Day: July 27, 2015

Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Women’s Final

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog.   After the semi-finals, I was positively buzzing. I couldn’t have asked for a better result…my two favorite rinks were set to face off in the women’s final. No matter who won, the result would make me happy. Of course, it also dawned on me at this time that one of my favorite teams was also about to lose. To say I was torn would be an understatement.   In my heart, I wanted Sidorova to win. They were underdogs the whole week, and quite honestly didn’t seem to have that many people cheering for them. Curling fans being good sports, they cheered for good shots and what not, but overall there didn’t seem to be much fan support for the team as a whole. Besides that, they were playing very well all week. They had to fight to get a tiebreaker, and then had to fight again to win that game and make the playoffs. Yet here they were, one game away from winning it all…icing on the cake to a great season that included a second bronze medal at the Women’s World Championships last month, a silver medal at the European Championships back in November, and a gold medal at the Winter Universidade in January. Honestly, I’m going to come right out and say it: this rink doesn’t get the respect...

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Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Semi-Finals

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog. Today was the last day of the Players’ Championship. The morning draw featured the men’s and women’s semi-final matches: Team Jacobs vs Team Bottcher/Middaugh, Team McEwen vs Team Epping, Team Sidorova vs Team Sweeting, and Team Muirhead vs Team Homan. We got to the arena area early, in case there wasn’t much parking. Luckily the lot was empty and we grabbed breakfast nearby. I was beyond nervous, as I was so close to getting to see my two favorite rinks face off in the women’s final. I couldn’t wait to get inside and for the matches to get underway. As usual, I had my flags with me to show my support for Muirhead and Sidorova. Sweeting and Homan are two of the top Canadian rinks, and fan favorites. So we were definitely in the minority. Soon all the teams were out on the ice, and it was obvious they were anxious to get play started. Of course, they had to wait for introductions, courtesy of the always entertaining MC Peter Steski. Being a big TV event for Sportsnet, the broadcast at times will dictate the pace. Such was the case as the teams had to wait for the go-ahead to start playing. McEwen-Epping was the featured match on the middle sheet, so they had to wait a bit longer to get going while...

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Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Day 6: (Tiebreaker & Quarterfinals)

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog. Once again we were up early to get over to the arena. Team Sidorova had to play Team Middaugh in a tiebreaker for the 6th and final playoff spot. The draw was free, and almost completely empty. We decided to sit right behind their sheet and cheer them on from up close. I took a lot of pics, being that close to the action with little blocking our view. Team Sweeting and Team Homan showed up, taking in a little bit of the action. Kevin Martin was hanging around again as well. ke any good rink, Team Sidorova are excellent at communication. In this video you can hear their distinctive sweep calls. If you’ve ever watched them play, you’ll know what I’m talking about when I say SVIIIP!!! Team Sidorova won! This meant that I was going to get to see my two favorite rinks compete to make it to the semi-final round the next day. The next draw was at noon, so we grabbed a quick lunch and headed back to the arena. Team Muirhead was once again taking on Team Nedohin, while Team Sidorova was taking on the reigning World Champions Team Paetz from Switzerland. Again, we got to see two great games. ‘ The highlight of this draw though was this incredible shot by Anna Sidorova. A triple raise...

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Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Day 5 (What Else? Curling!)

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog. Another early day to make it to an early morning draw. It was really empty, so once again we sat right by the ice. Today was the final day of round-robin play, so most of these games were really important. Early on in the first end, we noticed the great Kevin Martin standing and watching the action, so I took the opportunity to get a picture with him. It was fairly quiet in the arena, so we could hear things really well. Of course we were primarily watching my favorite rink, Team Muirhead, take on Team Feltscher but we were also keeping eyes on Team Sweeting vs Team McDonald and Team Sidorova vs Team Jennifer Jones. Muirhead defeated Feltscher somewhat early, so we moved to get a better view of the Sidorova-Jones match. We moved from the side of the ice to watch the end of the match, as we wanted to try and catch them to get some pictures afterwards. While sitting near our usual seats, we noticed Team Muirhead was hanging out and watching the matches. We also saw Team Feltscher in the stands, watching the remaining games. Team Sidorova ended up winning in an extra end! They were down 1 with hammer in the eighth end, and while drawing for two Sidorova came up short. In the extra end, she...

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Phil’s Travels: Players’ Championship Day 4 (Even More Curling!)

Originally posted to Windy City Curling Blog. The morning draw was light with only three teams, so we decided to sleep in. We needed it. On average we’re probably walking over 5 kilometers a day, and we’ve been getting up early. We hung out around the room and then headed out to get some lunch before the afternoon draw. When we got there the arena was pretty empty, and we managed to grab seats in the lounge area next to the ice. Team Muirhead was set to play Team Nedohin, and this match was going to be televised on Sportsnet. Right next to them Team Edin was playing Team Gushue, so we had a great view for both games. There were several cameras, some static, some mobile. Things are a bit different when the games are televised though. For one thing, they have to wait to start. Also, there is a longer break between ends to allow for commercials. They also show the broadcast feed on the jumbotron, which helps to see what’s going on in the far house. I also could see when we were on TV…look close, I was wearing orange so I was hard to miss, ha ha. We had our flags again, and I made sure to get them on TV a few times. One downside was that at times the camera crews blocked our view...

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