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Vol. 59 Issue 4: February 2016

  • I CAN SWEEP LIKE A PRO… AND I AM RUINING CURLING

    Our explosive exposé of what is going on with brushing these days – DIGITAL EDITION FEAT. EXCLUSIVE VIDEO

  • TOURNAMENT OF HEARTS PREVIEW

    Your first look at the 2016 STOH field and how it will play out – DIGITAL EDITION EXCLUSIVE (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • CURLING TV/WEB GUIDE

    You won’t believe the amount of stuff to watch in February, and only we have the most in-depth and accurate listings – DIGITAL EDITION FEAT. EXPANDED LISTINGS (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • YES, I AM STILL CURLING

    Randy Ferbey returns with an explanation of his increasing profile

  • YES, I ROAD-TRIPPED WITH THE FERB

    On the highways and air lanes with a living legend of curling – DIGITAL EDITION EXCLUSIVE (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • MID-SEASON MAYHEM

    Our “Club Corner” column returns to help your facility troubleshoot the second half of the curling season

  • KIRK BEATS PICARD (AND THE GORN)

    The man behind the popular CurlingGeek empire – DIGITAL EDITION FEAT. SCREENSHOT GALLERY (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • NO MORE COLD, EMPTY BUILDINGS

    Well, that didn’t last very long. Our international specialist is grumpy again, and the WCF needs to make up its Euro-mind once and for all

  • BITING OURSELVES IN THE STONES

    Warren Hansen says curling’s hazy approach to rules makes the sport less deserving of respect

  • GUYS IN SPEEDOS, GIRLS IN BIKINIS?

    Things got crazy in Las Vegas, and our own Terry Jones was there – DIGITAL EDITION FEAT. IMAGE GALLERY PLUS VIDEO (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • THE CURLING NEWS GOLD TRAIL

    Only The Curling News tracks every dollar won in the sport, regardless of event affiliation… and the money winnings are redonkulous – DIGITAL EDITION FEAT. EXPANDED TOTALS (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • WORLD WHEELCHAIR CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW

    Wheels columnist Chris Daw on a mostly unpredictable global shootout – DIGITAL EDITION FEAT. IMAGE GALLERY (SUBSCRIBERS ONLY)

  • TWENTY-FIFTH ANNIVERSARY EVENT

    The “Spinal Tap” turns 25 and will pass the 600K mark in charity funds raised

  • CATCH THE SPIRIT

    The 2016 Spirit of Curling Calendar raises funds for charities, and curling communities too

  • And more… subscribe today!

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Vol. 59 Issue 3: January 2016

  • OLYMPICS 2018: A LOOK AHEAD

    Our Hall-Of-Fame columnist Terry Jones studies the potential Canadian Olympic hopefuls for PyeongChang – INCLUDES DIGITAL PHOTO GALLERY

  • GONE DIGITAL

    As you know, every issue of The Curling News is now enhanced and expanded online with more pages of exclusive, interactive curling content – but you must subscribe to get it all

  • CURLING TV/WEB GUIDE

    You won’t believe the amount of stuff to watch in January, and only we have the most in-depth and accurate listings – EXPANDED FOR DIGITAL EDITION

  • CHASING GOWSELL II

    We finally tracked the legend down as he reunited his world junior squad on the ice, 40 years later – INCLUDES EXCLUSIVE ONLINE “2015 PIZZA DELIVERY” VIDEO

  • THE ART OF TANKING

    Veteran Jim Corrigan on the rarely discussed choice to lose a game

  • WARREN HANSEN’S SOLUTION

    Our new/returning columnist outlines how he would save the Brier and STOH

  • DIGITAL SPECIAL: SASKY SLAMMING

    “On The Road” contributor Guy Scholz meets with the athletes, behind-the-scenes at the Saskatchewan Slam – INCLUDES DIGITAL PHOTO GALLERY

  • GOLD TRAIL RANKINGS

    Only The Curling News tracks every dollar won in the sport, regardless of event affiliation

  • COLIN HODGSON RETURNS

    The popular lead man for Team Reid Carruthers dishes on his squad’s off-ice support staff

  • A LONELY CURLING QUEST

    “Curling In America” correspondent Matt Sussman says we should all be preaching to prospective curlers

  • ATLANTIC TEAMS ROCK

    Eastern squads swept the honours at Canada’s Curling Club Championship

  • CURLING’S NEW STATISTIC

    Our resident mathman Andrew Denny explains “Total Miss Value”

  • CATCH THE SPIRIT

    The 2016 Spirit of Curling Calendar raises funds for charities, and curling communities too

  • And more… subscribe today!

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Vol. 59 Issue 2: December 2015

  • TCN_Dec2015_COVER_HRTROUBLE BREWING FOR TOP EVENTS?

    When our new/returning columnist Warren Hansen speaks, people listen – WITH ARCHIVED SPECIAL IN THE DIGITAL EDITION

  • MO’ BRUSH MADNESS

    Three updates and opinions from Rodger Schmidt, Lori Eddy and a DIGITAL EDITION SPECIAL – with exclusive video – from Matt Brouwer

  • CURLING TV/WEB GUIDE – DEC/JAN

    Our subscribers get the most in-depth and accurate curling event viewer listings

  • PHOTO CONTEST TIME

    Take a photo of yourself with The Curling News and win a prize pack – bonus marks for unusual locations!

  • WELCOME BACK SKINS FANS

    TSN is back with top-notch curling in beautiful Banff – and The Curling News has the exclusive

  • NO PIPES, BRUSHES NOR NUNAVUT

    If award-winning columnist Terry Jones was the curling boss, here’s what he would do

  • DREAMWALK THROUGH THE MIXED

    Columnist Andrew Denny donned a championship jacket… and it was majestic – DIGITAL EDITION LAUNCHES IMAGE GALLERY

  • CHASING GOWSELL IN B.C.

    Sam Corea went hunting for Paul Gowsell and found a 60th anniversary superspiel – DIGITAL EDITION LAUNCHES IMAGE GALLERY

  • GOLD TRAIL 2016

    Only The Curling News tracks every dollar won across the entire sport

  • CURLING IS A BUSINESS – EXPENSE IT

    Mark Inglis with another must-read Club Corner column

  • CURLING CRIME

    The world’s first “curling crime” comic appears here in a world exclusive – DIGITAL EDITION LAUNCHES PART TWO

  • WHEELCHAIR WOWZERS

    Scotland and Sweden are out of the wheelchair worlds and Chris Daw has the details

  • SHOULD HAVE STAYED IN BED

    Concussion protocols are desperately needed as Brad Gushue admits he should not have returned

  • GUY RICHIE?

    On The Road columnist Guy Scholz spends time with CFL football legend Richie Hall and yes, he knows his curling – DIGITAL EDITION SPECIAL

  • EVEREST-FERBEY PRO AM

    Win a chance to attend the Canadian Seniors AND curl with superstars like Randy Ferbey!

  • And more… subscribe today!

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Help Stefanie battle Lyme disease

Stefanie Clark (centre) on the 2011 STOH job
Stefanie Clark (centre) on the job at the STOH

Lyme disease is increasing throughout the northern hemisphere. Canada reported 500 cases of it in 2014, but the expectation is that 10,000 Canadians will be infected annually by 2020. It is difficult to diagnose, which only adds to the problem, and there is pressure on governments to acknowledge that they are lagging behind in modern diagnosis and treatment programs.

Pop singer Avril Lavigne revealed her struggles with the disease earlier this year. We are here to reveal the name of another who suffers from this disease, this time from the curling world, and we are inviting you to help her out.

Stefanie Clark has won numerous Prince Edward Island championships in her career, and captured a world junior title for Canada with skip Suzanne Birt back in 2001. She has also given back to the sport numerous times, by travelling to celebrity/charity bonspiels or guiding some 600 students and teachers to experience a national championship.

Sadly, Stefanie cannot compete in curling anymore, because Lyme disease has knocked the stuffing out of her. “I wish I could play,” Stefanie told The Curling News. “It is just too hard on me. Last year, after a weekend of curling, I was done for 12 days afterward.”

While she’s determined to make her life better, Stefanie is facing a five-week treatment plan that will cost her and her family upwards of $50,000 because no government agency will help.

Guess who will? Stefanie’s supporters. They have created an online auction using Facebook, located here, where people can bid on more than 75 items and all revenues will be directed to offsetting Stefanie’s treatment.

What do you say, curling world? Will you help one of your own?

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Stephen Colbert capitulates, covers broomgate

I'm with Gerry Geurts here!
I’m with Gerry Geurts here!

We at The Curling News are casual fans of Stephen Colbert‘s new late-night U.S. TV talk show. The veteran host recently took over from David Letterman and is finally portraying himself, and it turns out he is, in fact, oddly warped… something we first suspected from his previous right-wing political persona.

So when Colbert broke down and accepted his writing room’s determination to do something on the never-ending saga of #broomgate #brushgate #broomhaha #brushapalooza #doomandbroom misery – no doubt this past week’s New York Times feature was the last straw – we were optimistic that Colbert and his talented team would deliver.

The verdict? Meh.

In our opinion, the stampede to cliché humour was simply too much… typical, in fact, of U.S. attempts dating back to the late 1990s and early 2000s. That’s right, Stephen, your troops brought old-school corn husks to this here modern comedic battlefield.

We did appreciate the effort, however. And we rather enjoyed, in no particular order:

• The rip on everyone, including Canadian media

• Fish Soccer

• The wireless-controlled curling stone (and backstage hand)

• The shoutout to Gerry Geurts (correct spelling). Stephen is with you, Gerry…

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Vol. 59 Issue 1: November 2015

  • BROOMAPALOOZA IS BONKERS

    A full-blown brushing crisis sweeps the curling world WITH DIGITAL EDITION NEWS UPDATES

  • GOODBYE WARREN

    Terry Jones says the forced dismissal of a longtime exec is a bad, bad move

  • CURLING TV/WEB GUIDE – NOV/DEC

    Our subscribers get the most in-depth and accurate curling event viewer listings

  • I CURLED WITH FRANKENBRUSH

    New columnist Greg Roberson witnessed the Black Brush of Death – DIGITAL EDITION EXCLUSIVE

  • EXCLUSIVE – FIRST TOUR EVENT IN CHINA

    The Curling News gets the scoop on a new event in Shanghai, China

  • KILIMANJARO VS EVEREST

    Cheryl Bernard conquered a summit nearly 10 years after a previous TCN columnist DIGITAL EDITION LAUNCHES VIDEO/STORY

  • A NEW CURLING ANALYTICS MODEL

    New columnist Andrew Denny puts his baseball/statistics prowess to work

  • GOLD TRAIL TIMES TWO

    Current rankings plus the 2014-15 season totals – and you won’t believe your eyes

  • ALL RISE FOR MIXED DOUBLES

    The IOC decision and Canada’s first cashspiel
    DIGITAL EDITION LAUNCHES PHOTO GALLERY

  • SUMMER CURLING INSANITY

    Matt Brouwer in shorts… and a Hawaiian shirt

  • CURLERS IN RESIDENCE

    New columnist Stephanie LeDrew dissects the revamped residency rules

  • RELEGATION OUT

    Fred Rinne on why will it take three years to repeal the hated format change

  • CLUB CORNER

    Mark Inglis is tired of telling you that CURLING IS A BUSINESS

  • CURLING IN AMERICA

    A look inside the amazing facility in Blaine, Minnesota

  • BREAKING NEWS: RODGER IS HAPPY

    International specialist Rodger Schmidt is angry at… nothing

  • And more… subscribe today!

     

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The Spirit of Curling 2016

Awesome fundraising tool for curling facilities

This thing is awesome!
This thing is awesome!

As today’s Curling Canada news release details, the 2016 edition of The Spirit of Curling wall calendar is now on sale, and two groups will benefit: 1) the next generation of curlers and 2) Canada’s curling centres.

A portion of the proceeds goes to the Curling Canada Foundation — the philanthropic program that benefits young curlers and curling centres across the country.
“We were thrilled with the response last year, because the money played a significant role in continuing to build our sport across Canada,” said Rachael Wilson, Director, Fund Development for Curling Canada. “It’s a beautiful calendar, and it reminds us of why we fell in love with the Roaring Game, and why it’s so important to get young people involved.”
Printed on high-quality glossy stock, the calendar displays images of Canada’s top curling athletes as well as everyday grassroots participants. Specific themes include the unique attraction of outdoor curling, Canada’s success at the world junior championships and even Rocks & Rings, the elementary school curling program.

The Spirit of Curling also contains a full events guide showing Curling Canada’s national championship events and, in fact, additional curling events from around the world. The listings ar colour-coded signifying men’s, women’s, mixed and open events, making this a true curling calendar.

The calendars are now available for purchase at thespiritofcurling.com at a cost of $20 each plus taxes, shipping and handling. Orders will start shipping later this month, making it a perfect holiday gift idea.

But that’s not all.
“The Spirit of Curling calendar is also available to curling centres as a fundraising tool,” said Rick Warner, CEO of project partner The Community Fundraiser. “Curling centres get a special price and get to keep a portion of sales for their own use, be it infrastructure costs, junior curling programs or anything else that requires funding.”
The Community Fundraiser and The Curling News have now produced curling-themed wall calendars dating back to 2009, covering the Women of Curling era, the ultra-successful Men of Curling product of 2014 and last year’s Spirit of Curling effort.
[Click on image to increase viewing size]
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2015-16 Season Underway

Hi there! After a lengthy blog vacation, The Curling News is back.

Agree? Or not? See link for all 15!
Agree? Or not? Click the link for all 15!

The traditional winter curling season is underway – in fact it’s already week five or six (depending on interpretation) on the World Curling Tour. As such, we’ve updated our popular Top 15 feature, which you can check out via “TCN TOP 15” on our homepage.

All summer we have kept you abreast of curling news and info (plus memes and mockery) through our extremely popular social media feeds. If you don’t “Like” or “Follow” you are missing out, so be sure to join the fun here on Twitter and here on Facebook.

Advertisers are signing on and subscriptions are pouring in… and that means the first print and digital edition of The Curling News’ 2015-16 season is just around the corner. Be sure to renew or purchase your subscription – or gift subscription – via this page and we suggest you do so quickly, as you don’t want to miss a single issue of our amazing 59th year of publishing.

Nice form, girl!
Nice form, girl!

Yes, it’s remarkable but true… we published our first issue back in 1957. When curling looked like – this!

(Chicago Tribune photo at left, 1957)

One last piece of advice… our most recent issue (April) is still available online, via our homepage, and it is open to all eager eyeballs.

Simply click on the “April DIGITAL ISSUE” promo and presto, you will embark on a voyage of no less than 29 pages (!) revealing hundreds of links to associated videos, photo galleries and webpages.

It’s a digital media playground for curling fans, and only our subscribers get access to all six of these mammoth bonuses each season. So again, we invite you to visit our SUBSCRIBE page.

Stand by folks… The Roaring Game is back, and so is The Curling News!

[Click on images to increase viewing size]

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2015 Worlds: Did Ping-Pong rocks squish Canada?

A three-timage sequence showing the attempted "Squish"
A three-image sequence on the attempted “Squish”

[Click on image sequence to increase viewing size]

Exciting stuff at the world men’s championship in Halifax.

USA, skipped by John Shuster, scored their first winning record (6-5) since Pete Fenson went 8-3 back at Cortina D’Ampezzo, Italy, in 2010, but lost in a playoff tiebreaker to colourful Finland. Then, Norway beat Canada for the second time this week, pushing The Pants into Sunday’s final for the second year in a row and dropping Canada down to tonight’s semifinal, where they will lock horns with the winner of Finland versus Sweden.

Earlier this week, guest blogstar Dean Gemmell was in Halifax… and he mentioned something called The Squish.

Here’s another reference to The Squish, and it comes from last night’s NOR vs CAN page playoff tilt. In the 10th end, CAN skip Pat Simmons tried a tricky hit for two that involved “squishing” the first of two red stones in the combo at left (see image sequence) into the back of the rings, for two points and the win. A single point would score only the tie.

As we all know, the shooter stuck for the tying point but that elusive second red point squished through the back of the house and out of play. It wasn’t even close, actually, and Norway went on to score their winning point in the extra end.

Would that elusive “squished” stone have stuck around in the back if Simmons had struck the first stone off centre, and rolled his shooter across (but not out) of the rings?

Here’s another question: Are the rocks these athletes are throwing and sweeping any different than stones from the past – even the near past – and would those old-school curling stones have reacted differently, as per the wishes of Team Canada?

Ask around, and you might find some past legends of the game who might say something between “maybe” and “definitely.”

We recall a lengthy, three-part interview series we published with the legendary Ed Werenich back in 2009 (Feb/Mar/April issues, Vol. 52, Issues 4/5/6). Eddie was lamenting recent differences in curling stone quality, pointing to what he believed are unnatural stone tendencies these days, which includes takeout results… and said The Wrench:

I would like to see them get rid of the magic mushroom rocks that go down the sheet and break four feet from the hogline in. It takes a person that can read ice and then call ice… it takes that stuff right out of the game. It’s just too easy, with the sweeping instruments of today, to flop one around.

We gotta get rid of the inserts and the sandpaper to get back to the way where the rocks curled on a consistent basis all the way down. Because of the rocks it’s too easy to make double, triple peels. The rocks are like ping-pong balls. I see five or six rocks in motion from throwing just one shot. We always used to talk about the quality of the granite.

So there you go. Did these “magic mushroom” or “ping-pong ball” curling stones befuddle Team Canada’s attempt to win the 1 vs 2 playoff game?

[Image sequence from WCTV coverage – click here to watch the video highlight at the 2:05 mark]

 

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2015 Worlds: Nordic efficiency

Niklas Edin: On a roll
Niklas Edin: On a roll

By Dean Gemmell

HALIFAX – So it was a Canada-free afternoon draw in Halifax. At least on the ice. Considering the fact that Canada had a bye, there was a reasonable crowd. Lots of students of the game in the seats watching the Finns, Czechs, Scots et al. Watching a bit silently, I’m afraid, but intently.

I think the number of teams that record games on video is fewer than those who don’t. I’m not saying this to be pro or con. But I wonder about all those hours of video. Do they end up like so many family camcorder videos, buried on hard drives and left unwatched? It seems to me that it might be helpful if you were simply clicking record at key moments to review later. But even the fastest fast-forward might not be enough to get teams through to the key points of a game they already played. I don’t see the Curling Canada stuff running a camera. Nor Canada’s Bob Ursel, the coach of the Russian men. The the Swiss and the Scots aren’t videographers either (that’s not a particularly scientific survey but it’s what I saw from the bench this game).
[Actually, Scotland always records their matches; one must sometimes look way high up in the rafters to find them! –Ed.]
Sweden and Niklas Edin seem to be getting into a groove and dispatched Japan with Nordic efficiency. I caught up with Edin, his Swedish teammates and coach Freddy Lindberg — alarming when coaches are decades younger than me — for a bit in the Patch last night. Shouting over the band, they told me they were pleased with how things are coming together in their first year together. Reasonable assessment, I would say.
I feel like the whole tournament was on the line for the young Swiss team in their match against Scotland. The Scots and Ewen MacDonald had a couple of chances to win the game in regulation, including a draw to the side of the lid on his last in 10, but couldn’t close the deal until Pfister missed his draw for the win in the extra. Winning would have kept them believing they can get into the playoffs and make some noise. Losing means they’ll probably still be thinking they can — but maybe not really believing it. That’s the head space in curling.
After a fast start, Joel Retornaz of Italy has pulled a Simmons/Morris and left the rings. Amos Mosaner called the game and threw last rocks, after the team started the event Ferbey Four-style. Mosaner skipped as a junior so it’s not a big adjustment. Retornaz threw second and held the stick on skip rocks in their win over the Czech Republic.
Speaking of the Czechs, I’m sensing they’ve hit a plateau. A game away from the Olympics in Füssen and I expected more improvement after playing them in Basel in 2012. They seem stuck at the moment.
I could tell you about Russia-Finland but I have to admit I largely ignored it. Nothing against them. Just the far sheet and I don’t have enough focus to watch every game. I’ll just mention, again, that there’s a lot of hair on that Finnish team.
[Curling Canada/WCF photo by Michael Burns – click on image to increase viewing size]