Wednesday, 16 January 2013

Casino Rama TSN skins preview

aka Should've been Randy Ferby's swan song

My curling bucket list includes heading to Casino Rama and make it a weekend with Mrs. Hurry Hard to check out the The Dominion All Stars Curling Skins Game presented by Pinty's (aka TSN skins game).

Two reasons why I don't:
1. I usually have a bonspiel that weekend
2. I am afraid that I will be trapped in Orillia for six weeks because of a snow storm.

I live about five hours from Casino Rama. One of these days I intend to to make the trek. Maybe I can rent out some sled dogs if I get stuck on Highway 400.

From what I hear, from friends who have gone before, the event is usually sold out and is entertaining because unlike arena venues, Casino Rama is a bit more intimate and cozy, as there is only one sheet and the stands are close to the action.

According to my TSN moles, this event produces strong ratings numbers year-after-year.

Looking to give the made-for-television event a boost, this year fans voted on the teams taking part. Over half a million votes were cast.

I can't argue with the voting, but have to admit that I am a bit disappointed that Randy Ferby did not make the cut.

It would've been the perfect swansong for Ferby, who earlier this year announced his retirement. It would've been perfect for him to play third for his good buddy Kevin Martin. That's what I call reality television.

(As I type this I look up to see a picture of Ferby and Brad Gushue on my wall. The picture features the two of them, side-by-side, smiling and oh yes, it's autographed. The bidding starts at $500. I also have the picture below on my wall. Bidding starts at $3).

Glenn Howard topped the voting at the skip position with 24,284 votes. Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton was second with 23,684 votes, followed by Alberta's Kevin Martin and Kevin Koe in third and fourth, respectively.

As part of the new format, the team rosters will be determined by the skips drafting their teams during a live broadcast tonight (Thursday Jan. 17) on TSN. I hope to live tweet and live blog the draft, which will feature the four skips picking the names to fill out their teams. It will be must-see tv.

Teammates cannot play on the same team, which organizers will hope will lead to some strange teams and match-ups.

I think it will be a bit surreal.

Imagine the scenarios. Imagine if the made up teams play for a couple games and find out that they have good chemistry. Could John Morris end up playing with Howard? Imagine if Morris moves back to his home province and join's Howard's team next season. 

Kevin Martin returns from his hernia operation and realizes that his front end would be much better with Carter Rycroft.

Steve Gould and Jeff Stoughton making up and getting back together?

Oh the possibilities. This weekend could change the men's curling landscape forever...or it could just be a fun time.

Here is the voting shake down:

Glenn Howard   24,248
Jeff Stoughton   23,684
Kevin Martin   22,596
Kevin Koe   19,181

John Morris   29,677
Jon Mead   28,436
Pat Simmons   18,010
B.J. Neufeld   13,993

Marc Kennedy   29,482
Carter Rycroft   21,672
Brent Laing   21,032
Reid Carruthers   19,665

Ben Hebert 28,751
Craig Savill   23,815
Steve Gould   20,005
Nolan Thiessen   18,555

No matter what happens in the draft, the last person picked will hear about it for a long, long time. Don't believe me? Ask Phil Kessel.

Games will take place on Saturday, 1 p.m. and 8 p.m.; and on Sunday at, 1 p.m. on TSN.

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About Me

southwestern Ontario, Canada
I am a curling junkie. Wanted to create one spot to bring fans of the roaring game together, for information, news and thoughts about curling.