What’s going on with Newfoundland and Labrador curling? According to this article by Robin Short, there are very few teams entering the playdowns, especially any from out of town.
So this is where curling finds itself: its premier event, the Labatt Tankard men’s championship, attracts six teams to Labrador city for the provincial final and all but two are from the host club. We realize venturing to Labrador is pricey, but two outside teams?
Last month, the Scotties Tournament of Hearts women’s championship was staged and all five teams competing were St. John’s-based rinks.
As Short points out, five years after Brad Gushue won the Olympic gold, there’s not much to show in the way of development.
If only this were the only province where this was happening.
Two of the big guns in provincial championships are in trouble. This morning, Jeff Stoughton and Kevin Martin are down to their last lives in the provincials. First up, Stoughton, who lost a game at the provincial finals in Manitoba for the first time in two years. That’s a rare occurance, indeed, as Paul Wiecek points out and puts Stoughton in a tough spot.
And, of course, you can cue the defending champion-Team Canada stories if he loses.
And Kevin Martin dropped his contest last night to Brock Virtue, pushing into the C event. The Edmonton Journal’s Chris O’Leary has thestory with some very honest Martin quotes.
"I think you're safe to say, in the end, that we couldn't make a thing. But I guess it's a team effort, so that's a good thing; we were all bad," Martin said. "I don't know what to say. That was embarrassing, to play like that. We have to pick it up a notch, that's for sure."
Here’s an interesting snippet from the Philadelphia Daily News about the upcoming U.S. men’s national championships in the City of Brotherly Love that seems to focus on, um, spandex and Cheryl Bernard.