Favorite Reporter

Favorite Reporter

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy Squirrels and Bitter break-ups

Started watching the Scotties this weekend...surprised that Marie-France is already 1-2.
Definitely some entertaining curling to watch, although I certainly saw a lot of misses in the games I was watching.
This is the first year I am watching in HD. It is definitely better to watch the game, although I must say that HD is not flattering to all...

I always enjoy the commercials during the curling season.
From Strauss to Tim's, from Capital One to Grey Power - and you usually see the same commercials over and  over and over again.
But this year there is a special treat; a commercial by the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers (clearly a fair-minded and unbiased source of information), that explains how the big oil companies plant a tree or two to make the world a better place.
And I thought burning oil was bad for the environment! Silly me. The squirrels in the commercial look happy (well you don't actually see the squirrels, but the guy says that they are having fun).

Their new spokesperson is way better than the the CAPP's previous spokesperson:


As curling fans head into the season of good TV curling; another season begins across the country. It is the season of the team change.

This is the true season of hope...the season of salesmanship, the season of networking. Teams break-up, re-form. Unusual and unheard of teams emerge (Few would ever have predicted Gagné and Desjardins together).

Many outside of the world of competitive curlers do not understand why teams change so often, or why it has to be so complicated.

Let me try to explain it:
You will spend over 1000 hours together with you teammates during a competitive curling season. 
During the peak season, I spend more time with my teammates than I do with my wife.
Finding 3 guys that have the same level of commitment, that have a sufficient level of talent, and that you do not want to strangle after a five hour car ride is a very tall order.
Not surprisingly, after a long season many try to improve their lot by picking up a new body and changing the chemistry. Of course everyone knows that to build a successful team, you need to stick with the same guys for a while. But the temptation of the unknown, of the unfamiliar is a powerful calling.

So any big changes coming in Quebec curling? Too early to tell.
It is hard to believe that all of the big teams will stick together; and the rumour is that Danny B is looking to retire for a few years. So there will surely be some player movement in the weeks to come. Usually, the big teams tend to lead the process, as other teams wait and see what will happen with the Menards, Ferlands and Reids before making any big moves.

So expect in the next few weeks to see some changes. And it will not always be pretty.

Curling teams are notoriously bad for firing players in an insensitive manner;
- I found out I was no longer curling with Guy Hemmings by noticing that our team had entered a big spiel in North Bay - without me!
- The guys from Buckingham once fired Ted Butler 12 hours BEFORE they were about to play in the provincial final. (although I'm not sure Ted knew he was fired)
- Gushue and Ferby (both usually nice guys) have been taking shots at each other ever since their break-up a few weeks ago.Ferbey and Gushue article. Ouch.
- As of yet - nobody to my knowledge has ever been fired in a Blog.

As the song goes: Breaking up is hard to do.


Some plugs:

2 charity events are coming up in the next few weeks that are worth your time.

1. Kurling for Kids (www.kurlingforkids.com)

This is a Montreal-wide fun day of curling that benefits the Montreal Children's and Ste-Justine hospitals. It is truly a great event run by the most sincere and dedicated volounteers you will ever meet. There is curling followed by a dinner, and usually a tear-jerking speech or two. (I'm as stoic as the next guy, but sick kid stories always make me cry like a 5 year old girl)
It is also a great way to introduce new curlers to the game, as the format encourages you to bring out new curlers. It is held March 26th at most curling clubs around Montreal

2. Curling for Leukemia Day

This is a new event held at TMR curling club March 6th. One of the organizers is Big Luc Chevalier - who can be reached at luc.chevalier@videotron.ca for details. There is a link on the Curling Quebec Facebook page.

The reality is that we all get a lot out of this great game, and we should all take the time to give a little back to those who need our help. Plus - both of these days are usually a lot of fun.

3. I have been asked to do some recruiting for a university study on curlers of all levels. Not sure if it is related to alcoholism, or the insanity involved in driving 10 hours to lose 3 games in some god-forsaken small arse-hole of a town. Either way - if you are interested, contact Gail Casey at  gcasey@wisc.edu. Apparently it involves a 30 minute Skype interview.

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