Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Gushue fifth for Martin

Gushue fifth for Martin

Looks like Kevin Martin is getting a little bit of insurance for his wonky back. According to various reports it looks like Martin is going to Brad Gushue to be his fifth as the team heads into the Olympic Trials in a couple of weeks.

Makes some sense, as Martin has had some injury issues.

Gushue knows a lot about curling on a big stage, as he has been there before and he famously had Russ Howard with him as his team's fifth when he went to the Winter Olympics in Italy in 2006. That move paid off as the team won gold.

2013 Capital One Road to the Roar

Five Up, Five Down

I am a little late to the party, but here are 10 quick thoughts about this past weekend's 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar held this past weekend in beautiful Kitchener.

One: Congrats to both Brad Jacobs and John Morris on the men's side.
Seeing Jacobs and his team advance to the Olympic trials was no major surprise, considering the team just won a Brier.
I didn't know what to expect from Morris and his rink, but they advanced to the trials Dec. 1-8 in Winnipeg. The team will be a darkhorse heading into Winnipeg, but they will be dangerous.

Two: Congrats to Val Sweeting and Renee Sonneberg for advancing.
Sweeting  eliminated the last two Canadian Olympic reps, Shannon Kleibrink and Cheryl Bernard of Calgary, along the way to Sunday's final.
Sweeting will have one of the best front ends at the trials.
Sonnenberg looked dominant at times in Kitchener. She has won two provincial titles, but just hasn't been able to breakthrough. Maybe her time is now.

Three: Even though I have not been there is person, the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium looks like it's an excellent curling facility. I am making that observation just on seeing the venue on television.
The arena is older, but well taken care of. It has steep seats and while it is a good size, it's still fairly intimate and that's what curling needs.
The last Scotties was held in Kitchener in 2003.
The last Brier held in Kitchener was held in 1986. It would be a great host again. A lot of curling tradition in Kitchener, plus John Morris can lead the pub crawl every night.

Four: Just take a look at the men's draw at the Trials: Stoughton, Morris, Howard, Martin, Jacobs, Epping, Koe and McEwen. Other than arguably Gushue, you have eight of the top teams from the past decade or so.
Stoughton, Howard and Martin are among the best ever, and the rest of the field is stellar.

Five: Just a thought, if a team wins a Brier or Scotties in the two or three years leading up to the Olympics, shouldn't that give them a free pass to the Olympic trials?

Five Down

One: Not to treat the Road to the Roar lightly, as any curling is better than no curling, it's still a long ways to the Olympic trials. It was an exciting weekend, but the four teams advancing still have a long grind in front of them.

Two: I heard a lot of complaints about the rocks and the ice in Kitchener. There was a lot of swing in the ice.

Three: Looking at the women's field in Kitchener, it's kind of surprising not to see Kelly Scott or Cheryl Bernard advance.
Scott has participated in the last two trials and is consistently one of the best rinks in Canada. Bernard came out of nowhere to win in 2010. She came close, but just couldn't get lightning in the bottle for a second time.

Four: We've all done it.
Sweeting vice Joanne Courtney slipped and fell on her stomach while delivering a rock during a key matchup. Luckily she didn't injure herself or do much damage as the rock sailed out before it hit anything.

Five: Off to Winnipeg. In December.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

Masters of Curling--open the doors

Masters of Curling

The first Grand Slam of the year is taking place this weekend, as The Masters of Curling, which runs from Oct. 30-Nov. 4 in Abbotsford, B.C.is taking place.

To be honest, I haven't watched too much yet. I watched for about ten minutes at the curling rink after I played on Friday night.

One of my playing partners was watching with me and he joked about the crowd--let's just say there were a lot of empty seats, or perhaps a lot of people dressed up as empty seats.

Most Grand Slams have a lot of empty seats. This is nothing new.

Hear's my wacky out-of-the-box idea--let people in for free. Just open the doors and let people in off the street.

Here's my reasoning. These events aren't really about the crowd watching in person, they're more for the curling fan watching at home in his/her LazyBoy chair.

When I went to my only Grand Slam event in Windsor a few years ago there might have only been about 750 people in the stands. Judging from the fans around me, most of them received comp tickets or they were with the players (spouses/relatives/curling groupies) and got in for free. Not sure how many paid, but it couldn't have been a huge number.

I paid at the door. For my wife and I and two kids it cost us $96. A bit pricy in my mind for a night out. Would I pay that much again if a Grand Slam event came back my way? Probably not, and I am a hardcore curling fan. Probably better to save some money and watch from home.

It was a fun event, and the kids had fun, but with the arena only about 10 percent full, the energy in the building was lacking. Nothing beats a Brier or Scotties, and that's partially due to the (paying) crowds.

My idea would be to let everybody in, especially for the early draws. I know that something that has no value is not worth as much, but at least the seats would be full and people would stop making jokes as they saw all the empty seats on television.

Create an event and an atmosphere and the people will come.

Below is the press release hyping up this weekend's event:

Following a thrilling quarter-final round this afternoon that saw eight teams eliminated, the Masters continued tonight with semifinal action live from the Abbotsford Entertainment & Sports Centre in Abbotsford, beginning with the men’s draw at 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West and Pacific (full broadcast details below).

In the men’s draw, Team Howard faces Team Stoughton - the pair accounting for three of the four Grand Slam titles last year. In the other half of the semis, Team Martin will face Team Liu - a rematch of the first draw of the Masters that saw Liu come out on top.

On the women’s side, after a tie-break win over Team Carey, Team Homan defeated Team Nedohin to advance to her third straight Grand Slam semifinal, and will now face Team Ott who beat out Team Kim of Korea. The other semifinal matchup will feature last April’s Players’ Championship winner Team Muirhead of Scotland taking on Team Jones  of Winnipeg.

Men’s Semifinals:

1.    Team Howard, Clearwater, ON (5-0) vs. Team Stoughton, Winnipeg, MB (4-1)

2.    Team Martin, Edmonton, AB (4-1) vs. Team Liu, Harbin, China (4-1)

Women’s Semifinals:

1.    Team Homan, Ottawa, ON (3-2) vs. Team Ott, Davos, Switzerland (4-1)

2.    Team Jones, Winnipeg, MB (4-1) vs. Team Muirhead, Perth, Scotland (3-2)

The Masters Broadcast Schedule

Note: Through a sub-licensing agreement, the broadcast of the Grand Slam of Curling is shared with CBC.

Saturday, Nov. 2

·         Men’s semifinals, 7 p.m. ET/4 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific)

·         Women’s semifinals, 10:30 p.m. ET/7:30 p.m. PT (Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific)

Sunday, Nov. 3

·         Men’s final, 1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT (CBC)

·         Women’s final, 6 p.m. ET/3 p.m. PT (Sportsnet ONE)

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Ontario curling...so far

Where to start--Ontario

After being away for a bit, I thought I would take a quick look at what has happened in the curling world in Ontario for the months of September and October.

Brad Jacobs and his team didn't seem to miss a beat, as they came out of the gate with a pair of victories.
They won the Stu Sells Tankard on Sept. 6, winning in the final over Kevin Koe.
The field at the Stu Sell Tankard was deep, and included Menard, Gushue, Frans and Kean—as well as a number of teams that are regulars at the Ontario provincials.
During the weekend of Sept. 19-22 at the AMJ Campbell Shorty Jenkins Classic in Brockville, Jacobs' rink won once again, beating Jeff Stoughton and his team in the final.
The field was strong, with Brad Gushue (he finished third), Niklas Edin, Kevin Martn, Glenn Howard, John Epping, Jean-Michel Menard, Mark Dacey, Pete Fenson and others.
If you know of a tougher field, let me know. With this being the first Shorty Jenkins Classic since he died last year, it must have been a bittersweet event.
At the StuSells Toronto Tankard, held Oct. 11-14 in...um, Toronto....It was Glenn Howard's rink winning in the final over Mike McEwen. Bryan Cochrane and Mike Anderson had a good weekend, finishing tied for third.
Cochrane skips the team, with up and comer Mathew Camm throwing final rocks. This will be a team that can go far if they qualify for provincials. They have a 17-9 record on the Ontario Curling Tour, and that's against top-notch competition.
The StuSells Tankard Toronto had a strong field, with Howard, McEwen, Epping, Gushue, Stoughton and Frans.
The Huron ReproGraphics Oil Heritage Classic took place this past weekend in Sarnia. I planned to go out and check things out, especially considering I was just around the corner watching my son play football and visiting relatives, but didn't make it over to the Sarnia Golf and Curling Club. Jake Higgs won the event, beating Scott McDonald in the final.
Also this weekend, the Challenge Chateau Cartier de Gatineau took place in, um...Gatineau.
Brad Gushue won in the final against Rob Rumfeldt. Another strong field with Menard and Jacobs amongst the teams.

I'm back

I'm back

Hey, I'm back. Did you miss me?

When I started this blog earlier this year, my vision was to be one of the top curling blogs in Canada. A place for people to read about curling from a fan's perspective.

I think I was somewhat successful in January to April of last year. I blogged just about every day, and more frequently during events such as the Scotties and the Brier.

I think I was onto something and had some momentum, judging by comments and page hits (14,000 people can't be wrong).

With this site I will post commentaries, recaps, and previews of the major curling stories of the day, as well as curling-related anecdotes, rumours and YouTube videos. The tone of the site will be somewhat acerbic and irrelevant--but without being rude.

If I start rating curlers by their looks or if start resorting to fart jokes--then I am doing it wrong.

Hopefully, Hurry Hard Blog is seen as promoting curling and somewhat more cool and fancentric than traditional mainstream websites. Although, that's easier said than done, considering I am in my 40s and drive a mini-van.

I knew during the summer things would slow down in the curling world, but the plan was to ramp things up around Labour Day. Then life got in the way.

Work and kids got in the way. I was working on a major project, but it wrapped up in mid-September. Then I got busy with my kids' fall sports--football and skating, and that took me out of the house six nights of the week.

I wanted to start up again in October, but just became too busy. I figured if I was going to come back, I wanted to come back 100 percent. I kept putting it off and off...Let's be honest, I screwed up and procrastinated. My Grade 8 teacher was right about me. But I'm back.

So--I am ready to give it a big go. We're 100 days to Sochi...so I hope to blog and write all about curling in the leadup to the Olympics. It will be a fun ride. I will be around every day, sometimes a couple times a day. Let's have some fun.

If you have any commentary or comments, feel free to pass them along.

Good curling.

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Guelph bites the dust

Guelph bites the dust

News out of Guelph is that Guelph Golf and Curling Club won't have curling this upcoming season.

Guelph Mercury has the story here.

To be honest I didn't know that Guelph had two curling clubs, as I am somewhat familiar with the Guelph Curling Club, but not so much with the Guelph Golf and Curling Club.

A lot of mid-sized Ontario cities have two curling clubs. Although it's not always the case, it seams one club is kind of ritzy club (usually attached to a golf course), and the other is more of a blue-collar club.

Ontario cities that have two clubs include: St. Catharines, Cambridge, Kingston (3), Oshawa, Owen Sound, Brampton, Burlington, Dundas, Brantford and Windsor.

I don't really know a lot about the cities that have two clubs, but like two-newspaper towns, I wonder if they will be a dying breed across the province in the next few years. Curling isn't cheap and the demographics are changing.

I don't like to see curling operations biting the dust, but sometimes a city just can't justify having two curling clubs. If the money is not there than it's just not there.

Wednesday, 3 July 2013

Curler banned for steroid use

Curler banned for steroid use

Canadian curler Matt Dumontelle, an alternate on Team Jacobs, will serve a two-year ban after testing positive for Methandienone Metabolites, an anabolic steroid, following the gold-medal game at the World Men’s Curling Championship in Victoria earlier this year.

Dumontelle said that he was unaware that a workout supplement he was using contained the banned drug.

From the Toronto Sun:

 “I had no intentions of trying to beat the system,” he said. “I was made aware by our Canadian Curling Association High Performance staff of my responsibilities to respect and follow the rules as set down by the World Anti-Doping Agency. At the end of the day I accept that it was, and is, my responsibility to make sure that I am playing by those rules.”

However, saying that, Team Jacobs will have to face tighter scrutiny (unfairly) this upcoming season. The whispers (again, unfairly) will be there. Being known for their large biceps plus having a teammate busted for steroid use will make people gossip. Is it fair? No, they are innocent until proven guilty. But it's human nature.

Curling has changed a lot in the last 10-15 years. It's more athletic and the new breed of curler will be built more like a football linebacker rather than a football punter.

Here is a Toronto Sun story about the ban.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Changes coming to Ontario?

Are there going to be changes to the way Ontario has teams advance to provincials?

Curlers have told me that Ontario should take a long hard look at how teams advance to procinals.

A meeting was held yesterday at Annandale Golf & Curling Club, Thursday to discuss the Scotties Tournament of Hearts for 2014-15 and beyond.

The OCA asked female curlers to come with viable options viable options for determining the team to represent the OCA at the Canadian Championship. 

A meeting and having discussions about it is a good start.

Currently, the system is set up so that  a team can sign up at their club and make it all the way to the provincial finals. Ontario is divided into 16 zones. Once a team wins their zones they go to one of four regionals. After a regional the top two teams go to provincials.

The playdown method works on paper, but there is still a few glitches. Many zones don't have a lot of teams come out, or just a couple come out for spots.

I am a big fan of the movie Hoosiers. It's about a small high school in Indiana that makes it to the state finals in the 1950s. Everyone loves the underdog story about how any high school can take on the big boys and win.

I would love to see a rag-tag bunch of curlers rise up from zones and make it to provincials to take on John Epping and Glenn Howard's teams. However, even Indiana changed their playdown system eventually.

Maybe it's time to eliminate Zones and just have teams advance to regionals. Also it would be nice to see teams advance from the Ontario Curling Tour. It gives them some motivation to go on the OCT and do well with more at stake other than money.

Wednesday, 1 May 2013

John Morris heads west...further west

John Morris

Looks like rumours of John Morris heading to British Columbia to team up with Jim Cotter are bang on. It was announced that Morris is heading to BC. At the very least it should be a very competitive team.

It will be interesting to see what becomes of Jason Gunnlaugson. Doesn't it seem like it was just a few years ago that he was the next big thing in curling, with his heater and subsequent move to Russia.

Morris and Cotter will be teaming up to play in the Capital One Road to the Roar pre-trials being held in Morris' former back yard of Kitchener in November.

Here is all the info from CCA: Read all about it here...or below

Interesting note: Just two of the teams are from east of Ottawa.

Twenty-four teams will be looking to take a step closer to the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi, Russia, when the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials, presented by Monsanto, get underway on Nov. 5 at the Memorial Auditorium Complex in Kitchener, Ont.

Tim Hortons Brier champion Brad Jacobs will be playing in the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials in Kitchener, Ont. (Photo, CCA/Michael Burns)
Twelve teams of each gender will play off for two berths into the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings Canadian Curling Trials, presented by Monsanto, Dec. 1 to 8 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg. The Trials will decide Canada’s teams to compete for Olympic gold in Sochi.
Teams qualified for the Road to the Roar through the Canadian Curling Association’s Canadian Team Ranking System. Here is the list of teams:
Brad Jacobs, Sault Ste.  Marie, Ont.
Brad Gushue, St. John’s, Nfld.
Mark Kean, Toronto
Jim Cotter, Kelowna, B.C.
Steve Laycock, Saskatoon
Joe Frans, Bradford, Ont.
Jean-Michel Ménard, St-Romuald, Que.
Greg Balsdon, Toronto
Rob Fowler, Brandon, Man.
Bryan Cochrane, Ottawa
Jake Higgs, Harriston, Ont.
Rob Rumfeldt, Guelph, Ont.

Shannon Kleibrink, Calgary
Laura Crocker, Edmonton
Renee Sonnenberg, Grande Prairie, Alta. (Note: This berth was originally won by Kim Schneider, but the team declined it)
Cheryl Bernard, Calgary
Crystal Webster, Calgary
Amber Holland, Regina
Val Sweeting, Edmonton
Kelly Scott, Kelowna, B.C.
Cathy Auld, Mississauga, Ont.
Tracy Horgan, Sudbury, Ont.
Barb Spencer, Winnipeg
Krista McCarville, Thunder Bay, Ont. (Note: This berth was originally won by Cathy Overton-Clapham, but the team declined it)

In addition to being officially named as a competing team in the Road to the Roar, Cotter’s team also announced on Wednesday that it has added 2010 Olympic gold-medallist John Morris to its lineup for the 2013-14 season.
The format for the Pre-Trials will see teams play a modified triple-knockout draw leading to a four-team playoff. One playoff qualifier will come out of the A-event, one from the B-event and two from the C-event. The A- and B-event qualifiers will meet in the playoffs, with the winner advancing to the Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings.
The two C-event qualifiers, meanwhile, will meet in the playoffs, with the winner advancing to play against the loser of the A-B game. The winner earns the other Tim Hortons Roar of the Rings berth.
For more information on the 2013 Capital One Road to the Roar Pre-Trials, go to: www.curling.ca/roadtotheroar/.
To purchase tickets, go to: www.curling.ca/tickets/.

Friday, 19 April 2013

Maple Leaf Gardens...awesome

Maple Leaf Gardens...awesome

Probably one of the best features of this week's  Players' Championship being held at Ryerson’s Mattamy Athletic Centre, is the fact that it's being held at the former Maple Leaf Gardens.

As a kid growing up in southwestern Ontario, MLG was my mecca. I watched it on television every Saturday night and couldn't wait until my first trip. 
The building had so much history. Not just the hockey, but boxing, basketball, lacrosse, concerts and the political conventions.

I used to do a lot of work at Queens Park in the 1990s and I would park my car near Maple Leaf Gardens and then walk the five minutes over to the provincial buildings. I remember seeing Mats Sundin and other Leafs walking down the street. I could've parked at lots closer to Queens Park, but it was always a thrill to walk past MLG.

Things like school, sports and other activities got in the way and I didn't make my first trip to MLG until the Leafs' last season in the building. They were set to move over to the Air Canada Centre and I really wanted to make one last journey to see the Gardens before it closed. I knew if I didn't get a chance to see a hockey game before it closed in a few weeks it would be a huge regret.

I wrangled some tickets for January 4, 1999. The tickets were for standing room, but I was happy to just be the building. A couple things about the building stood out:

One: It was a cozy building. I remember my brother and I wanted to see the Gardens, so we walked around. We took a left and a right and then went down a small hallway, past a security guard and then next thing I know we're standing on the Maple Leafs bench--about five minutes before the game started. Not wanted to get kicked out, we quickly soaked everything in and then turned around.

Two: In the third period a pair of fans sitting in the Reds left and signaled that we could take their seats. I am about 5'10 and my brother is 6'1, but it felt like we Toronto Raptors sitting in those seats. Not a lot of leg-room.

Three: I should mention that my lovely wife allowed me to go to the game, especially since she was 8-months pregnant with our first child. I really wanted to go and knew it was now or never.

I was glad to hear that Ryerson was able to revitalize MLG, especially since it looked like the arena could've fallen to the wreckers ball. 

As Don Landry points out (or more specifically Glenn Howard) it's still Maple Leaf Gardens.   

Thursday, 18 April 2013

Sportsnet announced three out of four Grand Slam sites for next year.

Grand Slam sites

Sportsnet released details for next year's Grand Slam sites,...well three out of the four sites. As that great philosopher Meatloaf once said---three out of four ain't bad.

Editor's note: Two out of three ain't bad. Three out of four is tremendous.

The announced sites for Grand Slams are Abbotsford, Medicine Hat and Summerside.

All lovely places, but if I can't make the four-hour drive to Toronto, it's unlikely I will attend any Grand Slams next year. However, it will be a busy curling season for me next year.

I am in the process of planning my itinerary next season.

Olympic pre-trials in Kitchener--check
Olympic trials in Winnipeg--probably not, but not counted out
Continental Cup in Las Vegas--Oh yeah. Already started counting down the days and saving up my bail money.
TSN skins game--perhaps, I emailed TSN honchos and they said to expect an announcement closer to the fall. If it's going to be held in Niagara Falls (just my random guess) it's a for sure I will be there.
Olympics in Sochi--uh, no. Unless I win the lottery.
Brier in Kamloops--nope, too far away
Scotties in Montreal--intriguing. Anyone have a couch to crash on?  

Here's the press release detailing the three out of four sites for next year's Grand Slams. Site number four to be announced soon.

As announced tonight during Sportsnet’s broadcast of the Players’ Championship – taking place now through to April 21 at the Mattamy Athletic Centre (formerly Maple Leaf Gardens) in Toronto Sportsnet has confirmed three of the four event locations for next year’s Grand Slam of Curling series, with the fourth location to be announced in the coming weeks. 

With all new venues and cities, the 2013-14 Grand Slam of Curling series kicks off with the Masters, taking place in Abbotsford, BC from October 30 to November 3, 2013, featuring 30 men’s and women’s teams competing for a combined purse of $200,000.

From November 13 to 17, Medicine Hat, AB will host the Canadian Open, which will include 18 men’s teams competing for a $100,000 purse, while the Players’ Championship, the final event of the 2013-14 Grand Slam of Curling series, will take place in Summerside, PEI from April 15 to 20, 2014 with 30 men’s and women’s teams competing for a combined purse of $200,000.

Below are the details of the confirmed 2013-14 Grand Slam of Curling series events:

Masters – October 30 - November 3, 2013
Location: Abbotsford, BC - Abbotsford Entertainment and Sports Centre
Draw:  Men’s and Women’s draws
Purse: $200,000 ($100,000 spilt)

Canadian Open – November 13 – 17, 2013
Location: Medicine Hat, AB – Medicine Hat Arena
Draw:  Men’s draw only
Purse: $100,000

Players’ Championship – April 15 – 20, 2014
Location: Summerside, PEI – Credit Union Place
Draw:  Men’s and Women’s draws
Purse: $200,000 ($100,000 spilt)

Additional details regarding the full 2013-14 Grand Slam of Curling schedule, ticket information and broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

Owned and operated by Sportsnet, the Grand Slam of Curling is an elite series of men’s and women's curling events which are part of the World Curling Tour and feature the best teams from across Canada and around the world.

Wednesday, 17 April 2013

Good read about Team Howard

Good read about Team Howard

One thing about Glenn Howard and his team is they seem very approachable and accessable.

 There was the documentary (or as the creators called it --rockumentary) on the team that was shown on TSN last year.

Sportsnet magazine has a feature online that focuses on Team Howard and the trials and tribulations that the team endured this past season.

You can read it here.

Brett Popplewell stalked the team for the past year, following them around across Ontario and out to the Brier in Alberta. He was with them in the hotel room, in small curling clubs, in the car and at restaurants.

I can imagine that by following the team closely, there would be some great gems that Popplewell saw and heard. I wonder what made the story and what didn't.

Glenn Howard seems fairly candid and fairly open. Here's a few gems from the story:

The Olympics play a big part in their motivation and thought process.
It was a dream they spoke of often. They’d never represented their country on the Olympic stage. For Team Howard, and the skip especially, it was Sochi or bust. 

Team Howard used to be sponsored by Trojan condoms. How did I miss that?

I knew about and heard about Joe Frans and his suspension, but I didn't know about the dust-up in the bar.
An accomplished curler in his own right, Frans had been to the Brier twice, the last time in 2005. It hadn’t been the most rewarding experience. During the tournament, he’d taken a swing at a journalist while drinking in a bar and afterwards tested positive for cocaine. He’d been banned from competitive play for two years. But now he was back, clean and eager for a return to the Brier. 

Did I mention that the Olympics weigh heavily on Howard's mind?
 Later, after the ceremonies were done, Howard sat in the hotel lounge and reflected on all that had happened. He said he was exhausted, that the week had been gruelling and that though it hurt to lose, it wasn’t the end. “It was just a curling game,” he said. “There’s still Sochi.” 


Curling mixed doubles...meh

Curling mixed doubles...meh

Let the great curling mixed doubles debate begin now.

Do you know who doesn't like curling mixed doubles? This guy.

The debate is only going to get larger over the next few years as this specialty, is forced down our throats in the next few years.

My guess is that it will be be it's own event at the 2018 or 2022 Olympics. Might as well embrace it now.

Tuesday, 16 April 2013

Nolan Thiessen can bring the heat

Nolan Thiessen can bring the heat

When I heard that Nolan Thiessen (lead for Kevin Koe) was picked to throw out the first pitch at a Blue Jays game, I knew he would do well.

Thiessen was promoting this week's Grand Slam event being held in Toronto this week.

Not a lot of people know this, but Thiessen spent some time in the United States as a college pitcher. He was named after Nolan Ryan. Thiessen can bring the heat.

Check out the pitch here:

Not too bad. Up and in. Good form. I think it surprised the catcher.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

RIP Shorty

RIP Shorty

Shorty Jenkins, probably the most famous icemaker ever, and once of curling's most famous ambassadors has died.


What more could be said about Jenkins? He made icemaking an art. However, unlike some innovators who hoarded their secrets, Shorty shared his ideas and experiences with anybody.

I never met Shorty, but from what I've heard, he was very engaging and not afraid to share his ideas with anybody that had 10 minutes to talk to him.

The Shorty Jenkins Classic, the Brockville, Ont. bonspiel that is held every fall in his honour, will be a little bittersweet this year. Jenkins was 77.

Here is some thoughts from the Twitterverse on Shorty's curling.

@EMontford rest in peace my friend. Will miss the king of swing. thanks for everything. We would of got no where with out you.

@TSNVicRauter Curling..no sports has lost an original...have a Timmy's in memory of icemake Shorty Jenkins.

@AshamCurling Curling loses a legend: Shorty Jenkins, the man in pink, passes away. Our thoughts and prayers are with his...

@BalancePlus RIP Shorty Jenkins.Thank you for everything you did for curling

@CurlingRumors #rumorhasit  The ice in heaven just got a whole lot better. RIP Shorty

About Me

southwestern Ontario, Canada
I am a curling junkie. Wanted to create one spot to bring fans of the roaring game together, for information, news and thoughts about curling.