London, BAH-ston, Ventura and The Peg

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It’s a busy weekend on the various regional Tours and naturally, the Ultima World Curling Tour. And, also, in the world of oft-ignored recreational curling. Here’s your friendly neighborhood Media Watch for Friday:

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• London, Ontario is hosting the big women’s Tour stop this weekend and the local Freep is on the scene. Nice to hear that Jenn Hanna is still dealing with JJ’s mahvellous last rock (photo) aka The Shot in her usual way – with a huge smile. We would certainly expect nothing less.

• Two typical journalist-tries-curling stories from the U.S., one from the greater Boston area and another from sunny Ventura, California.

Such tales first sprouted with regularity during and following the Salt Lake 2002 Olympic Games, and they’re often a fun read. In fact, as the Cal story illustrates, US Curling hosted an on-ice funfest just for media as part of a recent Torino 2006 orientation session, and if the story gets picked up in other markets, their PR effort can be called an unqualified success.

Pickup has already occurred in tiny Wichita Falls, in northern Texas, which is just 15 miles from Oklahoma and boasts soccer star Mia Hamm as its proudest export. Wichita Fallsians (?) would have to travel far – Dallas/Fort Worth or Houston – to actually try the sport, but Rome wasn’t built in a day, or so they say.

We’d expect the upcoming men’s worlds in Lowell, Mass. to create more stories like this in the months to come... go get 'em BAH-ston!

• Finally, Winnipeg hosted a news conference Wednesday to announce that ticket sales have started for January’s BDO Canadian Open of Curling, the second of four Grand Slam of Curling events. Last year’s whopper of a spiel truly did rock the new MTS Centre, as records were set for both live attendance and TV viewership.