CALGARY - After the showgirls and the Thunder From Down Under, whats next for the Continental Cup of Curling?Whats been dubbed the Ryder Cup of curling was held in Las Vegas a year ago. Mason Rudolph Steelers Jersey .Bagpipes played as curlers walked through a casino. Muscular bare-chested dancers from an all-male revue led them onto the playing surface holding placards of the team names. Bikini-clad showgirls held up scores for shots in the skills competition. The World Financial Group Continental Cup has returned to Canada where it was held its first nine years before the getaway to Vegas. The four-day competition of team, mixed doubles, hot-shots and skins games starts Thursday at the 3,000-seat Markin MacPhail Centre at Canada Olympic Park.The Continental Cup may be back in Canada, but experimentation with it is far from over.The Canadian Curling Association has taken over complete control of the event. Team Europe will face Team Canada, not Team North America, in Calgary.A total of 60 points are available, so the side that earns more than 30 points by Sunday is the champion.Olympic champions Jennifer Jones of Winnipeg and Brad Jacobs of Sault Ste. Marie, Ont., lead a Canadian contingent including teams skipped by world silver medallist Rachel Homan of Ottawa, Calgarys John Morris, Winnipegs Mike McEwen and Edmontons Val Sweeting.Every team who stood on the Olympic podium in Sochi, Russia, last year will be in Calgary: silver medallists David Murdoch of Scotland and Margaretha Sigfridsson of Sweden along with bronze-medallists Niklas Edin of Sweden and Eve Muirhead of Scotland.Reigning world mens champion Thomas Ulsrud of Norway and world bronze medallist Anna Sidorova of Russia round out Team Europe, whose record is 4-6 over the history of the event.Canadians and Americans previously joined forces under a Team North America banner, but the tournaments backers have shifted priorities.According to a World Curling Federation report, the world governing body for the sport decided after spending about $2 million on team costs, prize money and share of losses over the first decade of the Continental Cup, it no longer wanted to be involved.Unfortunately it has not really caught on beyond the North American TV market, the WCF said in the report posted on its website.The WCF executive board agreed that it was no longer justifiable for the WCF to spend the levels it had been over the past few years to maintain this event.USA Curling didnt have a financial stake in the event, although it paid American teams expenses, according to spokesperson Terry Kolesar.We were not invited to participate in the 2015 Continental Cup in Calgary, she told The Canadian Press in an e-mail Wednesday.The CCA announced last month that ESPN acquired the U.S. rights to its Season of Champions events, including the Continental Cup, to be shown on ESPN3.But for now, what is a made-for-TV sports event will be a made-for-Canadian-TV sports event.Increasing the Canadian content was also important to our sponsors and to television, CCA chief executive officer Greg Stremlaw said. They asked us to try and increase Canadian content and thats what weve done.The Continental Cups reinvention isnt over. Stremlaw indicated other countries may be invited to future tournaments and that announcement will be made at a news conference Friday.That may have further benefits to the U.S. and other countries who have never competed at the Continental Cup before, he said. Were going to try and involve other countries.The Continental Cup showcases curlings stars in a way that is novel for the curlers and unique for those watching at home. The 2014 Continental Cup drew an average of 300,000 viewers compared to a prime-time average of 188,000 in 2008, according to TSN.The athletes take the event seriously, but not as seriously as a national or world championships. Theres more whooping and trash-talking not to mention more socializing away from the ice.Ulsrud took advantage of the Americans absence to throw an early barb at Canadians.Its going to be even sweeter beating you guys because you always blame the U.S. if you lose, he quipped.The modest stakes — $2,000 per curler on the winning side and $1,000 per loser — contribute to the let-your-hair-down atmosphere. A bonus $500 per curler goes to the team with the highest point total from the six skins games.Jacobs third Ryan Fry feels this years format more closely mirrors golfs Ryder Cup, which pits the U.S. against Europe.Canada is still the dominant country when it comes to curling, Fry said. Its other countries jobs to compete against us to try and take that title away from us. This is one of the events that allows that.The Continental Cup is also a low-risk venue for the CCA to try out new elements. There will be ice-level LED boards running the length of the arena — like those seen in CFL games — for advertising and promotions. Another test for the CCA this winter is holding the Continental Cup of Curling and the Tim Hortons Brier in the same season and city for the first time. The Canadian mens championship is Feb. 28-March 8 at the Scotiabank Saddledome.Having two events in one location is something we havent done before in terms of those two significant event, Stremlaw said. We thought with two different events, in the same market, of all the cities that could pull that off Calgary was a great place to try and actually do that. Morgan Burnett Jersey . "Ive got a lot of work to do on this team and the sooner that I can get back to my office and start that work, itll be better," he said straight-faced as the rest of the room erupted in laughter. Pittsburgh Steelers Jerseys .That sight softened the blow of what ended up as a 4-3 shootout loss to the Colorado Avalanche on Thursday night.Knowing their teammate was fine after a scary headfirst fall in the opening minute of the game helped calm the Maple Leafs. http://www.steelersrookiestore.com/Steelers-Chukwuma-Okorafor-Jersey/ . - Tom Brady and the Patriots routed the Bengals and quieted the doubters.(SportsNetwork.com) - In the salary-cap era of the NFL, its all about allocating assets and one of the major reasons the Seattle Seahawks are preparing to play in their second straight Super Bowl stems from the fact that they hit on quarterback Russell Wilson in the third round of the draft. Instead of having to invest eight figures at the games most important position, Seattle paid Wilson a little less than $700,000 in 2014, meaning it could earmark significant dollars to other positions and build perhaps the deepest roster in all of football. That dynamic that will be changing rather quickly, however. Wilsons rookie deal expires in 2015 and the two Super Bowl appearances in three seasons means that eight figures is on the horizon for the third-year pro in the offseason with some speculating he will end up as the highest paid quarterback in the game at least until the Colts Andrew Luck cashes in. As the most playoff-tested signal caller in NFL history, the Patriots Tom Brady made just under $15 million for his work in leading New England to its record-tying eighth Super Bowl appearance so the Pats are well-versed on how to build a roster around a leading man who has already cashed in his chips. And one of the major tenants of that philosophy is the act of the strategical strike in free agency -- when you think youre close to the Lombardi Trophy, target a difference maker. The Patriots did exactly that in the offseason by signing veteran cornerback Darrelle Revis after he was released by Tampa Bay, inking the star to a two- year backloaded deal. In Revis first season in Foxborough, he delivered in a big way as the lockdown corner capable of eliminating one side of the football field, while enabling Bill Belichick and defensive coordinator Matt Patricia to be much more inventive with their various blitz and coverage schemes. The four-time All-Pro amassed 47 tackles with two interceptions and 14 passes defensed as the Patriots finished the regular season 12-4 with their latest AFC East crown. The divisional round against Baltimore proved to be Revis toughest game of the season, largely because the Ravens Steve Smith is one of the few receivers in football who can outphysical the Pitt product. Revis rebounded, though, in the AFC Championship Game as he picked off Luck during the Patriots 45-7 rout. Although the Pats are semi-regulars in the big game, this is Revis first trip and he brings an added dimension which makes New England a far more well- rounded team. Everything is surreal right now, Revis said of reaching the Super Bowl for the first time. Actually Im asking some of the guys who have been here thats on this team, You know, whats the process? Vince (Wilfork) has been helping me. (Devin McCourty) has been helping me. Even (ex-Seahawk Brandon) Browner. Im just trying to go about the process the best way I can. Revis will be tackling that process as perhaps the best man-to-man coverage corner in the game. Opponents often assume Belichick will just lock Revis up with their best receiver but the Pats coach is usually a step ahead and he could use Revis to shadow a lesser threat while rolling bracket coverage to the other side. Sean Davis Steelers Jersey. Its also far easier to overload the blitz with Revis holding down the fort on the edge and his presence makes rushing three into a viable strategy because seven can drop into coverage, along with Revis, in an almost basketball- style box-and-one defense. Its just being competitive, Revis said of his success. In this league, I think as a defensive back, thats what needs to drive you. The whole secondary feels that same way. We dont want any balls caught. The Seahawks and Pats defensive backfields obviously wont be playing each other in Super Bowl XLIX but the comparisons are obvious, as Seattles group, led by All-Pros Richard Sherman and Earl Thomas, is regarded as the best in football after allowing an NFL-low 185.6 passing yards per game. New England, with Revis, Browner and safety Devin McCourty, is considered a step behind. Revis is often mentioned with Sherman when a debate over the best cornerback breaks out but its a little like comparing apples and oranges. Seattle plays a lot of Cover-3 and Sherman stays on the left side of the field, meaning the opposing offense can avoid any matchup it wants by simply varying the formations. Revis, on the other hand, will shadow a receiver. There are pluses and minus to each philosophy. Revis supporters point to the fact he is asked to do more but fail to realize his movements mean other lesser players also have to shift and do things they arent necessarily comfortable with. Im sure people will make comparisons, Sherman said. They always do. But we play the game two different ways. Hes plays it more meticulous and more conventional on his technique. Mine is more unorthodox. Its more difficult to replicate what I do on the football field. So its two different styles to compare. I play my way and he plays his way and both of them are effective. Revis and Sherman once engaged in a rather epic Twitter war with each proclaiming they were the best corner. These days, its shifted into more of a mutual admiration society. I mean their secondary is one of the best in the league, Revis said of Sherman and Co. They are making plays for the last couple of years. If you look at it on film, theyve definitely made a lot of plays. They play well together and I think thats the key. They are very versatile in what they do and they are a very physical group. Hes had a great year and hes been doing his job effectively, Sherman countered when discussing Revis. I like what Ive seen from his game. Its hard not to. (Revis is) savvy, instinctive, hes deceptively fast, Pats CB Kyle Arrington told the Boston Globe. He has longer arms than you would think, so hes patient on the line of scrimmage. He doesnt care about the scoreboard, in a sense of getting beat, things like that. Hes just a good football player. Good is kind of understating things, something Arrington was quick to correct. Theres only a few guys that come around like that in a generation, Arrington said, and were just fortunate to have a guy like that on our team. Cheap Baseball Braves Jerseys Cheap Baseball Marlins Jerseys Cheap Baseball Mets Jerseys Cheap Baseball Phillies Jerseys Cheap Baseball Nationals Jerseys Cheap Baseball Cubs Jerseys Cheap Baseball Reds Jerseys Cheap Baseball Brewers Jerseys Cheap Baseball Pirates Jerseys Cheap Baseball Cardinals Jerseys Cheap Baseball Diamondbacks Jerseys Cheap Baseball Rockies Jerseys Cheap Baseball Dodgers Jerseys Cheap Baseball Padres Jerseys Cheap Baseball Giants Jerseys ' ' '