By Phil Hecken
The 2012 USA Curling National Championships (CNC) began yesterday, taking place in Philadelphia (actually at at the IceWorks complex in Aston). For those of us (like myself) that really only get to watch the sport of curling during the Winter Olympics, the interwebs offers a rare opportunity to catch a lot of curling action — the event is actually being livestreamed on the 2012 USA Curling Nationals website.
The CNC is actually the first opportunity for teams to qualify for the 2014 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, which themselves take place from November 11-16, 2013, in Fargo, N.D. Not only do the top two men’s and women’s teams from the 2012 Nationals earn direct berths in the Olympic Trials, the winning teams from this event earn the privilege of representing the USA in the 2012 World Championships (the men play in Basel, Switzerland, from March 31-April 8, and the women will travel to Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada, and will play between March 17-25). So, there’s a lot a stake here.
As Paul has previously mentioned, he and I will be attending the semi’s and finals of the tournament. He’s got a bit of history with a number of the participants, as the number two seed, Team C. Brown (skipped by Craig Brown), was Paul’s skip when he participated in the House of Hearts bonspiel, two years ago in Duluth, Minnesota. Paul looked might-tee-fine that day in this sweet sweater, a birthday present from yours truly. You can see him in action in Duluth, sweeping for Team Brown. He’d reprise that look last year when we went curling at the Plainfield Curling Club, in South Plainfield, New Jersey:
You can see, he has great form…Unlike yours truly. Although, I must say, Paul did film my best shot of the day, as I used the hammer with a sweet in turn on a take-out to score 2 for our side.
Our guide and instructor that day was Dean Gemmell (seen on the left of this photo, along with Peter Della Penna, myself and Robert Vickers, our ‘team’ that day). Dean is also in the Curling Nationals, on the fifth-seeded Team McCormick, playing behind skip Heath McCormick. Dean is a great guy and a terrific instructor, having
put up with my antics patiently explained the nuances of the sport to me and Paul in the two times we’ve visited the Plainfield Curling Club.
The number one seeded men’s team is Team George, which is being skipped by Tyler George (pictured sweeping at left), who also happened to win the 2010 US Nationals (as a member of Team Fenson). Team Fenson has reformed and will be the number three seed at this year’s championships. Tyler has quite the history with Paul as well, as he gave Paul some personal (consumption) instruction before the HoH. I highly recommend watching that clip through to the end.
So when Paul and I arrive for the semi’s on Friday, he’ll be torn — we’re of course hoping that the number one, two and five seeds will all make it to the semi’s, but our rooting interests may be determined before that time. And oh yeah, who else is competing? Lots of big names in the USA curling world, including Team Shuster, the number seven seed. You may remember John Shuster from the 2010 Olympics, who, after helping the USA secure a bronze medal in 2006 in Turin, had, well, an underwhelming performance in Vancouver.
With more than a dozen past Olympians on hand, competition is expected to be stiffer than ever, said USA Curling chief operating officer Rick Patzke, thanks to a curling boom in the United States.
“It’s been remarkable,” Patzke said.
As for the ladies, they too will have top talent. “Local” Janice Langanke, will skip the No. 9 seed in the tournament out of South Plainfield, N.J. (where the Plainfield CC is located), and the number one seed is skipped by Erika Brown (leading Team E. Brown). If the second lady in that photo looks familiar, she should — that’s Debbie McCormick, the Team USA Skip in the 2010 Olympics. Second seed is Patti Lank and her Team Lank — and it’s a family affair, as her daughter Mackenzie is playing alongside her mom. Should be a great competition among the ladies as well.
We’ve covered curling a few times before on Uni Watch, so if you are at all interested in the sport, those posts are good for a refersher course. Of course, for a really great “Curling 101″ take a look at this video — the second best 6 minutes you’ll spend all day:
So there you have it. If you’re in or anywhere near the Philadelphia area, you might want to stop by — the tickets are very inexpensive. Of course, after Saturday’s finals, Paul will be hosting a Uni Watch gathering at The Devil’s Den (Saturday, February 18th, beginning at 6:30 pm) — we hope to see you there!
Occasionally, I will be featuring wonderful, high-quality black and white photographs that are just begging to be colorized.
Got a great set of colorizations this week, and not just from the G&G Boys, although they are, of course, prominently featured.
We’ll start this week with George Chilvers:
I hope this is acceptable to Giants fans :)
I notice the pitch has no grass and appears dusty so I presume this is a sand/dirt surface. Would that be correct – if not please do let me know so I can alter it?
Of course it’s acceptable to us Giants fans (and hopefully, all fans). I did E-mail George back to let him know that the surface on which they were playing was indeed dirt — I believe that game is in Philly, probably at
Forbes Field Municipal Stadium (which explains the dirt infield), but if anyone knows for sure, please enlighten us. Thanks to Jerry Wolper for the field ID.
George had another:
Great stuff as always, George.
Next up is Larry Bodnovich, who also took on the Giants and Eagles. Larry used my bit of “research” in his writeup:
Phil Hecken | February 6, 2012 at 12:15 am | Reply
the google is a wonderful thing:
“Philadelphia Eagles playing the New York Giants, October 16, 1938.”
“On October 15, 1933, the New York Giants crushed the Philadelphia Eagles in Philadelphia’s first game in the NFL by a score of 56-0. The Eagles struggled through mediocrity the rest of the decade, and went 5-6 during the 1938 season, splitting their two games with the New York Giants, who won 17 to 7 on October 16, 1938″
Well done Larry! I like how your take on this game is slightly “lighter and brighter” than George’s…that’s the beauty (and ‘problem’) with black and white photography — the colors are often left up to interpretation.
In the three-spot today is Gary Chanko. After a football and a baseball colorization, we can round out the major sports with some hoop:
Football is finally over and still another week to go before pitchers and catchers report. So maybe we could squeeze a vintage basketball photo into the lull period.
There could be no better choice than Wilt, the greatest ever in my view. Shown here lacing up his U.S. Pro Keds before a Jayhawks game in 1957. The story behind the original photograph is here.
I’ve seen many references to Wilt having worn Chuck Taylor’s the night he scored 100 points – a Warriors game I actually listened to as a teenager. However I haven’t seen anything definitive to verify that claim. Which brings me to another series of claims, the one’s being made by Nike about the performance enhancing qualities of their products. In my view they are all nothing more than marketing nonsense. Does anyone seriously believe Nike’s products actually improve an athlete’s capabilities? Would Wilt have been able to score 110, 120 points that night were he outfitted in the latest Nike pro combat trash?
Of course Nike could prove us otherwise by backing up the nonsense claims with proof. Can they? Of course not because it’s all a fantasy. So let’s bring back the affordable canvas high tops made in the USA and start to celebrate the athlete and not the gimmicks of Nike and others.
Thanks for the chance to rant.
Rant away, Gary, rant away! Tremendous output, as always.
And closing out the colorizations today is a newcomer, Pete Woychick, who adds a hockey photo to the major sports above. Nice way to close down the show:
Long-time reader, first-time colorizer.
I didn’t know the Habs ever had stripes around the bottom of the breezers—I thought that was strictly a NYR thing—but sure enough (roughly 1940-60)
I like the strings (skate laces?) around the shin pads, as well.
Wonderful submission, Pete. I hope you’ll keep sending them our way!
That will do it for the colorizations today — might have a one-week hiatus next weekend, since I’ll be traveling with Paul, but keep on sending them colorizers! Great stuff as always.
by Rick Pearson
Some things in life definitely require re-entry…
And, as always, the full-size.
We have another new set of tweaks, er…concepts today. After discussion with a number of readers, it’s probably more apropos to call most of the reader submissions “concepts” rather than tweaks. So that’s that.
So if you’ve concept for any sport, or just a tweak or wholesale revision, send them my way.
Please do try to keep your descriptions to ~50 words (give or take) per image — if you have three uniform concepts in one image, then obviously, you can go a little over, but no novels, OK? OK!. You guys have usually been good with keeping the descriptions pretty short, and I thank you for that.
And so, lets begin:
We start with Kiechel Valentine who takes on the Denver basketball team:
I tried to incorporate my favorite previous color scheme into the Maxie the Miner era uniform design but with today’s lettering and numbers. Sorry no rainbows.
Thanks for giving them a look Phil.
Up next is Antonio Losado, with a tweak for the Anaheim hockey logo. Has it really been 20 years?:
I’ve been watching all of that anniversary logos from some American pro teams and I decided to turn myself into a designer just to anticipate a kind of logo for the Anaheim Ducks as they will turn 20 years in the NHL by next season.
I decided to put together the old duck mask logo with the present Ducks colors and shapes but adding the “Mighty Ducks” slogan in the band. They’ll have something so much better, but at least we have something to start thinking about…
Thanks for the web and best regards,
Moving along, we have Justin Kline, who takes Tim E’s template and puts the Clips in something more…um:
Even though the Clippers aren’t exactly embracing the name they made for themselves, “Lob City” has been a revelation for their fans. What if they capitalized on the name (and changed the unis a bit), much like Portland did with “Rip City“?
We conclude today with Matthew Duke, with a concept for the Dallas hockey team:
Dallas Stars concept – Going back to the early days of the North Stars updated and fitted for Dallas. Also, a nod to the “Mooterus”, I really liked the constellation idea even though that particular logo/uniform was poorly executed. Just kept it simple.
That will conclude the tweak show for this weekend. Back next time with more.
And that will do it for this fine Sunday. Hope everyone has a great week, and I hope to meet a few (or more) of you either at the Curling Championships or the Devil’s Den next Saturday. And as the outro today, a bit of curling terminology, for the uninitiated:
Tough shot: Anything the Skip misses.
Shit shot: Anything you miss.
Blanked end: Nobody had draw weight.
Bury: What you do with your head when you hog your rock in the eighth end.
Double: What you order at the bar when you lose.
Draw weight: Damned if I know!
If you think those are funny, then you’ll enjoy the 2012 Championships.
“I’m going to lie, I loved all of Tim’s hockey concepts.” — Anthony
And one for Ricko