When you think of curling, your brain may not conjure images of the cutting edge.
Kevin Martin is out to change that. The legendary curler could be right at your fingertips in the near future. All you need is a smartphone and a signal. In other words: Want curling tips from The Bear? There's an app for that.
It's called, appropriately enough, "The Kevin Martin Curling App."
While Martin's app promises to be chock full of curling links and instructional content, including tips on pre-game stretching (personally, NOT my favourite part of curling) the really attractive thing for curlers will likely be the "Contact Kevin" option. That would allow you to connect with Kevin Martin, hall of fame curler, almost immediately. Martin tells Norm Cowley, of Postmedia, that he'll receive requests for contact pretty much as soon as they're sent and work on a response right away.
"It's very cool. Imagine if you're at a golf course and you had an option to talk to Fred Couples. I would get a hold of Fred in a second. 'Oh, Fred, I'm having trouble with my putting ... .'
So, say you're sitting in the club bar after a game and your vice is telling you that you made a huuuuge mistake with your call to draw instead of hit in the 7th end. If you're a skip that's worth his or her salt, you're sure they don't know what the hell they're talking about, right? But, they won't listen to you, oh no.
You press the button on the app, pose your question and get your answer from Kevin Martin. He'll agree with you, of course, and you'll be able to display the answer for all to see.
That kind of back up would be wonderful to brag about, right? How much would you pay for that?
This is where Martin may need to do some reworking of the price model and he's well aware of that. Out of the box, the "Contact Kevin" function is priced at $11.99. Now, I don't want to say that curlers are notorious for being... uh... frugal. But they're notorious for being frugal. Again, from Postmedia:
"The market will tell. If I get 1,000 a day, obviously, I've got to put the price up because that's crazy. But if after three days we get nobody, then obviously we're charging too much. I'd like to have 10 or 20 a day. Whatever price. Right now, it's $11.99. Nobody's ever done that, so we just pulled that number right out of the air."
I do believe the app is flawed, however, as it fails to give you an option whereby, clipping the phone on your belt and pressing a button, it automatically corrects your maddening tendency to slide wide and flip your out turn. You know, if that were a thing that's dogging you. And has been for two or three seasons now. But, I digress.
Martin's on to something here and it would be a good idea for some other high profile curlers to get on the trolley. "Oh, you're on Twitter?" he could say to them. "That's adorable. How corn broom of you."
Get me an a Heather Nedohin app. One that swears for me when I miss a shot. A "Contact The Norwegians" app for those times that I want the latest advice in wacky curling pants fashion. And an app that, when you hold the phone up to your mouth, makes you sound exactly like Vic Rauter. Or Linda Moore. Your choice.
The sky's the limit. As Martin says: "It's all brand new. Nobody's ever done it before. It's really fun."
I may well be "contacting Kevin" sometime this season. However, if he tells me I'm wrong and my vice is right... it's back to Angry Birds, pronto.