More Olympic Curling Customs: The USA Men’s Team

The Team USA Curling Trials concluded two weeks ago, and in the process we found out who would be representing the US in the 2018 Winter Games.

Last Saturday’s post was about the Women’s Team; this time we’ll be representing the Men. Team Shuster lost the first game to Heath McCormick’s team, but rallied back to win games 2 and 3 to win the spot in Pyeongchang.

John Shuster, John Landsteiner and alternate Joe Polo have been to the Olympics before, but this will be the first time for Ty George and Matt Hamilton. Hamilton is the brother of Becca Hamilton, who’s on the women’s team going to Pyeongchang.

The US Men finished in a 3-way tie for 7th in the 2014 games, but Team Shuster made the playoffs in the 2017 World Men’s Curling Championship back in April.

The US Men would lose the Bronze Medal game to Switzerland, 7-5.

This will be skip John Shuster’s 4th Olympics. He was on Pete Fenson’s team which won Bronze in 2006, and he also represented the USA in 2010 and 2014.

Elsewhere in Olympic qualifying… The Canadian qualifying event, Tim Hortons Roar Of The Rings, starts today in Ottawa. You may remember that Canada took both the Men’s and Women’s Gold in Sochi in 2014…  Here are the 1973-style customs I made nearly 4 years ago to commemorate those teams:

Both of these teams are competing for another shot, but there’s always plenty of competition in any type of Canadian curling championship.

This coming Tuesday sees the beginning of the World Curling Federation’s Olympic Qualification Event in Pilsen, Czech Republic.  This will determine the final two countries for the Men and Women.  For the Women, the competition is between China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy and Latvia.  You may notice that this is only 7 teams;  Norway had qualified for the event but the Norwegian Curling Association decided not to send a women’s team.

For the Men, it’s between China, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Russia.

Quick note for those of you who prefer non-curling customs:  You’ll get your turn tomorrow.


Virtual Olympic Curling Cards Using The 1975 Topps Design? Hell, Yeah!

Last weekend saw the conclusion of the 2017 USA Curling Trials to determine which women’s and men’s teams would be representing the country in the PyeongChang Winter Games this February.

Although I didn’t get to watch nearly as much as I would’ve liked, I was so inspired by the competition that I decided to create the first of my 2018 TSR Curling customs a bit ahead of schedule… I was originally intending these to drop In January.

So for those who missed it – and I missed much of the women’s competition due to some DVR programming errors on my part – Nina Roth’s team won a trip to the Winter Games by beating Jamie Sinclair’s team two games to one, with the third game being decided in the final end.

None of the four women on the team – Nina Roth, Tabitha Peterson, Becca Hamilton and Aileen Geving – have participated in the Olympics before, but they made a good showing in the 2017 World Championships, going 6-5 in the round-robin and just missing the playoffs.  The US Women finished last in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics, so there are expectations that this team will make a significantly better showing in 2018.

That first custom is, of course, based on the team checklist cards from 1975 Topps baseball… and indeed, the whole custom set will be based on 75T… with some liberties taken to get things to work out as needed.

I also decided to create another custom based on the event itself; this is based on the “Highlights” subset of 75T… more specifically in this case, on the sole horizontal Highlights card which featured the multiple no-hitters which had been thrown in 1974.

I’d originally intended to keep it to just the two customs this weekend, but I got a little carried away with the project and I currently have 20 different customs finished.  I’m sure you’d like to see what the “regular” cards are like, so here’s a third featuring skip Nina Roth.

There’d been some internal debate on some of the 1975 Topps design elements… The originals, of course, have that little baseball icon and the player’s position at the lower right.  I thought about having a curling version of that, but ultimately decided that the design worked just fine without anything at all.

I will have customs for the US Men’s team next weekend, and at some point in December I will have the yet-to-be-determined Canadian teams.  Those teams will be determined at the Tim Hortons Roar Of The Rings starting December 2nd.

Also in early December is the World Curling Federation’s Olympic Qualifying Event;  this will determine the final two Women’s and Men’s teams to qualify for the 2018 Games.

Finally, for those of you who prefer my usual customs (baseball, non-sport, etc.)… These aren’t intended to temporarily replace those, that’s just what happened this time because (as I’d mentioned) I got a bit carried away with these and as a test run I created one custom of each color combination in 1975 Topps.  For those of you keeping score at home, that’s eighteen different color combos.  Next weekend I hope to have Curling customs on Saturday and my regular customs post on Sunday.  That’s my intention, we’ll see how that actually pans out.