by George Karrys
RAMA, Ontario – And so the Scots strike first, scoring the first skin worth $4,000 in the second end, after an opening carry-over. Advantage for the meninblack over The Pumpkins.
This despite a nasty "picked" stone on one of Warwick Smith's stones (Smith at left in this TCN photo by Anil Mungal).
"Smitty" is a riot, and it's great to see him still hanging around high-performance curling. His first worlds appearance came at Hamilton, Ontario in 1996, when his Scotsmen lost the final to Manitoba's Jeff Stoughton. And he's been around so long – and he still looks somewhat youngish – that one easily forgets he's "only" 39 years old. He certainly acts youngish, at any rate... he's a lively, funny and enthusiastic curling bloke.
Remember the Edmonton worlds in 2007? Smitty took it upon himself to start selling beer and popcorn to the arena spectators... until the catering folks – backed up by security – put a polite stop to that.
Years earlier – was it at the Kamloops worlds in 1998, perhaps? – he held an impromptu live auction in the arena seats, and raised money for the Sandra Schmirler Foundation at the expense of his uniform jacket. If one's memory serves correct, he also lost his balance and fell into the seats in the process... thus prompting cries of "piper doooon!"
And here in the third end, Smith just thrilled the crowd with some excited yelping during his skip's final shot. It was a well-placed guard, and second man Ross Hepburn made a "chirping" sign with his had as the crowd guffawed. We think everyone could have heard Warwick on that one... even out on the casino floor!
And then... a miss from Martin, rock kicking and stomping from his Bear Cubs, and it's now $7,000 to nil for Team Murdoch.
More later. Now, snacks.