The voices of Canadian curling

Dave Stewart
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Moore, Howard and Rauter are on P.E.I. to cover the Scotties

Scotties

 

Linda Moore says she has fond memories of curling in Charlottetown.

The former Canadian and world women’s curling champion was a member of the Lindsay Sparkes rink that finished second to Manitoba’s Connie Laliberte at the 1984 Scotties Tournament of Hearts at the Charlottetown Forum.

“We had a great team which made it to the semi so I have very fond memories of Charlottetown,’’ said the former curler turned broadcaster.

Moore went on to win the Scotties and the world championship the next year before retiring from the game after capturing the gold medal at the 1988 Olympic Games. Curling was still a demonstration sport in those Games.

She joined The Sports Network (TSN) in 1989, working her first Scotties in Kelowna, B.C., and hasn’t looked back since.

Moore became part of a legendary team at the network that included play-by-play caller Vic Rauter and Ray Turnbull. Turnbull retired last year and has been replaced by former Brier and world champion curler Russ Howard.

The sport has soared on popularity in the 25 years that TSN has been televising the sport.

“I think one of the great things about curling is that we feel we’re just friends,’’ Moore said. “We’re friends with the curlers and we’re friends with the people at home and we want to present them with the game the best way that we can.’’

Howard, who celebrated his 55th birthday in Charlottetown on Saturday, said the switch from curler to broadcaster has been an adjustment.

“It’s tough because Ray was Johnny Carson, right?’’ Howard said, referring to Turnbull’s popularity. “He was the guy who brought the sport to everybody’s living room for 25 years but it’s a lot of fun. Vic is such a professional and Linda is so prepared, it’s unbelievable. I think if (Vic and I) both dropped dead Linda could do the show by herself.’’

Known for his gravelly voice on the ice, Howard said the toughest part has been knowing when to talk on TV and when not to.

“It’s the timing — making sure you’re not in Vic’s way when he’s introducing the players throwing the rock and he (calls the rock) as it comes into the rings so you’ve got a timeframe in there which Linda and I have to split.’’

Other than that, it’s no different than playing — know who the players are, what they’ve done in the past, what their tendencies are, what their percentages are and how the team reached the Scotties.

Rauter said TSN has been good to curling but the sport has been equally good to the network.

“There wasn’t a lot of programming in those early days (of TSN),’’ Rauter said. “Curling was good for TSN because it helped fill some programming. In turn, TSN was good for curling because, suddenly, the game was getting the kind of exposure it would only get on weekends prior to TSN.’’

Curling consistently ranks third in ratings on the network, behind hockey and Canadian football but there are times, with the right matchup, it outdraws both.

“I’ve often thought people will say that hockey is the lifeblood of our country but, you know what, the heart of our country is curling because there are quite a few communities we go where there isn’t a hockey rink but there is a curling club.’’

Rauter and Moore admit moving forward without Turnbull has been different.

“Of course I miss Ray. We are terrific friends and he was a terrific teammate up in the booth,’’ Moore said.

Rauter said what he, Moore and Turnbull had was lightning in a bottle.

“We had a really great relationship to the point where we knew each other inside out,’’ Rauter said. “I think very quickly in the few events we’ve done, Russ has fit in very well and we don’t step on each other but it’s different.’’

Rauter isn’t sure what the future holds but he’ll be delivering his signature ‘Make the final’ call for a few more years.

“Curling is part of TSN’s future for at least four more years and I’d like to do it four more years.’’

*****

 

Linda, Russ And 

Vic At A Glance

u Linda Moore skipped her team to the 1985 Scotties Tournament of Hearts title and to the 1985 women’s world championship.

u Moore retired from curling after leading her team to the gold medal in the 1988 Winter Olympics (demonstration sport at the time).

u Moore joined TSN in 1989.

u Russ Howard has appeared in 14 Briers, winning the national men’s curling title twice and the world men’s curling title twice.

u Howard did some work with TSN in 2001 at the Brier before the network asked him to come on full time two seasons ago to work the morning draws. This is his first season as part of the main broadcast crew.

u Howard’s younger brother, Glenn, will represent Ontario for the sixth time in a row at this year’s Brier next month.

u Vic Rauter has been with TSN since 1985, covering mostly auto racing, curling and soccer since 1986 as well as hockey, baseball, bowling, squash, volleyball, equestrian and skiing.

u Before joining TSN, Rauter was a sportscaster at CBC. In 1999, he was nominated for a Gemini Award as Canada’s top sportscaster, and was inducted into the Canadian Curling Hall of Fame in 2006.

 

 

Organizations: The Sports Network, Charlottetown Forum, CBC

Geographic location: Charlottetown, P.E.I., Manitoba Kelowna Ontario Canada

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Comments

Comments

Recent comments

  • Carol harvey
    March 20, 2014 - 16:02

    Why are there so few women coaching the women curlers at this level?

  • myrna troop
    March 17, 2014 - 13:00

    Linda,Vic ,and Russ are the best, Turnbull was one of the best too. You people rock. Can not wait to hear your voices on the air. Keep up the good work folks.

  • Gloria Bronson
    March 03, 2014 - 22:48

    I always look forward to TSN's curling commentators Vic, Linda and Russ. Thoroughly enjoy Russ's commentary. Unfortunately very disappointed with the contagious negative commentary in Kamloops this week. For those that do not know the game it is nice to have the commentators explain strategy of the game. They seem to be getting away from this style of commentary and are constantly critiquing "every" shot that a player makes. Had to mute television to finish watching Brad Gushue's game yesterday. Hope things change soon. A very disappointed viewer from Ontario.

  • Joyce Tonks
    February 01, 2014 - 21:44

    Will both Linda Moore and Russ Howard stop talk when the curlers are discussing their strategy. As a avid fan I want to listen to the curlers. That is why they wear mikes.

  • Diane Martel
    December 05, 2013 - 20:31

    Linda, Vic and Russ you are amazing!!! Love watching the curling with the three of you. Your knowledge and humor make for a very enjoyable game. P.S. I don't think Russ is biased at all when it comes to Glenn - you are a true professional!!! Thanks for all you do....... Diane

  • Diane Martel
    December 05, 2013 - 20:25

    Linda, Ray and Russ you are amazing!!! Love watching the curling with the three of you. Your knowledge and humor make for a very enjoyable game. P.S. I don't think Russ is biased at all when it comes to Glen as I've heard reported - you are a true professional!!! Thanks for all you do....... Diane

  • Curtis
    March 09, 2013 - 18:18

    I am so tired of having to mute the tv everytime Linda is speaking....It's time TSN mutes her.

  • S Rowland
    February 22, 2013 - 21:42

    I can't believe all the negative comments about these terrific commentators. I have found their comments unbiased and informative. They are respectful of each other and don't step on each others' toes. The worst commentators (bar none) are in figure skating! Count your blessings curling lovers!

  • pshpiruk
    February 19, 2013 - 10:24

    I wonder why Russ and Linda always give their idea's of how a shot should be made before we have a chance to listen to the skips and the team trying to decide what they will do - they are talking over the voices of the players - this gets very annoying

  • Claudette Seguin
    February 18, 2013 - 21:03

    About Rachel Homan, Does 28 straight wins set any kind of record.

  • John Watson
    February 17, 2013 - 12:16

    Today(Feb. 17) I got up to watch the Jennifer Jones "featureed game" on TSN. The game was a good one to watch for a Manitoban and I was enjoying it up until someone decided to switch over to the team Canada game at the end of the 8th end. I was really mad about this as I and a lot of others here in Manitoba were wanting to watch the game in it's entirety. Who the heck decided to switch this " featured game over to another, especially at this crutial time. I just do NOT GET THIS KIND OF IRRESPONSIBLE THINKING AND AM VERY TICKED OFF. Please in the future put a little more thought into what you are doing to us real curling fans that are following our team. Thankyou John Watson

  • Sharon Reich
    January 12, 2013 - 23:07

    I would like to send thanks to Russ for his work at being an announcer for the curling the past few years. His knowledge and ability to explain the game as to why certain shots are planned, certain reasons for building an end differently etc. We so appreciate watching the games with his comments to help us understand the game better. Thanks Russ--keep up the good work.

  • Tim Gabert
    December 21, 2012 - 22:18

    Looking for the persons name & the year who was the first to slide from the hack to the other house. There were no sliding rules at this time. Quite a contraversary over this at that time.

  • greg stewart
    February 28, 2011 - 06:30

    This e-mail is for Linda Moore. You always are taking about the stats. I understand each shot is worth up tp 4 points. It would make it alot more interesting to follow along if the shot score earned by each curler was posted imediately after the shot was made.Why not?

  • Blaine Price
    February 26, 2011 - 11:06

    This years Scotties is the most boring one I have watched. Not becuase of the curlers. They are giving their best. The commentators on the other hand are negative towards some teams, but their favorites don't make mistakes. There are more teams at the Scotties besides Jennifer Jones who in my opinion is not an entertaining curler. If the announcers don't ( Linda and Russ) TSN will lose the support of the public.

  • Barbara
    February 24, 2011 - 20:29

    I wish the commentators would stop only talking about Jennifer Jones and remember they are playing another team. I love watching curling but this tournament has been terrible. I watched Nova Scotia play team Canada and I thought that Jennifer Jones was the only player on the ice. It is to bad that team Nova Scotia did not get the respect they deserved. All curlers should be treated the same and given the same encouragment and respect. Thanks please make some changes.

    • joyce porter
      February 25, 2011 - 09:39

      does the skip "own the team?" If Kathy O is part of team canada should the team not lose their status if they force one member from the team? Could jennifer get rid of all team members but still be team canada? perhaps there should be a review of the rules.

  • Anne Kari
    February 24, 2011 - 14:54

    Unfortuantely, I have resorted to enabling the 'mute' button after listening to the biased and negative comments of Linda, Russ, and the other guy. I would like to hear an objective analysis of the games, not the 'she should haves' and 'I don't understand why she did thats'. 2nd point -- As I understand it, Team Canada's 3rd in this competition did not earn her Team Canada uniform --why is she allowed to wear it? AK

  • Flo McCafferty
    February 24, 2011 - 14:07

    Once again we have biased announcers at the Scotties. Hardly a sentence is completed without Jennifer Jones being mentioned. Having watched the Cathy O game last night against the presumed Queen of Curling, I notice there is very little mention today of the fact that she got whipped. Good on you Cathy, you deserved the win and the rest will come around eventually.

  • HELEN JOHNSTON - Calgary
    February 23, 2011 - 21:45

    For CATHY O: "HOW SWEET...... IT IS" - I knew you could do it Cathy !!! As an ex-Manitoban, and a curler, I am especially proud of you. Keep up the good work. All my best to you and your new team. Love Helen

  • Claude A. Schryburt
    February 23, 2011 - 11:51

    Good morning: We are really enjoying the curling. We wish all the best to Cathy Overton-Clapham and feel terrible about the circumstances surrounding a certain team. It was a surprise to us ! Claude & Lynne Schryburt Gatineau Quebec