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Curling casting call: postscript I

The call went out right here, on The Curling News Blog, last Wednesday.

It was a curling casting call, you may recall, for the Calgary area, seeking curlers with various retro-outfits and equipment for a TV featurette on The Roaring Game.

Calls also went out to the Southern Alberta Curling Association and even the Kevin Koe men’s team, who of course showed off their own retro look last season.

The Crowsnest Films shoot featured Winnipeg’s Jennifer Jones along with the local hired help, and today’s feature in the High-River Times tells more of the tale.

And we’ll have even more – including exclusive behind-the-scenes visuals – in the weeks to come, right here at The Curling News Blog!

[High-River Times photo by Alyssa Burnham]

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Calgary curling casting call

Remember this TV ad? Of course you do. Looks like it would be fun to film, right?
Well, today we can announce a new Calgary curling casting call. For Jennifer Jones… and for you!

Crowsnest Films of Calgary is shooting a series of short films for Bravo Television in advance of the 2010 Olympic Winter Games.

Curlers are wanted, and needed, for a TV shoot taking place this coming Saturday, October 3, just a few kilometres outside of Calgary.

Interested people have to be prepared for a possible 8-10 hour day where they can watch the entire process, get fed, support Jennifer and be on camera as an essential part of the story!

They are looking for the following:

• 8 men (under 60, over 18)
• 8 women (under 60, over 18)
• 4 senior men (over 60)
• 4 senior women (over 60)

Vintage curling sweaters, plaid coats, team jackets circa 1950s thru 1970s would be appreciated. Old corn brooms would be a welcome accessory as would patches, pins or serious tams!

Interested parties can contact Jessica at 403-966-1027 and via email at jcopple@gmail.com. Please indicate which category you would fit into and you will be contacted as to where and when you will be needed!

So what are you waiting for?

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NZ Winter Games

The New Zealand Winter Games are underway today through August 30, with multiple nations from the Pacific region – plus a few others – competing in this new international sport competition.

The inclusion of curling – plus the proximity to February’s upcoming Olympic Winter Games– makes this of interest.

Five days of live curling competition – with three draws a day – will be broadcast on Sky Television in New Zealand. And Kiwi curler (by way of Canada) Hans Frauenlob has been tabbed for colour commentary duties.

“By my reckoning that’s 28 hours of live curling,” Frauenlob told The Curling News. “I’m going to need throat lozenges.”

Incidentally, Frauenlob received his “Olympic Number” this year, along with his teammates from New Zealand’s 2006 Olympic curling squad. These stories (here and here) explain the program, in which Kiwi Olympians are “numbered” according to the first Olympic Games in which they competed, and alphabetically within that team, and receive a ring commemorating their achievement.

Frauenlob is number 986.

On the ice, powerhouse women’s teams include defending world champions China, skipped by Bingyu Wang and 2007 world semifinalists Japan, skipped by Moe Meguro. They are challenged by teams from New Zealand (Bridget Becker), Australia (Kim Forge) and Korea (Min-A Park).

On the men’s side, Japan’s youthful Yusuke Morozumi is one to watch, as is 21-year-old U.S. skip Jerod Roland, who has been named captain of the entire U.S. team. China’s Fengchun Wang is a definite gold-medal threat, while Korea is represented by Min-Chan Kim, Australia is helmed by veteran Hugh Millikin, and Karel Kubeska’s Czech Republic is there, too.

Two other men’s teams of note: Canada is represented by Calgary’s Cliff Butchko, who commands a team of forty-somethings from the Huntington Hills Curling Club. It’s the first international appearance for the squad, which has been described as a decent Superleague foursome. We’ll watch these rookies with interest!

[UPDATED: a story on the Canadians has just been posted here]

Finally, the host team is skipped by Dan Mustapic, another expat Canadian and a former teammate of longtime national team skip Sean Becker, who was rejected for the Games by a selection panel earlier this month. You can read all about that controversial decision here.

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Brier: Blog Babes say Buh-Bye

by Margo Weber and Dalene Heck

[Margo says:]

Buh-Bye.

When my old friend gk contacted me to see if I’d be interested in blogging it up at the Brier, I was, like, ‘Hells Yeah!’ A whole week at the Saddledome goofing aroundand showering the curling world with my crazy opinions?! Alas, reality hits. I have a couple of young ones at home and this was not possible. Enter my good friend Dalene Heckwho has been nothing short of fantastic. Definitely the Brier Media Rookie of the Year! I’ll never forget Crotch Cam, Stalkergate or the crazy games we played with our new media friends.I have managed to go to a few games, hit the Patch in style (Oh my GAWD) and send in a post now and then. I’ve met people from across the country, reconnected with old friends, ate too many chicken fingers and had way too much to drink.

gk, hope we didn’t trash up your site too much. You kinda asked for it. xoxo

[Dalene says:]

Peace. Out!

And there you have it. Despite a final substitution when Jeff Stoughton ousted Glenn Howard in Saturday’s semi-final, the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier ended as many suspected it would – with a dominating win by Alberta’s Kevin Martin. What a thrill to be at the Saddledome and watch Martin’s foursome earn their second consecutive Brier, and in front of an excited hometown crowd!

A few weeks ago, if you would have asked me what I’d be doing the week of the Brier, I would have said that I’d be catching most of the games on TV while lounging in my giant-baby-one-piece-footed-pink-camouflage-fleece-pajamas. I never would have expected to meet so many great people (including a new BFF!), take so many pictures of crotches, become a stalker, become a stalkee, do an interview in the CBC Radio studios or help pick the All-Star team.

It’s been an incredibly fun week, that ended with a weekend of exciting curling moments. While I am sad to see it all come to an end, there are many things that I am looking forward to: sleep, spending time with hubby and the kitties, detoxification, sleep, reintroducing vegetables to my diet as a replacement for pocket dawgs, sleep, catching up on all my recorded TV shows, getting back on the treadmill, and sssssllllleeeeeppppp!

Thanks to everyone who helped make this experience what it was, especially my hawt partner in crime, Margo Weber! And to our hubbies for putting up with it all (XOXO).

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Brier: I say Johnny, you say Mo

by Dalene Heck

CALGARY – I say Johnny, you say Mo!

Johnny!

Mo!

Johnny!

Mo!

What a crowd!

Given the complete blowout that was the final game, I’m happy to say that I stuck it out and watched Alberta’s Kevin Martin, John Morris, Marc Kennedy and Ben Hebert get to enjoy their historic Brier victory with such amazing hometown support.

And let’s give a big Hells Yeah to Jeff Stoughton and his Manitoba foursome for the class act that they were in that final game. Jeff’s token spin-o-rama gave the fans one more chance to stand on their feet and salute their tremendous efforts at the end of this week.

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Brier: Sorry, Jeff

by Dalene Heck

CALGARY – Game time, and time for my final pre-game blogpost of the 2009 Tim Hortons Brier.

Jim Brown of the Calgary Eyeopener asked me on Friday morning if I thought it was possible for any team to knock Alberta off of their record setting performance. At the time, even when there were still four other exceptional teams in the mix, I confidently answered in the negative. Kevin + John + Marc + Benny = Unbelievably Unbeatable.

My tune has not changed. Martin has won his last six matchups against Stoughton, and that winning streak isn’t going to end here either.

Since my interview on Friday, Alberta squeaked out another one from Ontario, placing them directly in the final. While they only won the 1 vs 2 game by an inch on Kevin’s final draw, I truly believe that in today’s final, they will find a way to again be on the right side of that inch. They will continue doing what they have done for the past 25 games – they will always find a way to win.

This is unfortunate for Manitoba’s Jeff Stoughton, who has hit his stride in the last three games. After running the house on Quebec in the tiebreaker, Stoughton continued his own winning streak with wins over Newfoundland and then Ontario to place the Bisons in today’s final.

While these games were largely won on the strength of Stoughton’s red hot shooting (three missed semifinal draws aside!) he was also afforded many an opportunity by his opponents. Brad Gushue’s Newfoundland foursome took too long to get their heads in the game and Glenn Howard curled his worst game of the tournament.

These sorts of opportunities will not be loosely offered up by team Alberta, if at all. Where Stoughton and third Kevin Park have been streaky in their game performances, Alberta has been extremely consistent with nary a blemish to their record. If the Martin foursome let the Brier Tankard slip out of their hands due to a less than stellar performance, it will be nothing short of a catastrophic upset.

Jeff, thanks for making the playoffs exciting after a relatively dull week of curling. Sorry that you won’t be able to see it through.

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Brier: KPark and KMart

by Margo Weber

CALGARY – Colour me completely surprised when I realized that Glenn Howard was not going to win that semifinal game. Who gets a four-ender in the Brier semifinal? Jeffy S – that’s who.

So now we have ex-teammies Kevin Martin and Kevin Park squaring off in the oddest final since G. Howard versus Jean-Michel Ménard in 2006.

This was not supposed to happen.

There will be a slashing today. The question is, how long will it take.

Manitoba will not leave empty handed tonight, however. The Olympic Trials (CTRS) qualifying points alone will majorly help Park and Manitoba skipper Jeff Stoughton in his bid to make the final eight in Edmonton this fall.

Maybe we should get our Pros Pick ’Em segment rolling again. Will anyone take odds on Manitoba?

I know what you’re thinking… how can she be so sure Kevin Martin is going to walk away Brier Champion again?

This is how I know.

Two words. Marc Kennedy.

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Brier: Stoughty shot/blogshots

Nice shaaaawwwt from Manitoba skip Jeff Stoughton yesterday in the Page 3-4 game versus Newfoundland’s Brad Gushue, as described here.

And now we present the TSN montage complete with explanatory arrows, above. Graphic by Anil Mungal.

Compare with Glenn Howard’s shot earlier this week, located here.

Of course, you can also compare in real video, with Howard’s shot here and Stoughton’s here.

Fun fact: did you know that Stoughton is the author of a Brier blog on the CBC website?

Um, not in Calgary, but last year in Winnipeg. It includes headers like “The good, the bad, the ugly and the OK” and even the word “debacle” to explain last year’s disappointing finale.

Speaking of disappointing finales, many will be sad to miss the third installment of Alberta versus Ontario. But for Manitoba fans, a big day from their diminutive skip – and their, er, Alberta import – could give them one heckuva year to cheer, following Canadian titles from Kaitlyn Lawes in the Juniors (world finale underway this morning) and Jennifer Jones at the Scotties.

But be warned, Bison fans. Stoughton is no longer taking on The Bear. The Alberta skip has now morphed into… The Gorilla

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Brier: Media scrumming

CALGARY – In this Facebook photo snapped by New Brunswick fan Rebecca Tremblay, we can see the Brier media scrum which followed the epic Glenn Howard versus Russ Howard (and Steve Howard) battle on Tuesday. Click to zoom in (a little).

A gaggle of major curling poobahs are indicated by number. Plus the key on-ice protagonists.

At number eight is the shoo-in for Brier Media Rookie of The Year – if they had such an award – Dalene Heck of The Curling News.