I’ve been watching Yama do this for the last few days and nights, and his commitment deserves to be noted.
“Yama” is Tsuyoshi Yamaguchi, who played for skip Yusuke Morozumi from 2005 through 2018, competing in six worlds for Japan plus the 2018 Olympic Winter Games.
Yama has been skipping his own men’s team for the past few seasons, and he plays mixed doubles with none other than Satsuki Fujisawa, the women’s Olympic bronze medalist from 2018.
Yama is extremely active on social media and has his own YouTube channel. His plan for the week of the women’s worlds was to comment on the Japanese games that were being televised in Japan but, as curling fans know, there’s been no TV or webstreamed content of any kind due to positive COVID-19 test results among seven members of the broadcast crew.
Yama is doing what all tech-savvy curling fans have been doing: following along with the World Curling Federation’s live shot tracker, provided by Switzerland’s CurlIT organization.
And Yama is livestreaming his own commentary of the shot tracker results, regardless of the time of day—mostly at ungodly hours of the night, Japan time—and with infectious enthusiasm.
He seems to speak into a rubber chicken as opposed to a conventional microphone.
He’s got homemade scoreboards, weird headgear and occasional guests. Up to 1,000 people have been watching at one time.
At the time of this story posting, Japan is battling Canada and Yama has been joined by no less than three members of Team Fujisawa: the skip, third Chinami Yoshida and second Yumi Suzuki.
This is really something, and you’re invited to watch the Japan versus Canada antics live, as it happens.
After the game, the video will be posted to Yama’s YouTube page.