Sunday, December 23, 2007

Martin's fifth

Kevin Martin is quite amazing, isn’t he? He wins his fifth consecutive Grand Slam (oops, sorry, Capital One Grand Slam) event which to me is remarkable. I mean, what are the odds of this happening? It’s not quite up there with winning the Grand Slam in golf (in my opinion), but more should be made of this streak.
Also, it should be noted that it was a big finale for Wild Rows Pump & Compression which sponsored both teams in the final. I'm sure there's a big celebration going on back at the Pump & Compression store. Sorry, I digress again.
In some ways, I think this is more of an achievement than winning four Briers. Granted he did play fewer games, and every game was on good ice, which you don’t always get in a playdown run, but Martin faced significantly more difficult competition to get the job done. Think about it – he’s defeated the best teams in the game five consecutive times. That’s a pretty tough job.
Unfortunately, it won’t get the coverage it deserves or even the recognition among curlers who have yet to fully embrace the Grand Slams for what they are (that time will come, but I digress). But these events are as good as curling gets and for Martin to win five straight just boggles my mind.
I think the Players’ Association is smart to enact a new rule that prevents teams from picking up players from teams that take a pass on a Slam event. This weekend, both Craig Savill and Brent Laing played for teams other than their regular (Glenn Howard). You know both these guys have good intentions but there’s definitely the possibility for abuse down the line.
The necessity of this rule really points to just how crowded the curling calendar is. Howard passed on this weekend because he had already played the last three and around Christmas, that Beer Store no doubt gets a little busy. While this is certainly the peak of the season, you have to think it would be in the Slam’s best interests to spread these events out a bit, especially these first two which were just three weeks apart. Why not have one early in the year, say late October? I’m sure scheduling isn’t quite as easy as all that, what with arena deals, and not stepping on the toes of existing spiels, etc., but this is a small problem that should be overcome with enough planning.
Kudos to the folks running the web site for The National. Probably the best curling web site I’ve ever seen.
Although he's certainly well known on the circuit, it was interesting today to hear the mangled pronunciations of Kevin Koe's name. At the curling club where I was, I heard a lot of "coe" and some "coe-ee" but not many "coo-ee." Also, during the semi-final, one older gentleman kept getting Koe and Jon Mead mixed up.
Oh well, if the team keeps playing like the are, they'll eventually get it right.

No comments: