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Angry Andrea wins fascinating worlds

And on the ninth day, Coach Rainer rested. Zzzzzz.

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. – Oh Andrea. What are we to do about you?

The CCA/Michael Burns photo at left shows all the medallists who made the 2010 Ford World Curling Championship such a smashing success (click image to increase size). In summary:

• Canada’s Jennifer Jones fought off more playoff disappointment to reach out and grab the bronze medal which eluded her last year, and had some choice words for the media along the way (video here). As one Winnipeg Free Press headline writer noted, JJ wants some R-E-S-P-E-C-T, people.

• Scotland’s Lady Eve Muirhead is more than the curling “it” girl right now: she’s a talented shooter and leader, and will no doubt have her choice of domestic (non-Olympic) teammates for many years to come. One only hopes she doesn’t get too distracted by golf – another sport in which she excels – and chooses to continue testing her curling skills at the highest level.

• There were non-podium stars, too. Latvia made their first appearance, won their first game, and inspired the TSN TV guys to build a wonderful video highlight. Norway’s Linn Githmark wore more crazy pants, shook her thang and captured hearts, as this local blat clearly states. The Swedish girls, who finished fourth, look like an exciting young generation that is basically right here, right now.

And now for the new champions, Germany, and their skip.

Norway's Linn Githmark (NOT Schoepp!)

Andrea Schoepp has had quite the curling season, winning European and now World gold like she did some 22 years ago, back when she was new to the scene and did a fine job of shaking up the staid, reserved world of women’s curling.

Canada’s Marilyn Darte (Bodogh) had first shaken things up a couple of years earlier, in 1986, but she and her gang of gorgeous, kilted ice maidens would soon be ousted in the determination department by this young German.

And she hasn’t changed much. Schoepp glowers. She glares. She growls. She stomps and berates. Her sweeping calls sound like a bobcat meeting a buzz saw.

She’s been kicked out of curling, by her own national federation (for disobedience, as we recall) and had to miss the 2002 Olympics and worlds. After a couple of years away she then returned, declaring her love for the sport and her new attitude, which focuses on fun.


It was definitely Angry Andrea, the fiery competitor, who showed up in Swift Current after going 3-6 at the Olympics… which, by the way, is an event she would rather not compete in at all. As we noted in the supercharged post-Olympic March issue of The Curling News, Schoepp gave an interview to Germany’s ZDF before Vancouver 2010 that had many shaking their heads. In this rough translation, she said things like:

I wouldn’t mind if all this crap were cancelled… The Olympics are just annoying… I feel zero excitement.

Scotland's Lady Eve (STILL not Schoepp!)

As TV viewers couldn’t help but notice, Schoepp exploded at her team, which features 17-year-old Stella Heiss, rotating lead Corinne Scholz, Canadian-born Melanie Robillard and, of course, “Moni”, the long-suffering Monika Wagner who has been with her skipper through some 17 years of Schoeppdom. The eruption took place after the skip’s last shot of the game, which unfortunately settled into an auto-freeze position, basically turning a guaranteed stolen victory into a combination-runback for Scotland to score one, and force an extra end.

Schoepp continued berating her team until coach and brother Rainer Schoepp – who teamed with his sister and Robillard to win European Mixed gold two years ago – came out and calmed her down. Schoepp reportedly apologized to her teammates, and did so again after throwing her winning shot some 20 minutes later. In fact, Schoepp apologized repeatedly amid the victory hugs.

Schoepp is an enigma. It’s easy to see how it would be a challenge to compete with her, just as much as to compete against her. But Schoepp is also funny and witty. She has a great smile, although she doesn’t share it on the ice. She gives great media quotes about an apparent love/hate relationship with her sport, expressing exasperation that she needs to go out and recruit young girls to try curling and then mould them – almost immediately – into teammates for world play.

Here’s another media zinger from this past week, which was hinted at in that ZDF story above:

I wasn’t looking forward to the Olympics, but the whole season I was looking forward to this event. I know I’m not normal and maybe a little bit crazy and different, but that’s the way I’m feeling.

This event you play just for you. You are the main sport, you are the people where everything is all about (you). The Olympics, as a curler, you are kind of in the background.

However, her 10th end meltdown was enough to send Canadian curling fans into a tizzy, as the Comments section below this online story indicates.

Here she is, Andrea Schoepp. Golden again!

Schoepp definitely struck gold this season, in terms of her teammates. Heiss doesn’t have much experience, but is well-trained in what her skip expects from lead stone. She ranked dead last for leads dueing the round robin, but stepped it up for the playoffs. The addition of Scholz this season was a great move, as she is a priceless curling gem in Germany: a hard-working curling talent who attended WCF camps for years, on her own, in order to improve her game. Schoepp didn’t recruit her: curling did.

The real key was Robillard. The Canadian who actually lives in Belgium and is now reportedly moving to Spain first replaced Wagner at third stone near the tail end of last year’s worlds in Korea… and the results have been spectacular. Wagner’s game as a third had fallen off in recent years, and she replied to the change with stellar play at her new front-end position. Robillard simply offers more to Schoepp as a third shooter, and then sweeps skip stones.

It was a strange final. After playing so well to convincingly beat Canada earlier in the playoffs, both Schoepp and Muirhead – and their teammates – struggled. In the end, the winning skip fired a 67 per cent shooting average, compared to the loser’s 77 per cent.

So many questions. If Schoepp were  male, would people be so quick to judge her temper, her judgement, her intensity? Hey, we’re just asking.

Here’s a quick quote from Robillard, after the victory: “She (Schoepp) is becoming a legend. She’s never going to give up. I have a lot of respect for her.”

So. Andrea… what about you, who seems to rub so many people the wrong way? What are we to do about you?

Today, we can all agree on one word: congratulations!

[All Canadian Curling Association photos by Michael Burns. Click on images to increase size]

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Latvia makes curling history

Meet Iveta Stasa-Sarsune, everyone.
Iveta… meet everyone.
This gal has played quite well for Latvia at the past two World Mixed Doubles Championships (in Italy and Finland, respectively) but she and her teammates took it to another level at the 2009 Le Gruyere European Curling Championships in Aberdeen, Scotland this past week.
Team Latvia won the B-pool and then defeated Finland (skipped by TCN correspondent Katja Kiiskiken) in a best of three World Challenge series to qualify for the 2010 Ford World Women’s Curling Championship in Swift Current, Saskatchewan.
This remarkable result comes on the heels of a recent medal scored by the Latvian men’s team, in the B-pool of the 2007 Europeans at Fuessen, Germany.
Congratulations to Iveta and all curling-mad Latvians! If your cheering squad is anything like that of the legendary Latvian hockey fans, Swift Current will be rocking out!

Want even more curling news?

• Subscribe to The Curling News – via our new website!

• Follow our Twitter feed – it’s bursting at the seams with curling stuff!

[Photo by Bob Cowan]
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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!

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Curling Corn Maze

Guess what?
Kevin Martin’s Corn Maze has been open since August 1.

Yup… a curling corn maze. Now you too can get lost inside Kevin Martin, which is precisely what so many curling fans were doing, quite loudly, back in April at the Ford Worlds in Moncton.

Incidentally, if you’ve never seen KMart’s exclusive sit down-and-telestrate-what-the-heck-he-was-thinking, head over to the curling page and click on “April 19: Kevin Martin Explains What Happened at the Worlds”.

Meanwhile, the official Corn Maze website is located here, and you can also follow the official Edmonton Corn Maze Twitter account, which features such gems as this one from August 8: “Never before have I been outwitted by a vegetable.”

Naturally, this is all part of the advance promo for the Olympic Trials – er, sorry, the 2009 Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings – which gets underway in Edmonton on December 6, and which has a website conveniently located here.

Thanks to make-it-known for the email notice. We had previously spotted your blogpost, but had filed it away for a rainy day. And we’ve had a few of those this summer…

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Olympic curling tickets part II

Tomorrow morning some 200,000 “new” tickets to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic Winter Games will go on sale… for Canadians-only, we believe. Curling tickets are included.

This story from the Vancouver Sun tells the tale… and also includes news of the ticket design, which was released yesterday. In this Canadian Press photo shown above, mascot Qatchi (left) holds the ticket designs for Curling and Ice Hockey.

That’s mascot Sumi on the right, in case you didn’t know.

Here’s the official VANOC release regarding the ticket designs.

More for a Friday:

• Do you watch the U.S. reality TV show The Bachelorette? The current wanting woman is a Canadian, Jillian Harris, and in this coming Monday night’s episode (June 8 on ABC) she takes her wanting womanizers back home to Vancouver, and an appearance on the ice at the Marpole Curling Club.

Here’s the show website, where you can view a sneak preview of the expected on-ice ridiculousness. You can also see the two-minute preview here, and a story on the Vancouver episode, plus a photo of Harris, is located here.

In addition, there’s this Vancouver Sun blogpost telling how the producers couldn’t use the Olympic curling facility for the show, although they tried …

• As reported earlier this week, five high-school sports – including curling – were on the chopping block yesterday, but all five have been since been spared the axe

• Also reported recently, the Cactus Pheasant Classic WCT event in Brooks, Alberta may have lost their title sponsor… but the city of Brooks just voted to kick in a $20,000 grant to support this fall’s event …

• 2006 U.S. Olympic bronze-winning curler Joe Polo will be marching alongside those Kalamazoo, Michigan curling fanatics at the annual Doo-Dah parade today.

You remember this Doo-Dah story from Ohio last year, right?

• One representative from each of the 32 teams competing in either this fall’s pre-Olympic Trials qualifier or the Trials themselves are on their way to Vancouver this weekend for a CCA-hosted orientation.

The reps will be advised on what to expect in terms of the competitions, the media, and how to prepare now to represent Canada at Vancouver 2010.

Word is that most teams are sending their coaches, but we have heard of a couple of skips who are attending on behalf of their teams: Manitoba young gunners Jason Gunnlaugson and Mike McEwen.

The full list of 32 teams can be found here

• The 2009 Australian Championships are underway in Dunedin, New Zealand today with the finals slated for Sunday. You can follow results via the Aussie Curling Blog

• The Huntsville Curling Club, located in the prime cottage country north of Toronto, wants a new building (who doesn’t?) …

• The Moncton Coliseum, host of the recent Ford Worlds, has been ripped in the local media – again – for its inadequacies …

• And final, thanks to C. Fraser and the Canadian Fermentation blog for using amoebas to explain curling for the uninitiated. In other words, thanks for providing a serious head-shake on a Friday morning!

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Murdoch: not really the first

Okay. Not that we wish to correct TSN, The Sports Network, when they declare that Scotland’s David Murdoch will become the first international team to compete in the third annual Casino Rama Curling Skins Game in January, 2010.

Because they’re right. In the three-year history of this event, only Canadian teams have featured. So let’s call today’s story a… clarification.

Because when we look back at the last three decades of TV skins curling, there have actually been a few international skirmishes. Before Casino Rama’s time, of course.

The first is pictured above, from the cover of the December 1993/January 1994 edition of Canadian Curling News (click on image to zoom in).

Do you remember this edition of the old McCain/TSN Skins Game? The 1993 event, hosted in Ottawa, was a doozy.

Russ Howard – with brother Glenn and the front-end tandem of Wayne Middaugh and Peter Corner – had just won the Brier and Worlds, and looked very good early on in their semifinal against unheralded Milt Sinclair of Abbotsford, B.C. Howard won the first three skins over the first five ends.

But it began to unravel and the left coasters then took the lead. It was only on the last stone of the match that Howard pulled it out, grabbing a $3,000 skin for a narrow $9,000 to $7,000 victory.

In the final, Howard met up with the first international team to ever be invited to the Skins: David Smith of Scotland, who had upended Ottawa’s Bill Walsh in the other semi (Walsh won $7,750 in another tight match).

Curling fans may remember the very public and vitriolic reaction from Eddie “The Wrench” Werenich, who of course missed out on the chance to compete because of the invitation given to Team Smith. The Wrench was, er, not very happy.

And it was all-Scotland through much of the final. In fact, as the photo shows, the Howards were blanked through the first eight ends, down $15,000 to zero, and Russ was clearly reeling. One wonders if Smitty was actually beginning to feel sorry for him. If so, big mistake.

Russ and Co. had blanked the seventh and Smith had blanked the eighth, leaving an $11,000 skin on the table in the ninth. Howard finally cashed in, making a tap-back to score the skin and make the 10th end meaningful, as it almost always is/was (Casino Rama Skins Games are now eight ends in length, of course).

And lo and behold, the Wounded Moose pulled it off in the final end too, stealing the final $6,000 skin and the victory when Smith missed a last-ditch runback for the win.

The champs took home $37,000, which also included the $10,000 winner’s bonus and another $1,000 for winning the pre-event draw to the button.

This was also the first Skins Game in which all three games went down to the last stone.

And there are two more international skins appearances to remind you of.

We are pretty darned sure – and please correct us if you think we’re wrong – that Norway’s Pal Trulsen appeared in the McCain/TSN shootout soon after his Olympic triumph in 2002.

And another Scottish team, skipped by Tom Brewster, appeared in one of the short-lived M&M Meat Shops Skins events – and made it all the way to the final of the six-team event – televised by rival broadcaster Rogers Sportsnet. Remember that one, folks?

Anything else going on, you ask?

• Wednesday is “Camp Day” at all Tim Hortons stores across Canada, a special day where every penny earned in coffee sales goes to a worthy cause: the Brier sponsor’s Tim Horton Children’s Foundation. Don’t be surprised to see some of Canada’s top curling stars slinging coffee and donuts at various store locations tomorrow …

• The twin sons of TSN curling colour man Ray Turnbull – affectionately labelled “in-turn” and “out-turn” – were in the news last weekend

Brad Gushue’s hometown St. John’s Telegram recently published a look back at his squad’s – er, sorry, Russ’ squad’s – 2006 Olympic triumph

• SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION 101: For some reason, Canwest News recently recycled this online story from March’s Brier frenzy, in which The Curling News boss George Karrys was quoted on the rarely-discussed question of curling songs …

• Speaking of curling songs, Skip Cottage liked our recent highlight of the bizarro Jamie Jay Singh song, reposted here… and this here video tribute to Seattle’s Granite Curling Club boasts its own original curling song

• Less than two months after the successful Ford Worlds came to New Brunswick, that province’s Interscholastic Athletic Association will vote today on whether or not to throw five sports – including curling – off the provincial high school athletic roster

• Finally, would anyone care to guess why these apartments for rent in Hoboken, NJ have been called Curling Club apartments?

In Hoboken, New Joisey?

Somebody help us understand. Please.

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Curling Print: the Ferbey Four

So, Randy Ferbey and his troops went back to the future with their absolutely enormous win over Glenn Howard in the final of the Grey Power Players’ Championship.

Actually, it’s been quite a season for the Ferbs.

Their increasingly desperate search for that elusive spot in December’s Olympic Trials saw them travel the country at a frenetic pace, with Ferbey and lead Rocque Marcel competing, at one point, for 10 weekends in a row prior to Christmas.

Then there was the big win at the Casino Rama Skins Game in January, which featured the Ferb’s first win over arch rival Kevin Martin in some 10 or so attempts.

Then came their second straight series of three losses, all to KMart, to lose the Alberta Tankard championship. Off Martin went, to his fourth consecutive Brier.

After licking their wounds, the squad travelled to Bear Mountain – played some golf, threw some rocks – and started gearing up for the Players’ Championship.

And the rest, they say, is history. Or in the case of the Ferbey Four, the chance to rewrite history, come December.

All of this adds value to a special collectible artwork print the Ferbs have for sale, by artist Janet Deane (above, click to zoom in). Yes indeed, the Olympic Dream is alive and well.

Fans can select a limited edition Giclee framed print in two sizes, either 22×35 or 14×22.

Order through this website.

Elsewhere in this world of curling… which is still very much active, by the way…

• The World Mixed Doubles are into the playoffs in gorgeous Cortina D’Ampezzo in the mountains of Italy, and there is tons of stories and pics available front and centre at the WCF website.

. At this time of writing, Hungary has emerged through two sets of tiebreakers to take on Finland, and the winner plays undefeated Canada in one semifinal. China and defending champions Switzerland are in the other semi.

Canadian competitor Sean Grassie is a budding journalist – as we explained during the Canadian Mixed – and Grassie is once again writing a column on his experiences for his hometown Winnipeg Sun. You can find his thoughts, in order, located here, then here, then here, and from today

• And let’s not forget the World Seniors, underway tomorrow in equally gorgeous New Zealand …

• DID YOU KNOW: that a car blog – of all things – got in on the Ford Worlds excitement in Moncton, with two postings, here and here? Well, okay, now you do.

• Speaking of Moncton, Swiss third Jan Hauser, who ranked in the top 5 of the TCN Blog’s “Ford World Hotties” competition, seems to have his very own, er, dedicated fan

• Seems that after saying something rather forceful about Scotland, Cary was forced to eat some crow

• And Canadians should eat crow. Not only did the Lockerbie four win three in a row against the red and white, the hosts then proceeded to play the wrong national anthem… a point we have previously noted, and which gets some (fortunately) good-natured Scottish griping here

• Yes, it was a victorious return for the Scots, and good ol’ Bob was there, too …

• WCF President Les Harrison sent in this letter of thanks to his hometown newspaper …

• It’s finally happened. Osama Bin Laden has appeared in a curling spoof.
Funny yes, or funny no?

• DID YOU KNOW II: that amid the hullaballoo over KMart throwing his world championship away, the Old Bear did it again, at the Players’ Championship?

• Curling has got Jackie going ARRGGHH. We know the feeling …

• And finally, poor Aaron. His curling debut was total FUBAR

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Ford World Curling: Farewell

MONCTON – The Moncton Coliseum was full to the rafters Sunday night, and I was able to witness a rather amazing 50th anniversary men’s world championship final.

From my part, I’d like to thank gk for the opportunity to blog from this event. It was a blast!

Kudos for Moncton for the organization: everyone here ensured that the event is a success. Even the nightlife of a relatively small city offered plenty of entertainment throughout the week and I must tell you, those long nights are starting to show.

To quote the three-year-old daughter of a Finnish curling legend: “Mommy… Daddy smells like curling again!”

Thankfully, I’ve got no spouse nor kids waiting at home.

In addition to sleep deprivation and liver poisoning, I will go home with plenty of memories and new friends. After seeing a major curling event in Canada, I’m definitely tempted to come and check out another… perhaps next year’s Tim Hortons Brier in Halifax?

While I was disappointed for my brother Kalle (with me in the photo) and the Finnish team, I know they enjoyed themselves, from the moment they started their training camp in nearby Amherst, Nova Scotia to the final round of drink tokens in Sunday night’s Keith’s Patch.

And now that the week is over, it is also time to announce the winner of our “Hottest Player of Worlds 2009” vote.

Although I felt like an utter and complete bimbo for organizing it, the people in Moncton seemed to enjoy a bit of cheeky fun… and even the local media was happy to feature it to emphasize a different aspect of these big curling events.

When choosing my list of candidates, I consulted the media guys who were happy to help, once they had gotten the “I’m not gay, don’t ask me!” out of their system.

In addition to the voting possibility here at the blog – check out the first six candidates (and comments) here, and the final six candidates here – there was a paper vote available at the arena, and hundreds of ballots were cast.

For starters, all 12 nominated players received votes so there truly is an abundance of hot men in this game!

Also, three other gentlemen outside of our vote had caught the eye of the female spectators, and are nited for the record: Switzerland’s Markus Eggler, French front-ender Jan Ducroz and Scottish third Ewan MacDonald.

The result of the balloting went down to the wire. The difference between the winner and the player who came second was only two votes and our top two hotties hogged more than half of all the votes for themselves.

Ladies and gentlemen, here is your Top 5:

1. Thomas Ulsrud (Norway)
2. John Morris (Canada)
3. David Murdoch (Scotland)
4. Andreas Lang (Germany)
5. Tied: Thomas Dufour (France), Jan Hauser (Switzerand) and Jiri Snitil (Czech Republic).

Thank you Moncton… and farewell!

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Ford World Curling: Near-final thoughts

MONCTON – Some thoughts on the 50th anniversary Ford Worlds in Moncton, before we hand the last word(s) over to ace blogstress Katja Kiiskinen:

• We (The Curling News) printed a loud warning to Canadian curling fans on the front cover of the January 2009 issue, when we described David Murdoch as the “Neo” of curling and explained that his full-time curling duties are now focussed specifically on beating Canada for Olympic gold next year in Vancouver.

Three wins in a row over the hosts in Moncton, for his second trophy in four years, is a good start to his ultimate goal.

• Having said that, we note that the young Scots’ two major wins this season came on steals in the championship final: a heavy draw from Norway’s Thomas Ulsrud at the Europeans and Kevin Martin’s shanked raise takeout last night.

What does this mean? Like all the curling greats, these Scots can find a number of ways to win.

• Speaking of Martin, the questions will continue to come all this week as the Grey Power Players’ Championship gets underway tomorrow – yes, tomorrow – in Grande Prairie. Martin is in the hunt for big bucks, but will his head be in the hunt?

You can find many of these questions online, such as the 62 comments posted (at this time of writing) listed below this CBC Sports Online story.

Other queries come from Terry Jones, who is a big fan of John Morris’ “Gong Show” quote, and who gathered quotes from rival Randy Ferbey and even The Old Bear Cubs from the on-ice microphones for this interesting story.

Here’s another from Dan Barnes, another Edmonton writer who is joining in on the pile-on atop one of his town’s favourite sons.

There’s also this one here from Al Cameron, although we beg to differ that “not a soul” in the Coliseum could see Martin’s non-throw coming.

We did. And we told our media bench neighbours about it, and we were vindicated when it happened.

KMart is known for this kind of thing. Skins Games, in which he throws tens of thousands of dollars away just to keep the hammer coming home. Extreme corner guards, just off the carpet, when trying to steal… just to make the other skip pause and think a little.

We saw it coming. And we called it.

This Cameron finale points a finger at Scottish second Peter Smith, who also had some struggles in earlier matches in Moncton …

• Yet another Al Cam piece – this one from his blog – also points out the cringe-worthy anthem that was played at ice level during the closing ceremony. Ye Gods.

Scottish people do NOT like hearing Ingerlund’s national anthem in place of their own.

Ye Gods!

• As for the Scots, what do they think? Mike Haggerty’s words – which include the classic “mayhem” – are located here, while Bob Cowan wondered if it was all a dream

• Yes, the opening ceremony dragged on far too long but it was quite a thrill to see something so “big” and glitzy to start the week. The legends who were there – all four Richardsons, The Owl, Eigil Ramsfjell, The Ferb and more – were a fantastic addition. The ancient trophies – from the Scotch Cup to both Silver Brooms – were amazing to see.

• Funny stuff you TV viewers never get to see: veteran curling arena announcer Stuart Brown screaming KMart’s pre-game (semifinal) intro before a crazed crowd: “Kevin HOWARD!”

This on live television, beamed around the world.

Martin’s teammates collapse in gales of laughter.

Martin himself looks befuddled, then smiles, shaking his head.

Stu drops to his knees in disbelief.

Russ Howard is, of course, loving it.

“That was hilarious,” said Martin afterwards.

“You know what? The problem is I don’t hear very well. I actually didn’t hear it. Had to ask the boys what happened and they were killing themselves.

“That’s a good blooper. But I don’t think he (Brown) mixed me up with Russ (Howard). I’ll bet he mixed me up with Glenn (Howard).

“Glenn and I have the similar hairline.”

• What does Moncton think? Here’s not one but two pieces in today’s local blat. And we agree: great show, folks.

• A reminder that you can watch highlights and full-game rebroadcasts through TSN’s Video On Demand player, via this page.

CCA photo by Michael Burns

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Ford World Curling: Eggi

by Katja Kiiskinen

(Click on images to increase viewing size)

MONCTON – gk told me about this story; I think it’s very cool. So here it is for you.
As the World Curling Federation website revealed yesterday, another milestone (after Burnsie’s 50th at the 50th) was reached by Switzerland’s Markus Eggler, the 1992 world champion who took over skip duties here in Moncton midway through the event.
Switzerland’s semifinal loss to Canada marked Eggler’s 125th career appearance in a Swiss uniform, which encompasses four competitions: World Juniors, European Championships, World Championships and the Olympic Winter Games. This is a Swiss curling record.

The black and white pic is taken from Dartmouth, way back in 1986. It was the first-ever World appearance for both Eggler (crouching at right) and, lo and behold, another young stallion named Kevin Martin (top left).

Obviously, the colour pic was taken last night. Both images are credited to Michael Burns. Montage courtesy Anil Mungal. Click to zoom in.

The brief story about their friendship, which also extends between Eggler and Martin’s father, Ab, is really what curling is all about.

Congratulations Markus!