario
• a former WCF prez is to unveil war memorial
• two Canadian Mixed preview spotlights
• viral video mixes hockey and curling (previous blogpost)
• a new Canadian athlete Twitter list has three curlers included
• a quickee look at pre-Trials co-leader Crystal Webster

And there is much, much more curling news to come throughout the day! Go to the TCN Twitter page and click on “Follow” at top right...

Hockey curling stone

Olympic sponsor Samsung has a new series of viral videos out and about, including this one featuring a hockey player, a goaltender and curling stone.

One guess as to what happens.

AdGabber’s Steve Hall bemoans the fact that while we all know such videos are faked, we still feel compelled to watch them.

“We are still amazed,” says Hall. “It’s like a Saw movie. We don’t want to watch but we can’t turn away as people are slowly and gruesomely mutilated in new and different ways.”

We don't blame Hall for his dismay: after all, he's paid to watch hundreds of these things each month. Talk about maddening.

But for curling fans, this is fun stuff.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Olympic pre-Trials underway

And they’re off!

The practice rounds are finished, the new uniforms are in play (Team Brad Gushue photo by CCA’s Michael Burns, click to zoom in) and now, finally, the first stones are underway at the Road to the Roar, the official Canadian Olympic pre-Trials curling qualifier at the CN Centre in Prince George, B.C.

There is live scoring action on two fronts: at CurlingZone’s Gameday Scoreboard and also at the Canadian Curling Association’s CurlCast. is in the house, with their first match webstreamed live to subscribers (or pay-per-viewers) at 3:30pm ET today: Pat Simmons (SK) versus Jean-Michel Menard (QUE).

TSN roars into town on Thursday, with live action scheduled right through to Saturday’s C-finals.

For these and other curling TV coverage listings, we sincerely hope you are checking out The Curling News TV Guide in the November issue of The Curling News, which has been out for over two weeks now.

You are a subscriber, right?

The Curling News Blog and Twitter pages will be humming with action throughout the week: in fact, today’s Twitterfeed links to no less than eight preview stories, in addition to even more curling stuff.

You do follow us on Twitter, right?

Just checking.

The Road to the Roar: game on!

Monday, November 09, 2009

Werenich and the corner guard

Some great memories today coming from the Toronto Sun curling column penned by TCN publisher George Karrys.

The occasion was the induction of the Dream Team, Eddie Werenich’s legendary 1983 world champion squad – including Paul Savage, John Kawaja and Neil Harrison – into the Ontario Sports Legends Hall of Fame (photo above taken at the famed Molson Classic cashspiel at Toronto’s downtown Royal Canadian Curling Club).

The induction ceremony went down Saturday at the final Toronto Argonaut football game of the season.

The column explains how The Wrench led a number of curling revolutions: the first successful team of four skips; a history of antagonizing curling officials; the first to throw a corner guard.

One of Eddie’s favourite tales made it into the story: the time a first-rock corner guard against Jim Sharples prompted a Sharples team meeting... and when the guard was peeled and then replaced, it was followed by yet another on-ice team meeting.

Karrys heard from Sharples this morning.

“I read your article in the Sun this morning with interest and just a bit of nostalgia,” said Sharples.

“As you probably know, Eddie and I had a large number of tilts against each other. He was always trying to get me into a draw game and I was always trying to avoid it for obvious reasons. No one could outdraw the Wrench, and the sweeping he had was second to none. Besides, I had enough pressure at work and therefore tried to avoid it on the ice.”

The “Eagle” went on to point out that while Werenich probably was the first curler to throw the corner guard in the very first end of a game, “The first person I saw using it was Alf Phillips Jr. in 1967.

“He had a secret signal and I watched him deliberately drop a corner short of an opponent’s stone (Terry Patton) in the provincial at Orillia – we had seen the signal at an interclub game at the old Parkway Club. Alfie probably wouldn't have won the Provincial and Brier that year if he hadn't done that.

Keith Jewett tells me that a couple of the Unionville teams were using the corner guard a year or so before that and that is probably where Alfie got the idea.”

Phillips Jr., of course, was Toronto’s 1967 Brier champion skip.

The Sharples point is duly noted by the author, and, in fact, Werenich himself did pay homage to Phillips Jr., but the quote was edited from the final story. Here’s the missing excerpt:

“But I got all that (corner guard strategy) from Alfie Phillips Jr.,” said Werenich.
“Back then the ice didnt curl, and there was no free guard zone rule.
“If nothing else you got rocks in play, and then you found out if you could play, at least the way the game is meant to be played.”

Sharples, a conservative “hitter” through much of his career, goes on to good-naturedly point out that it wasn’t that his squad “didn’t know what to do” when faced with the opening-stone corner guard (Yeah, we know, Eagle... that’s Eddie for ya!).

And The Curling News echoes Sharples’ recognition of his improved draw game, which was displayed in recent years.

“The ironic part of all of this was that in my later years my draw game became better than my hit game and allowed me to win (two Seniors and a Masters Canadian championship),” said Sharples.

“Maybe I should have been drawing against the Wrench. Great memories!”

Friday, November 06, 2009

Curling fans: got Twitter?

Another reminder for you today, curling fans: if you aren’t following the The Curling News Twitter feed, you’re missing out.

Here’s what we’ve posted today:

• Is Nunavut curling on the upswing?

• SoCal curling on Nov. 7

• A look at the scorching Kelly Scott and Bob Ursel teams

• Edmonton now hosts a CCA national training centre

• DEKALB Super League is underway

David Murdoch up for major award

• Five – count ’em, FIVE – exclusive pics from Wednesday’s NBC Olympic festival at Rockefeller Plaza: curling, the wheelchairs, Deb McCormick in a bobsleigh and even Jimmy Fallon!

Visit the TCN Twitter page and click on “Follow” at top left...

Curling party website

If you recall September’s launch announcement for Season of Champions TV, you will also recall mention of another new website coming soon: ...!

This morning, the official website of curling’s biggest party palace – the Keith’s Patch – went live... check it out!

Curling fans can eyeball the bands listed to play at each of the SoC major events, as well as other information... and fans can even follow announcements on Twitter!

And we’ve got another idea for the CCA web moguls. We suggest building a place on the site for party fans to upload their own party pics... much as The Curling News Blog did during last year’s Tim Hortons Brier in Calgary: once, twice, thrice and again.

Patch it up, people!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Curling casting call: Toronto

Time for another curling casting call... this time for the Toronto area.

Jigsaw Casting Ltd. is looking for male curlers who fit the following characteristics to be featured in an upcoming Tim Hortons Brier print campaign:

• Men between the ages of 30-45 of Caucasian ethnicity
• Must have some curling experience

Those who secure a role in the advertisement will be financially compensated with approximately CDN $750.

Must be available for these key dates:

• Friday, November 6 (20 minute committment only)
• Tuesday November 10

You must book an audition if interested, by emailing the following:

• PHOTOS – head shot and full body shot (candid snapshots will suffice, 100kb max per photo, please put “Curling” in the subject line)

• All primary and secondary contact info

• Brief description of your curling experience, years playing, tournament wins etc.

Questions or concerns: contact Erika at 416-360-0336 x230

Olympic curling roadsign

Our friend Terry Jones is back on the curling beat, and not a moment too soon.

The veteran Sun Media sports scribe, who also authored the 2007 book The Ferbey Four, was at a “32 days out” ceremony for the massive Roar of the Rings event coming to Edmonton December 6-13.

Otherwise known as the Tim Hortons Canadian Curling Trials, the event is basically the “Olympic Trials” which will declare Canada’s representatives for Vancouver 2010.

As Jones tells us here, many of the late week draw matchups were revealed as part of the news conference.

The much-anticipated and possibly crucial all-Edmonton battle between Kevin Martin and Randy Ferbey will be on the Wednesday afternoon draw, which also features Edmonton's Kevin Koe versus the other pre-qualified team skipped by Ontario’s Glenn Howard.

Thursday morning features Ferbey-Howard and Martin-Koe, and Thursday night will feature Ferbey-Koe and Martin-Howard.

Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones, Calgarian Cheryl Bernard, Saskatoon’s Stefanie Lawton and Calgary’s 2006 Olympic bronze medallist Shannon Kleibrink have their feature games against each other Wednesday morning, Wednesday evening and Thursday afternoon.

As any curling fan worth his or her salt knows, the remaining squads will be known after the Road to the Roar in Prince George, B.C., which starts up pretty darned soon.

Jonesy also tells us that ticket sales are already at 134,844 for the eight-day event, and single draw tickets go on sale this Saturday.

Tickets are $50 a pop for the women’s final (Dec. 12) and the men’s final (Dec. 13), while the semifinals are $40 each. The early round-robin draws are $30 each.

For heaven’s sake, this has got to be one of the last wakeup calls for curling fans to get their butt to Edmonton, for this showdown of the ages.

“We can’t believe this event is only a month away,” said host committee woman Jackie-Rae Greening. “Probably in our lifetime we won't have the opportunity again to watch a trials where the winners get to represent Canada on their home turf at the Olympic Games. Now it’s getting so close, it’s getting so exciting.”

The last word goes to K-Mart, who unveiled some kind of countdown road sign, along with Kleibrink, at yesterday’s newser (photo by inews880AM, click to zoom in).

“I think the level of curling has increased significantly, the curlers have been training harder and have all become better than we were four years ago,” said Martin.

“That’s going to make this event even better and hopefully is going to make Canada even better at the Olympics.”

NOTE: have you signed up to follow The Curling News Twitter account?

If not, you’ve already missed today’s info on New Brunswick’s mixed team; Stoughton and Burtnyk on their Road to the Roar (and McEwen and Gunnlaugson, too); the husband of Sandra Schmirler and his honour at carrying the Olympic Torch; and Brad Gushue as an “interesting choice” to publicize the Tim Hortons Brier... considering that he hopes to not compete in it!

Head to the page and click on “Follow” to get tuned in to the digital curling world!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Mo'vember 2009

We’ve talked about it before, and we’re talking about it again... It’s Mo’vember.

This is the month in which to raise awareness about prostate cancer, to raise some money for research and hopefully save lives.

This is the most common cancer among Canadian males, afflicting one in six men, and is a greater threat for those with a family history of the disease.

That’s more than one guy on every sheet of ice during a men’s curling league night at a six-sheet club.

In the past, high-performance competitors have shown support by growing a Mo’vember moustache.

Last year we showed you the wonderfully cheesy Team Glenn Howard, all four of them adorned with a variety of facial foliage.

Team Brad Gushue lead man Jamie Korab also participated, at the 2008 Masters of Curling in Waterloo, Ontario (Capital One photo above by Anil Mungal).

Please visit the Mo’vember website for more information.

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

First Shot: STOH tickets

It’s your First Shot for Scotties curling tickets!

The latest version of the Canadian Curling Association e-newsletter “Hittin’ the Button” arrived this morning, offering pre-sale tickets to the 2010 Scotties Tournament of Hearts, January 30-February 7 in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.

There are four new ways for you to see the first national sports championship ever held in the new Essar Centre.

Pick the package that works best for your schedule. Four options. Seven draws. Each one includes the championship weekend.

And all ticket packages include your pass to the Heart Stop Lounge, the biggest “Do in the Soo”! Join the crowd for a beverage, a bite and great live entertainment.

To grab your tickets now, head to this Essar Centre ticket page and enter promotional code CCAPROMO.

To ensure that you receive notification of all future Season of Champions ticket launches, sign up for the CCA “Hittin’ The Button” newsletter by visiting this URL.