Good morning. How are things in your part of the world? We have another extreme cold warning in effect here today — maybe I'm just getting old or something but it seems like we've had more of those this year than past years. Anyways, hope you've warmed up since we last chatted — the evening of the Opening Ceremonies.
So, it's 7:20 am Monday morning here in the Peg; what time is it there? And when is this gold medal game for Kaitlyn Lawes? It's still hard to wrap my brain around this time change! It makes it hard to know when to tune in on the telly to catch some live action — it's generally early morning or late evening.
Guess you've spent most of the last few days at the curling rink, so that's a familiar environment for ya — lots of Canadians I imagine?
I'm 15 hours ahead which means just as you're getting up, I'm climbing into bed at 10:30 p.m..
This has been a very strange event to cover for that reason. My tightest deadlines aren't at night like they usually are — they're in the morning when I'm scrambling to file in time to make the press run back home the previous night.
Lawes and Morris are playing for gold on Tuesday night over here, which will be a 5 a.m. start back home in Winnipeg. There will be a lot of Winnipeggers setting alarm clocks I suspect.
Covering curling overseas is like putting on my favourite old sweater. It's just really familiar and comfortable. And the people never change. I used to cover a lot of curling internationally but haven't done much in the last five years. And yet when I walked into the curling venue last week, it was like a homecoming with all the familiar old faces.
It's the people — on and off the ice — that have always made that sport. And that's just as true today.
I have been to one one-thousandth — maybe less than that — the curling events you have been to, but when I think of a curling event I think of bagpipes. Do they have the bagpipes there in Korea? By the way, how the heck did you ever end up being our curling reporter anyways? Did you go from crime reporter to curling reporter? Weird.
Are you paying much attention to how the rest of Team Canada is doing? I see we won a gold in team figure skating — that's an event?! They've made a lot of new team events over the years — some of them seem to be a bit of a stretch. How about team ski jumping? That could be cool.
How long does it take to play a mixed doubles curling game? Or in other words, what time can I get up Tuesday morning and catch the last two ends?
There are no bagpipes over here, sadly. I love those things, which I acknowledge puts me in the minority in the universe. Plus, it is helpful to always know when a game is out of reach at a curling event because you can hear the pipers warming up underneath the stands. When you hear the pipes, you know it's time to start writing.
True story: current Curl Canada president Resby Coutts played in one Manitoba men's final in his long and undistinguished curling career. Sadly for him, it came in 1981 against some young upstart skip no one had ever heard of — Kerry Burtnyk.
I'm not sure of the exact linescore but I think Burtnyk got a deuce in the first end and stole two more in the second end. Resby tells the story of how he climbs into the hack to start the third end and suddenly hears the muffled sound of the pipers warming up. He says he's never felt more deflated than he did in that moment.
It is true that I was the cop reporter for this paper for a long time but I actually moved over to sports from investigative reporting, which is maybe even a weirder career move. A previous managing editor and I agreed on only one thing — I didn't like him and he didn't like me. I figured I'd hide out in a foxhole in sports until he got fired. Sure enough, he got canned a year or two later but 20 years and counting I'm still here. After awhile, it just became a habit.
I wouldn't try to time that gold medal game tomorrow. Lawes' opponents have shaken hands early in five of her last six games. Your plan to get up in the seventh end could already be an end too late. Also, my prediction — like Mr. T's — is for pain.
I think Canada is going to destroy Switzerland. Johnny Mo looks like a man on a mission right now and his Swiss counterpart, Martin Rios, just looks fat and out of shape. I've never — and I mean ever — seen a curler sweat like that guy.
I'm very keenly watching what Canada has been doing over here. There were high expectations coming into this event, with even the COC talking openly about setting a new record for total medals. With Mikael Kingsbury's gold in freestyle skiing here Monday night, we're already almost one-third of the way there with seven medals, including two gold. Add Kaitlyn's medal, which won't get counted until after Tuesday's gold medal game, and Canada is rolling over here right now.
My vote for a new event? Full contact figure skating. Everyone does their routine on the ice at once. Last skater standing wins the gold and has to clean up.
Plus, it would eliminate the questionable judging. And also, eliminate a lot of figure skaters.
Getting up to watch the Opening Ceremonies for 5 a.m. is one thing — getting up for 5 am to watch curling is another thing all together. I'll have to read about it from your dispatch to our website.
How can there not be bagpipes — Say What?!
Also, I just re-read your opening email — are you doing this in bed? Remember you demanded the other morning that I put pants on — I'm going to assume you don't wear pants to bed, right?
You're sounding awfully positive about our Team Canada, which reminds me that I got into a bit of a debate about you with a couple of our readers the other day. Jason Bell had written a story about that Patrik Laine Players Tribune yarn and had jokingly written Laine's writing skills were not equal to his scoring skills because the story had been ghost-written. Several in Jets Nation took offence to Jay's story, thinking we at the FP were again looking for a way to find the negative in everything. I had to assure a few folks that the story was meant to be tongue-in-cheek and that there is no editorial directive from my desk to look for the dark clouds.
The Jets and the Bombers have done plenty in past years to generate negative news — we're just the messengers folks. Anyways, the criticism turned towards your negativity about the Jets at which point I just laughed — because as I've mentioned here a few times this season, I'm getting more complaints about you being positive about the Jets this year than anything else. You can't win bud - which is the gig as you know.
Wonder how Jets Nation is feeling this morning after the team lost its second straight at home on Sunday? Team needs a win tomorrow night against the Caps.
My bedtime attire — or lack thereof — is a matter between me and the lady of the house.
This 'you guys are too negative' thing just makes me laugh. We are sports reporters in Winnipeg covering, primarily, the two professional sports teams in Winnipeg, neither of which has won a playoff game in seven years. Seven years. That's a terrible joke.
So yeah, the coverage has reflected the reality for a long time and that reality hasn't been pretty for a very long time. But hark! The Jets have gotten it together this season and look to me a lot like a team preparing to make a playoff run. It shouldn't be hard to figure out why the coverage of a team like that might suddenly be more positive.
Two final things on the Jets. They're going to be fine. And that Caps game is Wednesday, not Tuesday. You're welcome.
There's a lady in your house? You might wanna keep that under wraps in case Erika is reading this.
And you must be sleepy and messed up on the time change — the game is Tuesday night here in Winnipeg.
I do not completely share your sentiments that the Jets 'will be fine.' The injuries have certainly had an effect — funny how they were able to overcome Scheifele being out but the loss of Trouba and Lowry seems to be putting a lot of players in positions they would not normally be in and the team looks a little out of sorts over the last few weeks. Not that relentless attack in the offensive zone we saw so often in the first 40 games.
Lots of trade deadline talk. My opinion is always the same: when you have a chance to win now, mortgage the heck out of the future.
I think it would be a mistake for Chevy to not go all-in this season. Who cares about the future — win now if you can. The window of opportunity can close quickly in sports. I recall ex-Jays GM Alex Anthopolous trading away like 10 prospects a couple of years ago — getting Tulo and David Price — to try and put the team over the top. It didn't completely work out as the Jays did not win the World Series. But, they had one hell of a run. They gambled and took a shot.
If I could convince a guy like Rick Nash to come here for a playoff run, I would happily trade Roslovic, Lemieux, Petan, Comrie or even Kristian Vesalainen. Do not go after guys like Grabner or Zuccarello — Jets have guys like that. Go big or don't bother.
Upon further review, we are both correct — the Caps game is Tuesday in Winnipeg and Wednesday in Korea. This time travel thing is so confusing.
Here's what I know about the NHL — I'm glad they're not over here. Those guys suck the oxygen out of the Olympics. We'd be talking about nothing but that right now if guys like Crosby and McDavid were over here right now with the men's tournament about to get underway.
Instead, we've got all kinds of great stories you only get to hear every four years and the room to tell them. There's lots of great athletes in the world doing lots of exceptional things who don't play in the NHL. Want to talk toughness? How about the shiner Canadian snowboarder Laurie Blouin was rocking when she took down silver the other day. And in terms of athleticism, I would stack up the miracle that was the Tessa Virtue-Scott Moir ice dance performance in the team event on Monday against anything I've seen in an NHL game ever. Like by a mile. Those two are incredible.
I'd be reluctant to fix what isn't broken if I was Chevy. The chemistry of that Jets team is working and I'd be worried that by adding you could end up subtracting. The only piece the Jets are missing, I think, is maybe a guy with some playoff experience to provide a calming presence when things get crazy in April and May and — dare to dream — June.
I was also thinking how the steam of the season would be stalled — especially here in Winnipeg and a place like Vegas — if the NHL had shutdown for two weeks to have the players head off the Olys. Like you, I am glad the focus this time will be on other athletes.
Guess it’s getting late there, so won’t keep you much longer — plus, I now need to put some pants on and get to the office.
What should we watch for over the next couple of days? And hey — you find anything else to eat other than that Dominos?
The Koreans have the most meat-based diet in Asia. And yes, they still eat dogs over here. It's been slim pickings food-wise for a vegetarian dog lover. I'm going to be half the man I used to be by the time I leave here.
There's lots of curling to keep even the most diehard fan interested the next little while. In addition to that gold medal mixed doubles game on Tuesday, the men's and women's team events start here Wednesday. Rachel Homan and Kevin Koe are going to complete a trifecta of curling golds for Canada. You heard it here first.
And there's tons of hockey coming up. The Canadian women's hockey team — with three Manitobans on the roster — take on Finland on Tuesday. And then Thursday is a monster day for Canadian hockey: Canada's women take on the Americans in what will almost certainly be a preview of the gold medal game and then that rag-tag bunch of Canadian men make their much anticipated tournament debut against the Swiss.
Best story I've read from the Olys so far — aside from yours of course ;) — was one on Canadian figure skater Meagan Duhamel trying to save some of those pups from the dog meat trade. It was shocking to read there were 196 registered dog farms in Gangwon province and 10 close to Gangnueng. I know you like to cheat every once in awhile with some pepperoni on your zah — be careful, pal.