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Friday, December 2, 2011

Screw you Charlevoix part deux - featuring Pitbull

Back from Charlevoix...and looking forward to over a month off from competitive curling.

Once again - Charlevoix provided me with disappointing results - lost the C-qualifier to Serge Reid in a very disappointing and frustrating game. We gave up a brutal steal of 4 in an end that looked very promising, and quickly turned into a nightmare.

I won't go as far as to say that I will never go back, because, deep down, I know I will.


Speaking of frustration  - I was thinking about this...
Is there any sport that can match curling in terms of sheer ability to frustrate you?
Golf can be frustrating  - and I have wanted to fling a putter or two in my life - but for my money - curling wins hands down. I think its because the difference between glorious success and complete failure is so small:
A takeout that ticks a guard by 1mm is completely useless - but if it gets by it is a perfect shot...
Golf seems far less arbitrary.


Johnny the Hammer Chow (aka Terence Yip) was in Charlevoix this year. He stars in a cool ad campaign that the CCA has come up with to try to get people curling...


Apparently these are also available in French  - and we will be seeing more of these...


Charlevoix was surprisingly won by Brad Gallant from PEI. This is poetic justice for all of us that made fun of Eddie Mackenzie, the horrid 1-10 PEI team from last year's Brier. I think we got the Islanders mad at us...Gallant knocked off Brad Gushue in the finals.


Here is some random venting. To all tournament organizers out there:  First of all - thanks for all of your hard work - BUT

Every spiel we play in now seems to start earlier and earlier. Charlevoix started teams at 7:30am Thursday this year. More than half of the teams were out by Friday night - Saturday morning at the latest. Only four teams play Sunday.
I did not study the open draw - but I hear it was just as awful.

I like curling - but if every spiel costs everyone 2+ days of vacation - then don't be surprised that participation is down. Charlevoix has been getting away with it because they do so many things right - but I heard a lot of complaining this year.

I seem to remember a few years ago, curling was an activity that you could play on weekends.


Curling on TV.

A new era is starting in Quebec this week. RDS2 will begin broadcasting curling - and lots of it. RDS2 is set to broadcast over 100 games this year (I did not know there were more than 100 games to watch)
The Canada Cup kicks off this weekend, and will feature the usual suspects curling for cash this weekend - and RDS will cover the semis and finals.

This is a new opportunity for curling in Quebec - where the sport is - let's admit it - in rapid decline.

While the Olympics have given curling a great deal of exposure in the last decade - this exposure has not translated into participation. Curling needs a boost. And a bunch of people watching on TV has potential.

Here is hoping that Guy Hemmings and whoever else broadcasts the game can add colour and excitement to draw in viewers - and to convince them that they should try this sport.

The art however lies in getting people to join, not just try. Curling Clubs are very good at setting up "Come try curling for a day" events, but are notoriously bad at converting trials into memberships. It is easy to get people in the door - but clubs are not set up to get them to stay.
Too often - new members get thrown into crappy leagues on crappy teams with people who suck at curling, and are left to try to figure out the game for themselves. Not only that - if somebody walks into a curling club now - they will likely be told that the leagues have already started for the year, so come back in September.
(I am speaking in generalities of course - some clubs integrate new members very well).

So tip for curling clubs - don't try to organize "Come try Curling" days until you have seriously thought about how to seal the deal. Curling on TV presents a real opportunity to grow our sport. Let's not screw it up!


Okay - not related to curling at all...
Why is it that every song you hear these days is featuring Pitbull? Who is this Pitbull? Where did he come from?
I was watching TV with my daughter - and I swear I saw Barney the Dinosaur - featuring Pitbull.

So from now on - our team is no longer Team Fournier - we are now Team Fournier featuring Pitbull. I will get him do do a little rap before we start each game.

"Yo - all you mother F&?&*ers on the curling sheet -
Took me all season to get my life unstuck-
Now Team Fourniers gonna run over you like a Tonka Truck."


  1. I agree with your assessments regarding getting Curlers involved. However at the end of the day it is not uniquely a Club issue but a Curler issue, if we, the experienced curlers, are not ready to break up our teams or join a second team to help the newbies integrate to the club, there can be no sustainability.

  2. Couldn't agree with you more, Anon. I got me A newbie on my team, do YOU?