Posted on

Curling calendar media melee

Well, the ladies have once again caused a media ruckus.

There were major features on the 2009 Women of Curling Calendar in the Sun family of newspapers, in both Ottawa and Toronto… and other stories at Deadspin, at Gustafun, at No-Name 247, at Slanch Report, and many, many more…

… such as SBB, the infamous Fark, and the investigative Scanner.

There were also radio features on FAN 590, and TV features on Rogers Sportsnet and also on Global News Ontario (screen capture above). To see the Global segment, which stars calendar grrrl Chrissy Cadorin and TCN/Shoot For A Cure dynamo Ryan Durham, go here and click on the Sept. 25 show… the story arrives at the 31-minute mark.

Heck, even the Washington Post took a break from the financial metdown stories to take note.

In addition, we offer smiles and shrugs to the Curling Canada guys and finally, a huge thumbs-up to the very funny hockey fellas at Orland Kurtenblog.

Once again, the ladies looking for your support, so please click here. The original blogpost is located here.

Anything else?

• DID YOU KNOW: that 2006 U.S. Olympic skip Pete Fenson is, er, less enamoured by Brazil’s challenge for the second western hemisphere spot at the 2009 Ford Worlds? When asked – by Joe Pavia of the Ottawa Sun – if he would play against Brazil, Fenson said: “I didn’t express a whole lot of interest … our goal is to win the Olympic Trials this year. We are really not that interested in veering from our schedule.”

Tickets are now on sale for the first Capital One Grand Slam of the season: The Masters in Waterloo, Ontario …

• We promoted Monsanto Canada’s fine curling club support program last year, and we’re pleased to see the grants are back for 2008-09 …

• Seems the travel bible Lonely Planet has listed the 2009 Moncton worlds as a top reason to visit Canada

• Capital One – and its curling focus – made this recent Globe and Mail marketing story

• Team Shannon Kleibrink won the Schmirler tourney yesterday over an exhausted Team Krista McCarville of Thunder Bay …

• Remember the CKDU bonspiel in Halifax? The pics are now online

Bob Weeks, and many Ontarians, remember Humber Highland’s Earle Hushagen

• The Blind River CC blog offers a neat story involving curling legend Hec Gervais

• Kalamazoo, Michigan – the former home base of The Curling Show – is in the running to host the 2010 U.S. championships

• Speaking of: Ted Appleman makes his debut on the most recent ep of The Curling Show

• There’s lots of Super League turnover in Brandon, Man…

• The PEI Curling Hall of Fame will induct eight new members next month …

• Team Guy Hemmings is the latest to enter the blogosphere

• And so is ex-Ottawa shooter Lesle Cafferty, a self-described Sweepnfreak

• Has Vleitholf has discovered the secret to curling?

Jim Davis experienced our game in Bowling Green, OH

• DID YOU KNOW II: that ice technicians want a union? This here Facebook group reveals the plot …

• And finally, with Team Mirjam Ott safely out of Regina, her squad has suggested that Saskatchewan is, er, rather “flach”. Tell us something we didn’t know!

Posted on

2009 Women of Curling Calendar

They’re back.

The gorgeous Women of Curling have returned, lensed by photographer/curler Ana Arce of Spain and produced by The Curling News in conjunction with MiCalendar.ca.

Read all about it in today’s Vancouver Sun… and the same story appears in today’s Calgary Herald, in Saskatoon and in Edmonton, and so on. You can find the full text reproduced below.

This 2008-09 16-month bonanza is more of a traditional calendar, in both size and design. Each month also offers event listings of major curling tournaments in both Canada and around the world – even for the summer months.

As the story indicates, there is some debate on the risque factor of this year’s “Curling Club” edition. We invite you to be the judge by clicking here.

Remember the calendar’s heydays of hysteria? The second edition reached a peak during the 2006 Olympics in Turin (note video story too) which also coincided with an endorsement from… Playboy magazine!

As usual, every athlete model shares in the proceeds to fund their on-ice efforts, and some in turn are continuing to support their favourite charitable cause.

Here’s the story, written by Allen Cameron:

Curling’s version of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue is making a comeback.

After taking a year off, the 2009 Women of Curling Calendar, featuring 13 female curlers from around the world, is now on sale. Like past editions of the calendar, it features nude or near-nude curlers posing with props related to the sport.

“It’s not for everyone, but it’s a lot tamer than previous calendars,” said Ryan Durham, director of business development for The Curling News, which is marketing the calendar.

Two Canadians are among the 13 models featured – Christine Keshen, who won an Olympic bronze medal throwing lead rocks for Shannon Kleibrink at the 2006 Winter Games in Turin and now lives in Invermere, and Ontarios Chrissy Cadorin, who plays third for Toronto’s Colleen Madonia.

Keshen also posed in the 2007 edition of the calendar.

“I think this one is more risque, in my opinion,” said a laughing Keshen. “But my boyfriend (Mike DuBois) thinks it’s great. He’s the boy, he’s the expert.”

Also posing for the calendar are Denmark’s Camilla Jensen, the Toth sisters, Claudia and Karina, of Austria, Giorgia Apollonio and Sonia Dibona of Itala, Germany’s Anna Hartelt and Daniela Jentsch, Fabienne Fuerbringer of Switzerland, Kasia Selwant of Poland, Kim Brewster of Scotland and former world junior champ Linn Githmark of Norway.

The pictures were shot by professional photographer Ana Arce of Spain, a competitive curler herself. She put out the first edition in 2006 to rave reviews. It was intended to be a fundraiser for women’s curling teams, and models receive a share of the proceeds.

Cadorin will be sharing her cut of the money with the Canadian Spinal Research Organization, while Keshen, who’s taking a year off from curling, has plans to donate to youth curling groups in her hometown.

The focus of the calendar now is more on the sport than on the models, insisted Durham, noting that the calendar features a listing of major curling events around the world. “That’s another step toward producing a pure curling calendar, with action shots of the athletes,” said Durham. “We’re aiming to produce that for the 2010 Olympic year.”

The calendar retails for $34.95, including taxes and shipping and handling, and is available at www.thecurlingnews.com

Meanwhile, elsewhere in the curling world:

• Goodbyes were sadly given to Ontario curling legend Earle Hushagen over the weekend, and the Winnipeg Sun ran this obituary

Ted Appelman was the surprise winner of the Shootout in Edmonton while Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott defeated China’s Bingyu Wang in the women’s final. Down Brockville way, Richard Hart led his Howardless squad to victory over Kerry Burtnyk, with Marie-France Larouche defeating Eve Belisle in an all-Quebec women’s final. And in Moncton, Terry Odishaw took the Early Bird title over Russ Howard.

Action this weekend takes place in Oslo (with online streaming available through Curlingkanalen), and also in Regina

• Recplex curlers in Corner Brook, NL were awaiting word on their options for 2008-09, and the good news is now in

Glenn Howard, who is out of the lineup as he recovers from hernia surgery, will be inducted into the Midland Sports Hall of Fame

• This bizarre little story in the Leduc Representative tells us a bit about Chinese curling teams training in Canada …

• World champion skip Jennifer Jones has been busy, doing a 2009 Scottie promo-thing in Victoria (click here and here) and she’s on tap for an October KidSport appearance in Swift Current, Sask

• The Stabilizer has a nifty new updated website

• Well, at least Jamie didn’t get hurt

• Stirling had a decent curling turnout the other day …

Heather Rankin’s first zinger is already in the lead for quote of the year

• This B.C. story takes the reader through the icemaker’s tasks in installing arena ice… and we note the ice techs who frequented the late InTheHack have fully migrated over to CurlingZone

Wally is the latest on The Curling Show

Tellurian has a few things to display on curling history …

• Former CCA prez and competitor Jerry Muzika was inducted into the PEI Sports Hall of Fame over the weekend

Whistler Outdoors has this feature on wheelchair curling …

• The wheelchair curling group in Elgin, Scotland is looking for sponsor help

• And finally, the Edzell CC in Angus, Scotland is now online, and christened itself with this memory of their first – and only – Grand Match championship performance …

Posted on

Curling star into surgery today

Three-time world curling champion Glenn Howard arrives at Canada’s reknowned Shouldice Hospital today, and will miss this weekend’s AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic.

He’ll miss the first few weeks of the curling season, too.

Howard has a hernia, and will undergo immediate surgery. He is scheduled to depart Shouldice, which is located in Thornhill, a northern suburb of Toronto, on Sunday.

“It’s a pretty simple procedure, apparently, and I’m optimistic I’ll be back competing within three weeks,” said Howard.

“I could curl right now – it’s pretty sore – but my doctor said it’s not going to get any better (without surgery).”

The 2007 world champion skip (CCA photo above by Michael Burns) first noticed the problem two weeks ago.

“It was something I did at work,” said Howard, who manages two Beer Store operations in Midland, Ontario. “I can’t pinpoint it exactly, but all of a sudden I sat down because I had felt something move down there.

“Gradually this egg starts popping out of my groin.”

Team Howard third Richard Hart will skip the squad as they start their 2008-09 season tonight against Quebec’s Martin Ferland.

“We tried to find a skip, but guys are either already playing this weekend or the weekend is not in their schedule,” said Hart. “So the boys are stuck with me.”

His boys – front enders Brent Laing and Craig Savill – have recruited former world junior champion teammate Andy Ormsby to replace Howard.

Howard’s eye will definitely be on the first three “big” events of the season, as he works on his post-op recovery: The Masters (Nov. 12-16) and National (Dec. 3-7) Grand Slams followed by the later-than-normal Casino Rama Skins Curling Classic (Jan. 10-11).

This is the second injury to hit some of the high(est)-performance competitors this year. As we reported in July, Team Randy Ferbey second stone Scott Pfeifer fractured the fifth metatarsal in his sliding foot, and is recovering from a cast and crutches.

Pfeif, incidentally, has promised to send pictures of said cast – and even an x-ray of his injury – but he is holding out on us. Come now, Pfeif… resistance is futile.

Edmonton skip Brent MacDonald – the older brother of Kevin Koe’s last rocker Blake MacDonald – will spare for Pfeifer tomorrow at western Canada’s WCT opener, the Boston Pizza Shootout.

On another serious note, we hope to see Shorty Jenkins himself make an appearance in Brockville at his namesake tournament. As TCN readers well know, Shorty’s health has taken a turn for the worse in recent months.

Elsewhere:

• Our friends at CurlTV starts their new season of coverage today, live from Edmonton

• There’s more curling this weekend out east, with Sandy Comeau versus Russ Howard at Moncton’s Early Bird Challenge, kicking off today …

• Switzerland’s Mirjam Ott is on an intensive three-week tour of Canada, training in Edmonton before leading up to today’s Shootout, followed by Regina (CUETS Schmirler Curling Classic) and then Vernon, BC (Twin Anchors Houseboat Cashspiel). So is Team China, led by Bingyu Wang, who together with the men’s team skipped by Fengchun Wang basically live in Canada for three or four months each curling season …

• That Vernon spiel also has a strong lineup, and smart guy Dave “Merk” Merklinger has scheduled a marquee Jennifer Jones vs. Bingyu Wang encounter for the Friday night… and with no apologies! On the men’s side we happen to note the rather bizarro men’s lineup of John Morris, Dean Joanisse, Don Walchuk and Steve Petryk

• Congrats to Toronto’s Jason Thomas, who was first out of the blocks in Monday’ TCN Blogcontest… and he also got all four correct! The four curling moments in the new book 100 Greatest Canadian Sports Moments are:

#94: Team Randy Ferbey wins fourth World Championship (2005)
#87: Team Sandra Schmirler wins third World title (1997)
#76: Team Brad Gushue wins men’s Olympic gold in Turin (2006)
#37: Team Sandra Schmirler wins Olympic gold in Nagano (1998)

Jason wins a copy of the book, courtesy of Wiley Publishing and, of course, The Curling News.

Thanks to all who replied via this blog and/or our Facebook page… some other suggestions were Al Hackner’s miracle shot to eventually win the 1985 Brier, and even Boots Labonte’s infamous punt to blow the 1972 world title.

By the way, there’s also a website for the book, where you can read about author James Bisson’s media tour, feedback and you can even vote for your favourites and debate the final choices! Click here… and get your copy today!

• Congrats to Texas Dan on the birth of his first grandchild. Dan is burbling with excitement and to answer his request we hurriedly point him toward a pair of tiny Asham curling shoes (bottom of this page).

What Dan didn’t mention is that the birth went down as he was providing shelter to a bunch of Hurricane Ike refugees… about six or eight of them in his house at once!

Texas Dan: MVG – Most Valuable Grandpa – and an all-round gentleman to boot.

• Here’s a nice feature on the lure of family curling in Pittsburgh, PA …

• And here’s another on the phenomenal Thunder Bay Major League, which signed a new sponsor for 2008-09. The league has seen only one forfeited match in 34 years of top-notch competition, according to veteran Rick Lang

• Corner Brook’s Recplex has finally been sold, meaning the new owners – Memorial University, or MUN – can get on with building a new curling facility …

• Portage La Prairie’s unique hotel/curling club arrangement will take another step forward with a new year-round tavern replacing the club lounge …

Señor Guertez is the latest and greatest at The Curling Show

• A few Winnipeg women, including world champion and TCN columnist Jill Officer, have answered the call for extras in the filming of Throwing Stones, a new CBC-TV pilot …

• U.S. curler Ann Swisshelm is supporting Chicago in the race for the 2016 Summer Olympics. Right on! More on the race for the 2018 Winter Games is located here

• Nova Scotia curling legend Colleen Jones is one of the sport celebs appearing this coming Tuesday, September 23 in Toronto for an “off the record” interactive discussion. Tickets are $25, which includes a beverage and food appetizer, and things get underway around 6:30pm …

• The second stop on the Ontario Junior Curling Tour is this weekend: the 2008 Derek Whitehill Memorial Cashspiel, named for the young curler who died tragically in 2006. Story here and event webportal here

• Hey, what’s going on in the Yukon? The Skookum WCT Cashspiel in Whitehorse now has a $50,000 prize purse …

• Brantford, Ontario has even bigger bucks going into (and coming out of) the SunLife Classic tour stop …

• Saskatchewan curling hero Pat Simmons wants his fifth-straight Brier berth, while provincial rival Joel Jordison has brought in a banger as his new second stone …

Ottawa Sun curling scribe Joe Pavia is back on the beat

Chris Allen is back on the ice in North Carolina, and he’s off to a good start

• And finally, we’ve mentioned the Canadian Curling Association’s symposium series – The Business of Curling – many times before, both online (they’ve got a blog here) and in our print editions (coming next in late October). Well, here is an independent blogview of one such symposium hosted in Northern Ontario earlier this summer.

Every curling club should sign up for this program. It is an essential business tool for your club’s future success and prosperity.

Posted on

Great Canadian Curling Moments

A new book is out, titled 100 Greatest Canadian Sports Moments.

Canadian Press sportswriter James Bisson – who covered his first curling event last March, the Ford World Women’s – assembled a panel of 18 sports experts and has now ranked the top sporting moments in the nation’s history.

The Curling News is pleased to report that four curling occasions made it into the rankings. So how about a little contest amongst keen TCN Blogreaders? Whoever guesses all four curling entries – or closest to all four – wins a copy of this book, courtesy of TCN and Wiley Publishing.

Respond to this contest challenge via the “Comments” feed at the end of the posting, or via a wallpost at the TCN Facebook Group page. Hurry hard!

We caught up with Bisson (in above photo by Erin Kelly) at the official book launch the other night at Wayne Gretzky’s, a fun affair that happened to coincide with 1) the star-studded Toronto International Film Festival and 2) Bisson’s seventh anniversary of employment at Canadian Press.

No sign of Clooney or Pitt, for it was all about James… although ski legend Nancy Greene was on hand, and even made a little speech in support of the book.

TCN: Was Vernon your first job covering curling?

JB (James Bisson): It was definitely the baptism by fire. I had covered curling as part of the Canada Winter Games, but I was covering all the sports too.

TCN: Have you any history with the sport as a participant or a fan?

JB: I played and watched a lot in high school.

TCN: How did you settle on Wiley as your publisher?

JB: I was going over their heap of sports books (Wiley also published last year’s Curling For Dummies reprint and Russ Howard’s Hurry Hard, and they have also launched the newest Weeks effort) and they are sports mad. They’ve been fantastic.

TCN: Did your panel get all four curling events into the book, as we see it? Or did you have to massage the results, or add any yourself?

JB: What you see is how the voting went. I think what you have are voters who are not only curling fans but they understand and appreciate the status of curling within the Canadian sports landscape.

100 Greatest Canadian Sports Moments is available at bookstores, the online gargantuans (here and here), and also directly through the publisher.

You can also read a preview here and another Q&A with the author here.

Watch for James Bisson live on Canada AM tomorrow (Sept. 16) and on Toronto’s CityTV Breakfast Television on Wednesday, the 17th. There’s a full-fledged press tour too, which sees him in Montreal on the 22nd, Calgary on the 23rd and Vancouver (whew!) on the 24th.

And now for your usual TCN Linkfest …

• Here’s a preview on Team Sherry Middaugh

• Team Glenn Howard received another banner over the weekend, and the skipper also says his team is “at the top of our game and there’s no reason it can’t continue,” …

• Comgratulations to our Italian friends on the launch of the new web portal, Curling Italia

• Port Moody is pumped

• DID YOU KNOW: that new curling events and formats are afoot in Northern Ontario? Here’s the scoop, plus this follow-up story out of Thunder Bay …

• Here’s a story on Tejas curling via Galveston, the town which of course just got kicked by Hurricane Ike

• Team Jennifer Jones has extended their partnership with sponsor Monsanto …

• CKDU FM, the campus radio station at Dalhousie University in Halifax, is hosting a Rock n’ Curl fundraiser on September 20 …

• DID YOU KNOW II: that there is another “Shorty” spiel? Meanwhile the somewhat more popular Shorty (Ontario edition) gets underway Thursday evening …

• Scotland’s Ewan MacDonald is back in action this year… but Curling Today already showed us this, remember?

• Speaking of Scotland, did you hear about the lightning strike on the Aberdeen facility? Yikes …

• Newfoundland curling hero Toby McDonald has been invited to join the prestigious but mysterious Governor General’s Curling Club

Fatty Pants went curling in La La Land

• … And so did this LA Kings hockey writer

• The rather infamous Swiss “kiggle-caggle” we first promoted over a year ago is mentioned at the end of this great posting at Curling History

• Ah, the Olympic Dream. So many have it, and now The Patrick dreams big as well …

• And finally, Steve Talley of the Evergreen CC has drafted this wee spreadsheet comparing the sports of curling, bocce and lawn bowling …

Posted on

Curling Politics

There’s a federal election underway in Canada, and the reigning Conservatives are pulling out the stops in portraying Prime Minister Stephen Harper as an Average Guy.

Average Guys, of course, love curling, as the Tories have now pointed out. They have supported said pointout with this YouTube video (screen capture above) of the PM at the 2007 Tim Hortons Brier in Hamilton, an occasion which we mentioned, among with many others (see here, and here and here).

In fact, we’ve always been partial to the PM’s curling pedigree – wethinks our first Harper curling reference was this photo of him posing with the legendary Sam Richardson.

Even the congratulations templates released by the PMO ring true, at least compared to those issued by The Other Guys. For example, compare this congrats note sent to the 2008 world champion Kevin Martin squad to this rather poor effort.

PMO release good, Liberal release lame. Kind of like the overall scenario facing the voters, don’t you agree?

We’re voting blue… aren’t you?

Elsewhere:

• They’re on the ice in Spain today, for the sixth Madrid International Bonspiel. One team making its tournament debut is “Nagano 1998”, the reunited Olympic champions from Switzerland, skipped by Patrick Huerlimann, who will also take in the big football game (Real Madrid vs. Numancia) on Sunday. Among the other 39 teams listed are the “Broomer Penguins”, the “B-52”, team “Vicious and Delicious” and, inevitably, “Priapismus Shuffle” …

• U.S. wheelchair curling skip Augusto Perez is the keynote speaker at Syracuse University tonight

• It’s official: Russ Howard has split with longtime teammate Grant Odishaw, and has reunited with Jimmy “The Kid” Grattan

• Vancouver’s Kent Gilchrist wrote this follow-up piece on the Brazil/USA challenge …

• And finally, calling all Winnipeg female curlers: you are wanted for a TV shoot – the new CBC-TV dramedy Throwing Stones – this Monday, September 15 through Wednesday the 17th. You must have your own gear and be prepared for loooong days. Contact Kari Casting or check out this posting at CurlingZone

Posted on

That Curling Movie Star

Curling’s favourite movie star, Paul Gross, is back.

This time, the Canadian star of Due South and Slings and Arrows and, of course, Men With Brooms is now a WWI soldier, in a grandiose film with elements loosely based on stories told by Gross’ own grandfather. Passchendaele has some MWB echoes, too: instead of the challenges of slippery ice, the filmmaker created a slippery, multi-acre mudbowl on a reserve near Calgary. And PG also repeated his multitasking effort in this new film, once again getting his hands filthy as director, star, co-writer, co-producer, editing watchdog, finance-wrangler, and so on.

TCN honcho George Karrys was recently quoted on Gross’ surprisingly good curling skill-set, while film critic Jay Stone – who accompanied the MWB cast on that wild week-long cross-Canada press tour seven years ago – has a write-up here.

The film kicked off the reknowned Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) last night; info via the Hollywood Reporter and U.S. Daily while the red-carpet photo of Gross (above) comes from Empire Movies.

Meanwhile…

• The curling season is definitely in full swing. Switzerland’s Baden Masters is underway as of this morning, but worries over rising costs of air travel and how this may affect the curling season are already coming home to roost.

Three Canadian teams, including Randy Ferbey, pulled out of the Masters citing cost factors, and one wonders just how difficult a season this will be for many Tour events, in any country.

For example, will world champ Jennifer Jones maintain her committment to fly three hours within Canada and then across the Atlantic ocean to compete in a three-day event in Scotland?

Of course, we hope so. In fact, given that Team Canada is arguably one of the top-funded squads around and has no local playdowns to contest in January, we anticipate so. But we worry nontheless, and if not about the Glynhill, other events across the curling landscape …

• The CUETS Schmirler Classic has a new date this year – this month in fact – and it seems to have paid off …

• DID YOU KNOW: that an access road in Harbour Grace, Newfoundland has a new name? It has been officially renamed “Jamie’s Way” in honour of Jamie Korab, member of Team Gushue, the 2006 Olympic Champions in men’s curling. An August 18 lunchtime doodah saw the local mayor and provincial transportation minister join Korab for the induction …

• DID YOU KNOW II: that Korab’s skip, Brad Gushue, was named by the Telegraph as Newfoundland’s second-greatest athlete of all time… ?

• Seems there may be some potential hardware problems in Iqualuit, leading into this fall’s Canadian Mixed …

• Cynthtic recently gave us an inside peek at BC’s recent Four Foot Curling Camp …

• Here’s a fun video report on the Bay Area CC’s Crushspiel …

• Speaking of fun videos, remember Raj Binder at the 2005 Canadian Olympic Trials? Oh yes, it is a classic

• Manitoba’s latest Sports Hall of Fame inductions include the 1928-29 Brier champion Gordon Hudson squad, plus curling builders Stan Oleson and Reid Lumbard

• Canadian Junior men’s skip William Dion and many other amateur athletes are up for a Quebec award

• Former Gushuer Chris Schille stars at The Curling Show

Glenn Howard is vowing to support his friend and ex-teammate Wayne Middaugh in his upcoming tax fight with the Canadian government …

• Edmonton’s Mark Johnson is off the United States

• Manitoba curling has unveiled its new administrators, here and here

• Globetrotting curling coach Dick Henderson is back on the ice, and in his hometown …

How’s this for a celebrity curling team? Yourself and none other than Kerry Burtnyk, Jeff Stoughton and Vic Peters?

• Speaking of, Peters will not attempt to defend his provincial Seniors title; seems he’s having too much fun beating up on younger competitors …

• And finally, we’ve told you about the Australian men’s team and their effective use of Microsoft Office Live software. The story is out again, courtesy of MarketWatch, but the latest is this muy cool video showing them using the tool in action …