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 last two Olympics after taking bronze on Pete Fenson’s team in 2006. His current team — Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner — has qualified for the World Championships three straight years and done no worse than fifth, making the playoffs each of the last … Continue reading Curling: Huge win for U.S. Olympic hopeful

Curling crowd getting too loud

The easy joke here would be that having more crowd noise would be infinitely preferable to hearing “HARRRRRRRDDDD!!!!” all the time. (Seriously — broadcasters should consider putting a decibel limit on their on-ice microphones, or just mute them when they’re not talking strategy. Some of us are listening on headphones to avoid irritating the rest of the house, and we’d rather not go deaf.) But I had started to wonder if the crowd was getting a little out of hand. The Brier (Canada’s men’s championship) is in Newfoundland/Labrador this year — specifically, the beautiful town of St. John’s — and … Continue reading Curling crowd getting too loud

Belated U.S. Curling championship preview

The U.S. Curling Championships are underway, and though I neglected to do a preview (in part because I was curling myself on Saturday — literally, in one case I think I threw myself farther down the ice than the rock), it’s actually a good time to look at the stats coming into the tournament and see how the curlers’ form is holding up. On the men’s side, we’ve had a couple of surprises. Heath McCormick, by pretty much any metric, has had the best season of any U.S. skip aside from the occasional inexplicable loss. Then it’s a tough call … Continue reading Belated U.S. Curling championship preview

Curling update: Manitoba showdown, Week 2

Craig Brown and John Shuster each picked up three wins to break even at the triple-elimination Canad Inns Men’s Classic in Manitoba. Brown beat Shuster head-to-head, while Shuster picked up a big win over third-ranked Mike McEwen. Pete Fenson and the half-his-age team snagged one win. Arizona’s Mike Siggins was shut out. Brown still slipped one place in my rankings behind Brady Clark (see below). The women’s rankings are unchanged. Elsewhere: Atkins Curling Supplies Classic, Manitoba: Jamie Sinclair and Cassie Potter each posted a 2-2 record in group play, but only Sinclair advanced to the quarterfinals, where she lost in … Continue reading Curling update: Manitoba showdown, Week 2

Curling update: McCormick on the move

Most top U.S. curling teams descended on Minnesota over the weekend for the mostly American St. Paul Cash Spiel, giving us a good opportunity to see how the teams stack up face to face. The answer? Heath McCormick’s new High Performance team is No. 1. McCormick — with HP veteran Chris Plys and recent juniors Corey Dropkin and Thomas Howell — made a great start to the season, taking second in the Oakville Fall Classic for 30.7 Order of Merit points, the top U.S. men’s performance of the season so far. This week, McCormick rolled rather convincingly through St. Paul, … Continue reading Curling update: McCormick on the move

Desk Potato Sports: Live streams for Sept. 28-Oct. 5

The USOC Sports Scene is finally back after an Olympic/Paralympic break. Highlights from the prior week’s action include Brady Ellison’s fourth Archery World Cup Final victory. Consistency. They don’t have much to offer by way of webcasts this week, though. They’ll have the men’s softball slow-pitch nationals, which is softball but is neither women’s nor fast-pitch and therefore not quite an Olympic sport. What else is on? Frankly, not much. Silly me, launching this feature in the lull between the Summer Olympics and winter sports. But we did get some good news this week: beINSports has re-launched its apps — that’s particularly good news … Continue reading Desk Potato Sports: Live streams for Sept. 28-Oct. 5

2016-17 curling preview and power rankings

My vacation is over (great, thanks), just in time for the new curling season. I’m going to track U.S. curlers on a couple of shared spreadsheets this season. But first, a quick offseason roundup: Men’s High Performance shuffling: The High Performance program, which brings together some of the nation’s top curlers to train with national coaches, has expanded to five teams per gender (three full, two junior). The men’s side returns two teams mostly intact. John Shuster took bronze at the World Championships with Tyler George, Matt Hamilton and John Landsteiner. The only change on that team is the addition of … Continue reading 2016-17 curling preview and power rankings