Fixing the curling calendar

What was the big curling event of the past weekend? Was it the third leg of the Curling World Cup? How about the provincial qualifiers for the Scotties and the Brier? Maybe the made-for-TV Skins Game? If you’re curling in Canada, the Scotties and the Brier take top priority. To explain this to an AmericanContinue reading “Fixing the curling calendar”

U.S. men win curling gold — how it happened

If you’re a little tired of curling coverage that tries way too hard to explain the sport without telling you anything that’s actually happening on the ice, this post is for you. This is what happened. If you don’t know the terminology, figure it out. It’s not that hard. Also, my local curling club hasContinue reading “U.S. men win curling gold — how it happened”

2018 Winter Olympics: A concise viewing guide with stars, medals and flags

Each day during the Olympics, I’ll be telling you what to watch and making a few predictions. You can also find my daily previews at Bleacher Report. Time difference and schedule/streaming options: The Pyeongchang schedule is … Eight hours ahead of a lot of Europe (Eurosport) Nine hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time (BBC) 14 hours aheadContinue reading “2018 Winter Olympics: A concise viewing guide with stars, medals and flags”

Curling: Huge win for U.S. Olympic hopeful

Yes, it’s already curling season. In fact, we’re less than two months away from the Olympic Trials, set for Nov. 11-18. Curling isn’t the most predictable sport in the world, but the four-team (or five, pending an appeal by Todd Birr) men’s competition has a clear favorite. John Shuster has been the skip in the lastContinue reading “Curling: Huge win for U.S. Olympic hopeful”

2018 medal projections: 31 today

NBC’s Nick Zaccardi has taken care of something I had planned to do, rounding up this winter’s World Championship results into a medal projection. His numbers: 34 Germany 28 USA 27 Norway 26 Canada 22 France Compare this to the most recent Virtual Medal Table from Gracenote, which compiles all results: 34 Germany 34 Norway 31Continue reading “2018 medal projections: 31 today”

Handicapping the men’s world curling championship

There might be some geoblocking on the YouTube feed. Let’s hope not. This is going to be fun. A look at each team, in order of year-to-date Order of Merit: CANADA: Kevin Koe is the skip after winning a masterful performance at the Brier, his team’s sixth win in 11 events this year. He won theContinue reading “Handicapping the men’s world curling championship”

Curling controversy swirls at nationals

I’ve been writing about U.S. Soccer’s efforts to cultivate elite play even if it means breaking up teams and long-established ways of organizing competition. Turns out there’s a similar story in curling. Part of the issue: The High Performance program, which takes top players and forms teams under a national-team staff. Another part of the issue:Continue reading “Curling controversy swirls at nationals”

Curling at the crossroads

Here’s why you should be paying attention to curling right now: The Challenge Round, to fill out the field for the national championships, is underway. The national championships this year are in the unlikely venue of Jacksonville, Fla., a sure sign that someone is bullish on the idea of curling expanding beyond the states that borderContinue reading “Curling at the crossroads”

Beijing’s bid for the Winter Games

Curling at the Water Cube? Please make this happen! The rest of this USA TODAY story is more skeptical, perhaps with good reason. China isn’t known for skiing, to put it mildly. But one of their local ski resorts is getting good reviews at TripAdvisor. And it’s probably too late to consider splitting the Games toContinue reading “Beijing’s bid for the Winter Games”

Whither the Winter Games? A study in arrogance

The Winter Olympics aren’t that expensive. Not if you already have most of the infrastructure in place — a sliding track, ski jumps, a solid Alpine skiing area, and maybe four or five arenas ranging from 3,000 (curling) to 15,000 (figure skating). Russia spent $51 billion, allegedly, to stage the 2014 Games. That’s Russia. That’s theContinue reading “Whither the Winter Games? A study in arrogance”