A warning for Vic Rauter, longtime voice of curling in Canada:
Be careful. When it comes to Ron Burgundy, things can escalate quickly.
Actor Will Ferrell, in the guise of his alter ego, newscaster Ron Burgundy, is heading for Winnipeg, with an eye on being top broadcasting dog at the Canadian Olympic Curling Trials (Also known as The Roar Of The Rings).
In a television spot promoting Burgundy's appearance at The Roar next Sunday afternoon, the star of the film calls Rauter out and ends up punching a picture of Canada's beloved master of the rings.
"I've seen your work," Burgundy says to Rauter. "It's no ocean of slacks."
Rauter is undaunted and ready to fight for his position as curling alpha male, Burgundy be damned.
“He called me a god," Rauter said, moments after the spot aired during Sunday night's broadcast of the Grey Cup Game. "I’ve never been a god but I am a legend in curling," he went on, laughing. "I am a member of the Canadian Curling Hall Of Fame. And I don’t know if Mr. Burgundy is a member of any hall of fame. So, it’ll be an interesting meeting, the two of us.”
Sounds like a battle of a couple of massive egos. Will there be enough room in one booth for both of them?
“I don’t think it’s the egos I have to worry about," cracked Rauter. "I think it’s the hair. And whether there’s enough hair spray in Winnipeg for both of us.”
With the movie "Anchorman 2" due for release on December 20th, Ferrell is pulling out all the stops in promoting the film. Burgundy, it seems, is appearing just about everywhere and all the time in advance of the big opening.
He'll, indeed, be at Winnipg's MTS Centre for the first draw of the event, Sunday afternoon at 1 o'clock, Manitoba time. It's is highly unlikely he'll be there for any great length of time, perhaps helping to open the event but doing little else. His presence, though, will be electrifying.
UPDATE: Rauter informed me Monday afternoon that Burgundy will call the first end of action along with Vic, Linda Moore and Russ Howard. He'll also likely be involved in opening ceremonies. The movie will not be mentioned during the time Ferrell is on the broadcast. Rauter says he doesn't know exactly what to expect, but will just go with whatever Ferrell/Burgundy decides to do.
Rauter thinks it is a sign that curling continues to gain some momentum, especially in the United States, where the likes of San Francisco Forty Niners star Vernon Davis continue to sing the virtues of the game.
“I think we’re seeing people - yes, they want to make fun of it - but I think they’re seeing that, hey, this is a terrific game. I think the game is getting some legitimacy in the minds of those people that don’t have it already,” he said.
As for his own sense of style and the chance to mimic Burgundy's early 80's sophistication, Rauter believes he's well prepared (little known fact: Rauter, like Burgundy, plays a mean jazz flute).
“I’ve never changed. I’m still 80’s. What you can’t see is that I wear platform shoes.”
Burgundy vs Rauter. Let the duel begin.