Call me a curmudgeon, but I’m not a big fan of the Continental Cup. For an event that is continually compared to golf’s Ryder Cup, this has all the intensity of a church rummage sale.
The problems with this event are numerous, in my humble opinion. First, the prize pool is a paltry $91,000, with the winning side getting $52,000 split between the all the players. That works out to $2,000 per player (the coaches get paid too so Harry can look after his Greyhound bill).
OK, maybe we can live with that. But I just abhor the format. The regular games? Fine. The skins? OK, but the Mixed Doubles and the Singles?
I understand the reason behind the Mixed Doubles. The curling powers have been trying to find another discipline to put into the Olympics and so this was the testing ground. It’s an inexpensive format for something like the Olympics since there are only two players per team.
It just doesn't look professional. Or even natural. There’s just something weird about someone jumping up and running after a rock to sweep. Reminds me of a game we'd play in junior curling where someone would throw a hit and we'd try to sprint past the rock on the next sheet, seeing if we could beat it down the ice.
I’ve always said that the format that's missing is double-rink, the old form where two teams from one side play two from the other with the total score of both games counting.
It’s exciting, it’s interesting and it has lots of possibilities with say, a men’s team and a women’s team joining forces.
Next, the points system. Does anyone understand it? If you do, does it really make sense? And has North America already won? 30-6 after one day is a big lead. I think. Or maybe it's just a two-possession lead. And if anyone can find a breakdown of the system on the web site, please send me a link. I sniffed around for a while and couldn’t find it.
Also, there’s no way this should take place ever year (excepting the Trials years). Once every other year or once every four years would be much better to make this somewhat special.
Finally, there just doesn’t seem to be any intensity in this at all. The players are all yucking it up and slapping each other on the backs and banging thunder sticks together and singing Kumbaya My Friend, Kumbaya.
I pine for the days when Ed Werenich told Stefan Hasselborg that he was going to stick his broom so far up his ass he’d be pulling hog hair out his nose.
Tune me out, sorry.