Author: Glen Mckenna

The 2017 WFG Continental Cup cont..

The skins matches are underway at the WFG Continental Cup and another full crowd is here at the Orleans despite missing a few Packer fans.

Team North America’s lead heading into this final day seems insurmountable but don’t tell that to the mostly European Team World supporters. They remember the “Meltdown at Medina” and are hoping for the curling equivalent upset. Fortunately for the North American’s there isn’t really a disastrous alliterative term I can think of that works with Vegas.

However, much to the liking of TSN and the Orleans ticket gate there is still plenty to play for. Pride is always good, especially with so many fans still cheering (sans Packer fans). But more importantly each game and end has some cash money tied to it which could seem pretty useful if you curl for a living and spending  your last night in Vegas.

 

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The 2017 WFG Continental Cup cont..

The Scotch is back  for the 9:00 a.m. draw of the Continental Cup.

 

morning-cont-cup

Everyone else seemed to survive the Friday night/morning in Vegas. It’s not as bouncy as last night and the lines for the bloody’s and coffee were 20 deep each, but the athletes are interacting with the crowd and they are playing along, cheering and giggling  with their every antic.

I’d give you score  and shot updates but I don’t understand this strange hybrid of a game that is mixed doubles curling. But it’s 10:30 a.m in Vegas, a perfect time to slot this format and it’s still kind of curling.

 

The 2017 WFG Continental Cup cont…

Follow the Scotch during the WFG Continental Cup all weekend as I live blog during the event.

Team North America (NA) kept their lead in the Continental Cup at two points in the Friday night draw. Team NA won one and had an unexpected tie to keep their lead at 10-8 in this Ryder Cup scoring system.

The full Canadian teams representing NA (NA in Vegas is wrong) of Koe (full point win) and Jones (tie and half point) kept the mostly Canadian crowd happy. A good thing – because if you’re a fan and escaping Canadian winter to spend your time in an ice arena in Vegas, your teams better not disappoint. They didn’t. Even though Jones tied their match she was on point and didn’t take her long to get her feel and get the crowd booming with every made shot. There are many young, up-and-coming Canadian women’s teams around, and Jones ain’t old, but even with a last shot miss, she still knows how to excite a crowd

The only team that dropped a point for Team NA were the Americans, with Canadian Heater McCormick skipping. They had chances versus Norwegians who are still wearing god awful pants.

norway-pants

Side note: I get and appreciate branding.This pants thing has been
a thing for Ulsrud’s bunch since when – Vancouver Olympics? It’s distracting and I’m not a fan. But when you make that many shots and win world titles, I guess you get to wear whatever you want… And of course it’s Vegas, I’ll see a lot worse this weekend.

 The American’s had a chance in every end. They couldn’t capitalize on mistakes and turn good ends into points. There were obviously some key misses on the back end as they were just a bit off. They can definitely play with this team though and while those shots missed in the middle ends will probably haunt them they are in the perfect place to blow off a loss like this. Hard to dwell on a loss too long when there’s a craps table that will gladly take all your sorrows (and money) away.

Glad to be here at the Cup – will be back tomorrow (depending on Vegas things) to cover more for curlingzone.com.

The 2017 WFG Continental Cup Cont..

Follow the Scotch during the WFG Continental Cup all weekend as I live blog at the event.

While the cup is mostly a freindly (futbol term) competition, you couldn’t tell it from the intensity of both the players and the fans. The crowd is full. They’re definitely enjoying the amenities of watching curling in Vegas but still invested in every shot.

The players, while smiling and taking in the moment, are out here to win and make big shots. They are also pretty pissed when they miss. There have even been a couple of broom slams and the Scotch loves a good broom slam!

cont-cup-pano-crowd

It’s a great atmosphere to watch curling on a Friday night. There is no other place in Vegas anyone should want to be.

 

The Continental Cup Continued..

Fun third end across all the sheets. Team Koe for Team North America pulled off a successful sneeze and the crowd erupted. They also stole one for a 3-1 lead.

Team Jones, also representing North America, made a tricky hit and picked out a Team Hasselborg stone to get her 1 and take a 3-1 lead.

Heath (Heater) McCormick of the Canadian led American team of North America missed his last two shots to give up what looked like a promising end turn into a steal for the FancyPants Team Ulsrud to tie that match 2-2. Heater can’t find his touch on the draws just yet.

Don’t worry Heater, not the first to go on a “cooler” in Vegas. Speaking of which, I should probably make my house payment during the 4th end break and the poker tables open up.

 

The 2017 WFG Continental Cup – Las Vegas

The Scotch will be live blogging at the 2017 WFG Continental Cup of Curling in my favorite city, Las Vegas, NV.

The arena is mostly full and quite boisterous. They are loudly cheering any time a Canadian makes a good shot, a decent shot, a half shot or if they don’t fall down when they slide.

The Scotch is ice level for the 6:30 p.m (local time) draw. I’m keeping a keen eye on Team McCormick – a Canadian, who skips an American High Performance Team (currently representing  Team North America) vs Team Ulsrud of Norway. The Americans are off to an early 2-1 lead as they will have the hammer playing the third end.

Continued Good Curling – I got here a bit late, but will be blogging for the rest of the weekend, or as much as Vegas allows.

 

The Presidency

I started my paid professional career working for a Republican legislator from Fairbanks, AK. I respect him for his commitment to study the issues and the work he gave to his constituents ever day. I remember the time I put in to preparing briefing notes for every bill that came before him that came before committees. He read them. He asked questions. He took the time to see how policy proposals would affect his constituents and the State of Alaska. I did not agree with every vote or comment he took or made. However, I found great pride that I was working for someone who took the time to analyze the issues and understand the nuance of the problems facing his constituents.
 
I have no clue how this Republican I used to work (way too long ago) for feels about the current presidential election, nor will I ask. However, I have taken my experience to realize that our next President needs to study the complexity of issues, listen to the smartest minds in their field, gets the history of our county and makes difficult decisions while thinking about human consequences of their actions.
 
After watching the most recent debate, and paying very close attention to the diatribe of this election, Mr. Trump ain’t a thinker, a study nor does he have any understanding of the issues affecting his potential constituents.
 
People holding public office should understand the nuance of policy and be willing to learn the issues facing them when making the most crucial decisions while sitting in the oval office.It’s pretty evident from these debates (ask his former staff) that Mr. Trump doesn’t have the attention span or the ability to learn and comprehend the immense issues facing the next President of the United States.

The Petulance

The Petulance

Senator Ted Cruz addressing an arena full of Tea Party activists, (formerly known as the Republican National Convention) in Cleveland, OH: “vote your conscience”  

Crowd Response – “BOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO”

Senator Bernie Sanders addressing a room of supporters about voting for Secretary Clinton prior to the start of the 2016 Democratic Convention in Philadelphia, PA: “Trump is a danger to our country and must be defeated.”

Crowd Response – “BOOOOOOOOO, NO, NO, NO, BOOOOOOOOO.”

The rationale may have been different, but the protests, outcomes and vitriol are the same. If you don’t hear EXACTLY what you want, you are staying home in the next election. More than that, you’re going to make sure the next election doesn’t happen. Am I talking about the Tea Party or am I talking about “Bernie-or-Bust” aka #BernieBros (a minority but highly visible and vocal group of Sanders supporters)? These groups are, one-and-the-same. Is the only difference the cars they drive and whether they watch FoxNews or MSNBC?

Bernie Bros are supposed to be liberal, rational people who believe in climate change, equality and basic human rights. Tea Partiers are supposed to be people who support racism and sexism, refuse to compromise, and have a fundamental misunderstanding of the ideals that the US was founded on. These two groups seem vastly different on the surface. In fact, they should hate each other. However, the temper tantrum #BernieBros displayed over the past few months toward the democratic nomination process looks and sounds identical to previous Tea Party Behavior; this isn’t new, ask Al Gore.

#BernieBros and Tea Partiers actually have some important ideals in common. This was no more evident than the 2010 health care debate. The (admittedly not perfect) Affordable Care Act would provide health care access to 20 million more Americans. This has been a partisan battle field since the turn of the 20th century! But through employment or retirement, a majority of both Tea Partiers and liberal ideologies already had access to health care. So liberal idealogues stood arm in differing arm with Tea Party foes to oppose what Congress and President Obama were trying to accomplish.

Throughout this primary election, #BernieBros have likewise ignored the complex process of politics, and a 240 year history of incremental changes in this country. Like Tea Partiers, there has been a fundamental failure to understand that you don’t get what you want in this democracy by waiving a magic wand. Both groups have equally little clue about how Congress actually works: holding lawmakers you agree with 97 percent of the time hostage to the other three percent of your whims isn’t how progress is made in the U.S. political system, and isn’t how bills of consequence get passed. Both sides know this only blocks meaningful action, just ask former Speaker John Boehner.  

I am not dismissing the necessity of two parties, or even factions within the two parties. Read Federalist Papers, No. 10: Madison stated that divisions are and will always be an essential part of our political discourse. It frames the conversation of our Republic. The far left of the Democratic Party is just as essential in moving progressive ideals forward as the Tea Party is in helping the Republicans move the country backwards.  

Dialogue is welcome in the U.S. political process. But, dialogue gets dangerous when groups like the Tea Party or Bernie-or-Busters are willing to throw their self-proclaimed revolutions in the toilet in order to make a misconstrued and blurry point. In the case of the 2016 democratic election, this was yelling at Senator Elizabeth Warren that she betrayed their trust, and vowing to sit out the election. It’s sure a helluva lot easier for white, male, otherwise privileged idealogues to sit out this election as their principled stand; they won’t be directly marginalized by a Trump Presidency.

The Tea Party has been effective at eliminating the ones they mostly agree with in the Republican Party. They’ve ousted Republicans in any primary election who agree with Democrats on anything, including the thickness of dental floss. Bernie-or-Busters are using virtually the same logic in their actions toward Secretary Clinton.

This small sect of Sander’s supporters, despite personal appeals from Sanders, think that threatening the fabric of our nation with a Trump Presidency is somehow noble. That is to say, they find protesting Clinton noble. And, in effect, they are ignoring coalitions Clinton has spent 30 years building. This is not only dismissive of her statesmanship, it prevents her from effectively advancing her life’s work of helping those less fortunate.

Let’s make this simple. Clinton isn’t a criminal; fortunately, in this country, you can’t be tried and convicted on Fox News. Clinton won the primary election by more than 3 million votes. This was decided in June.The Democratic National Committee can’t rig elections (or tie their shoes) and, according to newly disclosed primary results from 2008, either can Clinton. Clinton also isn’t a corporate shill. She takes campaign contributions from Wall Street but you need money to win elections. Until “Citizens United” is overturned by liberal Supreme Court Justices (which she supports and which she will nominate), this is a fact. Clinton has built consensus her entire career (Sanders has never been much to build coalitions). Clinton has a more proven track record of fighting for progressive causes than any other presidential candidate in the nation’s history.

The petulant children who booed and hissed liberal speakers through the Democratic convention ignored this in their fervent display of immaturity. But they did expose the lack of depth and thoughtfulness needed in today’s political climate. It wasn’t  different than what Tea Partiers and liberal idealogues alike did in town halls throughout the country in 2010.

It’s not a “principled” stand when you choose not to vote for someone you agree with 97 percent of the time, or when you stay home and bemoan the first woman nominee in our country for disproven flaws and because, according to the men, she needs to stop yelling and smile more. It’s a stand that lacks both principle and basis in fact. Primary elections are a part of politics and there can only be one winner. Losing primaries are a fact of political campaigns that only neophytes don’t understand.

Let’s make this even more simple. Trump and his collaborators want to take this country back to the 1950’s. What the fuck do you think “Make America Great Again” really means? Make America great again for white men with money and position and worse again for everyone else. Worse for worker’s rights, LGBTQIAP+ rights, women’s rights, civil rights, religious freedoms, economic equality and any other fundamental human rights. Are #BernieBros willing to sacrifice the progress of the last 70 years because they ultimately lost or don’t they feel warm and fuzzy toward Clinton?

The small group of protesting #BernieBros may be suffering from ignorance and immaturity, but it sure as hell isn’t rooted in any kind of liberalism I’ve heard of. At this point, it’s become indistinguishable from the Tea Party.

The Scotch is ready to join the fight and is #withher. And anyone who considers themselves liberal, believes in science or is smarter than a box of crackers should be too.   

The Running of the Roses

The Scotch is back!

It’s been a hectic few months of following the primaries and pouring over the intricacies of water adequacy legislation. There is a lot to write about. This Trump thing is actually real. This #feelthebern thing is still a thing, even though it really shouldn’t still be a thing. State houses across the country have gone completely bat shit with the laws they are passing and the U.S. Congress is taking the opposite approach by doing absolutely nothing (The Speaker is too busy whining to the media about The Donald). The Scotch will get to that and you can also look forward to an epic hike adventure  soon.

But for today – The Ponies! Destin

The Kentucky Derby, the first horse race of the year the casual horse racing fan cares about. It’s the first leg of the overrated triple crown and always the first Saturday in  of the year. Churchill Downs is the most famous horse racing track in the world. Unlike other races and many other sporting events, The Derby has a feel of ungawdly privilege. There is the pageantry, the mint juleps (try one, they’re disgusting) and the hats! Who doesn’t love the hats?!?

Then of course there is the gambling (despite ethical qualms). As you know, The Scotch LOVES to dabble in the world of sports gambling.  “You’re a fucking degenerate” may have been directed this way once or twice. Today is no different. The best thing about betting on the ponies, is that there is much more to horse betting than simply picking the winner. The Scotch isn’t an expert nor one of those 76 year old, über knowledgeable, horse junkie shaking a whittled pencil making complex bets, on the 4am races in the sportsbook at the Mirage. However, there are so many simple and affordable bets to make it entertaining to make this the most enjoyable 2 minutes of the year. Plus, last year’s Superfecta win at the Belmont Stakes will keep us afloat for a while.

If you are fortunate enough to read this prior to gate time; find a buddy to scam (you can also find a hipster trying to sip a mint julep at a local bar) or use the Google machine to find a way to put fake internet dollars on the following:

  • Outright win: Bolo in the undercard race
  • Win/Place/Show: Gun Runner and Suddenbreakingnews
  • Trifecta Box: Nyquist (hate taking the favorites), Mor Spirit and Gun Runner
  • Superfecta Box: Exaggerator, Suddenbreakingnews, Danzing Candy and Outwork
  • Outright win: Destin @+1600

There is your multitude of winning possibilities. It didn’t rain last night so ignore any advice from Kramer! Be careful not to bet more fake internet dollars than you can afford. Keep it fun! And remember there is nothing better than yelling at your teevee  and at a horse you never met, to run faster. 

Oh, and of course – THE HATS!!the hats