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Monday, February 7, 2011

Curling in the news: Not

I'm feeling pretty cranky this morning.

This weekend saw two fantastically exciting games in the M&M Canadian Junior Curling Championships. Team Saskatchewan (skip Trish Paulsen, third Kari Kennedy, second Kari Paulsen and lead Natalie Yanko) won the Junior Ladies' title on a steal when Alberta's Nadine Chyz's last shot rolled out. Team Saskatchewan (skip Braeden Moskowy, third Kirk Muyres, second Colton Flasch, and lead Matt Langwon the Junior Men's title on a measure - in an extra end, no less.

Both games were exciting, well-played and terrific harbingers of what's to come at the highest levels of the sport. I mean, if the kids can curl like this now, what are they going to be like when they hit the Big Leagues in a year or two?

But this excitement - and the significance of these teams' achievements - was entirely ignored by the press, yet again. My morning Globe & Mail didn't even list the event on its results page. A quick search of the National Post reveals the same.  Yes, the Super Bowl and NHL stories require their coverage - no problem there.

But curling isn't an obscure sport. In Canada, particularly, you can find curling events on television pretty well any weekend after Christmas, and daily during national championships. Think back, way back, to the Olympics. Do I really need to remind anyone about the rabid, raucous, rowdy fans? Curling was cool. Curling was everywhere.

The Globe, "Canada's National Newspaper", however, would rather lift four reports (four!) from the Times of London about cricket, soccer, auto racing and golf rather than file a home-grown report on exciting sporting events played by Canadians, in Canada.

I'd love to hear from our American curling friends about what the press did during their recent Junior Championship. The sport is surging in The States - what's the coverage like there?  Or are you, as we are, marginalized and ignored - unless someone is winning a gold medal or lots of cash?

Yes, I'm cranky. Curlers - time to write some letters. And if you're interested, here's an address to start with:


  1. I can understand juniors curling not being front page news, but I'm surprised that the junior championships in Canada got exactly the same amount of national coverage as our own tournament got here in the U.S.: none.

    Unfortunately, there was no national coverage of the "adult" nationals, either. Nothing on national cable TV--only the final games were webcasted. Maybe both sets of tourneys had local coverage in AK/MN/ND/WI, but no local coverage here in the NY suburbs even though two members of our club were on the McCormick men's rink representing NYC that finished fourth.

    But to be fair, most American journalists and editors wouldn't even know the first thing to do when it comes to reporting on curling. Curling's popularity is still growing rapidly, but it's still in that awkward phase (that's a topic for a different discussion altogether).

    Back to the TG&M matter: one would think the print media, being besieged on all sides by TV, internet, the mobile world, etc. would be quick to ride anything that's somewhat popular. "Coolness" is subjective, but over what, 1.5 million Canadians play curling each year? And how many non-curlers watch the Olympics, the Scotties, the Brier etc.? Sadly, newspapers in general have been behind the curve in many areas (I'll bet not just Canadian curling), and IMO farthest behind in sports reporting. The sports news cycle operates at a breakneck pace now, almost at the same speed as celebrity gossip. Even the better sportswriters reveal much more information than their print articles on their blogs, Twitter feeds, etc.

    If the papers decide not to report tomorrow's big news today (Team Homan, enough said), then television (TSN got the hint) and the electronic media will be more than happy to pick up the slack for them.

  2. I get very annoyed when my local English paper, The Montreal Gazette does NOT cover curling... Globe & Mail not perfect, but light years ahead of The Gazette.

    Have to find out curling news in websites like also by reading your blog and West of Ontario newspapers.

    Miss David Nedohin...miss Colleen Jones. Love curling, skating, hockey -- Winter sports. Wish all Canadian Winter sports were covered in the press and on TV.

    Après tout, c'est le Canada où nous vivons ... où nous avons les ours polaires, des phoques, la neige et la glace en abondance. Sports d'été sont bien aussi mais nous n'avons pas beaucoup de sport d'été national. Au Canada, notre sport national d'été est la Ligue canadienne de football (CFL).

    Thankfully TSN broadcasts curling (not as much as I'd like, but better than when it was with CBC).

    Sue Dykhuis / Montreal, Qc